NEPTUNE BEACH — Round 1 in determining who might take the top spot in the Gateway Conference in eight weeks’ time was settled on the Fletcher mats Wednesday night.
And in a lively quad meet, it was Mandarin that drew first blood, with preliminary wins over Orange Park (57-24) and St Augustine (49-24) before turning back the host Senators, 42-38, in the season-opener for all four teams.
“It’s a good start to the season. You can’t be too happy with Week 1 wins over some quality teams,” Mustangs coach Lance Day said. “We have to stay consistent in the room and that’s what we will try to do, is build on these performances.”
Triple winners for Mandarin (3-0) were Logan Emanuel (106, pin), Bradley Mier (113/120, pin), Jameel Smith (132/138, 2 pins & major), Ashton White (145, 2 pins & decision), Tony Carter (195, 3 pins) and De’Shawn Wise-Minor (220, pin & 2 decisions). Devin Foster (126, pin) and Adrian Rodriguez (182, pin & decision) each were 2-1 for the Mustangs, which clinched the 3-0 night behind back-to-back-to-back pins from 132 through 145.
Fletcher (2-1) picked up a pair of double-digit wins over St Augustine (57-18) and Orange Park (51-28) prior to the Mandarin dual.
Ryden Ashmore (120, tech), Cole O’Brien (126, 2 pins) and Ryan Klein (182, 2 pins & decision) were each 3-0 on the night for the Senators, while Christopher Strong (152, pin & decision) and Toby Matson (285, 2 pins) were each 2-0. Landon Locantora (106), Josh Daltro (160, pin) and James Kohlhaas (170, 2 pins) also contributed two victories each.
St Augustine (1-2) was able to secure a 42-28 win over Orange Park in round 3, new HC Chris Geores’ first dual win in that role after serving as top assistant for the past couple of seasons for the Yellow Jackets.
Clint Griffin (170, 2 pins) was 2-0 on the night for St Augustine, with Logan Brenner (113, pin), Wilson Nguyen (132, 2 pins), Brayden Lovingood (152, 2 pins) and Jaquan Whitty (285, 2 pins) each going 2-1.
As for Orange Park (0-3), the Raiders got 3-0 performances from Shane Lato (138, 2 pins) and Trevion Sermons (160/170, 2 pins & major), while Geoffrey Jules-Delice (220, pin & major) was 2-1 on the night.
Mandarin, Fletcher and St Augustine all return to competition on Saturday, with the Mustangs and Yellow Jackets going to Sandalwood’s Optimist Invitational and Fletcher going to Bishop Snyder’s North Florida Duals. Orange Park is off until December 10, when it hosts the Raider 6-Way duals tournament.
Bishop Kenny 36, Episcopal 30: At Bishop Kenny, the hosts broke a tie in the final match of the night on Jack Raynor’s fall at 138 to take the win.
Picking up pins for the Crusaders (1-0) were Roberto Cuartero (152), Kevin Thallemer (285) and Raynor, with Paul Barakat (13-3 at 145), Collin Hearn (10-1 at 160) and Luke Ghannam (20-11 at 170) all winning by majors. Michael Bagan (13-6 at 195) and Jacob Harless (3-2 at 113) added decisions for BKHS.
Episcopal (0-1) collected falls from Christian McGarity (182, which stopped a Crusader 18-0 run to open the dual), Maddox Davidson (220), Scott Busey (120) and Christian Ryan (132), with Logan Henson (5-1 at 106) and Nicholas Pressley (4-3 at 126) both winning by decisions.
Both teams are off until December 8 and will travel south on that date, with Bishop Kenny going to Creekside and Episcopal traveling to Mandarin.
Buchholz 42, Middleburg 34: At Middleburg, the hosts won each match between 106-126 with a 22-0 run, while that was answered by a 24-0 run by the visitors between 132 and 152.
The Bobcats (1-0) got pins from Jedidiah Brown (132), Venumadhava Mirel (138), Laine Slayton (145), Aiden Moore (152), Max Szabo (170) and Jaylan Banks (220) in the victory.
Middleburg (0-1) answered with falls from Gracie Bradshaw (106), Grady Woodard (113), Caleb Eastwood (126), Aden Thornton (160) and Manuel Cassan (182), with Wyatt Leduc (120) contributing a 12-0 major.
Buchholz will host the Bobcat Roundrobin on Saturday, while Middleburg will go to Bishop Snyder and the North Florida Duals that same day.
First Coast 42, Englewood 33: At First Coast, the hosts overcame a 9-0 deficit, winning four straight between 120 and 138. But it would take three closeout falls between 170 and 220 to clinch the dual, as Englewood made a second run to retake the lead briefly.
Breon Campbell (120), Haley Gennette (132), Jace Austin (138), Alphonso Parsons (170) and Jaquan Dennis (220) all won by fall for the Buccaneers (1-0).
For Englewood (0-1), the Rams got pins from Ke’Eric Merrell (160) and Melvin Wiggins (195), with Keith Forbes (285) taking a 6-2 win at 285 to kick off the night.
Both First Coast and Englewood will be at Gateway Conference rival Sandalwood for the Optimist Invitational on Saturday.
Creekside 77, Ponte Vedra 4: After spotting the hosts a 4-0 lead after the first weight class, the St Johns Knights wouldn’t lose again, with eight contested wins on the night.
Keanan Sexton (138), Lee Leavell (152), Nathan Manning (170), Dominic Doverteuil (285), Alexavier Panganiban (113), Conner Wright (120) and Justin Umali (126) all won by fall for Creekside (1-0), which also claimed, in addition to five forfeit wins, a tech fall at 145 from Colton Leavell (15-0).
Ponte Vedra (0-1) got its lone win via 12-3 major from Grady Dolan at 132.
The Knights will go to Matanzas for Saturday’s one-day duals event, while the Sharks will compete at University (Orange City)’s Clash of the Titans one-day IBTs, with girls wrestling Friday and boys on Saturday.
Ponte Vedra girls 27, Creekside 5: In the preliminary competition to boys’ varsity, the Lady Sharks won two of three contested matches, with Olivia Richie (138) winning by fall and Lauren Everitt (126) taking a 13-9 decision. Creekside got its points on a tech fall (17-1) from Anjel Balkenbush at 132.
Terry Parker 48, Wolfson 30: At Terry Parker, the hosts won the dual up top, taking every contested match between 152 and 285 to seize control.
The Braves (1-0) got pins from Jeff Brown (152), Justin Rangeloff (160), Joel Herhandez (170), Kimore Gilchrist (285), Shamar Jones (113) and Curnard Juluke (120) in the victory.
Wolfson (1-1) picked up pins from Andrew Harbin (132) and Max Lewallen (138) in the loss.
Terry Parker will be at Bishop Snyder on Saturday for North Florida Duals, while Wolfson travels to Matanzas for its one-day dual tournament.
RESULTS: All box scores reported from Wednesday night’s wrestling can be found HERE.