North Florida Matmen staff report
PUNTA GORDA — When it’s Clay, every weekend — in a sense — has a post-season feel.
But a week removed from the FHSAA 1A-Region 1 finals, Clay was back in dual-tournament mode for the final time this season, with a solid third-place finish at the Gene Gorman Showcase two-day duals tournament, hosted by Charlotte — like Clay, a region finalist (in 2A-Region 3).
The Blue Devils (28-5 in duals this season, ranked 8th statewide in 1A) were 6-2 on the weekend, with wins over North Port (40-24), Golden Gate (39-28), Lakewood Ranch (48-18), fellow 1A region finalist Jensen Beach (6th-1A, 39-24), Barron Collier (6th-2A, 42-23) and Pinellas Park (69-6). Only 2A dual state champions Jesuit (1st-2A, 60-9) and host Charlotte (4th-2A, 39-21) handed Clay losses.
Individually, no Blue Devil wrestler escaped the weekend unscathed, though the level of competition had something to do with that, particularly for the three Clay kids that were 7-1 on the weekend.
Abdiert Escobar (11th at 126, 2 pins/major/3 decisions), Cale Hoskinson (5th at 152, 4 pins/major/2 decisions) and Derrek Mosley (11th at 285, 5 pins) all were 7-1 for the Blue Devils. Escobar, who picked up his 100th career win over the weekend, had his lone loss to top-ranked (2A) and defending state champion Tom Crook of Jesuit, while Hoskinson lost only to multiple-time state champion and top-ranked (2A) Lucas Willis of Charlotte and Mosley’s lone loss came at the hands of Jesuit’s Mason Arnold (1st-2A).
Joe Grelli (13th at 195, pin/major/2 decisions) was 6-2 for Clay, while Dalton Huckelberry (11th at 113, 2 pins & 2 decisions) and Jordan Bell (13th at 182, 2 pins & decision) were 5-3 each. Luke Davis (7th at 120, 2 pins & tech) was 4-3 after an 0-2 start, while Luke Boree (12th at 138, pin/major/decision), Isaiah Clifford (19th at 170, pin & 3 decisions) and Garrett Tyre (6th at 220, 3 pins & decision) were all 4-4 (Clifford rallied from an 0-4 start).
Below follow quick summaries of each dual (unfortunately start weights were not recorded in Trackwrestling, so recaps as the duals occurred are not possible) —
North Port: The Blue Devils won each match between 182 and 285, with pins in the round from Huckelberry, Hoskinson, Grelli, Tyre and Mosley. Josh Kumpf (20th at 132) added a major and Escobar and Bell each took decisions.
Jesuit: The 2A state and eventual tournament champions were merciless, allowing just two victories to Clay: a pin by Tyre and an 8-3 decision by Hoskinson.
Golden Gate: Clay had an 18-point run between 113 and 126 thanks in part to two Golden Gate forfeits and a Huckelberry pin. Boree, Hoskinson and Mosley had additional pins, while Grelli added a double-overtime decision.
Lakewood Ranch: The Blue Devils won every match between 106 and 152, taking only two forfeits up top the rest of the way. Kumpf had Clay’s only pin, while Escobar and Hoskinson won with majors and Huckelberry and Dominic Martin (15th at 145) each had decisions.
Jensen Beach: Where Clay struggled more up top in the previous round, the bigs came through big, as Clay won every match between 170 and 285. Davis had the Blue Devils’ lone pin, while Esocbar, Boree, Hoskinson, Clifford and Tyre all added decisions.
Barron Collier: The Blue Devils had back-to-back wins over state-ranked opponents with this dual victory, as Clay won four of five between 170 and 285. Davis, Escobar, Hoskinson, Bell and Mosley all had pins, while Clifford and Grelli each took decisions.
Charlotte: Other than an Escobar pin, all of Clay’s points came between 170 and 285, with Mosley winning by fall and Clifford taking a decision.
Pinellas Park: The Blue Devils routed the tournament’s last=place team in their final round (Clay’s bye was the final round of competition, allowing the longest-traveling Clay folks an early chance to start home). Escobar, Kumpf, Hoskinson, Clifford, Bell, Tyre and Mosley all won by fall, while Davis had a 16-0 tech and Grelli added a major. Huckelberry and Luca Fiannca (160) each added decisions.
Complete duals for ALL TEAMS in the tournament can be found HERE.
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