Cardinal Gibbons wrestlers Michael Mocco, Nik Yancey are All Americans. Plus volleyball & more

Wrestler Michael Mocco of Cardinal Gibbons capped off his stellar freshman season by earning All American honors.

Mocco won the national championship at 220 pounds in the Freshmen Division during the National High School Coaches Association National Tournament in Virginia.

Mocco, a 2023 Miami Herald co-Wrestler of the Year, won a state title this season in Class 1A at 195 pounds with a 44-1 record, a year after placing third at state as an 8th grader for Coral Springs Charter.

Mocco’s teammate Nik Yancey also garnered All American status by placing sixth at 138 pounds at nationals. Yancey, a senior, is a three-time Miami Herald Wrestler of the Year, going 46-1 his senior campaign and capturing his third state title.

Bryan Picallo also of Cardinal Gibbons was 5-2 at nationals, and teammate Dom Pantuso competed, too, at this major event.

Soccer state honors

Rafael Guerra, a senior forward from NSU University School, finished third in the final voting for Mr. Soccer state honors by the Florida Dairy Farmers as voted by coaches and media reps.

Guerra is the Florida Dairy Farmers Class 3A Boys’ Soccer Player of the Year, making him eligible for Mr. Soccer acknowledgement. Junior forward Sebastian May from 6A state champ Viera High School was named Mr. Soccer.

John Quirk of 7A state champion East Ridge won the overall Coach of the Year award. Class 5A COY Todd Goodman of American Heritage-Plantation placed fourth and Class 4A COY Scott Davidson of Gulliver Prep sixth.

Boys’ volleyball

An outstanding five-set battle betweem undefeated Belen Jesuit and Cardinal Gibbons ended 15-13 in the final set with the Wolverines remaining unbeaten.

Belen Jesuit d. Cardinal Gibbons 25-21, 21-25, 25-19, 22-25, 15-13: Bel: Marcelo Morales 20 kills, 4 blocks (.643 hitting percentage for the match); Robert Henao 56 assists, 6 kills, 5 digs, 4 blocks, 3 aces; Joseph Gonzalez 10 kills, 6 digs, 2 aces; Lorenzo Torres 18 digs; Morrison Hadad 11 kills. CG: Logan Keothavy 26 kills; Daniel Sappia 23 kills; Callan Fry 15 digs; Gabriel Nejad 37 assists. Bel (11-0), CG (8-2).

Belen Jesuit boys’ volleyball vs. Cardinal Gibbons.
Belen Jesuit boys’ volleyball vs. Cardinal Gibbons.
Belen Jesuit boys’ volleyball vs. Cardinal Gibbons.
Belen Jesuit boys’ volleyball vs. Cardinal Gibbons.

Belen Jesuit d. Monsignor Pace 25-10, 25-20, 26-24: Joseph Gonzalez 10 kills, 6 digs, 3 aces; Nicolas Hernandez 6 kills, 8 digs. Bel (12-0).

St. Thomas Aquinas d. Pine Crest 25-17, 25-18, 25-19: Player of the Match Eyen Beharry. STA (3-2).

St. Thomas Aquinas d. Archbishop McCarthy 25-23, 18-25, 25-20, 25-22: Player of the Match Luke Swadener. Raiders’ personal team best hitting percentage for the season at .604 with 37 kills in 53 attempts and only 5 errors. STA (4-2).

Beach Volleyball

Carrollton 4, LaSalle 1


Lourdes 16, Lasalle 1: Valentina Perez 2-2, 3 RBI, 2 R, SB; Valerie Portuondo 2-2, BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, 2 SB; WP Isa Astudillo CG, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 H. Lour (5-5).


Belen Jesuit 10, Archbishop Carroll 1: Bel: WP Andres Salvade 4 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 5 K; Ernie Rodriguez 3-3, 2B, HR, 6 RBI; Jordan Cordero 1-4, HR, RBI; Brandon DeGoti 1-3, 3 RBI; Gabriel Vich 1-3, 2B, 2 R. AC: Samuel Oliva 1-4, HR. Bel (11-0), AC (2-8).

Doral Academy 10, LaSalle 0: Adrian Santana 2-4, 2 HR, 5 RBI; Sebastian Berries 2-2, HR, 3 RBI; Daniela Restrepo 4-4, RBI; WP Klyer Gonzalez 4th win, 3 K. Dor (11-2).

Western 5, IMG 2: WP Christian Esposito (1-0) 3 IP, 1 R, 3 K; Save Jason Braverman (2) 4 IP, 1 R, 3 K; Mason McGeehan 2-4, 2 RBI; Zach Beyra 1-3, 2B, BB, 2 R, SB; Aiden Andreu 1-3, 2B, R; Geo Escandon 1-3, 2B, RBI. Wst (6-6).

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Roundup compiled by Jim Varsallone