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Weekend Roundup Story for January 30-31

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

TALLAHASSEE — As of right now, if one were to ask the experts, Tallahassee Lincoln and Wakulla might be the odds-on favorites to win Region 1 titles in Class 2A and 1A, respectively.

Good thing, perhaps, for those teams at least, that they do not have to go through #2 Clay to win those titles.

On Saturday, the Blue Devils hammered both of them, and the rest of the 17-team field, to win the inaugural Trojan Invitational with 242.5 points, far outdistancing runnerup Lincoln (188) and third-place Wakulla (173.5).

Orange Park was fourth with 118 points, with Columbia eighth at 85, Bishop Snyder 14th at 47 and Ridgeview 15th at 29.5 points.

The tournament, though, was a Blue Devil-dominated day, and leading the charge for Clay was a familiar name and also a fresh face, as senior Adam Breindel and freshman Dylan Fabiani brought home brackets for the Blue Devils.

Breindel was victorious at 152 pounds, collecting two pins, a technical fall in the semifinals, and winning over South Walton’s Cody Pickren, 13-8, to take the title.

Fabiani pinned his way through the bracket at 106 pounds, with three pins on the day, all in the first period, including a fall over Lakeland’s Payton Stewart in the finals.

Clay had three other wrestlers reach the finals, with two losing to local rivals.

At 138, Columbia’s Kaleb Warner — who finished off the Trojan Invitational unscored upon — defeated the Blue Devils’ Julian Summa by a 9-0 major decision.

Later, at 170, Ridgeview’s Devon Farrar — who’d had an overtime win over the top seed in the bracket in the semis — wound up defeating Clay’s Tristain Sichmeller, 5-3, in the title match. Farrar was named as the tournament’s OW for the upper weights.

Also reaching the finals for Clay was 160-pound Trevor Larson, who lost to the hosts’ Jaycie Rudd, 1-0, in the title match.

Clay had eight other placewinners over the course of the tournament, with thirds for Cody Taylor (120), Jon Whiting (182), Kaleb Collins (195) and Roland Samec (285), with fourths from Chris Merring (113) and Jeremy Beaulieu (220), a fifth from Caleb Steinmetz (170) and a sixth from Christian Downs (126).

Four other local wrestlers reached the finals Saturday night.

Orange Park had two of those finalists, and a total of seven placewinners in the tournament.

At 113, the Raiders’ Marcus Reid lost in the finals to the hosts’ Jacob Geiger, 4-3, in a match that was a rematch from a year ago at the 2A Region 1 tournament.

Then, at 126, OP’s Tyrese Germain fell, 16-6, to Wakulla’s Dy’Juan Carney.

Skyler Taylor took fourth at 160 for the Raiders, while Frank Sawyer added a fifth at 106 and Jordan Harbin (145), Ricky Torres (152) and Eric Tejada (220) all were sixth in their weight classes.

Columbia had one other finalist besides Warner, as Josh Walker (220) also reached the finals, where he fell to Nature Coast’s Anthony Contegiacomo in the title match. Walker and Warner were joined as medalists by Robert Lynch (fifth) at 113.

Bishop Snyder’s Teddy Guillory rounded out the list of local finalists, reaching the title match at 132, where he also fell to a Nature Coast wrestler, Mark Espinosa, 13-6.

Guillory was joined by teammate Nathan and Nick Cleland, both of whom claimed fourth-place finishes at 170 and 195, respectively.

Brackets from this tournament are now posted on the website.

George Jenkins IBT: At Lakeland, Buchholz had two individual champions and Sandalwood had one, as both teams finished in the top 10 in the 24-team, two-day tournament Saturday.

The Bobcats finished seventh with 145 points and the Saints were 10th, with 93. Osceola won the meet with 231 points, outpointing North Port (213.5) and the hosts (203).

At 120 pounds, Buchholz picked up its first title, as Gant Moore had a fall, a technical fall and two decisions, including a 4-3 decision in the finals over Freedom’s Christopher Maldonado.

At 132, Daniel McNeil gave the Bobcats their second championship, with two pins on the tournament and two decisions. McNeil took down Osceola’s Tyler Schultz, 4-2, in the finals.

285-pounder Jacob Covington reached the finals for the Bobcats, falling only to state-ranked Colton Rausch of Auburndale. Other Buchholz placewinners were Myckel Hutchinson (3rd at 152), Anthony Moore (6th at 145), Andrique Broughton and Tommy Howell (7th at 113 and 126, respectively) and Erik Kverneland (8th at 160).

Sandalwood’s lone champion was 170-pound senior Daniel Folkner, and Folkner tore through his bracket, with four pins and a technical fall, pinning the hosts’ Luke Robertson in the finals for his victory.

The Saints had one other placewinner in the tournament, as Jacques Hale took fourth at 113.

Brackets from this IBT tournament will be posted to the website on Monday.

Diamondback Duals: A short-handed Raines team went to Belleview over the weekend, taking eight team losses in duals, but each of the individual Vikings who competed posted at least a .500 record.

Jaquan English (120), Demonta Bell (145) and Tyrann Baxter (195) all were 6-2 for the Vikings, with Jermaine Oliver (220) going 3-1 and Jeremiah Prince (170) going 2-2.

Information on Eastside’s weekend at Belleview is still being sought.

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Slimmest Of Margins Lifts Knights To 4th Straight Bear Duals Title

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

ST JOHNS — Defending a title takes a lot of teamwork.

And, occasionally, a new teammate or two can tip the scales.

In the championship match between #5 Creekside and #4 Matanzas at the Bear Duals Saturday, a rematch of an earlier dual staged at Matanzas in December, it was the new teammate — Creekside sophomore Ty VanSickel — that came up with the big victory to keep the Knights’ streak of Bear Duals titles intact.

Needing a pin just to force what would — at the time — have been a match decided by criteria, VanSickel, who’d transferred from Chatfield (MN) and saw his first action earlier this month, got Creekside exactly that.

VanSickel bumped up to 138 and won by fall in 1:36, making academic a lost team point — as Creekside would have won under criteria for the most wins in the dual at any rate. As it turned out, the Knights turned back the Pirates, 33-32.

“Ty did a huge job for us. We needed a pin and he went out and did it,” Creekside coach Richard Marabell said. “He’s pinned everybody in the first period since Flagler (where VanSickel finished second).”

Creekside needed the fall after the Pirates had put up back-to-back-to-back six-point wins from 113 through 126, followed by a double forfeit.

“After we lost to Middleburg (10 days ago), we told the kids they had to take it upon themselves to step up, that they needed to do this become better,” Marabell said. “This is our fourth year in a row winning this, so this is a big deal. It tells you about the toughness of our kids.”

Creekside went 4-0 in the tournament’s Blue pool, beating West Nassau (66-6), honorable mention-listed Oakleaf (60-18), Bolles (47-21) and #10 Yulee (43-18) in order to reach the final against the Pirates.

“This was how we wanted it, we wanted to be in the tougher pool, and the boys stepped up,” Marabell said.

Creekside had seven wrestlers go 5-0 on the day. In addition to VanSickel, Austin Wynn (106), Brandon Dickman (152), Steven Stanton (160/170), William Lulias (182), Gus Fischer (220) and Cole Eubanks (285) all were undefeated.

Matanzas rallied nicely after a shellacking in the Battle for Flagler Wednesday night at home against #1 Palm Coast, hammering Westside (55-15), Ponte Vedra (60-6) Nease (57-14) and the host Bears (63-18) to reach the final.

And, despite a short-handed side (two starters out, one with injury and another for family matters), the Pirates still almost had Creekside beat.

“We had a few issues to attend to and we took care of those and we’ve moved on,” Pirates coach John White said of the fallout from the Palm Coast loss.

“We had some guys out, not that having them would have necessarily changed things, but we had some good wins. The big thing is that we have to be disciplined, no matter whether we win or we lose.”

Matanzas, also, had several undefeated wrestlers on Saturday, with Carter Goodman (113/120), Andrew Klopman (120/126), Kwentel Moultrie (170) all going 5-0 and Brandon Autry (195) winning in all four of the Pirates’ pool duals.

The Knights only lost to Creekside, coming back with a solid win over Bolles to face the hosts for third, taking a 55-22 victory over the Bears.

“Creekside is freaking tough, a well-coached team, and our inexperience and our youth showed,” Oakleaf coach Dana Arthur said. “It showed us that we’re not very tough yet, but we’re getting there. We had two key guys out (Luke Karl and Jason Davis, both with nagging injuries) and this time of year that’s going to happen, but I’d rather have them be there for districts than now.”

Bartram Trail finished in the top four of yet another dual tournament this season, adding their home fourth to last month’s showing at Atlantic Coast.

“This tournament put us over 10 wins in duals this year, and we had three all of last year,” Bears coach Chad Parker said. “The kids are starting to feel success and buy into what we’re teaching them. They’re just young. We don’t have a lot of horses, but we have a good dual team. I feel good about where we are right now.”

Bolles defeated Nease, 39-33, for fifth place, going 3-2 on the day, with Yulee and Ponte Vedra winning 7th/9th place crossovers over Westside and West Nassau, respectively.

Other unbeaten wrestlers in the tournament were Vince Karl (113) and Chris Griffin (120) for Oakleaf, Aidan Pagana (106) and Tristen Lucessi (126/132) for Nease, Bolles’ Caleb Calhoun (195), and John Parker (126) and Dakota Everetts (145) for Yulee.

Westside’s Tyler Gathright (220) and Ponte Vedra’s Taylor Montroy (285) were both 5-0, while Michael Dudzinski of West Nassau was 4-0, wrestling in the Warriors’ pool matches.

Complete dual results can be found on the 14-15 Duals page.

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Roundup Story for Friday, December 30

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

LAKELAND — It’s not the site for the state tournament, at least not this year, but Lakeland still resonates deeply in the mind of every high school wrestler in Florida.

It was there at George Jenkins High School on Friday that #7 Buchholz finished the first day tied for sixth place and #5 Sandalwood was eighth in the 24-team meet, which will continue on Saturday.

The Bobcats finished the first day with 80 points, with the Saints scoring 67.5. Osceola leads the event with 118.5 points, with the hosts and North Port tied for second at 107.

Buchholz has five semifinalists and 10 wrestlers still left in the tournament.

Semifinalists for the Bobcats are Gant Moore (top seed at 120), Daniel McNeil (top seed at 132), Anthony Moore (145), Myckel Hutchinson (152) and Jacob Covington (285).

In the wrestlebacks, Buchholz still has Andrique Broughton (113), Tommy Howell (126), Rhett Rutledge (138), Erik Kverneland and Gerald Rushing (170).

Sandalwood enters Saturday with two semifinalists and five wrestlers still left in the tournament.

Representing the Saints in the front side of their respective brackets are Jacques Hale (113) and Daniel Folkner (170).

Sandalwood also has Alex Barie (106), Cameron Vogel (120), Cameron Bell (132), Blake Delapaz (138) and Josh Bove (145) left in the wrestlebacks.

Wrestling continues Saturday. Brackets will be posted to the website on Monday morning.

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The Wrestling Writer’s Equivalent of a Scramble

I got several more teams updated in my recordkeeping quest last night. We’ll see if I can get any of them posted today. From the teams competing at 10-Way Duals, I just have the hosts left to work on. There are a lot of teams who didn’t compete last week, or who were just in one dual, that I do have updated stuff for also. It’s just getting the time at the office to be able to create linkable forms for you to see.

I should have something late this evening on the first day of the George Jenkins IBT. That’s on Track. Otherwise, the action involving local teams are duals events, so either the hosts or the participating teams need to send me anything in order for me to get it.

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Roundup Story for Thursday, January 29

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

JACKSONVILLE — Slowly, but surely, the Bolles team that’s been state-ranked all season is coming together just a few weeks before season’s end.

Thursday night, Episcopal got to see the Bulldogs, too, and it wasn’t such a fun view for the Eagles, as Bolles racked up seven forfeits and a pair of pins in a 54-24 victory at Episcopal.

Bennett Zimmerman (120) and KJ Fagan (126) started a run of six straight match wins for the Bulldogs (3-5) from 120 through 152 pounds, and a couple of new additions in the lighter weights also helped Bolles fill out its team.

Episcopal (5-13) got pins from Reid Hampton (113), Christian Rickey (160) and Conor Chepenik (220), but the Eagles were shorter-handed than in their win Tuesday night at home against University Christian.

Bolles will get a new challenge Saturday when it travels to Bartram Trail for the Bear Duals, while Episcopal is off until Tuesday, when it travels to Baker County.

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Reality Requires Me

To point out to myself, if nobody else, that it will be impossible even to get 49 sets of records out in the general assembly, let alone a new set of rankings up, by the weekend. If I didn’t sleep tonight or tomorrow and took Friday off, then maybe it could have an outside chance of being done by 6 a.m. Saturday. We’ll get there. Hopefully early next week. I just hope that the feature I have planned can still go off as planned. Sigh. Reality is an ugly beast sometimes…

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Senior Night Falls Lift Rams to Family Win Over Duval Charter

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

JACKSONVILLE — Ready for a ranking?

Perhaps not. But Englewood has the cart in the right place when it comes to building a program. Start with enthusiasm, build confidence and create a sense of family.

Eventually, the wins — and the rankings — take care of themselves.

The Rams put together five pins and eight 6-point victories on their Senior Night, taking down Duval Charter, 48-11, Wednesday night.

“The guys have become a more cohesive unit. They’ve really evolved,” Englewood coach Jacob Scott said. “They’ve embraced the idea of family as part of the team side of wrestling.

“We had three seniors tonight — Derrick (Mason, the Rams’ 285), Xavier (Nieves, at 220) and our 170 (Austin Clarkson), who bumps up every week — we took them aside and we asked the other guys, `How do you want to send these guys out?'”

The seniors were sent out to the tune of referees’ hands slapping the mat, as Englewood (10-11) put together pins in four consecutive matches from 145-170, as Dustin Williams (145), Tavian Whitehead (152), Justin Griffis (160) and Clarksonat 170 set the tone early.

Tanner Kern (132) added the finishing touch with a pin, and the sixth win came from Nieves, who won after sustaining an injury resulting from an illegal slam from his opponent.

“Our best addition was to our staff,” Scott said, referring to new assistant Matt Miller. “He’s got them where they feel they can take on the world.

“Now when we can get some technical tools to go along with that, we’re going to be beating some people up.”

That’s what Duval Charter Brian Adkins wants to see his team start doing, too, after his team got just two wins on the night — a technical fall from Daniel Porter (area #6) at 106 and a pin from Andrew Slade at 120.

“They’re young, and they’re wrestling like they’re young,” Adkins said of the Panthers (11-5). “We just have to get that wrestling mentality. When you line up, you got to have some dislike if you’re taken down.

“Maybe our expectations are high, but if we don’t learn now, we won’t learn the attitude we have to have. Kids that are state-ranked, are that way because they don’t want to be taken down.”

Englewood will travel to Mandarin next week, while Duval Charter is off until weekend after next when it competes in the Five Star Invitational hosted by Raines.

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Roundup Story for Wednesday, January 28

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

MATANZAS — #1 Palm Coast has had its way with area competition all season long.

Teams coming to the Flagler Duals this weekend had best have a long day of practice Thursday, because the way that the Bulldogs dismantled #4 Matanzas on the road Wednesday in the Battle for Flagler would suggest that Palm Coast might just take down the whole field this weekend.

As it went down Wednesday, the BfF wasn’t all that much of a battle, as Palm Coast scored bonus points in all 12 of its victories for a 65-10 victory over the Pirates.

It got ugly for Matanzas (18-3) pretty fast, as the Bulldogs got out to a 20-0 lead behind a fall from Tariq Johnson at 138, a pair of majors and a forfeit for Kaz Maia at 145.

After Eddy Leon de la Cruz got the Pirates on the board with a major at 160, Palm Coast (11-0) responded with a technical fall from Jake Trivett at 170 and fall from Jonathan Muniz at 182. Muniz decked Maverick Dennis in 67 seconds, all but clinching the dual in Palm Coast’s favor.

Jordin Castanheira (195) got six back for Matanzas, but with the Bulldogs taking forfeits at 220, 106 and 113, plus falls for Jake Dempsey at 285 and Alfred Shavers at 120, the Pirates’ chances for a dual win were all but exhausted even after Castanheira’s pin.

Palm Coast will stay in-county this weekend with the Flagler Duals starting Friday; Matanzas will head over to 2A-District 4 rival Bartram Trail for the Bear Duals on Saturday.

#8 Middleburg 45, HM Oakleaf 24: At home and with a full lineup, the Broncos had more than enough horses to derail Oakleaf’s hopes for an unbeaten season in duals in a battle of Clay County rivals.

As they have so often for Middleburg (11-1), falls were the difference, as the Broncos racked up seven of them in the win, including six in a row from 138 through 182.

Tristan Tollison (126), Zach McClinton (138), Keath Sawdo (145), Travis Neubeck (152), Tyler Langford (160), Jonathan Shoen (170) and Dylan Hanna (182) all won by pin for the Broncos.

Oakleaf did get falls from Chris Griffin (120), Tristen Roderick (132) and Jason Davis (195), plus Ryan Rosano’s 4-2 win at 106 knocked off area #1 and unbeaten Dylan Rossetti, but the Knights (7-1) just could not hang with Middleburg’s middleweight strength.

Middleburg will be at the Flagler Duala Friday and Saturday, while Oakleaf will travel to the Bear Duals at Bartram Trail, on Saturday.

#7 Creekside 50, Bishop Kenny 27: Strong performances in the middle and up top powered the Knights to the road win.

Creekside (15-3) won every match between 132-160, with Ty VanSickel (132), David Tyer (138) and Jared Langdo (160) recording falls and Brandon Dickman (152) a technical fall during that stretch. Austin Wynn (113), Corey Grower (195), Gus Fischer (220) and Cole Eubanks (285) also added pins for the Knights.

Bishop Kenny (5-4) had pins from Ryan Timmons (120), Kyle Black (126) and Bayley Judah (170), along with two forfeits and a decision, but that was not enough to keep up with Creekside’s middles.

Creekside will attempt to defend its title at the Bear Duals, hosted by Bartram Trail, on Saturday, while Bishop Kenny will be hitting the road for Palm Coast ahd the Flagler Duals starting on Friday.

Bradford 36, FSDB 33: At Starke, the Tornadoes dominated the lower weights, with five 6-point wins sandwiched between 106 and 145 pounds.

Pinners for Bradford (3-10) were Antonio Urolia (106), Dalton Marroletti (113), Jesse Burch (138) and Clayton Hicks (145). Those falls, plus two forfeits, were enough for the Tornadoes to hold off FSDB’s charge late.

AJ Rice (132), Wesley Homewood (160) and Imed Touahri (195) all won by pin for the Dragons (5-13).

Bradford is off for a week until next week’s double dual with Bradford and Interlachen on Wednesday; FSDB will travel to Episcopal on Thursday, February 5.

Robert E. Lee 54, Interlachen 19: At Lee, the Generals (11-6) used a mixture of forfeits (five in all), pins (two) and wins by disqualification (two more) to secure the victory.

Tony Belle (152) and Edward Colon (220) each won by fall for Lee, which was the beneficiary of disqualification wins going to Jaron Weatherspoon (195) and Demetris Harris (285).

Interlachen (6-13) was close at one point after spotting the Generals an 18-0 lead, with a forfeit, a major decision for Tristan Cannon at 160 and decision for Lance Hasting at 182.

Lee is off until next weekend’s Five Star Invitational at Raines, while Interlachen will travel to Bradford, along with Oakleaf, on Wednesday.

Raines 5-Way Duals: THe host Vikings welcomed back state-ranked Jermaine Oliver to the lineup Wednesday night, and Oliver and his teammates didn’t disappoint.

Oliver went 4-0 at 220 pounds, with two pins, to help Raines roll past Andrew Jackson (42-0), Wolfson (42-18), Providence (42-6) and West Nassau (36-18).

Joining Oliver as four-time winners for the Vikings were Jaquan English (132, 3 pins), Demonta Bell (152, 1 pin), Jeremiah Prince (170, 3 pins) and Tyrann Baxter (195, 3 pins).

Results from the rest of the event were not available late Wednesday evening. As they are received, they will be added to this roundup.

Raines will travel to Belleview on Saturday for the Diamondback Duals, a late addition to the Vikings’ schedule.

Stanton/Mandarin: Results have not been posted as of yet. As they are sent in, particularly before 5:30 p.m. today, we’ll add them to the website.

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Records — The Rollout, Phase II: University Christian

Hey, how about that? I got 2 teams done today. Cooking with gas, I am. I did cheat a little bit, as the Christians have been short-handed. I see some ability on that team. It’s just got to take some time for UC to get back to the days of yesteryear.

UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN

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Records — The Rollout, Phase II: Ed White

Well, at this point I should have records for matches through January 24 fully published by around early March, if this one-team-a-day thing keeps happening. Anyone else see the problem with this?

Commanders a good looking team. Going to take a long look at them for an honorable mention slot. Fourth at Gateway two weekends ago, lost to two ranked (or most likely will be ranked) teams at Orange Park.

ED WHITE