Seabreeze finished sixth as a team.
Seabreeze’s Victor Lipsey was one of four returners to the Sandcrabs’ boys wrestling team. Last year, he grappled in the 182-pound weight class. But when Mike Fries took over as the Sandcrabs’ new head coach before the start of this season, he asked Lipsey to drop over 20 pounds into the 160-pound class.
Lipsey dieted the entire summer and made weight before the start of the 2018-19 season. He wrestled in the 160-pound class the entire regular season.
However, he recently put on some weight so he could wrestle in the 170-pound class, where Fries thinks Lipsey has the best opportunity to advance to the FHSAA wrestling state tournament on March 8-9 in Kissimmee.
Lipsey won the title for the 170-pound class at the Five Star Conference Championship on the afternoon of Saturday, Feb. 9, at Flagler Palm Coast High School.
“Victor’s doing whatever he needs to do to be successful,” Fries said. “He’s peaking at the right time. As long as he keeps grinding and working, I think he’s going to make it.”
The Sandcrabs didn’t perform well as a team at the conference tournament. They finished in sixth place out of nine teams. But two other Sandcrabs in addition to Lipsey shined individually. Grant Schwartz won the 126-pound class, and Cayden Quirion finished second in the 120-pound class.
Going up against one of the top 120-pounders in the state in New Smyrna Beach’s Michael Shannon, Quirion was down just 4-1 with 30 seconds left in the match. He went for a dig move in an attempt to win, but he was pinned.
Quirion is a freshman.
“He really showed up,” Fries said.
Part of the Sandcrabs’ disappointing overall performance was their struggles in the consolation matches. The Sandcrabs lost five of those matches. If they would have won two of those, the Sandcrabs would have finished third as a team.
“We just had mental breakdowns,” Fries said. “There were some kids who didn’t wrestle like they could have.”