North Florida Matmen staff report
PALM COAST — Matanzas hoped to debut the TJ Gillin head-coaching era by showing off its shiny and artistic new wrestling mat on Saturday, and showing out against district and conference rivals, plus visiting state-ranked Palm Bay, in the Matanzas Duals.
The Pirates proved the mat’s worth as an icon, and handled their business against their local rivals, but the visiting Pirates from central Florida were too much to handle for the host Pirates — and, by extension, the rest of the field, as Palm Bay blew through to a 5-0 record and tournament title.
Matanzas (4-1 for the season) had three double-digit wins to take Pool A, defeating former district/current conference rival Bartram Trail (45-30), new district rival Seabreeze (44-33) and Duval County’s Wolfson (78-6).
The home Pirates then shut out district rival St Augustine, 78-0, to set the stage for a tournament-decider against Palm Bay.
But the visiting Pirates jumped out to a 16-0 lead before Matanzas would put points on the board behind Tristian Williams’ 4-2 win at 160 and Quenteen Robinson’s 20-5 tech at 170, halving the deficit to 16-8.
Palm Bay, though, was just getting warmed up, as they won seven matches in a row. That propelled the visiting Pirates to a 53-8 lead before Shaun Culbreth (126) wrapped up the dual for Matanzas with a 9-3 win, making the final score 53-11.
Matanzas did have three wrestlers go 5-0 on the day, as Culbreth recorded three pins and a tech to go along with the decision. Williams, in his first varsity start for the host Pirates, had three pins, while Robinson (wrestling at both 170 and 182, had one of everything — pin, tech, major and decision, plus a forfeit — in the tournament).
Sam Russo (138, 2 pins & major), Griffin Wilder (145, 2 pins/tech/decision) and Noel Alicea (152, 2 pins/tech/decision) all were 4-1 for the host Pirates, while Ethan Goodman (120, pin) was 3-2. In regular but not exclusive starting roles, Drew Castanheira (170, pin & decision) was 3-0 and George Joanos (132, 3 pins) was 3-1.
Below follows a summary of each of the rest of the coverage area’s day:
Bartram Trail (3-2, 3rd): The Bears (8-2 in duals for the season overall) were second in Pool A, rallying after the round-1 loss with wins over Wolfson (78-6) and Seabreeze (42-40). In the championship pool, the Bears were 1-1, falling to Palm Bay (69-6) and winning over St Augustine, 48-24, for third. Three different Bartram wrestlers finished the day with 4-1 marks, including: Ethan Vugman (106, 3 pins); Marcos Ramos (195, 3 pins); and Ryan Piersza (285, 4 pins). Trevor Tagarelli (126, 3 pins), Stephen Farris (145/152, 3 pins), John McNames (160, 3 pins) and Clarke Hamilton (220, 3 pins) each were 3-2 for the Bears.
St Augustine (2-3, 4th): The Yellow Jackets were 2-1 and second in Pool B, with wins over Creekside (37-36) and University (Orlando; hereafter referred to as Univ-ORL), 60-12, before falling to Palm Bay, 60-6. The difficult itinerary that this group faced made compiling glossy stats difficult for St Augustine. Ryan Murphy (182, 4 pins) was the only Yellow Jacket to go 4-1 on the day, while Wilson Nguyen (132, 3 pins), Jakob Hartline (138, 3 pins) and Hayden Yanni (152, 3 pins) all were 3-2.
Seabreeze (3-2, 5th): The Sandcrabs (4-2 in duals for the season overall) defeated Wolfson (63-18) in the first round of Pool A, then won twice in the fifth-place pool, with dual wins over Univ-ORL (60-21) and Creekside (45-30). Two Seabreeze wrestlers were the only locals to “max-point” their day (score 6 points in every dual their team wrestled). And Kobe Baret (120/126) not only max-pointed, but pinned his way through the day, standing alone among locals in that capacity. Joseph Kent (113, 4 pins) also was a max-pointer, while Chris Thomas (182/195, 3 pins & decision) joined his teammates on the 5-0 list. Brock Roberts (152, 3 pins & decision), Jackson Pruett (182/195/285, pin) and Caiden Patton (195/220, 3 pins & major) were each 4-1, while Victor Lipsey (170, pin) contributed a 3-2 day.
Creekside (1-3, 6th): The St Johns Knights were 1-2 in Pool B, defeating Univ-ORL, 64-10. Creekside and Wolfson were slated to wrestle in the 5th-place pool, but as they are slated to wrestle later this month, elected not to wrestle on Saturday. Jalen Hines (170, pin/tech/decision) was 4-0 on the day, while Jake Williams (106, pin & decision) and Hunter Brown (160, decision) each were 3-1.
Wolfson (0-4, 8th): In addition to the local losses in Pool A, the Wolfpack also fell to Univ-ORL, 42-30, in the second round of the fifth-place pool. Wolfson was at a significant experience disadvantage compared to the rest of the group, and no individual Wolfpack wrestler won more than two matches Saturday.
Complete results from Saturday’s wrestling can be found HERE.
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