JACKSONVILLE — Two preseason district favorites found themselves getting an early test from one another in the final dual on Saturday at Bishop Snyder’s North Florida Duals tournament.
2A-District 3 favorite Fletcher and 3A-District 1 favorite (or at least co-favorite) Oakleaf were able to run through the first four rounds and get a look at one another in the final round with an unbeaten day on the line.
And the Senators were able to build an early 12-0 lead; after the Clay County Knights erased that, a 9-0 run gave Fletcher a lead it would never relinquish, though it took back-to-back bonus-point wins at 170 and 182 for the Senators to clinch a 40-36 win and 5-0 tournament.
“The last two days, our guys dug into what they did right and what they did wrong (in Wednesday’s quad meet at home),” Fletcher coach Joe Stetzer said. “Guys are adjusting to the change in styles of previous coaching staffs and they’re starting to find the best balance that works for them.”
The 19-6 run that the Senators (7-1 for the season) built from 145 through 182 was critical Saturday, with pins from Shawn Porter (145) and James Kohlhaas (170), a 15-6 major from Ryan Klein (182) and a 9-2 win from Elisha Purdy (152) fueling that run for Fletcher.
Fletcher got to the final round with dual wins over Middleburg (40-39, with criteria E, fewest forfeits, deciding it), Terry Parker (59-22), Bishop Snyder (69-9) and Oakleaf’s B squad (48-34).
For the day, Fletcher had four wrestlers that went 5-0, two of them as max-pointers, scoring 6 team dual points in every round the team wrestled. Toby Matson (285) pinned his way through the day (5 falls in all), while Kohlhaas had four pins at 170.
Klein (4 pins & major at 182) and Ryden Ashmore (120/126, 2 pins & decision) also were 5-0 for the Senators, who got 4-1 days from Landon Locantora (106), Porter (2 pins at 145) and Purdy (pin & 2 decisions at 152). Josh Daltro (160, tech & decision) added a 3-1 day as well.
“Leadership is about who’s going to take the role, and we’ve had a lot of juniors and sophomores that stepped up,” Stetzer said.
As for the Knights, they rolled past Bishop Snyder (65-12), Oakleaf B (68-6), Terry Parker (60-15) and Middleburg (46-27) in opening their season Saturday.
“We should definitely be happy but can’t be satisfied losing by four,” Oakleaf coach Rory Roderick said. “We’ll get back in the room and fix technique, make sure everybody’s on weight for the next event. First tournament’s done, now we make adjustments; that’s the biggest thing.”
Everybody who dressed for the Oakleaf varsity saw at least one contested victory on Saturday, with nine wrestlers taking at least three wins.
Leading the charge as 5-0 max-pointers were Roman Polinsky (160, 4 pins), Isaiah Shevchook (195, 3 pins) and Ben Gaddis (220, 4 pins). Angel Rodriguez (113, 3 pins, tech & decision) joined the trio as an unbeaten competitor.
Lincoln Morales (120, 3 pins), Marcus McGee (138, 2 pins & 2 techs) and Jacob Dewald (170, 3 pins) were all 4-1 for the Knights, while Keon Barrientos (126, 3 pins) and Jacob McClintic (152, 2 pins) each contributed 3-2 performances.
Next up for Fletcher and Oakleaf will be a trip to the Knights’ Friday Knight Lights duals event on Friday.
Here’s a look at the rest of the tournament field:
Middleburg (3-3 for season, 3-2 on the day): The Broncos bounced back from the loss in criteria to Fletcher with wins over Bishop Snyder (60-18) and Oakleaf B (57-18); after falling to Oakleaf, Middleburg closed out the day with a 42-30 win over Terry Parker.
Four Bronco were undefeated Saturday, with two going 5-0. Logan Moore (145, 3 pins) was a max-pointer, while Grady Woodard (113/120) had four pins and a decision. In regular roles, Riley Girgis (132, 3 pins) and Wyatt Leduc (126, 2 pins & decision) were each 3-0.
Jackson Hornback (106/113, 3 pins), Dylan Johns (138, 3 pins & decision) and Austin Cruce (182, 4 pins) all were 4-1 for the Broncos, while Aden Thornton (160, 2 pins) contributed a 3-2 tournament.
Middleburg will next be going to the Capital City Classic on Friday and Saturday.
Oakleaf B (2-3 on the day): The group of Knight extra kids, combined with extra kids from Middleburg, opened with a 48-27 win over Terry Parker and closed the day by defeating the hosts, 54-24.
Onjel Caraballo (220, 4 pins) was the group’s lone unbeaten, with a 4-0 day. Christian Hutchens (138, 4 pins) was 4-1, with his lone loss against teammate Johns, while Markos Barfield (126, 2 pins & decision), Elijah Shevchook (160, 2 pins) and Tyler Jackson (195, major) all were 3-2 on the day.
Terry Parker (2-5 for season, 1-4 on the day): The Braves got on the winning side of things in round 4, at least in terms of team outcomes, with a 57-18 win over Bishop Snyder.
Jeff Brown (152, 2 pins, major & decision) was Terry Parker’s lone unbeaten, with a 5-0 day. Chris Wright (126, 3 pins), Jordan Larson (132, 2 pins), Joel Hernandez (170, pin) and Kimore Gilchrist (285, 2 pins) each were 3-2 for the Braves.
The Braves will next join Middleburg in Tallahassee at the Capital City Classic.
Bishop Snyder (0-5 for season/on the day): The host Cardinals had just one wrestler have a better than .500 day, as Angel Lecointe (285, 3 pins) was 4-1. But the Cardinals, who had just five wrestlers last year, had 13 make appearances, with eight seeing at least three duals.
The Cardinals will go to First Coast for a midweek dual on Wednesday, then will host the Cardinal Classic on Saturday in lieu of the Westside Kiwanis. It will be a smaller duals event.
Complete box scores from the tournament can be found HERE.