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#TheRecap: Fleming Island Defends Clay Rotary Title

By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen

GREEN COVE SPRINGS — Three local tournaments. Three dominating wins.

Fleming Island doesn’t spend much of its time in the First Coast area, but when it does, the results are usually not good for Golden Eagle opponents, and such was the case again this weekend at the Clay Rotary.

Friday and Saturday at the Clay gym, the Golden Eagles won the Rotary for the third time in the last four years, with a 71-point margin over runnerup Charlotte.

The Golden Eagles had 13 placers in the tournament — one of them a non-scoring placer — with four titlists in Dalton Williams (138), Gannon Janssen (145), Tanner Hill (152) and Chad Nix (220), the tournament’s upper-weight Outstanding Wrestler.

“Getting better every week. We wrestled good against Lake Highland (in taking second at the Flagler Rotary the previous weekend), and that’s the best of the best,” Fleming Island coach PJ Cobbert said. “So when you come to something like this, the guys are prepared.

“We gotta get ready for Wednesday (when the Golden Eagles return to Clay for Uncivil War). And they’ll be ready. They (Clay) are still tough. Clay’s good enough that we have to respond to them.”

The Blue Devils pushed past Wakulla to take third in the 33-team field, with 175.5 points to the War Eagles’ 172.

“Wrestling against those guys is pretty awesome,” Clay coach Hunter Hill said of their 1A rival. “They make us better. We’re the same kind of team. Same kind of neighborhood. Identical mentality, blue-collar…just tough kids.”

clay

The Blue Devils didn’t have a champion, but Wakulla did in senior John Trevor Hinsey (195. So, too, did fifth-place Buchholz (164 points) in Armando Acosta (182), as the Bobcats topped Hernando (146.5) for that spot. Key West (117), Suwannee (109), Mosley (98) and Raines (90.5, one champion in 285-lb Jamon Goodwine).

Tampa Prep was 11th with 85.5 points, with Bolles 12th (78), Matanzas 13th (74 points, one champion in 126-lb Shaun Culbreth), Bartram Trail 14th (61) and Niceville 15th (59).

Area teams remaining in the field included Creekside (16th, 56.5 points), Palatka & Robert E Lee (T-19th, 43), Arnold (21st, 50), University Christian (22nd, 48), Episcopal (24th, 46), Bishop Kenny (25th, 42.5), Baker Cty (26th, 32). Pedro Menendez (one champion in Connor Spossey at 170), Ponte Vedra and St Augustine tied for 27th with 35, with Bishop Snyder 30th (32), Middleburg 31st (25), First Baptist Christian Academy 32nd (13) and Fernandina Beach 33rd (11.5).

Below follows a summary of the tournament, with all area placers and wrestlers one match short of placing noted:

106
University Christian’s Jayce Paridon (left) looks to escape the grasp of Charlotte’s Patrick Nolan in the 106-pound final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

106 — Charlotte’s Patrick Nolan (6th-2A; 5th at Rotary in 2019) had four pins in 2:52, then took an 11-4 decision over University Christian 7th-grader Jayce Paridon (11th-1A). Paridon got to the final with victories over Creekside’s Andrew Feeks (pin in 1:14, rd of 32), Tampa Prep’s Gavin Nolan (7-2, rd of 16), Arnold’s Porter Beach (pin in 5:24, quarters) and Bartram Trail’s Ethan Vugman (12th-3A; 3-1 in the semis). Bolles’ Jacob Witt (10th-1A) had two wins on the back (pin & 5-2 decision over Vugman) to place third, while Suwannee’s Brody Boehm (3 consi-side wins to make podium) pinned Beach in 4:17 for fifth. Wakulla’s Wyatt Welch was one match short of placing after taking three bonus-point victories in the consi rounds.

113
Fleming’s Hunter Herrington (top) makes a late rally for points against Charlotte’s Andrew Austin in the 113-lb final at the Clay Rotary on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

113 — Charlotte’s Andrew Austin (2nd-2A) had four bonus-point wins (three pins and a 12-1 major), but had to hold off a late rush from Fleming Island’s Hunter Herrington (6th-3A) in taking a 7-6 decision for his second Rotary title. Herrington (3rd in 2019) got to the final with pins over Matanzas’ Henson White (:40, rd of 32) and Middleburg’s Jeff Parker (1:09, rd of 16), a 15-4 major over Wakulla’s George Hernandez (4th-1A) and an 8-2 decision over Raines’ DaQuan King (3rd-1A) in the semis. King had two consi-side decisions for third, edging University Christian’s Egan Gustilo (5th-1A), 3-2, while Buchholz’s Venumadhava Mirel (18th-3A) had three max-point consi-side wins in taking fifth, winning by forfeit in the place match over Hernandez. Niceville’s Ethan Pinto (14th-2A) and Clay’s Dalton Huckelberry (14th-1A) were each one match short of placing.

120
Clay’s Luke Davis attempts to break the ride of Tampa Prep’s Ethan Mojena in the 120-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

120 — Tampa Prep freshman Ethan Mojena (1st-1A at 126; runnerup in 2019) took his first Rotary title, bonus-pointing through the draw (2 pins/2 techs) and a 16-3 major in the final over Clay’s Luke Davis (6th-1A; 4th in 2018). Davis had four bonus-poin wins, with pins over Bishop Moore’s Mason Medina (:40) and Pedro Menendez’s Joseph Lepera (:51), an 11-2 major over Wakulla’s Raymond Hatchman (7th-1A), and fall in 2:28 in the semis over Fleming Island’s Ryan Hobson. Buchholz’s Aiden Moore (16th-3A) won four times on the back for third, pinning Clearwater Central Catholic’s Aiden Prunoske (14th-1A; 3:40) in the place match, while Hobson decisioned Hernando’s Jonathan Britton (8th-1A), 7-1, for fifth. Creekside’s Hunter England and Wakulla’s Raymond Hatchman (7th-1A) were each one match short of placing.

126
Matanzas’ Shaun Culbreth (riding) looks to open up Fleming Island’s Riley Holton for a potential turn during the 126-lb final of the Clay Rotary (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

126 — Culbreth (runnerup in 2019 and 4x placer; 4th-2A) pinned his way into the final, with falls over Ponte Vedra’s Stephen Kowitski (4:52, rd of 32), Creekside’s Michael Galiani (3:18, rd of 16), Bartram Trail’s Trevor Tagarelli (1:35, quarters) and Palatine’s Drevon Wallace (13th-1A; 5:54) in the semis, before finding one takedown, which made the difference in a 3-2 win over Fleming Island’s Riley Holton (6th-3A) for his first title. Holton had victories over Clearwater CC’s Derek Murack (1:26, rd of 16), Charlotte’s Isaac Church (6th-2A; 4-1, quarters) and Hernando’s Billy Gould (15th-1A; 14-0) in the semis. Suwannee’s Timothy Jolicoeur (12th-1A) won three times on the back, with the last of those a 7-1 win over Wallace in the fifth-place match. Bishop Kenny’s Sebastian Deara (20th-1A) and Clay’s Abdiert Escobar (8th-1A) were each one match short of placing.

132
Wakulla’s Matthew Owen (underneath) has a shot countered by Charlotte’s Donovan Cataldi during the 132-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

132 — Charlotte’s Donovan Cataldi (4th-2A; runnerup in 2019) won his first Rotary title, with bonus points in every round but the semis, with 3 pins and a tech fall, including a second-period fall over Wakulla’s Matthew Owen (3rd-1A). Owen had pins over Palatka’s Brandon Lewis (1 minute, rd of 32), Key West’s Herlandy Leon (1 minute, rd of 16) and Bishop Kenny’s Brock Hinson (:53, quarters) and a 9-6 semifinal win over Fleming’s Isaac Padgett. Tampa Prep’s Collin Mojena (3rd-1A at 138) had two max-point wins on the back for third, winning by injury default over Padgett, while Mosley’s Nick Hejke (8th-2A) had three bonus-point wins in the back to take fifth, with a fall in 4:28 in the place match over Suwannee’s Jaxon Sansouci (18th-1A). Buchholz’s Kason Nichols was one match short of placing.

138
Fleming Island’s Dalton Williams (underneath) works another tilt for back points in the 138-lb final against Mosley’s Jaylan Griffin at the Clay Rotary on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

138 — Williams (3rd in 2019; 9th-3A) bonus-pointed through the draw, with pins over Pedro Menendez’s Tyler Binkiewicz (1:57, rd of 32), Westside’s Kristopher Fleming (:16, rd of 16) and Bartram Trail’s Matthew Tayloe (1:33, quarters), with a 16-7 major in the semis over Hernando’s Jason Perez (15th-1A), before teching Mosley’s Jaylan Griffin, 15-0 in 3:11, in the championship match. Griffin reached the final with pins over Palatka’s Lutrell Bellamy (5:22) and Buchholz’s Cole Nixon (4:54) and decisions over Charlotte’s James Baltutis (3-0) and Bolles’ Tyson Riley, 5-4, in the semis. Riley was fourth after a pin and a wild 15-14 loss to Perez in the third-place match, while Clay’s Luke Boree (11th-1A) held off Bishop Kenny’s Roberto Cuartero, 5-1, for fifth, his third consi-side decision. Tayloe was one match short of placing.

145
Fleming Island’s Gannon Janssen looks to wing over Wakulla’s Noah Wilson during the 145-lb final of the Clay Rotary on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

145 — Janssen (3rd-3A) had four pins and a tech fall for his first title after finishing in the runnerup spot each of the past two years. Janssen had pins over Pedro Menendez’s Nathan Luckadoo (1:34, rd of 32), Robert E Lee’s Jeramiah Stevens (1:51, quarters) and Charlotte’s Matthew Andou (9th-2A; 3:38, semis), plus a tech fall in the rd of 16 over Tampa Prep’s LaPlace Salis (16-0 in 1:30), then avenged his 2019 finals loss to Wakulla’s Noah Wilson (3rd-1A) with a fall in 3:40. Wilson pinned Middleburg’s Aden Thornton (:44, rd of 32) and Key West’s Jonathon Fernandez (1:07, rd of 16), with a 10-0 major over Suwannee’s Caleb Parsons in the quarters and 5-0 win over Clay’s Dominic Martin (18th-1A) in the semis. Martin was fourth, with an 8-3 loss to Andou in the third-place match, while Mosley’s Logan Gall (11th-2A) had three bonus-point wins in taking fifth, with a 15-5 major over Niceville’s Keane Creager (12th-2A) . St Augustine’s Gabe Galloza and Buchholz’s Timothy Bowen were each one match short of placing.

152
Fleming Island’s Tanner Hill looks for what would be the match’s only takedown against Clay’s Cale Hoskinson in the 152-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

152 — Hill (5th-3A) took victories over Key West’s Devin Battle (12-4, rd of 16), Charlotte’s Garrett Luce (1:19, quarters) and had a 13-6 semifinal win over Hernando’s Billy Fetzner (9th-1A) before powering past Clay’s Cale Hoskinson (4th-1A), 3-1, in taking his second Rotary title. Hoskinson had pins over Mosley’s Dalton Kovacs (1:01, rd of 32), Buchholz’s Liam Buchanan (1:21, quarters) and Bishop Moore’s Gavin Wheeler (7th-1A; 5:57, semis), plus a 19-3 tech fall over Episcopal’s Reid Hampton (15th-1A) in the rd of 16. Arnold’s Nick Kendrick (12th-1A) won three times in the consis to get to the third-place match, losing by fall there (1:41) to Wheeler, while Hampton took a 6-2 loss in the fifth-place match to Fetzner. Buchanan was one match short of placing.

160
Fleming Island’s Luke Chop (left) locks up in a battle of wills and wrists with Charlotte’s Cody Rice in the 160-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

160 — Charlotte’s Cody Rice (4th-2A) had three poins and a semifinal tech fall (17-2 over Fleming Island’s Jhoel Robinson), then made one takedown hold up in a 3-2 decision in the finals over Fleming’s Luke Chop (2nd-3A) for his first title. Chop got to the finals behind pins over Episcopal’s Brennan Doherty (2:38, rd of 32), Baker Cty’s Clayton Dennison (3:27, rd of 16) and Suwannee’s Jim King (:42, quarters) before downing former district rival Ahmahd Denmark of Robert E Lee (11th-2A), 3-1, in the semis. Robinson (19th-3A) won twice on the back to take third, with a 5-3 decision over Denmark, while Wakulla’s Cole Baggett (6th-1A) won three times in the consis for fifth, pinning Mosley’s Kaydon Lester in 1:39 in the place match. Middleburg’s Alex Nayfack was one match short of placing.

170
Pedro Menendez’s Connor Spossey (underneath) looks for back points against Raines’ Raynarde Thomas in the 170-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

170 — Spossey (6th-1A) had three bonus-point wins on Friday (11-3 over Charlotte’s Sean Taft, pin in 1:26 over Episcopal’s John Fernandez, and 14-2 major over Mosley’s Noe Pena) to get to the semis, where he turned back Wakulla’s Jayvon Brown (7th-1A), and then found a way to a 6-4 decision in the championship match over Raines’ Raynarde Thomas (8th-1A) for his first title. Thomas had pins over Mosley’s Peyton LaFountain (1:41, rd of 32) and Bishop Moore’s Jonathan Hooper (1:01, rd of 16), with decisions over Westside’s Angelo Philpot (3rd-2A; 3-2, quarters) and an 8-6 sudden-victory win over Fleming’s Gavin Smith (7th-3A) in the semi. Philpot took third behind a forfeit in the consi semis and injury-default over Smith in the third-place match, while Buchholz’s Matthew Vann (14th-3A) won by forfeit over Brown for fifth after two earlier consi-side wins. Robert E Lee’s Vincente Waugh and Ponte Vedra’s Rett Maritato (19th-2A) were each one match short of placing.

182
Buchholz’s Armando Acosta puts Creekside’s Jalen Hines to back during the 182-lb final of the Clay Rotary on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

182 — Acosta (5th-3A; 4x placer; 5th in 2017) bonus-pointed through the tournament for his third Rotary win, with falls over Bishop Snyder’s Carson Bowers (2:29, rd of 32), Key West’s Craig Silimon (10th-1A; 1:04, rd of 16) and Clay’s Jordan Bell (13th-1A; 2:42, quarters); after a 14-1 major in the semis over Wakulla’s Jackson Osteen (8th-1A), Acosta picked up his fourth pin in the final over Creekside’s Jalen Hines (10th-3A). Hines pinned Pedro Menendez’s Logan Parham (3:50, rd of 32), then had three successive tech falls over Bartram’s Damien Ortega (22-6 in 2:00), Baker Cty’s Conner South (24-9 in 3:16) and Fleming’s Nick Janssen (13th-3A; 22-6 in 5:04) in the semis. Suwannee’s Blaine Howard (16th-1A) had three max-point wins to get to the third-place match, where he lost by fall to Silimon; Janssen was fifth with a forfeit over Osteen. Bolles’ Ethan Asbury (19th-1A) was one match short of placing.

195
Fleming Island’s Jeffrey Lascano (front) attempts to roll through the ride of Wakulla’s John Trevor Hinsey during the 195-lb final of the Clay Rotary Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

195 — Hinsey (3rd-1A; 3rd in 2019) won his first Rotary title with a pin over Niceville’s Sean Ripley (7th-2A; 1:08, rd of 16) and 9-4 decision over Clearwater CC’s Tyler Barnett (6th-1A) on Friday, then falled Hernando’s Christopher Spellman (11th-1A; 1:15) in the semis before holding down Fleming Island’s Jeffrey Lascano (5th-3A), 2-0, for the championship. In winning the title, Hinsey won every regular-season title the War Eagles entered this season. Lascano had pins over Bishop Moore’s Jacob Suggs (1:37) and Arnold’s Tyler Lewis (3:11), plus decisions over Raines’ Jamari Watson (18th-1A), 5-3, in the quarters and over Key West’s Ricardo Camay (20th-1A), 2-0, in the semi. Clay’s Joe Grelli (13th-1A) won four times on the back for third, with a 2-1 double-overtime win over Camay. Buchholz’s Jason Martin (11th-3A) and Watson both were one match short of placing.

220
Fleming Island’s Chad Nix (top) looks for back points in the 220-lb final against Hernando’s Qwenton Coney Saturday at the Clay Rotary (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

220 — Nix (1st-3A) won his second Rotary title, with four bonus-point wins over Baker Cty’s Garrett Cain (:54, rd of 32), Fernandina Beach’s Jared Hutchinson (:15, rd of 16), Mosley’s Logan Strickland (1:06, quarters), plus a 10-0 major in the semis over Bolles’ Jack Pyburn (17th-1A) before taking an 8-1 decision in the championship match over Hernando’s Qwenton Coney (4th-1A). Buchholz’s Nevan Burney (15th-3A) won twice on the back for third, with a 4-1 decision in the third-place match over Pyburn, while Clay’s Garrett Tyre (6th-1A) won three matches in the consi rounds, including a 3-1 decision over Charlotte’s Biaggio Frattarelli (9th-2A) in the fifth-place match. Bishop Snyder’s Angel Lecointe won three times on the back, but was one match short of placing.

285
Raines’ Jamon Goodwine (top) looks to turn nearfall into pin against Westside’s Ray Bolden in the 285-lb final at the Clay Rotary on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

285 — Goodwine (2nd-1A) earned his third place finish (sixth in 2018, third last year) and first title, with pins over Ponte Vedra’s Aiden Boss (1:46, rd of 32), Creekside’s Vincent Approbato (1:49, rd of 16) and Hernando’s Sam Fleming (4th-1A; 2:54, quarters), then pitched a pair of shutouts over region rival Derrek Mosley of Clay (7th-1A; 5-0) in the semis and Gateway Conference rival Ray Bolden (4th-2A) of Westside by an identical 5-0 score. Bolden had four pins to reach the final, with falls over St Augustine’s Jaquan Johnson (2:35, rd of 32), Bartram Trail’s Ryan Piersza (2:58, rd of 16), Charlotte’s Nathaniel Box (1:59, quarters) and Key West’s Patrick Barnett (10th-1A; 3:25) in the semis. Matanzas’ Robert Elder won three times in the consi rounds to get to the third-place match, where he fell to Barnett, 10-6. Mosley was fifth, with a 7-2 win over Fleming in the place match. Buchholz’s Jacob Robinson (10th-3A) was one match short of placing.

Complete brackets for the tournament can be found HERE.

flemingwins
Fleming Island wrestlers successfully defended their title on Saturday at the Clay Rotary (Photo submitted by Ricki Nix).

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