YULEE — Clay. Wakulla. The Rivalry. Part V.
Thursday night at Yulee, the Blue Devils held up their end of the arrangement with two dominant wins, losing just four individual matches in taking down Episcopal (63-18) in the 1A-Region 1 quarterfinals, then hammering Baker County, 78-6, in the semifinal to advance to the FHSAA state dual tournament for the fifth straight year.
The Blue Devils (12-1 at the conclusion of the event) will face Wakulla at 11 a.m. on January 21st in the 1A-Region 1 final, staged at Osceola. Clay has not won a Region 1 duals title since the first year that duals were staged; Wakulla is the three-time Region 1 champion.
The winner on the 21st will advance to the 1A state semifinals the next day, facing either Hudson or Lemon Bay, the Region 3 champion, in that round.
Baker County (8-3) advanced to the semifinals behind a 48-36 quarterfinal win over host Yulee, the District 3 champion.
The quarters saw Clay run past the Eagles (7-10), clinching the dual after the first eight weights, during which the Blue Devils built a 45-0 lead. Dominic Martin (182), Garrett Tyre (220) and Maverick Rainwater (120) staked that lead behind pins; Clay also racked up four forfeits, with Kedtric Wilbourn (195) adding in a 9-4 decision.
Episcopal got on the board behind back-to-back pins from Cohen Chesser (126) and Christian Ryan (132), but Clay answered back with a 3-pin run thanks to Josh Kumpf (138), Luke Boree (145) and Hayden Meszaros (152). The Eagles’ John Fernandez closed out the dual with a fall at 160.
While Clay’s advancement became a quick reality, the Wildcats and Hornets traded points through the first two weights, the first four, the first six, the first eight, the first 10 and the first 12. During that wild back-and-forth, Baker County had pins from Clayton Dennison (170), Toby Kinghorn (195), Jareb Lauramore (106), Jonathon Walker (120) and Joshua Carter (132), plus a forfeit win at 138.
Yulee (7-2) had answering pins from Alex Smith (182), Braylen Ricks (220), Austin Hoyle (285), Lewis Duhan (113), Logan Pugh (126) and Austin Adamson (145). That Adamson pin made it 36-all, followed by BCHS’ Rasean Rayam’s fall at 152. At 160, things took a turn, after the Wildcats’ Cannon Wimpey could not continue after a slam. That led to an injury-default, and the dual as well, in BC’s favor.
There would not be so many momentum swings in the semifinal.
In fact, there was just one momentum shift, and it was Clay that moved it, running out to a 48-0 finals-clinching lead before the Wildcats got on the board with a pin from Carter at 132.
Otherwise, Clay had the pins at every other weight, with Martin (182), Wilbourn (195), Tyre (220), Ethan Daniels (285), Jacob Bucci (106, Braden Glavin (113), Mister Walker (120) and Rainwater (126) with the dual-clincher in the first run. Kumpf (138), Boree (145; earning his 100th career victory on-site), Meszaros (152), Luca Fiannaca (160) and Ethan Larsen (170) closed out the night with Blue Devil falls.
All four teams are in action this weekend. Clay has been at Suwannee’s Billy Saylor Duals, while the other three all start up on Saturday. Baker County is at Fernandina Beach’s War on the Shore, Yulee at Citrus’ Ed Kilpatrick one-day IBT and Episcopal at Wolfson’s Wolfpack Challenge one-day IBT.
Box scores from all three duals at Yulee, along with all other available boxes in the state, can be found HERE. Action photos from Yulee can be found on Facebook (North Florida Matmen) and on Instagram (nflamatmen).
MISSING: We have a lot of missing results, from several teams around the coverage area, and we need YOUR help to clean that up. Please check out our SCHEDULE PAGE; if your school is listed as pending, or an event in which you took part is pending, see if your coach can send in your team’s part of that event. We will post results at any time of year, no matter how late they are when they are sent.