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Knights Attack Classic — Folkstyle

Place finishes from Saturday’s event. Scotes & fall times were not published, so I published the place finishes.

Junior Division
120: 1. Frank Sawyer. 2. Daniel Porter. 3. Scotty Tacinelli.
126: 1. Austin Benton. 2. Brandon Bacolor.
132: 1. Ethan Gustilo. 2. Nick Lipka. 3. Philip Wright.
145: 1. Dashner St. Vilus. 2. Bryce Williams.
152: 1. Christopher Davies. 2. Dustin Tollison.
170: 1. Nartorian Lee. 2. Brandon Dickman. 3. Max Beavor. 4. Christopher Mixan.
182: 1. Rafael Wilkerson. 2. Chandler Merrier. 3. David Thompson. 4. Carlos Wilson.
220: 1. Tyler Dehart. 2. Deon Williams. 3. Jesse Jennette.

Cadet
106: 1. Payton Kate. 2. Logan Simmons.
145: 1. Trenton Carroll. 2. Dawson Reed. 3. Gavin Thomas. 4. Tanner Hill.
220: 1. Robert Baker. 2. Hayden Malson. 3. Adain Fitzpatrick.

Schoolboy/girl
105: 1. James Benton. 2. Kyle Scott.
112: 1. Killian Prestice. 2. Luke Davis. 3. Dalton Falana.
120: 1. Dylon York. 2. Carmen Thomas.
175: 1. Hunter Malson. 2. Jason Mitchell.

Novice
65: 1. Kyle Hannant. 2. Egan Gustilo.
95: No results submitted to Track.

Intermediate
75: 1. Wyatt Leduc. 2. Bradley Burdick. 3. Liam Davis.
80: No results submitted to Track.

Bantam
50: 1. Cayden Miller. 2. Timothy Burdick.
65: 1. Merrick Miller. 2. Chris Piraino.

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The Season 2015-16: Clay

Clay

You can see everything I have on the Blue Devils in 2015-16 here –> CLAY

Win/loss record: 23-8 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a review of the Blue Devils’ performance in IBT events.

A quick disclaimer: We received all team dual results for Clay this year, but we did not get all individual match-by-match results (we want very much for this to not be an issue next season). Therefore, in constructing the season, Clay’s own compiled year-end stats were very helpful — but required us to work backward from state, which was a little unusual. So we have most of the starters showing, in capitals, a combined record from the Battle at the Beach & Troy Smith Duals events that would have to be accurate in order to make the math work on the final season record.

Season in a nutshell: Clay found itself back in Region 1 after a two-year absence, and the slogan — “A New Era Begins” — was proven behind the Blue Devils’ 17th consecutive district title and what Clay hopes will be a new string of region titles as well, with a runnerup finish at states, the highest team finish of any team in the coverage area. The Blue Devils also brought home IBT wins at Somerset Scuffle and Clay Rotary; they were the only team in the coverage area to finish no lower than second place in any tournament they entered in 2015-16. At districts, Clay won 13 of the 14 weight classes; seven of those district champs return, but there are a number of kids waiting their turn to take over a roster spot, plus Clay never really rebuilds. It just keeps dominating with new kids.

2015-16 MVP: This is another one of those teams where there could be several MVP candidates, but when you’re the local newspaper’s wrestler of the year and in the running for the area’s athlete of the year per another media outlet, there is no other best choice for MVP than state champion Derek Miller, who came in from Kentucky during the off-season, started making his mark at Disney Duals and never really stopped. Miller won 11 matches in a row from the Smoky Mountain Duals over Christmas break through the finals of the Somerset Scuffle, but most importantly put together a 12-match win streak to close out the season after falling in the finals at Clay Rotary, winning 10 in the post-season. You saw Miller steadily get better and better from the start of the year to the end, avenging three key losses from earlier in the year down the stretch from Uncivil War through the tournament series. Great kid, great addition to the Blue Devil room this past season.

2016-17 captain: A program like Clay’s won’t lack for leadership on the mat or off — there are three returning region champs, after all, and three region runners-up that would be captains at a lot of programs, but in the spirit of just choosing one, it’s hard to overlook the progress that Chris Merring made in going from starter and state qualifier to state finalist in 2015-16. Merring had a few opportunities during the course of the year where even simply starting was in jeopardy (more on that in a little bit), but once he made the mental commitment to doing what it took for that, the physical reward — in victories — piled up, as Merring won both district and region titles after not winning a regular-season IBT this past year, pinning his way into the finals. On the state’s biggest stage, Merring did struggle some, but he wrestled his way into the chance for a state title, something only 84 kids in Florida could boast. Tons of talent in the room — at his weight and around it — helped him get there, and will help him keep his team there in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: Normally we would look at a wrestler that struggles — always a relative term in the Clay room, because Clay kids that struggle might be among most teams’ better kids — so instead we’re going to turn this one on its head. Peyton Hughes saw plenty of mat time as a varsity competitor in 2015-16, and plenty of success as well, winning the Somerset Scuffle at 113, (9-7 over teammate Merring in the final), splitting matches with Merring at Westside Kiwanis, and reaching the finals of Clay Rotary after winning what might have been the best match I saw all year in the GCS Rotary semis. I made mention on more than one occasion that Peyton Hughes was the best wrestler in the coverage area that was not ranked. And he did not get a chance to show it in the post-season, losing a wrestleoff to Merring that probably had a state-level feel to that match. It’ll be fun to see them both in the lineup next year. Peyton Hughes is the Heaton’s Hero for Clay.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Louie Gagliardo (sophomore, wrestled 106 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 runnerup, 5th at 1A states); C. Merring (senior, wrestled 113 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 champ, 1A state runnerup); Dylan Taylor (sophomore, wrestled 120 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 runnerup, 6th at 1A states); Keath Sawdo (senior, wrestled 145 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 champ, 5th at 1A states); Connor Green (junior, wrestled 152 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 3rd place, 6th at 1A states); Garrett Weseman (junior, wrestled 160 this past year, District 3 4th place); Abbott Taylor (sophomore, wrestled 182 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 runnerup); Kaleb Collins (senior, wrestled 195 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 champ, 3rd at 1A states). Also: Hughes (sophomore, wrestled 113 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Cody Taylor (senior, wrestled 132 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Ryan Rivers (junior, wrestled 220 this past year, did not compete in post-season).

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Isaiah Martinez Clinic Set At Episcopal

River City Wrestling Factory is hosting a one-day clinic, with two-time University of Illinois national champion Isaiah Martinez serving as guest clinician, on Saturday, July 23, on the Episcopal School of Jacksonville campus, located at 4455 Atlantic Blvd. The flyer is attached here –> image1

Cost for the camp, which has sessions from 9 a.m.-noon and 1-3 p.m., is $25 for RCWF members, $40 for non-members, with group rates available.

Martinez is also a two-time Big Ten Conference champion, 3x California state champion (if you don’t know, California has just one class in wrestling), and was the 2012 Fargo junior champion in both freestyle and Greco-Roman disciplines.

For more information, contact RCWF director Lance Day at lance.r.day1@gmail.com.

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Green Cove Throwdown II

Is set for Thursday night at Clay HS from 6-8 p.m. Event flyer is attached here –> 2016 Green Cove Throw Down II flyer.

If it looks like the CFWA’s Royal Rumble or the Tallahassee-based Grind or Seminole Slam events…it should. Same setup will apply. All details are found on the flyer. This is the closest event (both in time and distance), prior to the Greg Taylor Memorial Duals a week from Saturday. Go out, go get better. 30 minutes of instruction, 45 minutes live goes and 45 minutes of matches.

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Clay Wrestling Camp Dates

June 6-9, from 1-4 p.m. and June 10-11 from 8-10 a.m. at the CHS gym in Green Cove Springs. Cost is $10 per day. Contact Clay coaches Jim Reape at jpreape@oneclay.net or Hunter Hill at whhill@oneclay.net for more information. Former Clay wrestlers will be serving as clinicians. All ages welcome. Flyer is here –> 2016 CLAY Wrestling Camp Flyer 2

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The Season 2015-16: Gulf Breeze

Gulf Breeze

You can see everything I have on the Dolphins in 2015-16 here –> GULF BREEZE

Win/loss record: According to what I have — which I think is everything, but the records for the individual kids didn’t exactly match what was reported to FHSAA — 15-11 in duals. Please review the attached document for a review of the Dolphins’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: It was a pretty solid season, on the whole, for the 2A-1 Dolphins, who competed solidly in both dual and IBT formats. Gulf Breeze finished seventh at Beast of the Beach, went 3-1 at Pace’s Maxfit Duals, closing out with a 5-3 record at Panhandle Duals — two of those losses coming by a total of 10 points. In IBTs, the Dolphins were in the top five at their own invite, took third out of 12 teams at Wewahitchka’s Gator Brawl and put together a solid third inside a very competitive District 1 tournament. Regions didn’t go quite so well as hoped, but Gulf Breeze will have a lot of talent returning — even with some very good seniors graduating.

2015-16 MVP: Perhaps the best of those graduating seniors was the only Dolphin wrestler to qualify out for 2A states, Aaron Mantuano, who was one of just two GBHS competitors to make it to Saturday at Border Wars in the first weekend of the season. But that was just a warmup, as Mantuano won 18 straight matches (according to the results I have), going from Beast of the Beach through Tate’s invitational; included in that run of victories was a 14-match string of consecutive pins. I didn’t have 50+ wins for Mantuano as was reported to FHSAA, but I did have him leading the Dolphins in victories despite neither winning a district nor a region title. The loss that Mantuano took at districts, he later avenged during the course of the region tournament, finishing third in both events to get out to state.

2016-17 captain: Tannen Slack was the other Dolphin to get to Saturday at Border Wars, and he wound up — by the results I have — putting together three long streaks of eight, 11 and nine wins during the course of the year, with the last streak sending Slack to a District 1 title — he’s one of two returning district champions for 2016-17 — and halfway through regions. Getting to state didn’t happen this year, as a pair of decision losses after reaching the semis left him just one match short of the state tournament. We’re still expecting some solid performances from the Dolphins next year, perhaps district-title level performances if everything goes right, and Slack will play a key role in that.

Heaton’s Hero: Border Wars wasn’t exactly sure where Calvin Malo was wrestling the first weekend, having him at 138 and then a Calvin “Mayo” at 145. Malo struggled early on in the year in his first high school season and with wrestling varsity, starting off 1-12 at one point, but the second half of his season seemed to swim along much better, as — according to the results I have — Malo was 10-10 down the stretch. Malo had a quick exit at district, losing twice by fall to more experienced kids, but he was in every event from start to finish and he will get better in this room. Calvin Malo, not Mayo, is the Heaton’s Hero representative for Gulf Breeze.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Nate Golmon (sophomore, wrestled 126 this past year, District 1 runnerup, 1 match from 2A states); Noah Losievsky (junior, wrestled 132 this past year, District 1 champ); Calvin Malo (sophomore, wrestled 138 this past year, 0-2 at districts); Alex Jacobs (junior, wrestled 145 this past year, District 1 4th place); Tannen Slack (junior, wrestled 170 this past year, District 1 champ, 1 match from 2A states); Bradley Miller (senior, wrestled 182 this past year, District 1 runnerup); Will Cross (senior, wrestled 285 this past year, 1 match from regions). Also: Katlyn Butcher (junior, wrestled 106/113 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Kaylee Stevens (senior, wrestled 106/113 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Devin Patterson (junior, wrestled 145/152 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Ethan Rocha (senior, wrestled 182/195/220 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Danny Bevil (senior, wrestled 285 this past year, did not compete in post-season).

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And Now There’s Five #NextLevel Signees

image1
Ridgeview senior Trevor Belden (center), flanked by his coaches, signs his letter of intent today, to attend Huntingdon (Ala.) College and wrestle for the Hawks in the 2016-17 season. Huntingdon is located in Montgomery. an NCAA Division III school. (photo submitted by Bryson Barker).
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The Season 2015-16: Godby

Godby

You can see everything I have on the Cougars in 2015-16 here –> GODBY

Win/loss record: Unknown for duals, either 2-3 or 1-4 depending on how Godby’s dual vs. Cairo (GA) went on January 19. Please review the attached document for a review of the Cougars’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Even had the Cougars scheduled more duals this past season, it would have been difficult to do a whole lot better, given that Godby had to take forfeits at as many as six weights during the course of the season — and that was when their more-consistent starters were in the lineup, which wasn’t all the time by any stretch. That also made IBT performances a bit hit-and-miss as well (leaving aside the missing result from the Cougar Classic). A very strong District 2 meet sent the Cougars to fifth, but Godby probably had its best tournament of the year at regions, when its stars were able to shine the brightest. There will be some graduation losses to incur, but there’s still some solid talent returning. Getting numbers in the room will be key.

2015-16 MVP: Just two Godby wrestlers got out to states, with perhaps the bigger surprise being heavyweight Devaughn Stephens, who’d struggled to hang around the .500 mark in terms of wins and losses. But the strong competition within the district — Stephens was 1-5 against Wakulla heavies alone — really helped when it counted, as Stephens reached the District 2 final and then reached the semifinals before qualifying out with the fourth and final spot. There, he knocked off #2 Dean Brooks of Weeki Wachee in the opening round, but couldn’t sustain the momentum, bowing out on Friday evening. Still, for the way the season started, it wound up being a very good run.

2016-17 captain: Andrew Thaxton isn’t the city’s best 152, but he might be next year, and in any event certainly proved himself more than capable of putting together a state run in 2017. Thaxton had solid efforts in putting together runnerup finishes at Seminole Wrestling Classic, Gator Brawl and Tricounty, where he avenged two earlier defeats. Thaxton then put together another runnerup finish at districts, and was 2-2 at regions in a pretty deep weight. His combination of varsity time plus quality outcomes should make him a solid role model for any younger Cougars coming into the room in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: We didn’t get a look at Zach Godwin until January, and given that we were missing one dual and one tournament (not sure, still, if the Cougar Classic was a roundrobin, duals or IBT format), I’m not 100% sure of his results for the entirety of the season. But, of what I do have, Godwin had his hand raised just one time — his first event of the year, in the Cougars’ dual win over Rickards — and otherwise I have 19 losses, all of them by fall, and all but three of those in the first period. That’s an extremely tough thing for an inexperienced wrestler to go through, but Godwin stayed on the team, made weight at districts and qualified out by finishing fourth when a lot of capable kids were sitting at home playing Xbox and making spring break plans. I admire that quality, and it’s why Zach Godwin is the Heaton’s Hero representative for Godby.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Braxten Marshall (senior, wrestled 126 this past year, District 2 3rd place); Godwin (junior, wrestled 145 this past year, District 2 4th place); Thaxton (senior, wrestled 152 this past year, District 2 runnerup); James Williams (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, 1 match from regions); Stephens (senior, wrestled 285 this past year, District 2 runnerup, Region 1 4th place). Also: Devon Neely (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, did not compete in post-season).

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The Season 2015-16: Orange Park

Orange Park

You can see everything I have on the Raiders in 2015-16 here –> ORANGE PARK

Win/loss record: 20-11 for duals. Please review the attached document for a review of the Raiders’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Duals were a bit of a zig-zag proposition for the Raiders. Fully loaded, Orange Park could hang in there against some of the Matmen area’s stronger teams — their epic one-point duals with Middleburg just one example — but the Raiders were seriously short-handed at Flagler, with predictable results; they finished 2-7 at that event. Otherwise, Orange Park was 18-4 and would have been a threat for the top five among area teams all season long. The Raiders showed solidly at IBTs, although not having a couple of weights covered hampered their chances at defending District 3; still, despite that, the Raiders were just a handful of points away from a Region 1 title. The good thing for them is that they have a slew of returners coming back, losing just two key starters to graduation.

2015-16 MVP: A dream deferred sometimes makes for the best story at the end of a high school career, but Marcus Reid might have preferred not to wait to accomplish that dream. It was not an easy season for Reid; first, he had to wait all the way until St Johns River Conference duals just to get in the lineup. From there, it looked like all systems go, with just one regular-season loss to eventual 1A state placer Devin Kohn of Bishop Moore in the 120 finals at Clay. Reid won districts two weeks later, but then sustained a loss by fall to Niceville’s Zach Hartzog in the Region 1 quarterfinals, having to win three matches to secure his place at state, and a fourth for third place. Reid then drew the state’s top-ranked wrestler in the first round at Kissimmee, took care of business there, but then lost in the quarters to the third-ranked wrestler at 120 — whom he later beat for third place. That might have all been fine, except for watching a wrestler Reid had pinned in the Lincoln IBT finals, fellow Matmen local Chace Curtis of Columbia, win gold at states. It doesn’t take a “Wrestling Guy” to know how much Reid will want that title next year.

2016-17 captain: If it’s hard to overstate how close Reid was to a state title, it’s almost impossible to overstate how close Nartorian Lee is to a podium finish in 2016-17. Lee was the Raiders’ most consistent presence of excellence in the lineup. Lee did take a loss at Kiwanis, but later avenged it in the same tournament, and didn’t lose again to a non-state qualifier in 2015-16. At one point, Lee ripped off 25 straight wins from Flagler Duals through the Lincoln IBT, but only picked up an IBT victory at districts. He continued on a solid post-season run, reaching the Region 1 finals, where he was a scoring move away from forcing overtime against an eventual state finalist, Northwest Matmen’s Jaycie Rudd of Lincoln. Lee then got into Saturday’s competition at states, going 2-2 there and finishing just one match short of the podium. He’s not resting, either, staying busy this off-season. That should help next year.

Heaton’s Hero: We didn’t see Deon Williams in the Raider lineup until the Flagler Duals just before Christmas, and there were only a couple of appearances for him in the lineup prior to the post-season. It was a tough year for Williams, who only had his hand raised in two forfeit-victory situations, and both of those were at Flagler. We didn’t see Williams again in the lineup until the January 20th road dual at Middleburg and then it was another few weeks until the season-ending duals. Williams didn’t see IBT time until the post-season, but stayed in the lineup, battled into the second period against an eventual state placer in his first tournament match, and is working to get better this off-season (I just saw him on Saturday). For sticking with the sport, Deon Williams is the Heaton’s Hero for Orange Park.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Dean Ganci (sophomore, wrestled 106 this past year, District 3 runnerup); Frank Sawyer (junior, wrestled 113 this past year, District 3 runnerup, 1 match from 2A states); Reid (senior, wrestled 120 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 3rd place); Saeid Ejmali (junior, wrestled 132 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 champ); Dashner St. Vilus (senior, wrestled 138 this past year, District 3 3rd place); Lee (senior, wrestled 160 this past year, District 3 champ, Region 1 runnerup, 1 match from 2A state medal); Reed Danielson (junior, wrestled 170 this past year, District 3 4th place); Ben Elliot (sophomore, wrestled 195 this past year, District 3 3rd place); Williams (senior, wrestled 285 this past year, District 3 4th place). Also: Robert McGlynn (sophomore, wrestled 106 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Joseph Moss (junior, wrestled 126 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Zach McWhite (junior, wrestled 152 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Tyler Dehart (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, did not compete in post-season).

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1500

The Season recap for Yulee was the 1,500th post on the website. I’d like to think that almost all of the 1500 posts have been simply about Northeast Florida wrestling, or directed toward Northeast Florida wrestling knowledge about its instate competition.

On another note, Oakleaf results. They’re on Trackwrestling, but I do not know how to interpret the “OTHR1” I keep seeing time and time again. I have no idea what that means. Until “the braintrust” gets with me to explain what’s going on there, I may not be able to report anything.

The next event I should be present for will be Greg Taylor out at Clay, but not immediately, as my son has an AAU track event at Nease that day. I’ll get with the Clay staff early next week.

ANOTHER NOTE: There is a date and time change for the Jordan Leen/UVA camp at South Walton. It is not going to to be on Tuesday, as originally scheduled, but has been moved up to Sunday. The time for the camp is also changed. Check out the offseason page for more details.

ANOTHER ANOTHER NOTE: We’d tried to help out Circle of Champions with their proposed team camp at Embry-Riddle (see earlier post on that if you’re really interested) in Daytona Beach. I also found out, today, that that particular event was six teams short and therefore it wound up being cancelled.