Seven Brandon-area champion wrestlers and 10 other wrestlers from across the state, representing the Florida National Wrestling Team, held onto their freestyle title and took second place in the Greco-Roman (Olympic-style) event June 13 and 14 in the East Coast Duals at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.
Twelve teams participated in the tournament.
The Brandon contenders were Kevin Norstrem, a one-time state champion; Rossi Bruno, a two-time state champion; Tyler Liberatore, one-time state champion who has placed twice at state; Joe Cozart, three-time state champion; Wally Figaro, three-time state placer; Lorenzo Martinez; and Clark Glass, two-time state champion and one-time state placer.
The 17 competing Florida wrestlers, ages 16 to 18, were accompanied by Coach Russ Cozart of Brandon and Coach Curtis Dewberry of the Homestead YMCA wrestling program. The about 50-member Florida National Wrestling Team is part of the Florida Amateur Wrestling Association.
As the wrestlers waited for their flight at Tampa International Airport, they talked and played cards. Between turns Figaro explained that they keep wrestling all summer long.
"That's how champions are made," state champion and American High School (Hialeah) senior Henry Chirino said.
"This is a good competition before the national championship in June and July," Russ Cozart said.
"This is a sample of some of the best wrestlers in the state," he said, pointing to the nearest half dozen of them and rattling off names as he listed the many titles each had won. "They are a true all-star team."
Brandon Lions Club installs officers
New leaders of the Brandon Lions Club were installed June 4 by Immediate Past District Governor Susan Stathas: Robert Nixon, president; Kevin Rees, vice president; Bruce Molen, secretary; and Joseph Kuebler, treasurer.
Stathas also installed new members of the board of directors: Judy Brown, membership chairwoman; Joseph Desmarais, lion tamer; Ben Brown, tail twister; Patricia Stone, one-year director; Fred Brown, two-year director; and Howard "Bo" Hurley and Michael Buytas, three-year directors.
Two new members were inducted into the Lions Club, also by Stathas: Kay Mean, sponsored by David Skillin, and Joseph Stone, sponsored by Patricia Stone.
Nixon was voted Lion of the Year.
The main focus of Lions Clubs International is sight preservation. In light of that mission, among other things, the Brandon Lions Club coordinates vision screening in Hillsborough County schools, collects and distributes eyeglasses, and contributes to the upkeep of the Florida Lions Camp, a camp for people with visual impairments and other challenges.
For information about becoming a member, call Nixon at (813) 689-5120 or go to www.BrandonLions
Area veterans donate flags
TAMPA - The public is invited to join Brandon, Riverview and Ruskin veterans groups as they replace flags recently stolen from Liberty Manor for Veterans at a pre-Fourth of July celebration Thursday at Liberty Manor, 10015 Ninth St. N.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. and will include a dinner of finger foods and cold drinks as well as the presentation of an American flag and Prisoner of War/Missing in Action flag.
Liberty Manor is a nonprofit organization that provides housing and help in attaining self-sufficiency for homeless veterans.
The Ruskin Memorial VFW Post 6287 auxiliary color guard will present the colors; the Marine Corps League Auxiliary Riverview Unit 1226 will lead the Pledge of Allegiance, provide a gun salute and raise the flags; a bugler will play taps.
The Riverview Memorial VFW Post 8108 will present a POW/MIA flag to a veteran who was a prisoner of war, and the post's Ladies Auxiliary will read the meaning of each fold of the flag.
Representatives of the Military Affairs Council of the Brandon Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Riverview Chamber of Commerce and the Veterans Council of Hillsborough County Inc., also will participate.
Contributions are welcome. For information about Liberty Manor, call Jeff Luddeke, executive director, at (813) 352-7856, or go to www.liberty
Free post-parade picnic offered
There is such a thing as a free lunch, with free, ice-cold snow cones and soft drinks under large, shady oaks, after the Brandon Fourth of July Parade Saturday at Limona Village Chapel United Methodist Church, 408 Limona Road.
The long-established, annual event will include a bounce house for the children and a full barbecue meal for every one.
For information, call the church office, (813) 689-8385.
Drama campers write, perform
Local students in sixth through 12th grades may join a two-week drama camp sponsored by the Brandon Youth Theatre from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through July 17 at One Thing Prayer Center, 733 W. Lumsden Road.
Janet Frenkel, artistic director, and Jeremy Silverman, musical director, will teach the kids how to create a one-act musical from scratch. The students will write the script, compose songs, stage it, cast, direct and perform it.
The tuition is $400. If siblings enroll, a $40 discount for the second and subsequent siblings applies.
To register, call Becky Morton, president of the Brandon Youth Theatre board of directors, at (813) 689-8985.
For information about Brandon Youth Theatre, go to www.brandon