#RoadToTheShow: 3A-1 Is Fleming Island Country (x5)

Fleming Island wrestlers and coaches celebrate a fifth straight 3A-District 1 tournament championship won Saturday at Nease (Photo submitted to Fleming Island team Facebook page).

North Florida Matmen staff report

PONTE VEDRA BEACH — First goal attained. Two more still to go.

Saturday at Nease, Fleming Island secured its fifth consecutive 3A-District 1 traditional title (eight straight including duals), marking a second consecutive senior group of Golden Eagles that were 4-for-4 in winning district traditional titles.

Fleming nearly doubled up the point total of its closest competitor, with 276 points as a team, tops among nine completed area districts in all classifications thus far.

The Golden Eagles qualified out their entire team, all 13 strong, for next week’s 3A-Region 1 tournament at home, with 11 of those 13 winning titles Saturday. The other two both made their respective finals.

Hunter Herrington (113), Ryan Hobson (120), Riley Holton (126), Isaac Padgett (132), Dalton Williams (138), Gannon Janssen (145), Tanner Hill (152), Luke Chop (160), Gavin Smith (170), Jeffrey Lascano (195) and Chad Nix (220) all were champions Saturday for Fleming Island.

Oakleaf was second in the tournament, with 140.5 points. The Clay County Knights qualified 10 wrestlers to next week’s tournament at Fleming.

Heavyweight Josh Murrell led Oakleaf’s contingent with a title; the Knights also had five runners-up, one third and three fourths on the day.

Creekside held off county rival Bartram Trail, 126.5-103.5, for third place. The St Johns County Knights also will take 10 wrestlers to regions.

Jalen Hines led Creekside with his title at 182; the Knights had two runners-up finishes, five thirds and two fourths.

Champions at the 3A-District 1 tournament Saturday at Nease. Front row, from left, are Bartram Trail’s Ethan Vugman (106) and Fleming Island’s Hunter Herrington (113), Ryan Hobson (120), Riley Holton (126), Isaac Padgett (132), Dalton Williams (138) and Gannon Janssen (145). Back row, from left, are Fleming Island’s Tanner Hill (152), Luke Chop (160) and Gavin Smith (170); Creekside’s Jalen Hines (182); Fleming Island’s Jeffrey Lascano (195) and Chad Nix (220); and Oakleaf’s Josh Murrell (285). (Photo submitted by Bradley Lucas).

Bartram snagged the last non-Fleming title (actually won first) thanks to Ethan Vugman at 106. The Bears advanced eight to regions, with one runnerup, three thirds and three fourths.

Nease outpointed Sandalwood and Mandarin for fifth, with 76 points to the Saints’ 47 and Mustangs’ 38. The St Johns Panthers qualified six wrestlers (two runners-up, three thirds and one fourth) out.

Sandalwood qualified four wrestlers (two runners-up and two fourths), while Mandarin got five (two thirds and three fourths) through. Atlantic Coast was eighth, with three points.

Below follows a summary of the tournament:

106 — Vugman (13th statewide) won his first district title with a pair of pins, falling Oakleaf’s Denzell Keeton (:51) in the semis and then Nease’s Brielle Bibla (5:43) in the championship. Bibla, who was fifth at girls’ state last week at 100, reached the final with a semifinal pin over Creekside’s Andrew Feeks (3:00). Feeks rallied for third by pinning Keeton in 1:36.

113 — Herrington (6th statewide) bonus-pointed through the tournament for his second district title, with a 16-6 major over Bartram Trail’s Michael Moore in the semis and first-period injury-default win over the hosts’ Trevion Demus, Demus’ first loss of the year. Demus reached the final with a fall over Oakleaf’s Andrew Brandt (1:18) and then a major of his own over Mandarin’s Devin Foster (17-5). Moore came back for third with two bonus-point wins, teching Brandt (15-0 in 3:20) and pinning Foster in 42 seconds for third.

120 — Hobson (16th statewide) pinned his way through the bracket for his second district title, with falls over Mandarin’s Ethan Harvey (1:07, quarters), Nease’s Parker Stamschror (3:25, semis) and then Creekside’s Hunter England (5:16) in the championship match. After a bye, England reached the final with a 53-second pin over Oakleaf’s Marcus McGee. McGee had two bonus-point wins in the consis to take third, pinning Atlantic Coast’s Eric Harper (2:34) in the semis and then majoring Sandalwood’s Hunter Milner, 13-3, in the medal match. Milner punched his Fleming ticket with an 8-5 consi-semi win over Stamschror.

126 — Holton (6th statewide) pinned or teched through each round for his second district title, without giving up a point; after a bye, Holton falled Oakleaf’s Logan Gilley (1:21) in the semis, then teched Creekside’s Michael Galiani, 17-0 in 5:26, in the title match. Galiani overcame Bartram’s Trevor Tagarelli (19th statewide), 14-7, in the semis to get to Holton. Tagarelli bounced back for third with falls over Atlantic Coast’s Nick Shay (:50) and Gilley (1:42) in the place match. Gilley secured his region space with a 9-5 consi-semi decision over Sandalwood’s Juvens Augustin.

132 — Padgett bonus-pointed through his draw for his first district title, with a third-period fall over Sandalwood’s Ben Peterson (4:45), a second-period tech over Bartram’s Preston Pena (18-2 in 4 minutes) and a 14-2 major in the final over Oakleaf’s Trevor Owens. After a bye, Owens reached the final with a fall over Creekside’s Nolan Anderson (3:51). Anderson had two wins on back, majoring Peterson, 12-2, and then pinning Pena in 3:56 in the bronze-medal match. Pena punched his Fleming ticket with a 44-second fall over Atlantic Coast’s Erik Llolli in the consi semis.

138 — Williams (9th statewide) also bonus-pointed through the day for his third district title, with techs over Creekside’s Lee Leavell (16-0 in 4:14) and Oakleaf’s Logan Gilbert (16-1 in 4:10) before majoring Sandalwood’s Lavaughn Brown, 13-5, in the final. Brown falled Bartram Trail’s Matthew Tayloe (4:47) and then held down Nease’s Jalon Lumar, 2-0, in the semi. Lumar came back for third with a 10-0 consi-semi major over Leavell; he then found a takedown in sudden victory for a 4-2 win over Gilbert. Gilbert secured his region space with a 7-0 win over Tayloe in the consi semis.

145 — Gannon Janssen (3rd statewide) bagged 3 falls in 97 seconds for his third district title, pinning Atlantic Coast’s Parsa Mokhlesabadi (:16), Sandalwood’s Jermell McCall (:43) and then Bartram Trail’s Stephen Farris (:38 in the final. Farris had two pins of his own, with falls over Creekside’s Nathan Manning (2:27) and Nease’s Drew Ryan (1:57) to get to Janssen. Ryan came back to place third behind a consi-semi pin over Mandarin’s Xaine Evans (2:09) and a 6-4 win in the third-place match over McCall, who punched his Fleming ticket with a fall over Manning (4:24).

152 — Hill (5th statewide) max-pointed through the tournament for his third district title, with a semifinal pin (:44) over Creekside’s Zach Johnson and a second-period injury-default win over Oakleaf’s David Parkes (12th statewide). Parkes added a pair of first-period falls over Sandalwood’s Michael Torres (1:10) and over Nease’s Chad Severt (1:05) to reach the final. Bartram Trail’s Ayden Nguyen, who lost by a 10-0 count in a pigtail match to Johnson, would get that win back, with a consi-semi fall over Severt (2:45) and an 8-0 win over Johnson for third. Johnson shut out Torres, 4-0, in the consi semis to secure his region space.

160 — Chop (2nd statewide) took his second district title behind a 6-1 quarterfinal win over Nease’s Anthony Tanza and pins over Bartram’s John McNames (2:55, semis) and Sandalwood’s Joshua Brown (1:50) in the championship match. Joshua Brown got to the final behind an 8-4 semifinal win over Creekside’s Hunter Brown. Hunter Brown wrestled back for third behind bonus-point wins over Tanza (pin in 4:55 in the consi semis) and an 18-6 major over McNames for third place. McNames punched his Fleming ticket with a 14-8 win over Oakleaf’s James McClintic in the consi semis.

170 — Smith (7th statewide) had a pair of first-period falls over Nease’s Colin White (:41) in the semis and then in the championship match over Oakleaf’s Onjel Caraballo (1:37) for his second district title. Caraballo reached the final behind a late fall in the third period over Creekside’s Josh Benavides (5:54). White then took third place with an 8-4 decision over Benavides.

182 — Hines (9th statewide) had a pair of bonus-point wins for his first district title, with a 24-12 major over Nease’s Mario Powers in the semis and a third-period fall over Fleming Island’s Nick Janssen (13th statewide) in 4:24 for the title. Janssen pinned Mandarin’s Tony Carter in 4:37 in the semis to get to Hines. Carter came back for third with a 8-2 decision over Powers.

195 — Lascano (5th statewide) took his second district title with a 37-second semifinal pin over Bartram Trail’s Damien Ortega and then pushing past Oakleaf’s Isiah Schevchook, 9-2, in the final. Schevchook got to Lascano behind pins over Creekside’s Bryan Fortay (5:26) and Mandarin’s Royal Felton-Norman (1:57). Fortay wrestled back to third behind a 24-second pin over Ortega and a 12-7 decision in the third-place match over Felton-Norman, who falled Atlantic Coast’s John Johnson in 4:43 to secure his region-tournament space.

220 — Nix (1st statewide) won his fourth district title, max-pointing through all four years of high school (six pins and a forfeit in the 2019 final). Saturday, he needed just 1:39 to claim his fourth district, with a 16-second fall in the semis over Creekside’s Robbie Balke, then coming back in the final to fall Oakleaf’s Jason Mitchell in 1:23. Mitchell had two falls in reaching the final, with pins over Bartram’s Robert Hunter (:25) and Mandarin’s De’shawn Wise-Minor (1:05). Balke rallied back for third, with consi-side pins over Hunter (:34) and Wise-Minor (1:23), who had a bye in the consi semis.

285 — Murrell (10th statewide) took his first district title behind two pins over Creekside’s Vincent Approbato (1:13, quarters) and Bartram Trail’s Ryan Piersza (3:04, semis), then scoring in double-overtime to overcome Fleming Island’s Raul Gonzalez, 2-1. Gonzalez (11th statewide) had two bonus-point wins over Nease’s Brandon Almaria (fall in 1:31) and Mandarin’s Nick Wilbur (10-0) to reach the final. Wilbur came back for third with two consi-side pins over Approbato (:47) and Piersza (:57) in the third-place match. Piersza punched his Fleming ticket with a fall in 1 minute over Almaria.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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