Lely wrestling continues to improve

Claudel Alex led his Lely team to third place in the Collier County Athletic Conference wrestling championship. He won his 220-pound weight class and was named to the all-conference team.

Photo by ROGER LALONDE

Claudel Alex led his Lely team to third place in the Collier County Athletic Conference wrestling championship. He won his 220-pound weight class and was named to the all-conference team.

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News
Lely High School's Diego Cruz wrestles against Immokalee High's Hector Hernani during the Collier County Athletic Conference tournament held at Immokalee High School on Saturday afternoon.

Photo by JASON EASTERLY

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News Lely High School's Diego Cruz wrestles against Immokalee High's Hector Hernani during the Collier County Athletic Conference tournament held at Immokalee High School on Saturday afternoon.

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News
Immokalee High's Pierre Borgela wrestles against Lely High School's Michael Rhoden during the Collier County Athletic Conference tournament held at Immokalee High School on Saturday afternoon.

Photo by JASON EASTERLY

Jason Easterly/Special to the Daily News Immokalee High's Pierre Borgela wrestles against Lely High School's Michael Rhoden during the Collier County Athletic Conference tournament held at Immokalee High School on Saturday afternoon.

Lely’s wrestling steps are picking up a little speed, but coach Mark Modica says his team isn’t ready to run yet.

Finishing tied for third in the Collier County Athletic Conference wrestling championship over the weekend showed the Trojans were making improvement.

They went 3-3 in the duals meet, with one of the wins over Golden Gate.

“Earlier this season they pounded us, something like 68 to 9,” Modica said. “On Saturday we won 39-30.”

Claudel Alex won the 220-pound championship in leading Lely.

“We have high hopes for him,” Modica said. “He just has to keep working hard.”

Diego Cruz was another positive at 120 pounds, going 4-1 in just his first year of wrestling.

Other hopefuls are freshman Alfrande Pierre, 126, who went 2-1, and Matt Martinez, 145, who was 2-2.

“Matt was in a tough weight class. Actually all of them are when it comes to our district which is loaded with talent,” Modica said.

Modica moved his wrestlers around to get his young team more matches, to see how they might fit as Lely prepares for the district tournament at Naples High School on Feb. 4.

He’ll do the same this weekend at the Golden Gate Titan Invitational, today and Saturday. Weigh-ins are at 3:30 today, with wrestling to begin at 4:30. Matches resume on Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

There are 24 teams, with Modica hoping to wrestle against schools like Arch Bishop McCarthy, American Heritage and Key West, teams they haven’t competed against this season.

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