Tony McCormick Undefeated in 73 Matches, Captured Two State Title For Mustangs
By SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME // February 1, 2020
2019 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME INDUCTEE
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA (Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame) – You often hear of great athletes learning to hit or throw a ball before they learn to walk or just thereafter, it’s not much different with Tony McCormick, as he began wrestling at the age of three.
McCormick literally grew up on the mat and his love continues today as one of the area’s top wrestling coaches at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High.
Family has played a big part in McCormick’s success. It was his father, Toby’s love of the sport that sparked young Tony on to area mats.
McCormick’s induction also completes the induction of “The Bruise Brothers” into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame.
In 2018, childhood friend and Merritt Island High School teammate, Solomon Fleckman, was inducted into the Space Coast Sports Hall of Fame. Fleckman and McCormick were actually almost like brothers when they were in grade school both wrestled for a club coached by Solomon’s father in Fort Myers.
Life would get in the way and “The Bruise Brothers” didn’t see each other for a few years after McCormick’s dad, Toby, took a job coaching at Ohio Northern University. He would continue to flourish on the mat where he would finish fourth in his new home state as a seventh grader and third in the state as an eighth-grader.
After getting out of coaching in Ohio, Toby McCormick wanted to get back on the mat and coach his son and moved back to Florida, where took the Merritt Island wrestling job.
What McCormick didn’t know was Fleckman’s dad was a volunteer assistant with the team and coached the summer wrestling club and just like that, “The Bruise Brothers” were reunited.
McCormick and Fleckman continued to wrestle during their prep years. McCormick was wrestling in high school in Ohio, where the sport is very popular and the competition much fiercer.
As a freshman and sophomore, McCormick finished second and third in the state in his respective weight class. In fact, between his seventh grade and senior year of high school, he wrestled six state tournaments.
When the “The Bruise Brothers” were reunited in McCormick’s junior season at Merritt Island High, the duo led the Mustangs to a conference championship.
McCormick won the 167-pound state championship while Fleckman did the same in the 126-pound weight class. McCormick would go onto finish his final two years at Merritt Island undefeated in 73 matches and capture another state title in his senior year.
He excelled at other sports as well. McCormick’s mother lived in Ohio and he played football there before transferring to Merritt Island to wrestle for his dad.
In his junior season, McCormick played for then Ohio football powerhouse St. Francis DeSales and scored the game-winning touchdown in the Ohio state championship game. Later during the same school year, he won the state championship while wrestling at Merritt Island.
McCormick attended Edinboro University on a full scholarship where he wrestled for coach Bruce Baumgartner. Before coaching at Space Coast, he was an assistant coach at Merritt Island in 1987, producing two state champions that season.
In his 13 seasons at Space Coast, McCormick has 312 dual match wins and this past season captured several match trophies, including the district championship.
THE 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME Banquet and Induction Ceremony will take place at the Cocoa Beach Country Club on Friday, May 8.
FOR INFORMATION ABOUT the 2020 SPACE COAST SPORTS HALL OF FAME, call 321-615-8111 or e-mail Contact@SpaceCoastDaily.com
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