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#WeWentThere (Pt 2): Back-To-Work Golden Eagles Roll Through Keystone

fleming wins
Fleming Island wrestlers and coaches celebrate the 2020 Keystone Memorial team championship won at the FIHS home gym on Saturday (Photo by Ricki Nix).

By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen

ORANGE PARK — After a December of travel and seeing the best competition the American Southeast has to offer, January is about a return to basics for Fleming Island.

And basics, for the Golden Eagles, means winning, piles of winning.

That was in evidence last weekend at the Keystone Memorial two-day tournament, in which the Golden Eagles dominated on Friday in the duals portion (5 victories, average margin of victory 62.2 points per dual) and dominated on Saturday in the IBT portion (nine weight-class wins, and a 132-point margin of victory over Brunswick GA, more than doubling up the nearest Florida team).

“The thing with Knockout (Fleming’s last tournament, between Christmas and New Year’s), it’s unlike any other tournament we have. The level is so high that our kids might face a state champ first round, maybe a Super 32 champ next round,” Golden Eagles coach PJ Cobbert said on Saturday.

“We just went back to work. Focused on doing what we do, getting ready for district duals (starting later today, at Oakleaf).”

Among area teams in the 20-team IBT on Saturday, Seabreeze was next highest on the table, finishing fifth with 127 points (Doral Academy was third at 162 and McKeel Academy fourth at 148).

Oakleaf was sixth, with 83 points, followed by Palatka & Bolles tied for seventh (72), Suwannee ninth (67) and Space Coast 10th (62).

Area teams in the bottom 10 were Arnold (11th, 54 points), Deltona (12th, 48), Fletcher (13th, 46), University Christian (14th, 44), Middleburg (16th, 37), Union Cty (17th, 30), First Baptist Christian (18th, 23), Mainland (19th, 19) and Bishop Snyder (20th, eight).

Below follows a summary of Saturday’s IBT, with area placers and area wrestlers one match short of placing noted:

106 — Brunswick’s Trent Burke had four pins for the title, falling Doral Academy’s Julian Montero (8th-3A) in 43 seconds in the final. Bolles’ Jacob Witt (10th-1A) reached the semis (losing by fall to Burke) but rallying for a 10-4 win over Space Coast’s Raider Morelli (11th-1A) for third. After a 9-5 loss to Witt in the quarters, University Christian’s Jayce Paridon (7th-1A) came back for fifth, with a 59-second fall over Middleburg’s Caiden Berg. Palatka’s Mikada Harvey and Arnold’s Porter Beach were both one match short of placing.

113 — University Christian’s Egan Gustilo (9th-1A) overcame two Friday losses in dual competition, with two pins, a major and 6-1 win, falling McKeel’s Guy Yodock (6th-1A) in 4:38 in the final. Gustilo had beaten two ranked opponents in Space Coast’s Anthony Edwards (5th-1A) and Doral’s Livan Curbelo (7th-3A) in the quarters and semis, respectively. Fleming’s Hunter Herrington (14th-3A), who lost to Yodock in the semis, decisioned Curbelo, 12-5, for third place, while Seabreeze’s Joseph Kent (who lost to Yodock in the quarters) had three wins for fifth, with a 12-6 win over Brunswick’s Ian Deloney in the place match. Deltona’s Kevin Kerns was one match short of placing.

120 — Doral’s Omar Corrales (5th-3A) pinned his way into the final, where he rode out Brunswick’s Peter McKinney for a 1-0 decision. Fleming’s Ryan Hobson, who lost to McKinney in the semis, won twice to take third, with a 5-3 decision over Deltona’s Luis Vazquez, while Seabreeze’s Kobe Baret won by forfeit over Suwannee’s Xander Kirkland for fifth. With the way the bracket was set up, three area wrestlers — Oakleaf’s Marcus McGee, Arnold’s Will Ashby and Palatka’s Ontarriyus Reid — were all 1 match short of placing.

126 — Fleming’s Riley Holton (5th-3A) had a tech, pin and two decisions, with a 1-0 win over Doral’s Brandon Arocha (14th-3A) for the championship. Holton knocked off a second ranked wrestler, Suwannee’s Timothy Jolicoeur (14th-1A), 6-4, in the semis. Jolicoeur would rally for third, with a 5-4 win over Fletcher’s Gabriel Daltro. Palatka’s Drevon Wallace (11th-1A), after falling to Jolicoeur 4-3 in the round of 16, won four matches for fifth, decisioning Brunswick’s Marcus Norman, 10-5, in the place match. Deltona’s Carlos Pineda was one match short of placing.

132 — Brunswick’s Jeremiah Dawson had two pins to get to the semis and two decisions for the title, with a 5-2 win over McKeel’s Cody Brown (7th-1A) in the final. Suwannee’s Jaxon Sansouci lost 8-7 to Dawson in the semi, but came back for a 6-5 win over Doral’s Enrique Sanchez to take third. Palatka’a Brandon Lewis, who lost by fall to Brown in the round of 16, won four matches by pin to take fifth, falling Fleming’s Shawn Breeden in 2:42 in the place match. Bolles’ Dalton Posick was one match short of placing.

138 — Fleming’s Dalton Williams (14th-3A) bonus-pointed through three wins to reach the final, where he decisioned Space Coast’s Michael Squires (12th-1A) by an 8-2 count for the championship, starting a string of eight consecutive Golden Eagle titles. Williams had majored a second ranked wrestler, Seabreeze’s Devin Stickney (20th-2A) by a 13-3 margin in the semis. Stickney would finish fourth, with a 3-2 loss to Brunswick’s Carlton Crump in the third-place match, while McKeel’s Owen McNabb, who lost by 10-1 major to Stickney in the quarters had three pins for fifth, falling Doral’s D’Angelo Romero in :53. Bolles’ Julian Morris and First Baptist Christian’s Jordan Mills were both one match short of placing.

145 — The Golden Eagles’ Gannon Janssen (2nd-3A) bonus-pointed through the day, with three falls and an 11-3 major in the semis over offseason club teammate David Parkes (19th-3A at 152) of Oakleaf. Janssen pinned Doral’s Roger Arocha (7th-3A) in the championship match. Parkes downed McKeel’s Vish Williams (7th-1A), 8-2, for third place. Suwannee’s Caleb Parsons, who lost by fall to Arocha in the round of 16, had four wins on the back for fifth, decisioning Bolles’ Tyson Riley 11-5 in the place match. Middleburg’s Aden Thornton was one match short of placing.

152 — Fleming’s Tanner Hill (4th-3A) racked up two pins and a decision before shutting down Arnold’s Nick Kendrick (13th-1A), 11-0, for the championship. Fletcher’s Joel Rodriguez (8th-2A), who held Hill to a 7-4 decision loss in the semi, came back with a pin over Union’s Brandon Mecusker for third place. Seabreeze’s Brock Roberts, who lost by tech to Rodriguez in the quarters, won three times on the back for fifth, shutting out Wiregrass Ranch’s Chaz Diaz, 2-0, in the place match. Suwannee’s Austin Howard and Bolles’ Skylar Malone were each one match short of placing.

160 — The Golden Eagles’ Luke Chop (4th-3A) had three first-period falls, then downed Doral’s Daniel Garlin, 7-2, in taking the bracket win. Seabreeze’s Victor Lipsey, who lost by fall to Garlin in the semis, decisioned McKeel’s Wayne Campbell by a 6-3 count in the third place match. Brunswick’s Leon Charlton, won three times on the back for fifth, with an 8-6 fifth-place decision over Middleburg’s Alex Nayfack. Bishop Snyder’s Clayton Beasley and First Baptist Christian’s Jackson Mills were both one match short of placing.

170 — In the first of two all-Fleming Island finals, Gavin Smith (8th-3A) rode two pins into the final, where he shut out teammate Hunter Williams, 6-0. Brunswick’s Amari Mangram, who’d lost 14-1 to Williams in the semi, also beat a teammate, Trey Elvine, in the third-place match, 8-2, while McKeel’s Ashton Gehret had two pins for fifth, falling Space Coast’s Mason Hall-Martinez in 3:05. Oakleaf’s Sebastian Lopez was one match short of placing.

182 — The second all-Fleming final saw Nick Janssen (9th-3A) pin his way into the final, then hold serve over teammate Josh Sandoval, 5-1, in the final. Brunswick’s Ryne Buckley, who’d lost 3-2 to Sandoval in the semis, falled McKeel’s Lucas Ulloa in 3:27 for third, while Oakleaf’s Isaiah Schevchook pinned Seabreeze’s Chris Thomas in 4 minutes for fifth. First Baptist Christian’s Nathaniel Varol and Union Cty’s Allan McClellon were both one match short of placing.

195 — The Golden Eagles’ Jeffrey Lascano (3rd-3A) wasn’t scored upon Saturday, with a first-period pin and pair of 15-0 techs, the second of those in the final over Seabreeze’s Caiden Patton. Lascano teched Mainland’s Doug Dittmer (20th-2A) in the semis; Dittmer came back for third with a 2-0 win over McKeel’s Ilia Witkus (15th-1A) in the place match. Palatka’s Jack Tilton had two pins for fifth, falling Wiregrass Ranch’s Gabriel Marshal in the place match. First Baptist Christian’s Jacob Rodriguez was one match short of placing.

220 — Fleming’s Chad Nix (1st-3A) demolished his weight class with three first-period falls, the last of those over Brunswick’s Staffon Stanley in the final. Bolles’ Jack Pyburn, who’d lost by fall to Nix in the semis, rallied for third with a fall over Seabreeze’s Nathan Boyd. Oakleaf’s Jason Mitchell (8th-3A), a quarterfinal loss by pin to Pyburn notwithstanding, had two pins and a 3-1 decision for fifth over Deltona’s Ethan Chiu. Union’s Davalier Blocker and Arnold’s Justin Harry were both one match short of placing.

285 — Brunswick’s William Abbott broke the string of Golden Eagle titles, pinning his way through the draw, including a win by decision (brackets on Track had this as a fall) in the final over Fleming’s Raul Gonzalez (6th-3A). Oakleaf’s Josh Murrell (16th-3A), who’d lost 8-4 to Gonzalez in the semis, was third with a pin in the third-place match over Palatka’s Marlon Williams. Deltona’s Nathan Hatch, who lost by fall to Williams, had a decision and pin in the fifth-place match over Fletcher’s Toby Matson. Bolles’ Cam Neal was one match short of placing.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

Below follows a survey of Friday’s action among area teams competing in the tournament:

Fleming Island (5-0 in Pool A): The hosts had their closest dual of the day in Round 1, with a 52-18 win over Doral Academy; from there, the Golden Eagles really cranked up the pressure, with wins over First Baptist (77-6), Fletcher (75-0), Bishop Snyder (78-6) and University Christian (69-6), forfeiting 106 throughout the day. Six Golden Eagles were 5-0, with four of them “max-pointing” (scoring 6 dual team points in every dual contested): Gannon Janssen (145, 4 pins); Lascano (195, pin); Nix (220, pin) and Gonzalez (285, pin). Joining them with 5-0 records were Holton (120, pin/major/decision) and Dalton Williams (138, 2 pins & tech). Herrington (113, 3 pins), Breeden (132, pin) and Chop (160, pin & decision) were each 4-0, with Hobson (120, 2 pins & decision) and Hill (152, 2 pins & major) both compiling 4-1 records for Fleming Island. In regular but not exclusive starting roles, Smith (170) and Nick Janssen (182, pin & major) were both 3-0 for the Golden Eagles.

Seabreeze (5-0 in Pool B): The Sandcrabs were the second of three area unbeatens and only one in Pool B, with wins over Arnold (54-6), McKeel Academy (45-34), Suwannee (49-30), Space Coast (43-42, criteria) and Wiregrass Ranch (72-9). Seabreeze had three max-point wrestlers, as Baret (120) pinned his way through the competition, five falls in all. Thomas (182, 3 pins) and Patton (195, 2 pins) were also max-pointers, while Lipsey (160/170, 3 pins & decision) and Boyd (220, pin & decision) were also unbeatens at 5-0. Roberts (152/160, 3 pins & decision) and Connor Flagg (285) ewre both 4-1, while Kayla Nguyen (106, pin & decision), Kent (113, pin/major/decision) and Stickney (138/145, 2 pins & decision) were each 3-2 for Seabreeze. Nik Crossman (145/152, pin) was 2-1 in a regular but not exclusive starting role for the Sandcrabs.

Oakleaf (5-0 in Pool A): The Knights were the only other area unbeaten team on Friday, with wins over Bolles (42-31), University Christian (63-12), Palatka (42-28), Union Cty (72-6) and Bishop Snyder (69-6). Oakleaf had four max-point wrestlers on the day, with Parkes (152, 4 pins), James McClintic (160, 3 pins), Lopez (170, pin) and Murrell (285, 3 pins) all 5-0. Onjel Caraballo (182/195, pin) was 4-0 for Oakleaf, while McGee (120/126, 2 pins & decision), Schevchook (182/195, pin) and Mitchell (220, 2 pins) were each 4-1. Denzell Keeton (106/113, pin), Trevor Owens (132, pin), Gavin Bamber (138, pin) and Dean Dahlem (145, 2 pins) were all 3-2 for the Knights, as every starter that had at least four matches won three of them for Oakleaf.

Suwannee (3-2 in Pool B): Despite just nine wrestlers competing Friday, the Bulldogs took wins over Deltona (36-24), Middleburg (45-18) and Arnold (42-22), with an out-of-area loss to McKeel Academy (50-30). Jolicoeur (126) pinned all five wrestlers in max-pointing through the day, while Howard (152, 3 pins) also was a max-pointer and 5-0. Brody Boehm (106/113, 3 pins & decision), Kirkland (120, 3 pins & decision), Sansouci (132, 4 pins), Tyson Musgrove (138, 4 pins) were each 4-1, while Parsons (145, 3 pins) was 3-2 for Suwannee.

Mainland (3-2 in Pool A): The Buccaneers picked up victories over University Christian (63-12), Union Cty (62-18) and First Baptist Christian (54-30), with losses noted below to Bolles and Palatka. Brady Howe (170, 3 pins) and Dittmer (195, pin) both max-pointed to 5-0 days, while Brian Harris (120), Sean Baughman (126, pin & decision) and Tommy Short (182, 2 pins) each were 4-1 for Mainland. Hayden Heilman (113, 2 pins), Cayden Seay (132/138, pin), Fred Bowen (152/160, pin & tech) and Jordan Colubiale (220, 2 pins) each were 3-2 for Mainland, while Jake Fessendon (285, pin) was 2-1 in a regular but not exclusive starting role for the Buccaneers.

Middleburg (3-2 in Pool B): The Broncos took dual wins over Wiregrass Ranch (31-21), Arnold (34-30) and Deltona (34-30), with an out-of-area loss to Space Coast (57-24). Berg (106/113, 2 pins & major), Riley Girgis (120, 2 pins & major) and Nayfack (160/170, pin & injury-default) were all 3-1 for Middleburg, while Ryan Browning (126, 2 pins & decision), Thornton (145, 2 pins) and Jaden Lane (160/170, 2 pins) each were 3-2 for the Broncos.

Bolles (2-3 in Pool A): Despite just eight wrestlers Friday, the Bulldogs had two dual wins, defeating Bishop Snyder (48-12) and Mainland (48-30), with an out-of-area loss to Brunswick (75-0). Witt (106), Morris (138, pin/tech/major), Riley (145, 3 pins & major) and Pyburn (220, 2 pins) were all 4-1 for Bolles, while Posick (2 pins & decision) was 3-1 and both Ethan Asbury (182, 3 pins) and Neal (285, pin) were 3-2 for the Bulldogs.

Palatka (2-3 in Pool A): The Panthers picked up wins over Union Cty (48-30) and Mainland (42-30), with out-of-area losses to Doral Academy (59-12) and Brunswick (66-2). Dre Nealy (145, 2 pins/major/decision) was 4-1 for Palatka, while Harvey (106, 3 pins), Wallace (126/132, 3 pins), Reid (126/132, 3 pins), Lewis (138, 3 pins), Tilton (220, 2 pins) and Williams (285, pin) all were 3-2 on the day for the Panthers.

Fletcher (2-3 in Pool A): The Senators struggled while working with a younger lineup Friday, but took wins over First Baptist Christian (48-36) and Bolles (42-27), with out-of-area losses to Brunswick (72-6) and Doral Academy (51-12). Stone Rockhill (182, 4 pins) was 4-1 on the day, while Rodriguez (152, 2 pins) was 2-1 in a regular but not exclusive starting role.

First Baptist Christian (2-3 in Pool A): The Crusaders picked up pool wins in Rounds 4 (54-18 over University Christian) and 5 (42-33 over Union Cty). Jordan Mills (138, 3 pins) and Tyson Mills (145, 3 pins) were both 4-1 on the day for FBCA, while Tyler Jimenez (152/160, pin) was 3-1 and Gabe Haren (106), Jackson Mills (152/160, 2 pins) and Rodriguez (195, pin) were each 3-2. Mason Harrison (170) and Trevor Banks (220) were both 2-2 in regular but not exclusive starting appearances.

Union Cty (1-4 in Pool A): The Tigers picked up a 66-18 win in Round 3 over University Christian, their lone win of the day. Jonathan Maldonaldo (113) and Mikah Wilson (285, 2 pins) were both 3-2 for Union, while — in regular but not exclusive starting roles — Nicholas Stitt (182) was 2-1 and Mecusker (152, 2 pins) 2-2 for the Tigers.

Arnold (0-5 in Pool B): The Marlins struggled more in duals than their IBT performance Saturday would have otherwise suggested; in addition to the losses noted above, Arnold had out-of-area losses against Space Coast (64-18) and McKeel Academy (52-18). Kendrick (152/160, 3 pins & major) was 4-1 on the day, while Spencer Korol (126, 3 pins) and Henlee Haynes (182, pin) were both 3-2 for the Marlins.

Deltona (0-5 in Pool B): The Wolves had, in addition to the losses noted above, out-of-area drops against Space Coast (51-23), Wiregrass Ranch (48-24) and McKeel Academy (54-24). Deltona’s bigs led the way, as Hatch (285, pin) max-pointed through a 5-0 day, and Chiu (220, 2 pins & decision) also was 5-0. Kerns (113, 2 pins), Vazquez (120, 3 pins), Carlos Pineda (126, pin & decision) and Jacob Swanson (132, 2 pins & tech) each were 3-2 for the Wolves.

Bishop Snyder (0-5 in Pool A): The Cardinals had a tough weekend, with just one individual contested victory on Friday. In addition to the losses noted above, Bishop Snyder fell to Brunswick GA (84-0) and Doral Academy (60-6), two of the top three teams in Saturday’s IBT round.

University Christian (0-5 in Pool A): Despite five losses to area teams, the Christians — who had just three wrestlers on Friday — all had better than .500 individual records. Paridon (106/113, 4 pins) max-pointed his Friday, while both Gustilo (120, 2 pins) and Avery Miller (126, pin) were 3-2.

Complete dual results from Friday’s action can be found HERE. Thanks to Fleming tournament staff for providing us with large and legible paper copies on Saturday.

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