From 2007 through 2012, Palm Bay won every Cape Coast Conference wrestling title, and sometimes with a comfortable margin.
Chase Carl of Melbourne wrestles John Wright of Boone on Day 1 of the Barbara Pill Memorial Wrestling Tournament.
The next three years, Viera, Astronaut and Heritage took turns atop the CCC before the Pirates regained the trophy last year.
Now, Palm Bay is again a contender to win as the championship tournament opens Friday at Bayside, but a balanced Melbourne team could be considered a favorite, while Space Coast, Astronaut and Merritt Island are other teams to watch.
Palm Bay’s strength is its senior class, which includes the school’s career wins leader, two wrestlers ranked first in Florida in their weight class and three other ranked competitors.
Satellite High’s Kolin Marsh voted Athlete of the Week
Dylan Perrow, 39-4 at 138 pounds, has 186 career victories, the most in Pirates history. He, Matt Cates, Shane Stewart and Bryce Poppell are four seniors without a loss this year to a Brevard opponent, and they’ve been wrestling together since they joined youth teams.
Coach Sean Ballard said defending the conference title hasn’t been a focus as much as it has been in other years.
“We’re highly motivated, but they’ve already been pretty motivated and at max capacity,” he said. “It’s kind of unspoken.”
Having lost last week to Melbourne, the Pirates coach said the depth and quality of the Bulldogs will be tough to overcome.
“They beat us fair and square on Friday night,” he said. “They’re tough. They have more opportunities to score points.”
Caden Norris wins CCC 220-lb title
Merritt Island senior is Cape Coast Conference 220-pound wrestling champion. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted Feb. 13, 2017.
Merritt Island’s Jimmy Batch talks about going to Harvard
Jimmy Batch talks about why he decided to go play football for Harvard. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Feb. 1, 2017.
Keli Lindquist on picking UCF
Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Feb. 1, 2017
Dayna McDonald on why she chose Southeastern University
Merritt Island’s Dayna McDonald talks about why she signed with Southeastern University. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Feb.2, 2017.
VIDEO: Bruce Judson talks state championship win
VIDEO: Cocoa High’s Bruce Judson talks after a 31-17 win in the 4A state championship. Video by Tyler Vazquez. Posted Dec. 8, 2016.
Flashback: 2009 Cocoa-Bolles game was a classic
The two teams that meet Thursday for the 2016 Class 4A state title had an instant classic OT game in 2009.
Watch Astronaut’s Tristan Schultheis 7’2″ high jump
Astronaut’s Tristan Schultheis clears the high jump bar at 7′ 2″ for a new school record. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted March 18, 2016
Video: Viera QB Hayden Kingston on the team’s 1st playoff win
Video: Viera QB Hayden Kingston talks about the team’s 1st playoff win and what comes next. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Nov 14, 2015.
VIDEO: Eau Gallie’s Chase Smith
Commodores senior returned INT for TD in Thursday win over Bayside. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted Oct. 4, 2015.
Video: New Scoreboard Installed at Panther Stadium
Palm Bay Magnet and Florida Tech fans will see a brand new scoreboard when they attend their next game at Panther Stadium. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted October 30, 2015.
Melbourne coach Mike Soliven dances the “dab’
Melbourne boys basketball coach Mike Soliven celebrates his team’s victory over Bartow in the regional finals by dancing the dab for his team. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Feb. 20, 2016.
Shane Stewart on winning district wrestling
Stewart won at 138 and Palm Bay won team title. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted Feb. 18, 2016.
Heritage baseball having best season
The Panthers have a goal of a winning season for the first time in Heritage High history. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted March 29, 2016.
VIDEO: Quinn Lowdermilk talks MCC lacrosse to FLORIDA TODAY.
VIDEO: After an 18-3 victory over Holy Trinity, MCC’s Quinn Lowdermilk discusses lacrosse. Video by Tyler Vazquez. Posted on March 11, 2016.
Macoyah Barry of Heritage girls basketball
Barry’s deafness doesnt slow her athletic career. Interpreters help her communicate. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted Feb. 1, 2017.
Video: Viera gets district 6-4A girls soccer trophy
Viera defeated Melbourne, 2-1, in double OT on Friday. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted Jan. 15, 2015.
Melbourne basketball coach Mike Soliven talks about earning a final four spot
Melbourne basketball coach Mike Soliven talks about defeating Bartow to earn a spot in the Class 7A finals next week in Lakeland. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Feb. 20, 2016.
Melbourne High’s Jayden Jackson vs. Bayside
Melbourne High’s Jayden Jackson talks about win against Bayside. Video by Carl Kotala, for FLORIDA TODAY Posted Oct. 21, 2016
Merritt Island’s Jimmy Batch on hurdling
Batch is a state-placing hurdler and Merritt Island’s quarterback. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted March 31, 2016.
Melbourne High boys lose to Blanche Ely
Melbourne High basketball team loses in Class 7A semifinals against Blanche Ely. Posted Feb. 26, 2016. Photos by Craig Bailey.
Video: Cocoa head coach John Wilkinson
Cocoa head coach John Wilkinson talks about the youth of his team this season and the progress they’ve made. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Ocr 23, 2015
Melbourne Sr. Greg Durham on his tennis season
Durham talks expectations and his Naval Academy appointment. Video by Brian McCallum. Posted March 24, 2016.
Sights and Sounds: Melbourne High Football
Sights and sounds from football practice at Melbourne High School. Video by Craig Bailey. Posted Aug. 10, 2016.
If the Pirates are to win, they’ll do it by winning weight class titles. Cates (44-1 at 170 pounds) and Poppell (41-3 at 160) are both ranked first in the state in their classes. Stewart, 35-2 at 132, is fourth.
Three more seniors, 145-pound Mike Alberico, third-ranked Arlen Dean at 182 and Ian Tomsett, ranked 12th as a heavyweight, could also mean big points.
Friday’s weigh-ins will be at noon, and wrestling should begin by 1:30 p.m. The semifinals are set for 10:30 a.m. Saturday.
Contact McCallum at 321-242-3698 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow facebook.com/FLtoday.brianmccallum and @Brian_McCallum on Twitter.
High school sports | floridatoday.com/sports/high-school-sports/