So far, no results from the Jackson at Baker County dual from Tuesday night and I have seen two duals on Trackwrestling for Pedro Menendez. I do not think that is a complete set of even their duals, let alone Middleburg’s as well. So that means no roundups at least until Sunday and that only if I get brackets from Ocala Forest (even then, the story portion will focus on Sandalwood alone).

Record updating continues apace. Week 1 duals are all input into my files and I have gotten up to NF Duals II and Fleming Island within Week 2. Complete information is critical. Individual rankings will only be done on programs where I have complete results (and those will roll out midway through 2nd week in December). More information is better than less — any follower of this website that opens our daily paper can tell you that.

We have coverage plans for Tuesday night, a possible TRIPLEheader planned for Wednesday night, and for Thursday night next week, plus appearances at three tournaments on Saturday. More on that, of course, to follow RIGHT HERE.


November 25 Roundup Story

Mike Rickey and his Episcopal wrestlers wanted a taste of success before the Thanksgiving holiday.

They got it thanks largely to five pins Monday night in their home gym, taking down Stanton 48-24 for their first win of the 2013-14 in the only @NEFloridaMatmen area match of the evening.

The Eagles (1-7) rolled out to a 24-0 lead behind 3 forfeits and a fall at 220 from Conor Chepenik in the first four contested matches of the night. That lead extended to 42-0 behind a forfeit and pins from Connor Evans at 120, 7th-grader Curry Pajcic — wrestling his first match of the season — at 126, and Christian Rickey at 138.

Stanton, facing an even more severe short-handed situation than the Eagles, did rally behind their talented middles, as Nicholas Stiles (145) and Sothea Nou (152) both recorded pins, plus a forfeit win at 160, but the Eagles’ Mac Weldon slammed the door on the rally with a fall at 170.


Social Media

Hey there. I caught you checking us out. That’s great. We do work very hard and put in a lot of hours to bring you something that I think most of you have not seen before — DAILY wrestling coverage. Every team — Jackson or Fleming Island, Raines or Clay — is important to us. We can all grow the sport together.

Here’s some other ways you can follow us:

Facebook — Our page is cleverly titled Northeast Florida Matmen. (Note to self: Fire the focus group).

Twitter — For day-in and day-out general updates and random snippets, follow @QChawkeyeinFL. If you want live-tweets, follow @NEFloridaMatmen.


November 23 Roundup Story

Experience counts in large amounts, even for teams with high expectations and tons of talent.

For #1 Fleming Island on Saturday, not having the services of state-ranked and state-tournament tested seniors Evan McCall (staph infection) and Peter Martorano (waiting to certify after a school field trip forced a missed certification date), plus newly-transferred state qualifier Trevor Betros (shoulder) didn’t mean a day-long struggle.

It just meant a day without a team title at the Robert “Keystone” Northway Duals, a day punctuated at the start by a presentation of a plaque signed by the entire Fleming team and given to the Northway family.

The Golden Eagles ran through what was by comparison the tougher of two pools with relative ease, defeating #6 Ridgeview (63-18) and #9 St. Augustine handily (54-27), as well as Bishop Kenny (66-0) and Duval Charter (72-0).

In the day’s finale, though, Fleming Island ran into Georgia 2012 Class AAAAA duals champion in Camden County, and with so much of its battle-tested experience sitting the day out, Camden proved too tough for the Golden Eagles, taking a 42-18 decision and the title of the 11-team event.

Ridgeview rallied from the pool-round loss to its Clay County rival, however, and went on to take third place, taking a 54-24 victory over a surprising Forrest team, also in its season-opener. Both Ridgeview and Forrest were 3-1 in their respective pools.

St. Augustine edged First Coast 38-29 for fifth, and #9 Pedro Menendez took seventh with a 43-18 victory over Oakleaf.

Tough going for Raiders: #3 Orange Park ran into some rough seas Saturday at the Tallahassee Lincoln duals, going 2-3 on the day.

Orange Park (9-3 for the season) defeated Arnold 45-32 and Tallahassee Chiles 48-30, but fell to event champion Tallahassee Lincoln 46-24, Wakulla 45-36 and Marianna 36-34 on the day.

Two Orange Park wrestlers — Skyler Taylor (170) and Christian Tejada (285) — did go 5-0 on the day for the Raiders. Tejada is a perfect 12-0 for the season.

Hornets stung in Deltona: Yulee opened the 2013-14 season with some tough sledding at the Deltona Duals, taking just one win on the day, a 42-32 decision over Hagerty.

The Hornets fell 47-23 to Ocala Forest, 61-18 to duals champion Timber Creek, 51-21 to Deland and 45-30 to the event hosts.


Edge of the Mat #2

Edge of the Mat #2

Our review of last week, our preview of this week, and a word not to get too close to someone who’s controlling their weight on Thursday. Being blast-doubled into unconsciousness is a good way to miss out on pumpkin pie.


#NextLevel notebook — November 25

It’s been a long road for Ohio State University redshirt freshman Josh Fox.

A history of injuries — most recently a shoulder recently damaged while drilling with U.S. Olympic Team hopeful J.D. Bergman, a Buckeye graduate — have dotted Fox’s wrestling career over the past several years.

Last weekend, Fox got his chance to compete as a Buckeye in something other than open competitions, making the most of it in duals Saturday night and Sunday.

With family from Jacksonville making the 520-plus roadie to southern North Carolina, Fox (University Christian ’12) went 1-1 against Duke and Davidson, falling 9-1 Saturday night and taking a 9-0 win over Davidson’s Michael Moore.

Those four team points Sunday helped Ohio State build a 40-6 victory over Davidson on a day in which Buckeye coach Tom Ryan secured his 200th victory.

Fox’s loss on Saturday night was to Conner Hartman of Duke, ranked 19th nationally at 197, a weight up from where he normally competes.

“The weight difference was notable,” Bishop Kenny assistant coach Zach Fox said of his brother’s performance against Hartman. “He got ridden for 3:34 (in a 7-minute match) but he looked good on his feet, though.”

— North Central’s Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) went 1-2 on Saturday at the Concordia (WI) University Open in the 149-pound weight class. Robertson decisioned Wabash’s Patrick Parham 7-2 for his lone victory.

— Hannibal-LaGrange’s Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) went 1-2 at the Joe Parisi Open, hosted by Lindenwood (MO) University on Saturday. McClinton had a 35-second fall over Rock Kassebaum of Lincoln College for his win.

— In Coker College’s first dual meet in school history last Thursday, Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) fell by a 3-1 decision at 197. Parland and the Cobras host St. Andrews College tonight, Coker’s first home dual.

— NCWA senior wrestler Chris Fox (Fleming Island ’10, competing for Central Florida’s club team) was 1-2 on Saturday at the Shorter College Open in Rome, Georgia. He’ll be in Fort Myers this weekend for competition against Florida Gulf Coast University.

— There were no appearances for: Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) for Indiana Tech at the Comet Duals hosted by Olivet (MI) College Saturday; Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10) for Washington & Lee in the Generals’ 47-0 dual loss to Division I George Mason Saturday; Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) in Iowa Western’s win over Iowa Lakes last Wednesday. Additionally, no report was available at publication time on Iowa Western’s dual Sunday against Baker, or on Bacone College’s dual with Oklahoma City University Saturday.


Monday Status

Good morning!

Many, in fact most, of the Fleming Island duals are now on the site. We are missing 3 — Forrest vs. Sandalwood in pool rounds, and the place matches for 1st between Fleming & Camden and for 5th between St. Augustine and First Coast. Also there’s some reviewing to do on the St. Augustine-Pedro Menendez dual. Apparently, it was scored incorrectly. We’re all only as good as our information — both good and bad.

So, unfortunately, and particularly given that I don’t have the championship dual in hand, I can’t for now write the Saturday roundup story. I am hoping I will be able to put something together other than just a rehash of the scores. With more information, which I am confident I shall get during the course of the day, that should happen. It would also be good if I got a fuller picture of what happened for Orange Park at Tally Lincoln and Yulee at Deltona. Right now, I just have one dual for each, both losses.

In the meantime, look for a #NextLevel notebook and new rankings today, plus we’ll be writing a 1010XL post — our “Edge of the Mat” segment — and coaches will get their weekly email update today as well.


Clay, Bishop Snyder run table at N. Florida Duals II

By Shannon Heaton, Northeast Florida Matmen

The old saying is tradition never graduates.

While that might be true, it does require the next generation to step into a level of competition it may not have experienced before.

That’s just as true for teams carrying on a long tradition, such as #2 Clay, or those that are attempting to build one, such as #9 Bishop Snyder.

Both teams built 5-0 records at Saturday’s North Florida Duals II at the Bishop Snyder gym, though the Blue Devils and Cardinals took very different paths to get there.

Clay, for its part, was expected to go 5-0, but its path to winning out took the Blue Devils through some stronger competition early in #7 Fletcher (50-19) and HM-listed Creekside (51-19).

As well, the Blue Devils shut out #8 Fernandina Beach (69-0) and a much-improved Buchholz side (46-27) before closing out the day with a one-sided romp over Nease (64-3).

“We had an absolutely tremendous mindset in practice this week,” Clay assistant coach Hunter Hill said. “We knew we had to get better after (finishing second at) Border Wars (last weekend). We started five freshmen at Border Wars and five again today. But it was good to come in and dominate. It showed that even some of our backup guys can do the job for us.”

Working off-season has proven key to Clay’s success over the years, and this past off-season was no different.

“We knew we were going to be in a spot where we were going to replace some top-notch guys, but it’s great to have the dedication from the parents and the kids the whole off-season, from March to July. That’s why we are able to reload and grow again,” Hill said.

Bishop Snyder is still working toward putting iself in that situation. Last week, the Cardinals had few troubles getting to 5-0. Saturday, with injuries causing some key losses, it was far less than a sure thing.

The Cardinals took out Fernandina Beach to start the day, winning that dual by a 39-27 count, and then breathed a bit easier in the middle of the day, with solid wins over Bartram Trail (36-24), Nease (48-36) and Middleburg (54-16).

But a determined Brunswick squad just about spoiled the party at the end of the day, forcing the Cardinals to a 39-39 tie. For the second time in five days locally, the 8th criterion — most first points scored — determined the winner. Snyder outperformed Brunswick by a 7-1 count on that score.

“It hurt us when our heavy (Christian DeLosSantos) went down and our 195 (Nate Morales) was out with a shoulder injury. The rest of the kids really picked it up,” Snyder coach Rusty Kellum said. “We’re always reminding them that we want to see a little bit of toughness in the program.”

Snyder is now 10-0 after two sets of duals at home, but it’s to programs like Clay’s that Kellum looks to most often.

“We don’t get our 132 back eligible until January and we just had a 106 come out yesterday so before long we’ll have a full lineup, and then there’s no more excuses. It’s put up or shut up time,” Kellum said. “These guys have to respond like some did today. We were wrestling a style that we teach in the room, which is to attack. Now we’ll shift gears and push even harder from here.”

Creekside fell out of the top 10 earlier this week after Snyder’s strong showing a week ago, but the Knights made their case to jump back up in the polls after a solid 4-1 day, losing only to Clay and picking up wins over Buchholz, Brunswick, Nease and Fernandina Beach.

“It’s all practice until district/regional/state, but I saw some good things, a lot of good things,” Creekside coach Richard Marabell said. “We tried to fine-tune things throughout the day, and most of the kids did that.”

Those three teams were the only locals to go .500 or better on the day, with Fletcher going 2-3, three teams (Fernandina Beach, Nease and Middleburg) all 1-4 and Bartram Trail not finding a win in the Bears’ season-opening set of duals.

Edit: Changed Clay-Fletcher dual score.


Revised Keystone Duals Schedule

Saturday at Fleming Island. 9 a.m. start, with 11 teams in the mix. We’ll have full results on the site as soon as we can get them.

Pool 1: Fleming Island, St. Augustine, Ridgeview, Bishop Kenny, Pedro Menendez, Duval Charter.

Pool 2: Camden County (GA), Sandalwood, Forrest, Oakleaf, First Coast.

Round 1 — Fleming Island vs. Duval Charter; Bishop Kenny vs. St. Augustine; Camden vs. Forrest; Oakleaf vs. Sandalwood; Ridgeview vs. Menendez.

Round 2 — Fleming Island vs. Bishop Kenny; Duval Charter vs. Ridgeview; Camden vs. Oakleaf; Forrest vs. First Coast; St. Augustine vs. Menendez.

Round 3 — Fleming Island vs. St. Augustine; Bishop Kenny vs. Ridgeview; Camden vs. Sandalwood; Oakleaf vs. First Coast; Menendez vs. Duval Charter.

Round 4 — Fleming Island vs. Ridgeview; Duval Charter vs. St. Augustine; Camden vs. First Coast; Forrest vs. Sandalwood.

Round 5 — Bishop Kenny vs. Menendez; Forrest vs. Oakleaf; Sandalwood vs. First Coast.

Round 6 — Mat 1: Pool 1 1st vs. Pool 2 1st; Mat 2: Pool 1 2nd vs. Pool 2 2nd; Mat 3: Pool 1 3rd vs. Pool 2 3rd; Mat 4: Pool 1 4th vs. Pool 2 4th. 5th place teams in each pool also are scheduled to wrestle.


November 21 Roundup Story

Something had to give in Callahan Thursday night, and ultimately it was host West Nassau who did most of the taking.

In a matchup of two wrestling sides both searching for a first dual victory in 2013-14, the Warriors rode three consecutive pins from their middle weights to create an overwhelming early edge and, eventually, a 58-24 victory over visiting Episcopal.

“It was a much closer match than the score indicates, but I was very pleased with our aggressiveness tonight,” West Nassau coach Forrest Wheeler said via email regarding his side’s effort.

Middles John Forehand (145 pounds), Trevor Higginbotham (152) and cody Kral (160) all got falls for West Nassau (1-5), and those were followed up by a battle of state-ranked wrestlers, as Michael Dudzinski (#11 at 152 in 1A) worked several takedowns to outlast Mac Weldon (#16 at 152 in 1A), 19-7. The dual ended with a fourth Warrior middle pin from Jacob Savage at 138.

After spotting the Warriors a 22-0, Episcopal (0-7) mostly stayed even the rest of the way, with falls coming from Connor Evans (120), Hayes Oken (195) and a new 220-pounder, Conor Chepenik.

Carpenter sidelined still: Surgery for a torn meniscus continued to keep Coker College freshman Shane Carpenter (Creekside ’13) on the sidelines Thursday night, as his Cobra teammates won the first dual meet in the school’s history, defeating Limestone by a 21-19 count. The wrestler competing at Carpenter’s weight of 184 pounds fell by a 6-3 decision to Limestone.