By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
ORANGE PARK — For the past two seasons, in a 10-team district, Fleming Island has dominated the 3A-District 1 team dual tournament.
Year 3, contracted to eight teams, was no different.
The Golden Eagles gave up four forfeits and lost no contested matches in taking their third dual team district title, rolling past Creekside (65-12) and Oakleaf (69-12) for the championship.
“Dominate the field that you’re in,” Fleming Island coach PJ Cobbert said. “Be the best. That’s what they have to learn to do. We were able to send some young kids in there and do some good stuff. When you have some of the B kids in there and nothing falls off, that’s what you want as a program.”
For the second time, Fleming Island will host the 3A-Region 1 quarters and semis on January 16. The Golden Eagles will face Buchholz in a quarterfinal round at 6 p.m.
Five Golden Eagle wrestlers had a pair of pins in their two matches, as nine starters were 2-0 (six of them max-pointing). Chad Nix (220)’s first of two pins was good for his 200th career victory Wednesday night. Nix was joined by Riley Holton (126), Isaac Padgett (132), Dalton Baysinger (145) and Gannon Janssen (152) on the 2-0, two-pin list.
Jeffrey Lascano (195, pin) was a max-pointer at 2-0, while Hunter Herrington (113, tech & pin), Ryan Hobson (120, decision & pin) and Raul Gonzalez (285, pin & decision) all were 2-0. Luke Chop (160), Gavin Smith (170), Hunter Williams (170), Josh Sandoval (182) and Nick Janssen (182) each had pins in their single appearance, while Jhoel Robinson (160) won by decision.
Meanwhile, Oakleaf had to wait for its fate while the consis played out. The Knights had beaten Atlantic Coast (72-12) and Bartram Trail (37-34) to get to the championship dual. When Bartram made its way out of the consis to place third, Oakleaf’s place at Region 1 was secure.
“In the big scheme, I don’t know if it matters that much, but it gives the kids confidence that we can compete at this level. That’s definitely a plus,” Oakleaf coach Marcus Miller said. “It’s a testament to kids that come in and work and listen. Just keep working and keep listening; that’s been the key (to the team’s success).”
Eight Oakleaf wrestlers — Denzell Keeton (106), Marcus McGee (120, pin & major), Trevor Owens (132, pin & decision), Roman Polinsky (138, pin), David Parkes (152, 2 pins), James McClintic (160, pin), Jason Mitchell (220, 2 pins) and Josh Murrell (285, pin) — were 2-1 on the night for the Knights.
The Clay County Knights will face Flagler Palm Coast in a Region 1 quarterfinal at Fleming Island on the 16th.
Bartram opened its tournament with a 62-12 win over Nease; after the loss to Oakleaf, the Bears beat Sandalwood (72-9) and Creekside (47-33) to place third.
Ethan Vugman (106, 3 pins) and Ralph Hamilton (170/182, 3 pins) both were max-pointers for Bartram Trail; Clarke Hamilton (195/220, pin & 2 decisions) also was 4-0 and Matthew Tayloe 9145, 2 pins & decisions) 3-0. Trevor Tagarelli (126, 3 pins), Preston Pena (132/138, tech & major), Stephen Farris (145/152, 3 pins), Dominick Grubb (170/182, 2 pins) and Ryan Piersza (285, 2 pins) were all 3-1, while Michael Moore (113/120, pin) won twice for the Bears.
Creekside reached the semis with a 66-6 win over Sandalwood; after falling to Fleming in the semis, the Knights beat Nease, 51-26, in the consi semis.
Hunter England (120, 2 pins), Nolan Anderson (132, pin & decision), Jalen Hines (170, 3 pins) and Josh Benavides (182) all were 3-1 for the St Johns Knights. Andrew Feeks (106), Michael Galiani (126, pin & decision), Lee Leavell (138, pin), Nathan Manning (145, 2 pins), Hunter Brown (160, 2 pins) and Vincent Approbato (285, pin) all won twice for Creekside.
Nease was 1-2 on the night, rolling past Atlantic Coast, 71-6, in the consis for the St Johns Panthers’ lone dual win. Donald Haraway (220) pinned all three of his opponents, while Trevion Demus (113, pin/injury-default/decision) and Jalon Lumar (138, tech & 2 decisions) also were 3-0 on the night. Brielle Bibla (106, pin) and Kobe Ross (195, pin) each were 2-1 for Nease.
Both Atlantic Coast and Sandalwood took two dual losses. The Saints’ Josh Brown (160) had pins over both opponents, while Sandalwood’s Juvens Augustin (126) and ACHS’ Eric Harper (113), Nick Shay (126) and John Johnson (195) each had a contested win.
Complete results from all rounds of the tournament can be found HERE.
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