By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
JACKSONVILLE — What a difference hunkering down and waiting out 48 hours makes.
Not even that full two days after being beaten out of sight Wednesday night at Fletcher, where coach Bradley Lucas wrestled and with his high school coach in attendance, Lucas’ Nease Panthers did enough to win the Englewood Rams Classic Friday night.
The St Johns Panthers were 4-1 in the one-day duals tournament, with wins over Englewood (43-32), West Nassau (57-9) and Oakleaf (36-30); after a Round 4 loss to Orange Park, 54-30, Nease clinched the title with a 33-21 final-round victory over Ridgeview.
“That was with no practice, either,” Lucas said of the effort, noting that Nease — like all other teams in the field — did not practice Thursday due to the threat of severe winds and rain in the area. “We cancelled practice yesterday. Maybe it was the pep talk. But we came together more as a team. We told the kids, this is a business trip. We came all this way up here; now that we’re here, we need to take care of business.”
All Nease had to do to win the title was hold serve against Ridgeview in the final round; with the other 3-1 teams facing each other in Round 5, the loser would be eliminated, and the winner would have lost to the Panthers. Wins by Jalon Lumar (138) and Chad Severt (152) cinched that up in the final two contested weights.
Lumar (2 decisions at 138) was one of two 5-0 wrestlers for Nease; the other was a 5-0 “max-pointer” (scored 6 dual team points in every dual contested), as Trevion Demus (113) had four pins.
Brielle Bibla (106, 3 pins), Severt (152, 2 pins & decision), Anthony Tanza (160, 2 pins & decision), Colin White (170, decision) and Mario Powers (182, major & 2 decisions) were each 4-1 for the Panthers, who lost three starters either after Round 2 or Round 3, yet hung on for the team win. Jhon Olivar (120, decision) added a 3-2 weekend for Nease.
Below follows a summary of the rest of the five teams competing in the tournament:
Oakleaf (4-1): The Knights opened with wins over Orange Park (42-29) and Ridgeview (42-36); after falling to Nease, Oakleaf took down West Nassau, 63-12, and Englewood, 46-30. “We had no David Parkes at 152, there’s a lot of noise around our 12th-ranked kid at 220 and he wasn’t here. We wrestled up all night, bumping kids to try to cover holes,” Oakleaf coach Marcus Miller said. “We’re getting better, but our district is no joke. We’ve got one dual next week for our senior night and otherwise we’ve got eight practices in the room to clean a few things up.”
Marcus McGee (120, 2 pins & decision) and Isiah Schevchook (195, pin & decision) were each 5-0 on the night for the Knights, while Logan Gilbert (138/145, pin & major) was 4-1, Kevin Gilley (126, 2 pins) 3-1 and Trevor Owens (132/138, pin), Dean Dahlem (152, pin & decision) and Sebastian Lopez (170) each were 3-2 for Oakleaf.
Englewood (3-2): The host Rams were energized by having head coach Joe Stetzer, who’s battling leukemia, present for the tournament (Stetzer had had to take a leave of absence to give himself time to battle the leukemia), and the wrestlers and coaches were wearing T-shirts labeled #STETZERstrong, #ENGLEWOODstrong, with orange ribbons. Englewood defeated Orange Park (40-33) in Round 2, West Nassau (54-18) in Round 3 and Ridgeview (43-42, criteria F) in Round 4.
Lynden North (132) was a 5-0 max-pointer, with three pins. Sam Howard (160, 2 pins) was 3-0 in a part-time capacity, while Jordan Mitchell (170, 3 pins) and Isiah Musca (285, 2 pins) were both 4-1. Calvin Williams (106, 2 pins), Justin Mendez (195) and Melvin Wiggins (220, pin) were all 3-2 for the Rams.
Orange Park (3-2): The Raiders finished with a 3-0 close after two early losses, defeating Ridgeview (56-18) in Round 3, Nease (54-30) in Round 4 and West Nassau (66-6) in Round 5, with more than a few individual highlights. Cameron Broughton (145/152, 2 pins & medical forfeit, won his 150th career victory Friday night) and James McArthur (220, 2 pins) were 5-0 max-pointers, while Durrionte Myrick (126/132, 2 pins & decision) and Jacob Moore (182/195, 2 pins & major; won his 100th career victory) were both 5-0. Wesley Carlisle (113, 2 pins & decision), Davon Bailey (120, pin & major; 100th career victory) and Trevion Sermons (152/160, 3 pins & major) were all 4-1, while Reese Sheehan (285, pin) was 3-0 in a part-time starting appearance.
Ridgeview (1-4): With just nine starters, the Clay County Panthers were at a disadvantage, taking their lone victory in Round 1 over West Nassau (33-24). Blake Pu (106, 3 pins, major & decision) and Matthew Rodriquez (126, 2 pins & tech) were both 5-0, while Gabe Guzman (145, pin & decision) was 4-1 and Kaiden Tibbetts (113, pin & decision), Ian Finnorn (138, 2 pins) and Spencer Robertson (182, 2 pins) were each 3-2.
West Nassau (0-5): Even before the Warriors lost half their lineup to illness after Round 1, West Nassau was going to have a tough time even with six kids in the lineup; as it turned out, the Warriors wrestled four duals with just three in the lineup. Still, Requan Works (160/170, 3 pins & decision) was 5-0 and Jackson Rowell (220/285, 4 pins) was 4-1.
Complete results for the tournament can be found HERE.
JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.
It’s SECTION WEEKEND in Georgia, and first-day results are complete! Check out our rundown of state qualifiers (not to mention a gazillion tweets at @SouthGAMatmen) on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com
Please support our independent journalism!