PALM COAST — Rumors of Matanzas’ demise might be more than just a little bit premature.
Ranked behind at least two teams in the 2A-District 4 preview by a so-called expert, the Pirates defied the preseason expectations on Saturday, holding serve at the Matanzas Duals with three victories over first-string varsity* competition.
In a quad meet that was well-contested, the Pirates took down Seabreeze (47-33), former district rival Creekside (42-37) and St Augustine (44-33) in the season opener for Matanzas, the Sandcrabs and Yellow Jackets.
Matanzas, augmented with some fresh blood in the lowers and some transfer power in the middles, had eight wrestlers that won at least two matches, with two going unbeaten at 3-0 against first-string competition.
Creekside was second on the day with a 2-1 record, with wins over St Augustine (39-30) and Seabreeze (51-30). The St Johns County Knights had seven wrestlers win twice, with four unbeatens on the day.
Seabreeze held off a short-handed St Augustine club, with a 41-37 win in round 2. The Sandcrabs had five wrestlers with two or more wins, four of them sporting 3-0 records on the day.
The Yellow Jackets, which gave forfeits at four weights on Saturday, had six wrestlers go 2-1 or better, also with four unbeaten 3-0 kids.
Results from the day can be found HERE. (* – Creekside brought a second group of kids to get two of the teams an additional match).
St Augustine is first back on the mats Tuesday night, hosting its Senior Night against conference rival Palatka. Creekside will travel to Clay for a midweek dual on Wednesday, while Matanzas and Seabreeze will get some looks at 2A competition in Tallahassee and the Capital City Classic, with Florida High serving as physical host.
ACES OF THE DAY:
Matanzas: Senior Drew Castanheira (160) wasn’t his team’s top point-scorer on Saturday, but he had a key decision in the St Augustine dual, with two 3rd-period takedowns for a 6-5 comeback win, that helped the Pirates secure the dual win. Castanheira also had pins over both Seabreeze and Creekside wrestlers.
Creekside: Junior Vincent Approbato (220) pinned his way through the day, as one of three Knights to collect three pins. Approbato never had to go past the first period, needing just 2 minutes and 40 seconds to record all three falls.
Seabreeze: Sophomore Wyatt Sites (120) was a pleasant surprise on Saturday, with his first varsity competition resulting in a 3-0 day, with falls over Matanzas (2:30) and St Augustine (39 seconds), plus a forfeit win over Creekside.
St Augustine: Senior Hayden Yanni (152) was a stalwart in the middle for the Yellow Jackets, with pins against all three opponents put in front of him. Two of the three falls were in the first period; Yanni had to go into the third period to get his fall in the Matanzas dual.