CORAL SPRINGS, FL – Despite his grit, wrestler Gabe Preal lost Friday in his attempt to advance in the state high school wrestling tournament.
The senior at Coral Springs High School had battled injuries, bullying, and other adversities, but found his escape through the school’s wrestling team and had a great run this year, going 22-5 in his matches before Friday’s contest.
But on Friday night, Preal’s hopes of advancing to the FHSAA Class 3A state tournament ended with a loss to South Plantation’s Cornelius Ojiambo in the consolation round, known as the blood rounds at Braddock High School in Miami.
Preal, competing in the 126-pound division at the Region 4-3A tournament, won his first match by pin over Miami Coral Park senior Adrian Pla in just 53 seconds. He was pinned by Jose Gonzalez of South Dade to fall into the blood round where he then dropped his match to Ojiambo, who improved to 14-4 with the win.
Preal ended the season with a 23-7 mark. Read more about Preal's story here.
The term “blood round” comes from the intensity of the bouts in the round. Wrestlers know it is their last chance to advance in the tournament and qualify for state.
Coral Springs finds itself in sixth place in team standings heading into today’s matches.