By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
KISSIMMEE — The feeling is familiar: Fleming Island chasing South Dade for a 3A state title.
But, so far at this year’s FHSAA traditional tournament at Silver Spurs Arena, the Golden Eagles are doing most of the chasing from the front side of the bracket.
Fleming Island put in seven semifinalists that are guaranteed medals on Saturday’s 3A podium, plus the Golden Eagles have two more in the blood round that need to win one more match before a podium space can be secured.
“Did pretty well, seven in the semis that are going to get some hardware, and a couple more to push through. It’s good to be in that position,” Fleming Island coach PJ Cobbert said. “Still a lot of work to be done to go get the highest medal you can get.
“We’ll go check weight, get food, relax. Have a team meeting. Just make everything comfortable. We’ll get here an hour before weighins, so there’s no distractions. That’s the last thing you need right now.”
The Golden Eagles are 21.5 points behind the Buccaneers, 91.5-70, and just as far ahead of third-place Hagerty as South Dade is ahead of them.
Seminole is the next area team in the standings. The Noles have two semifinalists and are 17th with 18 points, while Flagler Palm Coast (one semifinalist) is 21st, with 15 points and Buchholz (one semifinalist) is 24th with 12. Oakleaf and Sandalwood are each T-41st, with three points, while Creekside was 48th with 2.5. Bartram Trail is T-52nd, with one point, while University-Orange City is T-56th with no points.
Below follows a summary of the tournament:
Semis: Christian Guzman (Columbus, 56-8) v Lens Mathurin (Orlando Freedom, 31-4); Cooper Haase (Osceola, 53-6) v Adrian Morales (South Dade, 52-7).
Blood round: Angelo De Dona (Manatee, 57-7) v Joseph Lyttle (Boone, 36-8); Reid Noble (Steinbrenner, 22-3) v Trenton Dominguez (Timber Creek, 48-11).
Local summary: Bartram Trail’s Ethan Vugman was 1-2 on Friday. After a 10-2 loss to Lyttle on the front, Vugman rallied to knock off Doral Academy’s Julian Montero, 9-6, in WB round 1 before falling to Noble, 7-3.
Semis: Hunter Herrington (Fleming Island, 38-7) v Danny Martinez (SW Miami, 66-0); Noah Wadle (Manatee, 40-2) v David Corret-jer (Palm Beach Gardens, 43-8).
Blood round: Aaron Lanster (Miami Beach, 41-4) v Fernando Dominguez (Timber Creek, 42-12); Erick Rocher (Orlando Freedom, 29-11) v Nestor Echevarria (Riverdale, 38-9).
Local summary: Herrington was solid through two front-side wins, with majors over Doral Academy’s Livan Curbelo (11-2) and Palm Harbor University’s Connor Reeves (10-2). Buchholz’s Venumadhava Mirel was 0-2 in the tournament, with losses on the front to Lanster (8-0) and Echevarria on the back (2-1).
Semis: Robert Dusendang (Columbus, 47-4) v Dylan Sparkman (Palm Harbor University, 42-2); Elijah Ortiz (Palm Beach Gardens, 46-10) v Alex Couto (South Dade, 50-10).
Blood round: Bryce Taranto (Venice, 38-6) v Gabriel Rendon (Oviedo, 40-7); Hunter Rees (Orlando Freedom, 35-11) v Jason Shaw (Hagerty, 38-8).
Local summary: Fleming’s Ryan Hobson (9-3 loss to Taranto on the front, 10-0 to Wellington’s Ethan Howard on the back) and Oakleaf’s Marcus McGee (losses by fall to Sparkman in 4:38 and Miami Palmetto’s Corey Gallivan in 4:33) were both 0-2 in the tournament.
Semis: Jayden Tapia (Timber Creek, 52-4) v Sebastian Melguizo (SW Miami, 60-3); Kamdon Harrison (Hagerty, 41-11) v Jose Gonzalez (South Dade, 48-10).
Blood round: Gavin Buck (Columbus, 59-13) v Nikolas Hernandez (Riverview, 61-4); Brandon Arocha (Doral Academy, 47-17) v Riley Holton (Fleming Island, 49-12).
Local summary: Holton lost his rematch with Gonzalez, falling by a 3-2 count, but rallied in the consis, with a 13-3 major over East Lake’s Kobe Litov in WB round 1, then shutting out Riverdale’s Jacob Bennett, 6-0, in round 2.
Semis: Cole Bosch (Olympic Heights, 38-7) v Jaekus Hines (Osceola, 38-4); Alex Soto (Riverdale) v. Adrian Neco (South Dade, 54-7).
Blood round: Alex Vazquez (Lake Mary, 46-6) v Russell Raabe (Ft Pierce Central, 38-4); Daniel Cabrera (SW Miami, 45-14) v Trenton Johnson (Manatee, 33-13).
Local summary: Fleming Island’s Isaac Padgett (5-2 to Soto, 2-1 in double overtime to Columbus’ Van Huffman) and Flagler Palm Coast’s Andrew Dance (19-3 in 2:12 tech fall to Hines, fall in :52 to Freedom’s Brennon Reid) were both 0-2 in the tournament.
Semis: Dalton Williams (Fleming Island, 41-3) v Zachary Creeden (Jupiter, 54-5); Jared Dinh (Riverdale, 32-2) v Cordell White (South Dade, 50-7).
Blood round: Jesse Weinberg (Wellington, 54-9) v Jadiel Silverio (Miami Coral Park, 27-6); Mikey Cuttitta (Palm Harbor University, 50-9) v Edward Punzalan (Cypress Bay, 62-3).
Local summary: Williams put together two solid wins to clinch his first state medal, with a 16-5 major in the first round over Olympic Heights’ Pedro Azevedo, then coming back in the quarters for a 5-1 win over Punzalan. Flagler Palm Coast’s Kyle Peacock and Sandalwood’s Lavaughn Brown were both 1-2 in the tournament. Peacock fell to Weinberg, 6-2, on the front, but came back with a 5-3 decision over North Port’s Tyler Eastes before falling to Punzalan, 6-3. Brown lost by a 13-3 major to Ft Pierce Central’s Riley Orr, but came back to fall Nova’s Whinston Perez (1:43) before falling to Cuttitta, 6-2.
They said it: “A lot of work went into this in past years and it hasn’t paid off, so I’m glad I was able to get placement, especially for it being my senior year. We have a great chance (as a team) if we don’t flop out. There’s still a chance to see light at the end of the tunnel.” — Williams.
Semis: Gannon Janssen (Fleming Island, 62-5) v Lukas Forehand (Wellington, 49-4); Parker Drake (Newsome, 46-6) v Bretli Reyna (South Dade, 48-3).
Blood round: Blane DeFord (Flagler Palm Coast, 51-7) v Gage Tippman (Venice, 42-8); Erik Rodriguez (Cypress Bay, 63-8) v Roger Arocha (Doral Academy, 42-12).
Local summary: Janssen won by forfeit in the first round, so had just one contested match, where he held the upper hand but had to keep pushing to outlast Arocha, 10-8, in the quarters, for his second state medal. DeFord pinned Orlando Freedom’s Moise Toussaint (3:03) in the first round, but then fell to Reyna, 20-7, in the quarters. In the consis, DeFord rallied with a third-period fall over Riverdale’s Malachi Soto (4:31).
Semis: Joshua Swan (South Dade, 43-2) v Truman Noble (Steinbrenner, 51-2); Tanner Hill (Fleming Island, 57-9) v Sawyer Bartelt (Doral Academy, 36-4).
Blood round: Adriel Martinez (Osceola, 18-13) v Justin Henry (Wellington, 54-6); Marshal Carroll (Miami Beach, 36-9) v Dylan Kohn (Hagerty, 47-6).
Local summary: Hill powered through a pair of decisions to clinch his first state medal, with wins over Sickles’ Andy Fellove (10-6) in the first round and over Henry (5-2) in the quarters. Oakleaf’s David Parkes was 1-2 in the tournament. After falling on the front, 9-3, to Noble, Parkes came back with a fall in 2:47 over SW Miami’s Brandon Moreno in WB round 1, only to fall to Henry, 6-1.
They said it: “Absolutely (the pressure came off after committing to NAIA nationally-ranked Reinhardt University). Now I think of myself as a college athlete on a big stage, so why not perform like one. I’m just going to put it all on the line (Saturday). I believe I can be a state champ.” — Hill.
Semis: Luke Chop (Fleming Island, 59-7) v Steven Villalobos (South Dade, 55-4); Kohl Drake (Newsome, 48-3) v William George (Palm Beach Gardens, 49-10).
Blood round: Nicholas Oganezov (Cypress Bay, 47-9) v Jared Purcell (Lake Mary, 48-3); Colby Keane (Lakewood Ranch, 48-4) v Ryan Cody (Hagerty, 39-11).
Local summary: Chop didn’t give up a point over 12 minutes on Friday, with a 1-0 win in the first round over Oganezov, then coming back for a 13-0 major in the quarters over Boone’s Colbi Giroux.
Semis: Logan Perkins (Hagerty, 40-8) v Tylynn Lukens (Manatee, 63-1); Nick Rodriguez (Riverdale, 39-3) v Adrian Vidaud (SW Miami, 54-2).
Blood round: David Pagan (Palm Harbor University, 55-7) v Gavin Smith (Fleming Island, 52-12); Bakr Khaleel (Palm Beach Gardens, 29-13) v Bryan Valdes (South Dade, 45-13).
Local summary: Smith put together a 2-1 day and put himself in line for a potential second state medal, after majoring Jupiter’s Robert Preisendorf (9-0) in the first round. After a loss by fall to Rodriguez (4:41) in the quarters, Smith had a fall of his own, over Apopka’s Luther Casimir in 3:46. Vann was 1-2 in the tournament, with a front-side 3-2 win over Orlando Freedom’s Jean Labaze in the first round, but then took subsequent losses to Vidaud (12-4) in the quarters and to Pagan (8-1) in WB round 2.
Semis: Nolin Eaddy (Osceola, 34-2) v Marco Bragado (Treasure Coast, 50-6); Jesse Martinez (Riverdale, 33-0) v Armando Acosta (Buchholz, 49-7).
Blood round: George Llanes (SW Miami, 63-9) v Steven Krantz (Ft Pierce Central, 51-5); Ben Mason (Palm Harbor University, 47-7) v Ethan Lopez (Hagerty, 35-4).
Local summary: Acosta falled Orlando Freedom’s Joey Kaminski (1:19) in the first round, then came back to take a 7-4 win over Llanes in the quarters. Creekside’s Jalen Hines and Fleming Island’s Nick Janssen were each 1-2 in the tournament. Hines took a 12-3 loss to Krantz on the front, but came back to tech Cypress Bay’s Juan Blandino, 21-6, in 4:10, before losing by fall to Mason in 1:27. Janssen fell to Bragado, 9-5, in the opening round, but pinned Coral Gables’ Jose Cardenas (3:15) in WB round 1. He then fell to Krantz, 3-1, in double-overtime in round 2.
Semis: Jeffrey Lascano (Fleming Island, 45-7) v Colton Curtis (Freedom, 36-5); Bryson Johnson (Manatee, 47-10) v Bryan Canedo (Palm Beach Gardens, 46-3).
Blood round: Christian Deluna (Cypress Bay, 60-9) v Dakota Phillips (Lake Mary, 42-8); Jeremiah Mauras (SW Miami, 63-9) v Anthony Talmage (Plant, 54-8).
Local summary: Lascano found an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker to push past Deluna, 5-4, and then opened things up a bit more in the quarter against Talmage, taking a 9-2 win for his first state medal. Buchholz’s Jason Martin was 0-2, with losses by fall to Mauras (6:32 in sudden victory time) and Bartow’s Colby Trudeau (1:31).
They said it: “Four years, medals have eluded, so I’m happy. I’m happy for my mom. The first round match, that was tough, Deluna’s a tough kid. If I didn’t wrestle right, I would have lost, but I got the job done.” — Lascano.
Semis: Chad Nix (Fleming Island, 62-1) v Tanavieus Shropshire (South Dade, 39-9); Jordan Smith (Seminole, 8-1 in post-season) v Gerald Greaves (Dr Phillips, 19-1).
Blood round: Angelo Lafrese (Lakewood Ranch, 56-10) v Dylan Ruiz (Osceola, 25-5); Edensky Phele (North Miami, 41-8) v Isaiah Davis (Vero Beach, 30-6).
Local summary: Nix bonus-pointed on to the podium, clinching his third state medal with a 42-second fall in the first round over Columbus’ Gian Rodriguez and a 12-1 major over Davis in the quarters. Smith also won twice on the frtont, pinning Phele in 3:39 in the opening round, then edging Ruiz, 5-4, in the quarters. Buchholz’s Nevan Burney was 1-2 in the tournament while battling a shoulder injury this season. After losing by fall to Shropshire (5:45) in the opening round, Burney found a takedown in sudden victory for a 5-3 win over Manatee’s Donnie Shoup, but then was shut out by Ruiz, 10-0, in WB round 2. University (Orange City)’s Christian Kennick injury-defaulted to Cypress Bay’s Jared Campbell in the first round and did not compete afterward.
Semis: Curtis Ruff (Seminole, 9-0 in post-season) v Grant Gelazin (Palm Harbor University, 45-11); Wilkinson Saul (Olympic Heights, 39-0) v AJ Cinelli (Flagler Palm Coast, 35-6).
Blood round: Isaac Joseph (Dr Krop, 32-2) v Clarouty Meca (North Miami, 37-7); Joshua Frais (Stoneman Douglas, 38-6) v Desmond Mamudi (Steinbrenner, 34-8).
Local summary: The District 2 rivals made the semis in very different ways. Ruff pinned Riverdale’s Jon Baxter (:12) and then came back with a 10-3 quarterfinal win over Ft Pierce’s Henry Jones, to secure his fourth state medal and stay in line for a possible second gold. Cinelli, on the other hand, had to push past Mamudi, 6-4, in the opening round, and then knocked off Joseph, 2-1 in double-overtime, to clinch his first medal.
They said it: “Yeah, (it’s been a) very long journey. I can’t tell you (yet) how it feels. I’m still shocked. Just wanted to keep the pressure up and don’t let up. That’s when people really break. Not really any mystery to it (surviving double-OT). The go-to is just the standup, just getting up. Coach Sanford has done everything in his power to put us in this position, so I want to repay him by performing.” — Cinelli.
Complete brackets can be found HERE.
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