PALM COAST — The early losses are meant to serve as building blocks for wins later.
Heading into Tuesday’s 3A-District 2 duals tournament, Flagler Palm Coast had had its share of struggles, coming in with a 6-7 season record.
The Bulldogs then showed the rest of the district why records don’t matter, posting three double-digit victories to cruise to the title, with victories over Lake Mary (70-6), Forest (63-15) and DeLand, 48-24, in the final.
Flagler Palm Coast (9-7) will face Oakleaf in a 3A-Region 1 quarterfinal dual on January 13 at Creekside. DeLand (6-3), as District 2 runnerup (its first appearance in the region round of the FHSAA duals series), will wrestle the host Knights in another quarterfinal on the 13th, with the two quarterfinal winners then facing off for a spot in the region final January 21 at Osceola.
FPC got out to a 24-0 start behind five wins in a row, with back-to-back-to-back pins from Timothy King (152), Bryce Dodge (160) and Blane DeFord (170), plus decisions from Marcelo Gonzalez (8-5 at 182) and Garrick Schwartz (3-1 in sudden victory at 195). DeLand got on the board with a fall from Marion Smokes at 220, but FPC extended to 33-6 with Seth Davis’ 7-4 win at 285 and Timothy McLean’s fall at 106.
The lead stayed at 20+ points thereafter, as the teams traded points at the next four weights, with Kole Hannant (120) and John Hald (132) winning by pin for FPC and Grady Bryant (113) taking a win by fall for DeLand, which also got a forfeit at 126. DeLand also got a fall from Mathias Franz at 138, with the hosts’ Felipe Costa closing the dual out with a 5-1 win at 145.
FPC had 10 wrestlers go 3-0 on the day, with Hannant (120/126), Hald and Dodge all pinning their ways through the tournament. McLean (2 pins), King (2 pins) and DeFord (2 pins) were 3-0 max-pointers as well.
Additionally, Costa (pin, major & decision), Gonzalez (2 pins & decision), Schwartz (pin & decision) and Davis (2 decisions) all were 3-0 for Flagler Palm Coast.
Here’s how the rest of the district fared Tuesday:
DeLand (6-3 for season, 2-1 Tuesday): The Bulldogs made their groundbreaking Region 1 appearance behind a quarterfinal win over University (Orange City), 66-18, and a 43-33 semifinal win over Buchholz.
DeLand had three wrestlers post 3-0 records on the day. Franz (132/138, 3 pins) pinned his way through the tournament, while Marion Smokes (220, 2 pins) was a 3-0 max-pointer. Bryant (113, pin & decision) also had three wins and was undefeated.
Kellen Chapman (126, pin), Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro (182, pin & major), Andrew Knowles (195, 2 pins) and Marco Selph (285, 2 pins) all were 2-1 for the Bulldogs.
DeLand will stay in duals mode, hosting its own DeLand Bulldogs two-day tournament starting on Friday.
Buchholz (7-4 for season, 3-1 Tuesday): The Bobcats got to the semis with a 58-24 win over West Port, then bounced back for third behind wins over Seminole (46-34) and Forest (54-27), sending out 19 wrestlers over the course of the day.
Buchholz had four unbeaten wrestlers during the day, three of them going 4-0. Both Jedidiah Brown (120/126) and Aiden Moore (145) pinned their way through all rounds, each picking up four falls. Venumadhava Mirel (132/138) bonus-pointed through the tournament, with three pins and a major, and Cavarius Liddle (126/132) was 3-0 with three pins.
The Bobcats got 3-1 days from Jun Jie Zheng (106, decision) and William Lancer (182, 2 pins) as well.
Buchholz will return to competition at Palm Bay’s Ships N Duels two-day IBT.
Forest (2-2 for season & Tuesday): The Wildcats opened their duals season with a 39-38 win in the quarters over Seminole, and reached the third-place dual behind a 48-28 win over University (Orange City), along with the losses noted above.
Jose Kincaid (113) was Forest’s lone unbeaten on Tuesday, going 4-0 behind a pin and two decisions.
Ayden Ruano (106, 2 pins) and Ellis Lawson (220, 2 pins) both were 3-1 for the Wildcats, with Jakob Zawosky (132, pin & decision) and Abery Anthony (145, 2 pins) both chipping in 2-1 days.
Forest will next travel to Yulee for the Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border two-day IBT, starting on Friday.
University (Orange City) (4-12, 1-2 Tuesday): The Titans placed T-5th in the tournament, with a 39-36 win over West Port in the consi quarters.
Drake Alban (120) and Cooper Braden (152) both pinned their way through the day, going 3-0 with three pins each.
Bryan Persinger (170, 2 pins), Slade High-Tompkins (195, pin) and Rubens Joseph (285, pin & decision) all were 2-1 for University.
The Titans will next compete at district rival Lake Mary’s Ron Peters Tournament of Champions on Saturday.
Seminole (3-2, 1-2 Tuesday): The Noles also were T-5th with a 76-0 consi-quarter victory over Lake Mary, as well as the losses noted above. Due to missing results, a recap of individual performances could not be included. Seminole will next be at DeLand for the Bulldogs’ dual tournament on Friday & Saturday.
West Port (0-2 for season & Tuesday): The Wolfpack was T-7th on the day, but did have two wrestlers that won both their matches.
Luis Sotomeyor (170) pinned both of his opponents for a 2-0 day, while Brian Brizeus (220, pin) also contributed 6 dual team points in both rounds for West Port.
The Wolfpack will join UOC at Lake Mary for Tournament of Champions on Saturday.
Lake Mary (1-3 for season, 0-2 Tuesday): The Rams struggled with a short-handed group, sending out seven wrestlers Tuesday. Lake Mary had one contested victory in the quarterfinal loss to Flagler Palm Coast.
Lake Mary will serve as host Saturday for its Ron Peters Tournament of Champions one-day IBT.
RESULTS: Complete box scores from Tuesday’s wrestling, along with all other local districts contested and reported thus far, can be found HERE.