The Brandon Eagles wrestling program is known worldwide, made famous by "The Streak." From 1974 to 2008, the Eagles went undefeated in dual meets -- 459 straight wins. It still stands as the longest streak in high school sports.
Eagle wrestlers are still virtually untouchable. They swept 11 of 12 finals in last weekend's Hillsborough County championships.
Head coach Russ Cozart continues to push his wrestlers to national prominence. The streak is now just a memory, but Brandon is still hanging banners and running out of room for them. The Eagles no longer worry about winning dual meets; it's all about state titles, they've won 12 in a row.
"Yeah, we are on a role," said Cozart. "We try and set the bar high. We are really goal-oriented and every year we want to go undefeated and win the state title. We've won 12 in a row."
Senior Travis Berridge has been part of the current streak for four years and is trying to pin down his a fifth state appearance. This is his last chance to get his own state title.
"Kids come through here five-time, four-time, three-time state champs. I still haven't gotten mine," said Berridge. "I definitely want it this year. You can't be a Brandon Wrestler and not get a state championship and not graduate without one. I defiantly want won."
Brandon wrestling is a winning tradition. From father to sons, brothers to brothers. Freshman Kyle Norstrem wrestles in the shadow of his older sibling. Etching his name on the legacy list is why he wrestles.
"On, yeah definitely," said Norstrem. "To look back and see all the great wrestlers that wrestled on it. It would be awesome for me to be on it too with my brother."
The Eagles are so loaded with talent that they had to hold a match between two of their wrestlers with state championship experience just to finalize their playoff roster. One was a three-time state champ, the other a two-time state placer.
"One of the guys beat the number-two guy in the country this year," said Berridge. "They split matches, one won the first match and the other the second match. That was a state championship right there."
There's no secret to the Eagles success.
"Cozart, man," said Berridge. "Cozart just drives us. He's just a great coach."
"We work hard," said Cozart. "I tell them, you are going to have to give me something. You are going to have to sacrifice a little bit. You are going to have to dedicate yourself a little bit. They start winning, they feel that motivation that if they just keep going they could be a state champion.
The Eagles own Florida's record with 23 state titles in the last 35 years.
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