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The day that Ray Lewis lost the state high school wrestling title (video)

Feb 1, 2013, 5:50 PM EDT

As you might imagine, Ray Lewis spent most of his high school career dominating everything he touched. His Kathleen High, Fla., rivals cowered at his athletic ability and high spittle rate. And almost all of them were no match for Lewis, except for one special day in 1992 when a kid from Columbus High named Sam Ancona out-dueled him in the Florida Class 4A wrestling 187 pound division. A miracle.

When time ran out, Lewis, then a junior, lay in a crumpled heap, gasping for breath and helpless as Ancona raised his hands in celebration. Take a look yourself.

As you may know, Lewis teamed up with God to become one of the best middle linebackers in NFL history. Time will tell if he too will have his sports throne torn down by PED rumors and allegations, but when he was out on the field he displayed a natural fearlessness that was something to marvel. In his prime I’m pretty sure he could run through brick walls without even blinking.

But what happened to Ancona? According to MaxPreps:

Ancona ended up accomplishing a lot of things after his title victory over Lewis, including college wrestling at Virginia and amateur boxing. You can click here to see his bio from the Columbus (Miami) Athletic Hall of Fame. He is more commonly known as Sam, but appears as John in some spots online. His full name appears to be John Samuel Ancona.

This is where the story ends because he died in 2000 at the too young age of 26. But we can still remember the day he put Ray Lewis in his place, and for that, we salute you.


  1. dowhatifeellike - Feb 8, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Looks like he ran out of gas with about a minute left.

    I was usually out of gas with about 5 minutes less. Too much practice and not enough food.