FPC’s Johnson earns state WOTW honor

Johnson photo
Flagler Palm Coast junior John Johnson was named as the Florida AAU Wrestler of the Week for last week, after taking first place at Palm Bay’s NCWA qualifier event on Saturday. Johnson was 5-0, with two pins, a major and 11-4 decision over 2017 2A sixth-place Michael Butler of Olympic Heights (Photo submitted to Florida AAU Wrestling page by Brian Callinan).

#Schedules17-18: Gainesville Is In

We now have our 22nd schedule in hand! Gainesville submitted theirs tonight, and we now have 18 on the Northeast side, and four of the five District 2A-2 schedules (no pressure on Leon) in hand.


Gainesville will begin the 2017-18 season by competing in Fleming Island’s two-day roundrobin tournament, the Robert Northway “Keystone” Invitational, on December 1st-2nd, but the Hurricanes’ second weekend might be just about as busy, as Gainesville will be participating in Orange Park’s Raider 6-Way event on Friday, December 8, then hitting the road for Oviedo and Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals the very next day.

The Hurricanes will have two more duals events in December, with a visit to Columbia on December 16 for the Tiger Duals, and then, just before New Year’s, they’ll host the Category 5 Duals on December 29-30.

Gainesville will kick off 2018 with FHSAA competitions either in play or potentially in play first, starting with 2A-District 2 duals back at Columbia on January 4 and a possibility of region duals the following week. The Hurricanes’ next regular-season appearance will be on the 13th, when they’ll compete at Lincoln’s one-day IBT, the Trojan Invitational. In the third week of January, the Hurricanes will be at Cities, this year hosted by Buchholz, on the 17th, and then will have their Senior Night on the 19th against Bradford.

From there, Gainesville is off until February 10, when the Hurricanes will return to The Villages for the T.D. Talbott Legion Duals, a one-day event.

So that makes 22 schedules. Who’s going to be 23?? Will it be YOUR school??



#WeekendWrestling: Rivers Wins S32 Qualifier

KISSIMMEE — Clay senior Ryan Rivers brought home top honors in Saturday’s Super 32 qualifier tournament, hosted by Osceola High School.

The one-day tournament had an IBT format for the high school levels, with roundrobin formats for middle school and girls freestyle competitors. Top four placers received early qualification for the Super 32 national tournament, scheduled for October 27-29 at the Greensboro Coliseum Special Events Center in North Carolina.

Rivers pinned his way through the 285-pound bracket with falls over fellow Matmen-area wrestlers Jonquille Rivers of Lincoln (who’d later go on to place fourth) and Wakulla’s Ethan Brown in the first round and quarters, respectively.

Ryan Rivers then falled Citrus WC’s Austin Hundley in 1:36 in the semis, and needed 2:59 in the final for his fourth pin of the day, that one coming over Spring Hill Wrestling’s James Spencer.

Two Matmen-area wrestlers took third in their respective weights. At 145, CWC Wrestling Club’s Nate Golmon was third, with three decisions, a 3-2 loss to the eventual bracket champion in the semis, and two decisions, including a 3-0 win over Jacob Newman of the Tampa Bay Brawlers in the third-place match.

At 170, North Florida Wrestling Academy’s Trace Insalaco dropped a round-of-16 match by one point to the eventual runnerup, then came back to win six matches on the back side, downing Lemon Bay’s Marc Towers, 5-3, for third.

NFWA’s Jaquan English (5-2 at 138, quarterfinalist, lost there to eventual runnerup), CWC’s Alex Jacobs (4-2 at 152, semifinalist, lost to eventual champ and by one point for third) and Jonquille Rivers (3-2 at 285, won three matches on the back to ensure qualification) all took fourths.

At the middle-school level, Team Clay’s Christopher Stiltner won the 130-pound title with two pins and a major, while Clay teammate Gunner Ivey was second at 100 pounds. Panthers WC’s Andrew McGowan was second at 120, and Wakulla’s Hayden Reeves took second at 160.



At Palm Bay: In the NCWA Fall qualifier event, also on Saturday, several wrestlers from Flagler Palm Coast took high honors.

Trent Burke (2 decisions at 106), John Johnson (5-0, 2 pins & major at 120), Christian Sheppard (6-0, 5 pins & TF at 126), Curtis Brock (5-0, 2 pins at 160) and Jason Muniz (5-1, 3 pins at 200) all took firsts for Flagler Attack.

Atlantic wrestler Wilbur Thomas (200), wrestling for Flagler Attack, was second in his weight class, while Burke (getting additional matches at 113) and Michael Martins (152) took thirds.



#Schedules17-18: Lincoln Is In

We have just two schedules left for 2A-District 2, as 2017 region champion Lincoln submitted its schedule on Thursday (between being officially declared homeless on Thursday, don’t worry, it’s not as bad as it sounds, and an increased pace of actual work, I couldn’t get to it until today).

Lincoln is our 21st schedule overall, and our fifth in the Northwest area, third in Tallahassee and surrounding region thus far.


The Trojans will stay in Tallahassee for the first two weekends of December, traveling crosstown to Florida High for the Seminole Invitational on December 1-2, and then crosstown to Chiles (where they’ll share hosting responsbility) on the 8th and 9th. Lincoln will make its first trek out of town for Buchholz’s Bobcat Duals on the 15th and 16th, and then will have two weeks off before returning to the mats for Osceola’s Knockout Christmas Challenge two-day IBT, the toughest in-season tournament in the state, on December 29-30.

The Trojans will be in 2A-District 2 FHSAA duals competition at Columbia on January 4th, with a possibility for Region 1 competition on the 11th. Their first regular-season competition in 2018 will be their own Trojan Invitational on January 13th, a one-day IBT event. With a possible state duals appearance on the 19th-20th, the only other competition on the Lincoln calendar for January will be the Trojans’ away dual at Wakulla on January 24.

In February, Lincoln will compete in the two-day Tony Ippolito IBT tournament, hosted by Brandon on February 2-3, and the Trojans will then host Florida High on February 7 to close out the regular season.

We now have 21 schedules. It appears that we’ll have a new home base soon (still in Jacksonville, no, I am not leaving). Who’s going to be NEXT??


#Schedules17-18: Pedro Menendez Is In

We have our 20th schedule for the season!

Compared to last year, we are running behind last year’s pace (I can’t imagine what would be responsible for THAT), but today we got Pedro Menendez’s schedule in hand, our 17th for the Northeast side of the state and fourth (first public-school schedule) from 1A-District 4.


The Falcons will have two dates in Fleming Island in December, the first of those being the two-day Robert Northway “Keystone” Invitational tournament on the first weekend of December. Menendez will sandwich those dates with the Westside Kiwanis two-day IBT, hosted by Bishop Snyder, on the 8th and 9th, and then the Bob Jordan Duals (for the Falcons, basically the St Johns River Conference Tournament) on December 22-23 at the Clay Fairgrounds, hosted by Fleming Island.

Still haven’t seen a date yet for 1A-District 4 duals yet in the four schedules I’ve gotten, so the next date on the Falcons’ calendar will be the Rob Bierbaum Invitational on January 6 at Episcopal, a one-day IBT event. Duals will be the focus of the middle of the month, as Pedro Menendez will compete at Terry Parker’s Army Duals on January 12-13 and then travel to Nease for its first single-dual event of the calendar on the 17th.

The Falcons will close out January with an appearance at Palm Coast’s two-day Flagler Rotary on the 26th and 27th, and then will have two dates in February: the one-day Westside Duals on February 3 and Menendez’s lone home date, #BattleForAncientCity against St. Augustine, on the 7th.

So that’s twenty in hand. Who’s NEXT???


Panthers Take Saturday Titles

Ridgeview winners
Ridgeview freshman Matthew Rodriquez (left) and sophomore Malachi Martin (right) took firsts on Saturday at the Louisa September Sizzler, a preseason tournament held at Louisa County HS in Mineral, VA. Rodriquez won at 105-107 and Martin at 150-155 (Photo by Bartholomew Rodriquez).

MINERAL, VA — Ridgeview wrestlers Matthew Rodriquez, a freshman, and Malachi Martin, a sophomore, won titles at the Louisa September Sizzler, a preseason round-robin tournament held on Saturday at Louisa County High School.

Rodriquez competed in the 105-107 division, pinning his way through three opponents. First up was Zack O’Brocki of Calvert Hall Wrestling, with the pin time in 1:19, and then Rodriquez pinned Skyline Wrestling’s Tyler Davis in 2:53.

In the third match, Rodriquez pinned unattached Logan Shiflett in 1:02 to cinch up the title.

Martin, competing in the 150-155 bracket, also pinned his way through the day, starting with a 24-second fall over Dulles South WC’s Timothy Nguyen in Round 2. He then needed 56 seconds to deck Calvert Hall’s Michael Deinlein in the third of five rounds.

In Round 4, Martin pinned VA Team Predator’s Jared Worley in 3:44, then wrapped up the top spot on the podium with a pin over Dunbar Poets’ Valentino Pryor, in 3:00.



Power Of The Family

Everywhere — and I do mean EVERYWHERE — I have been in the wrestling world, one word comes up. Over and over again.


As a hard-bitten journalist, I have had many encounters with this, and at times I have sort of mis-trusted this. I’ve seen the rivalries in programs over the years — international, college and high school — and that seemed inconsistent with the “wrestling is family” idea.

But, you know? That rivalry covers just a dual. Or a tournament.

That’s not what really matters.

What really matters is when everyone is facing more than a little adversity. I’ve seen, just this week, notes and comments about kids from Fleming Island, Clay, Middleburg and Oakleaf out and about helping folks in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma (and I’m certain there are others). Last year, I heard about a young St. Augustine wrestler helping out in the aftermath of Matthew.

Like so many of you, I have my own Irma aftermath story. And I have the wrestling family that helped where they could to make it less of a problem. In this case, one family — the Fabianis — came all the way from Green Cove Springs to San Marco to help me with mine.

For two hours, five Fabianis, two Joneses and a Montalvo gave up a part of their Saturday to reclaim the Heaton Basecamp for me and my son. They didn’t have to. And yet they did. Their generosity can not be overstated.

No thanks can be enough. I also want to say thank you to another area coach, Paul Schloth, for additionally offering help to me. I still will take him up on some of what we discussed.

And, going forward, I’ll never doubt the power of the wrestling family.

Cleanup crew
These people are heroes to me, and you should know who they are. From left in the front: Alexa Jones, Taylor Fabiani, Julie Fabiani and Madison Fabiani; middle: Blake Jones & Joe Fabiani; back: Brevan Heaton, Dylan Fabiani & Eli Montalvo (Photo by Shannon Heaton).



Battered, But Not Broken

Hi folks.

First post in a few days. We evacuated from our place in San Marco on Sunday evening, just before 7, and none too soon, apparently. Lost power where we were in Mandarin Sunday night overnight. Power has not been restored to that location as far as I know or as far as JEA is reporting. My son and I grabbed what we could grab, between yesterday and 5:30 this morning, and we’re now out of immediate harm’s way. That is the most important thing.

My place is not habitable yet. Flooding in the neighborhood makes access difficult (but not completely impossible, as was the case on Monday when we made our first attempt to assess the situation). Water did come into the apartment, but differing levels in differing rooms.

  • A little bit of water in the bedroom by the outward facing wall.
  • A fair amount of water in the bathroom, my guess being it coming up through the bathtub drain.
  • Some water in the kitchen around the sink area.
  • A small height but consistently widespread amount in the living room.
  • There is a strong possibility that mold growth will be an issue in the building, perhaps not today, but soon.

The damage to flooring and to structures is hard for me to ascertain. It may not be hospitable to our health, long term, to try to “make it work.” I have made efforts to reach out to our property management company yesterday, and will again today when they open. Hopefully they’ll provide some response. I would say we would need new flooring throughout the unit. My neighbor across the hall took even more damage — her unit is closer to the source of the flooding. She certainly will need new flooring throughout. There is a storage closet on the ground floor of the building that none of us have used — and in its current condition none of us would ever use.

It is also difficult to assess damage to personals. From a clothing standpoint, we were pretty lucky. Due to lack of storage, we did have some clothes on the floor, which we were able to take to my normal laundromat, and no damage there (some of it can be worn, the rest can be converted into cleaning supplies). My son’s clothing is completely intact and for the most part so is mine. We do have contact with floodwater with the box springs of both of our beds, with the living room sofa (which was teetering on the edge of needing last rites administered anyway), and with the ottoman, also in the living room. A swivel chair’s bottom also had some contact. We feel these items could be rehabilitated, but the question is should they be. I don’t have much experience with flooding. In Illinois, we lived a few hundred feet above sea level. Here, we’re maybe 10 feet? Not sure.

We were able to cannibalize our non-perishables today — obviously, like so many of you, our perishable stuff will have to all be thrown out — and we have not truly investigated the state of the cabinetry yet in the kitchen or bathroom.

There is a lot of work needed to be done. I am at work today and it is all I can do to just put one foot in front of the other. But we are fortunate. Our situation could have been much worse.


#Schedules17-18: Bishop Kenny Is In

We received our 19th schedule on Thursday night later in the evening, but I wanted to have the Cam Brown piece be the lead item on the site through the day on Friday.

But Bishop Kenny has come in, and that’s our third schedule out of 1A-District 4 this season.


The Crusaders have typically been one of, if not the first, ¬†dates on the 2017-18 calendar, and this season is no different, as Bishop Kenny will host Ponte Vedra for a dual on November 29. The Crusaders will then participate in the Robert Northway “Keystone” Invitational at Fleming Island on December 1-2. Week 2 is equally busy, with a home dual against Creekside on the 6th and then BKHS’ traditional Tallahassee trip for the Capital City Classic on the 8th and 9th.

There are no dates on the calendar until December 28-29 — and that does an include a still-unscheduled (by the schedules I have thus far) 1A-District 4 duals tournament date. On the 28th, Bishop Kenny will compete in the Knockout Christmas Classic at Osceola HS in Kissimmee, the state’s toughest in-season tournament.

In 2018, the Crusaders will begin with a home dual — their Alumni Night — against Oakleaf on January 5th, then make the short hop down Atlantic Boulevard the next morning for Episcopal’s Rob Bierbaum Invitational IBT event. With the possibility of region dual wrestling in play, the Bierbaum is the last event on the calendar until a road dual at Fletcher on the 17th. Bishop Kenny will then participate in a Saturday triangular at Bolles, along with Episcopal, on January 20.

The Crusaders will close out the regular season with three tough events, traveling to Palm Coast for the Flagler Rotary on January 26-27, then hosting Yulee in a dual on the 30th before closing out the regular season at Clay’s Rotary IBT in Green Cove Springs on February 2-3.

With Irma about to make landfall, I don’t expect to see another schedule today, but I am curious to know which school will take us up to 20. Is YOURS NEXT??


Brown Joining Teammates on Field

I know that most of you are doing final prep for Irma today.

But this is a good story about Cam Brown and well worth a couple of minutes’ pause. Bottom line: He’ll be with his Western Carolina teammates on the field Saturday, as the Catamounts take on Davidson. Game time is 6 p.m.

Here’s the link:¬†