Mariner’s Christian Minto won the Class 2A 160-pound state championship Saturday in Kissimmee.
Fort Myers News-Press
It’s hard to argue with three state titles. No Lee County wrestler captured more gold medals in the last decade.
The News-Press writers and editors and subscribers who voted came to a consensus in selecting Mariner High School product Christian Minto as their Wrestler of the Decade.
The two-time News-Press Wrestler of the Year and three-time finalist who graduated in 2019 capped his career with two undefeated seasons.
The rest of the All-Decade Wrestling Team consisted of Riverdale’s Jared Dinh, Jesse Martinez, Cole Schneider, Edwin Etienne, Alex Paraschuk and Dalton Langford; Fort Myers’ Matt McQuinn, Chris Rivera and Justin Rivera; Cypress Lake’s Chuckie Kerkesner and Corey Kerkesner; Ida Baker’s Brandon Gacad; and North Fort Myers’ Adolphus Taylor.
“This honor means a great deal to me,” Minto said. “Winning wrestler of the decade after wrestling for a decade is something that I will take with me for life. I want to thank God for opening my eyes. I want to thank my parents who always supported me. I want to say thank you to all my coaches who taught me along the way, my family, teammates and friends who were there to cheer me on. Lastly, but not least, I want to say thank you to The News-Press.”
As a freshman, the 126-pounder recovered from a loss in the Class 2A quarterfinals to grab third at states. Minto went 53-4 in 2016.
Minto finished his sophomore season 45-2 with a 7-3 victory over Belleview’s Kyle Irwin to win the 2A 132-pound championship.
He completed a 46-0 season in 2018 with his second consecutive 2A state championship, this time at 160 pounds with a 12-3 major decision in the state final against Lakeland Lake Gibson’s Miguel Hernandez. His third straight state championship came when he pinned Riverdale’s Terrence Clayton in the 2A state final.
While wrestling at North Iowa Area Community College, Minto was a national runner-up at the NJCAA Tournament a few months ago.
Follow News-Press sports writer Adam Regan on Twitter: @NP_AdamRegan