#RegionDuals: Hot Starts Lift Clay To 3X Finals Visit

Clay wrestlers and coaches are ready for a return trip to Osceola and the 1A-Region 1 finals next week (Photo submitted by Hunter Hill via Facebook).

North Florida Matmen staff report

YULEE — For the previous two years, Clay had slammed the door shut on Yulee’s hopes for a district duals title

It’s 2020, and the Blue Devils slammed the door shut once again on the Hornets, only this time the prize behind the door had been a trip to the 1A state duals tournament next week at Osceola.

Instead, Clay will go back to dual states for the third time after wins over Bishop Kenny (54-15) and the Hornets (45-14) in the Region 1 quarters and semis Thursday night.

Next week will be a familiar foe, as — for the third time — the Blue Devils will face Wakulla in the Region 1 final and a berth in the state semis against either Jensen Beach or Somerset Academy.

Clay made sure of things quickly in its quarterfinal with the Crusaders, winning the first eight matches and building a 42-0 lead, effectively clinching the dual with that opening run.

Cale Hoskinson (152), Isaiah Clifford (170), Jordan Bell (182), Joe Grelli (195), Garrett Tyre (220) and Derrek Mosley (285) all had falls, with Dominic Martin (9-3 at 145) and Bryan Prince (9-8 at 160) both taking decisions during the run.

Bishop Kenny, the District 3 runnerup, got on the board with Allan Bustos’ wild 15-10 decision at 106, but the Blue Devils weren’t done yet, as Luke Davis (120) won by fall and Dalton Huckelberry (2-0 at 113) by decision.

Sebastian Deara (126) and Brock Hinson (132) both would collect falls for the Crusaders, but the dual would end as it began, with a Clay win, as Luke Boree took a 4-2 decision at 138.

Yulee quickly powered through to the semis in its quarter, winning 10 matches in a row to seize a 75-6 victory over Wolfson.

Jesse Johnson (145), Aston Ricks (152), Isaiah Shook (160), Collin Sewell (170), Bradley Durrance (220), Darquill Brown (285) and Jacob Proffit (113) would all win by pin before the Wolfpack’s Andrew Harbin would win by forfeit for his team’s lone points.

Bryce Bees (132) and Dietrich Woods (138) would both win by fall in closing the dual out, while Tristan Martinez took a 2-0 win at 126.

That set up the final between the Blue Devils and Hornets, and Clay attacked the second dual much as it had the first, with eight straight wins. Bell (182), Grelli (195), Tyre (220) and Mosley (285) would take falls, with Hoskinson (152) rolling to a 15-0 tech and Martin (8-5 at 145), Luca Fiannca (2-1 at 160) and Clifford (7-4 at 170) building a 38-0, and dual-clinching, lead.

Lewis Duhan’s fall at 106 stopped the bleeding for the Hornets, but Clay would win three on the bounce between 113 and 126, with a pin from Huckelberry and 9-6 decision from Davis at 126.

Yulee would wrap up the scoring, with Bees winning by fall at 132 and Dylan Johns (138) securing a 5-2 win.

Clay will be off the competitive mats until Osceola, while Yulee hosts a quad meet on Wednesday. Bishop Kenny will also be at that quad, and Wolfson will be in action on Wednesday as well, but at Oakleaf for a tri-meet.

Complete dual results for the competition at Yulee — along with five other region-duals locations — can be found HERE.

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