ORANGE PARK — Many new kids. Same dominant result.
For the fourth straight season, Fleming Island ruled the roost as 3A-District 1 dual team champions Wednesday night at Oakleaf, as the Golden Eagles lost just three matches in rolling past Bartram Trail (63-9) and the host Knights (74-6).
The Golden Eagles (8-0 in duals for the season, ranked #1 in the matmenTEN team poll) will face #3 Flagler Palm Coast in a 3A-Region 1 quarterfinal at Buchholz on January 14.
Meanwhile, after the loss to Fleming in the semis, Bartram Trail (10-2) rallied back in the consis, with a forfeit win over Creekside in the third-place dual and a 42-27 win over the host Knights in a true-second dual. The Bears will take on Buchholz in the other Region 1 quarterfinal on site on the 14th, with the quarterfinal winners meeting for the right to go to Osceola for the first day of the FHSAA dual state tournament on the 22nd and contend for the 3A-Region 1 championship.
But Wednesday night was about the Golden Eagles’ romp through the bracket. Fleming had some mix-and-match at a few weights, but lost nothing no matter who was out and rolled up 11 contested wins in the semifinal, with David Parkes (152), Josh Sandoval (160), Jhoel Robinson (170), Gavin Smith (182), Grant Travis (195), Hunter Herrington (113), Xavier Logan (132) and Garrett Cole (138) all winning by fall.
Ethan Hoffstetter (3-1 at 285), Hunter Van Vactor (8-1 at 120) and Christopher Chop (4-0 at 145) each added decisions for the Golden Eagles against the Bears, which got a fall from Trevor Tagarelli (126) and 6-0 win at 106 from Ethan Vugman.
In the final, Oakleaf (10-6) scored first on a fall by James McClintic (160), but it was all Fleming after that. Robinson (170), Smith (182), Hunter Williams (195), Gonzalez (220), Hoffstetter (285), Matthew Newman (113), Riley Holton (126), Logan (132) and Cole (138) all won by fall, with Matthew Kotler (145) and Hoffstetter (285) both contributing majors, plus forfeit wins to the Golden Eagles at 106 and 120.
Bartram Trail reached the semis with a 57-19 victory over Nease in a preliminary round. The Bears never let the Panthers (6-9) get any closer than nine points after the first two weight classes, with Matthew Tayloe (145), John McNames (160), Sharif Denson (170) Jacob George (195), Ryan Piersza (285), Vugman (106), Ethan Bell (113), Mayhem Woolsey (120) and Tagarelli (126) taking pins and Preston Pena (138) winning with a 14-10 major. Nease got a fall at 182 from Shawn Anderson, a major from Parker Stamschror (132) and 8-3 decision from Anthony Tanza (152), plus a forfeit win at 220.
After the Bears advanced to the true second-place match with a forfeit over Creekside (which had no path forward past the consi semis, as it turned out), Bartram rallied for the win over the host Knights on pins from Denson (170), Piersza (285), Coleton Memory (120), Tayloe (145) and McNames (160), plus decisions from Ayden Nguyen (11-8 at 182), Woolsey (5-2 at 126) and a forfeit win at 113. Oakleaf answered with falls from Isaiah Schevchook (195), Trevor Owens (138) and Roman Polinsky (152), a forfeit win at 220, and a 12-9 decision for Marcus McGee at 132.
Oakleaf had reached the championship-side final behind a 43-33 win over Creekside (17-3), avenging an earlier-season loss to the Knights behind three straight wins from 132-145 in taking a come-from-behind win. McClintic (160), Braden Cole (182), Schevchook (195), Jordan Mitchell (285), Jackson Hemphill (120) and Christian Griffith (145) picked up pins for the Clay Knights, while Owens addeda 16-6 major and McGee a 7-2 decision. The St Johns Knights got falls from Diego Rivera (152), Vincent Approbato (220) and Hunter England (126) plus forfeit wins at 106 and 113 and a 5-2 win from Michael Little at 170.
Creekside did take one win on the night, pushing past Nease, 42-36, in the first round of consis. Approbato (220), Andrew Feeks (106), Conner Wright (113), England (120), Anjel Balkenbush (126) and Keanan Sexton (138) all won by fall for the Knights, while Little (7-6 at 160) and Rivera (5-2 at 152) both took decisions. Nease gained pins from Peter Simon (170), Anderson (182), Kobe Ross (195), Stamschror (132) and Drew Ryan (145), with a forfeit win at 285.
Box scores from Wednesday night’s wrestling can be found HERE.
Fleming Island, Bartram Trail and Oakleaf will all reconvene on Friday, this time at Fleming for its two-day Keystone Memorial, with duals on Friday and IBT on Saturday. Creekside will go to Yulee’s Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border, a two-day IBT on Friday and Saturday, while Nease goes to Robert E Lee’s USMC Challenge IBT on Saturday.