#StJohns: Knights Sweep County Opponents

ST JOHNS — Host Creekside ran the table Saturday at home in the St Johns County championships.

The St Johns Knights had their final tuneup prior to Wednesday’s FHSAA 3A-District 1 duals tournament at Oakleaf, taking four wins over county opponents on Saturday to improve their season record to 16-2 in duals for the season.

After an opening-round bye, the Knights took down Nease (42-36), St Augustine (40-39, criteria), Pedro Menendez (66-9) and Bartram Trail (39-36) to go 4-0 on the day in the duals-formatted event.

Creekside had nine wrestlers win at least two matches Saturday, with eight of them taking three wins. Four Knights were 4-0, three of them “max-pointers,” scoring 6 dual team points in every dual the team wrestled.

Bartram Trail (7-1 for the season) was 3-0 on the day going into the final round against the Knights, with wins over Nease (48-27), St Augustine (42-33) and Pedro Menendez (58-24).

The Bears had eight wrestlers win twice on Saturday. Six of them had three wins, with four going 4-0 and three achieving max-pointer status.

St Augustine (3-5) took dual wins over Pedro Menendez (60-18) in round 1 and Nease (45-27) in round 4.

Despite having only 10 wrestlers in the lineup, the Yellow Jackets had nine of those 10 win twice. Six of them were undefeated, with three earning max-point days.

Nease (6-7) had its lone dual win of the day in the final round of the day, taking down Pedro Menendez, 66-12. The St Johns Panthers had 11 of their 12 wrestlers win two matches, with four of them going 3-1 on the day.

As for the Falcons (0-8), five of them had two wins Saturday, with one going 3-1.

Box scores for all 10 duals contested Saturday can be found HERE.

Ponte Vedra, which competed in the event at the JV level on Saturday, is first up among the county teams to take the mats next, going to Stanton on Monday for the 2A-District 3 duals tournament. Pedro Menendez will have its district duals tournament (1A-5) at Palatka on Tuesday, while Creekside, Bartram Trail and Nease will be at the 3A-District 1 event at Oakleaf on Wednesday. St Augustine is off until January 9, when it goes to Matanzas for the 2A-District 4 duals event.

Creekside: Junior Vincent Approbato (220) was one of the Knights’ three max-pointers and four unbeatens, with pins on the day over Nease, Pedro Menendez and Bartram Trail, plus a forfeit victory against St Augustine.
Bartram Trail: Senior Ryan Piersza (#10 in matmenTEN at 285) was one of the Bears’ three max-pointers to collect three pins Saturday. Piersza had falls in the Nease, Pedro Menendez and Creekside duals, with a forfeit over St Augustine.
St Augustine: Senior Connor Spossey (#4 in matmenTEN at 170) was one of the Yellow Jackets’ three max-pointers, pinning his way through the day with falls over Pedro Menendez, Bartram Trail, Creekside and Nease. Spossey was on the mat for 4 minutes and 13 seconds on the day and was the only wrestler in the field to pin all four opponents.
Nease: Senior Anthony Tanza (145) was one of four St Johns Panthers to go 3-1 in the tournament, with pins over Bartram Trail, Creekside and Pedro Menendez, with his only loss by decision in round 4.
Pedro Menendez: Freshman Stewart Martin (285) led the Falcons with three wins on the day, including pins over Creekside and Nease, plus a forfeit win over St Augustine. His only loss of the day came against a fellow Ace in round 3.

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