GLEN ST MARY — While everyone in 1A-District 4 is chasing Clay, there are a few contenders that should make the battle for the district’s second Region 1 duals slot next month very interesting over the next few weeks.
Two of those contenders — perhaps the leading contenders — squared off Thursday night at Baker County in the duals opener for both teams and season-opener for the hosts, and it took the sixth criterion, fewest forfeits, to separate the Wildcats from Palatka in a 43-42 Wildcat victory. Baker County fielded a full team in the dual, while the Panthers gave four forfeits.
Still, though, despite the forfeits, it took a few contested pins to even send the dual into criteria, and the Wildcats (1-0) got those pins from Clayton Dennison (182), Jareb Lauramore (106) and Gavin Sparkman (126).
Palatka (0-1) answered with seven pins from Ben Alicia (195), Ishmael Foster (120), Mikade Harvey (132), Brandon Lewis (138), Johnson Session (145), Hayden Edwards (152) and Sam Lafferty (160).
Baker County is off now until Tuesday’s quad meet at Fernandina Beach, while Palatka is off until December 20-21, when the Panthers will go to Oakleaf and compete in the Hammer Invitational two-day IBT there.
Pedro Menendez 43, Tocoi Creek 42 (criteria F): At Menendez, the Falcons won five of the final six weights to force criteria, and ultimately, take the dual victory.
During that run, AJ Ward (195) and Alyssa Clemons (113) each won by pin for Pedro Menendez (2-3 in duals). Logan Meehan (145) and Hunter Craft (152) also had pins earlier in the dual.
In its second dual as a program, the Toros (0-2) built an 18-0 lead on falls from Brielle Bibla (126), Willie Sims (132) and Lucas Haraway (138). Josh Gambill (160) and Lawton Case (170) helped rebuild what became a 24-point Tocoi Creek lead with their falls.
Pedro Menendez is now off until December 18, when the Falcons will compete in the St Johns Scuffle at Creekside. Tocoi Creek returns to duals competition on Saturday, with the Cardinal Classic at Bishop Snyder.
Englewood 36, Ed White 24: At Englewood, the visitors seized an early 12-0 lead, duplicating it later at 24-12, but couldn’t hold off the more-experienced Rams up top, as the hosts went on a 24-0 run to close out the dual.
Rakin Dunbar (145), Melvin Wiggins (195), Billie Maynard (220) and Keith Forbes (285) each picked up pins for Englewood (1-1 in duals).
For the visiting Commanders, pins from Dawain Mobley (132) and Joseph Henderson (138) got things started, and falls from Bennyl Lewis (160) and Malakhi Lewis (170) rebuilt a 12-point lead for Ed White (0-2).
Englewood is currently without schedule options until 2A-District 3 duals on January 4 (hopefully that changes ASAP), while Ed White is off until December 17, when the Commanders will go to the two-day Yulee Duals.
RESULTS: Box scores for these three duals can be found HERE.