GREEN COVE SPRINGS — When building a tradition, by the time young wrestlers get to being juniors and seniors, they need to be lockdown points for the team.
And if a few youngsters can look like lockdown points from time to time, too, so much the better.
That was Clay’s situation last weekend at its 23rd Annual Clay Rotary Invitational, as the Blue Devils satisfied one of their annual season goals with a team title at home. Clay largely had the tournament won after the first day, but did enough damage in Saturday’s second day to roll up 280 points as a team, 109.5 ahead of runnerup Buchholz.
“In general, it was a pretty strong weekend. We’d like to have had more than two champs, but glad we won it. Things to build on, good momentum for us going into rivalry week,” Clay coach Jim Reape said. “FIrst three rounds we had a lot of wins, a lot of pins, even with two starters that didn’t go at 26 and heavy.
“Our leaders delivered and you want that from your seniors.”
Buchholz, with 170.5 points, held off Middleburg by 11.5 points for second, with Oakleaf fourth at 151.5 and Bishop Kenny fifth at 131.
Fletcher (127), Bartram Trail (126.5), Matanzas (114) and South Walton (110) made up seventh through 10th in the standings, with Mosley 11th (109.5), Baker County 13th (92), Bay & West Nassau T-16th (69), North Bay Haven 18th (67.5), Palatka 19th (66) and Episcopal 20th (64).
Union County (58, 21st), Raines (57, 22nd), Bolles (54, 23rd), Orange Park & Terry Parker (45, T-24th), Tocoi Creek (32, 26th), Riverside (28, T-27th), Sandalwood (26, 29th), Springs Academy (23, 30th), Bishop Snyder (22, 31st), Pedro Menendez (19, 32nd), Atlantic Coast (17, 33rd) and Ponte Vedra & University Christian (14, T-34th) rounded out local teams in the field.
Below follows a summary of the tournament —
106: Mosley’s Derrick Williams (47-3) won the title with five matches won, with Friday wins over Union County’s Travis Williams (pin in 1:10, rd of 32), Atlantic Coast’s ArJun Lamba (1:31, rd of 16) and Bartram Trail’s Chase Newmans (20-4 TF in 3 minutes, quarters). Williams came back on Saturday with a semifinal pin over Middleburg’s Jackson Hornback (1:23), and decisioned the hosts’ Jacob Bucci, 7-2, for the title. Williams had takedowns in each period of the final. Bucci reached the final with pins over Fletcher’s Landon Locantora (1:01, rd of 16) and Satellite (:56, quarters), with a 6-1 semifinal win over Episcopal’s Turner Glenn. Hornback won twice in the consis for third, with a 6-4 decision over Glenn in the third-place match, while Newmans won three times in the consis, the last of those an 11-8 decision over Buchholz’s Jun Jie Zheng for fifth.
113: Clay’s Braden Glavin was the top area competitor, with a 5-3 sudden victory decision in the third-place match over Middleburg’s Grady Woodard. Both Glavin and Woodard both reached the semis, with Glavin’s only loss to the eventual champion from Space Coast (6-2) and Woodard falling to Satellite by 12-0 major decision. West Nassau’s Jackson Holcomb was fifth with two consi-side pins and an injury-default win over Bay’s Leonardo Sanchez for fifth.
120: Bartram Trail’s Ethan Vugman (39-1) bonus-pointed through each round prior to the final, where he took down Raines’ De’Quon King, 9-3, to win the title. Vugman had four takedowns in the match, three of them coming in the first. Vugman had Friday wins over Mosley’s Isaac Biddle (fall in 2:48) and West Nassau’s Blayden Tharpe (15-3 major), with a third-period TF in the semis over Buchholz’s Jedidiah Brown (20-3 in 4:57). King got to the final by sandwiching a quarterfinal pin (2:55) over Bishop Kenny’s Noah Ossi with decisions over Middleburg’s Wyatt Leduc (7-4, rd of 16) and Clay’s Maverick Rainwater (6-0, semis). Rainwater won twice for third, decisioning Matanzas’ Toryion Stallings, 5-1, in the bronze-medal match, while Brown finished sixth after a 7-2 loss to Space Coast in the fifth-place match.
126: Middleburg’s Riley Girgis (25-2) bonus-pointed through the tournament, with Friday wins over Orange Park’s Braden Owenby (1:15, rd of 32), Episcopal’s Cohen Chesser (13-0, rd of 16) and Key West (fall in 2 minutes). On Saturday, Girgis majored South Walton’s Isaac Brinson, 16-8, in the semis, then falled Fletcher’s Cole O’Brien in 5:12 for the championship. Girgis scored in both first and second periods, with 3-point nearfalls in the first and third before grabbing the fall. O’Brien also bonus-pointed through each preliminary round, with a 16-5 major over Satellite (rd of 16), a third-period TF (16-1 in 4:46) over Matanzas’ Braden Hawley (quarters) and a fall over Clay’s Rylan Herrera (1:26) in the semis. Brinson was fourth after a consi-semi pin and 6-5 loss to Satellite, while Herrera was sixth, losing by fall (2:20) to Villages.
132: Buchholz’s Venumadhava Mirel (41-8) won the title with three Friday bonus-point wins and a pair of Saturday decisions. Mirel teched South Walton’s Gibson Moore (18-2 TF in 5:09, rd of 32), with pins Friday over Middleburg’s Dylan Johns (1:31, rd of 16) and Clay’s Landon Solomon (1:25, quarters), with a 4-2 win over Oakleaf’s Marcus McGee in the semis and a 3-2 decision over Palatka’s Mikade Harvey for the bracket win. Mirel got first takedown, and escaped early in the third to overcone Harvey’s second-period takedown, making the escape stand up. Harvey reached final with techs over Satellite (17-0 in 5:44), Fletcher’s Fred Saporita (20-3 TF in 2:48), a pin over Episcopal’s Cristian Ryan (2:49) and a 6-0 semifinal win over Clay’s Xavier Logan. McGee dominated the consis, teching Key West (15-0 in 4:01) to take third, while Matanzas’ Dylan Parkinson (3 consi-side wins) won by forfeit for fifth.
138: Palatka’s Brandon Lewis (25-5) won his second Rotary title, with four bonus-point wins prior to a 7-4 championship decision over the hosts’ Josh Kumpf. Lewis had scoring moves in each period (2 takedowns and a reversal) to take the win. Earlier, Lewis pinned South Walton’s Ryan Kurfirst (1:29), Oakleaf’s Jackson Hemphill (1:50) and Middleburg’s Logan Moore (3:09, semis), with a 10-0 quarterfinal major over Bishop Kenny’s Jack Raynor. Kumpf also had four bonus-point wins, defeating Baker’s Thomas Torres (pin in 1:12), Buchholz’s Jack Buchanan (17-1 TF in 4:12), Bolles’ Denny Vohs (pin in :35) and Cocoa Beach (13-5, semis). Bay’s Corban Cherry, who lost by 8-5 decision to Cocoa Beach in the round of 32, won six consi-side matches to get all the way back to the third-place match, falling again to Cocoa Beach (8-6), while Moore was fifth after a pin (3:36) over Villages.
145: Buchholz’s Aiden Moore (43-6) pinned his way through the preliminary rounds, with falls over Matanzas’ Robin Rodriguez (1:16), Key West (:24), Pedro Menendez’s Archer Bosick (2:46) and South Walton’s Dylan Billingsley (4:41), escaping out in the third period of the final against Clay’s Luke Boree to take a 1-0 decision. Boree had pins over Fletcher’s Jackson McEachin (:51) and Bay’s Trenton Wood (2:33), with a forfeit win in the quarters and an escape for a 4-3 ultimate-tiebreaker decision over Bartram Trail’s Preston Pena in the semis. Billingsley won twice in the consis, decisioning Bishop Kenny’s Paul Barakat (who also won six times in the consis after a 3-2 rd-of-32 loss to Bosick) by a 4-1 count for third. Pena falled Terry Parker’s Jeff Brown in 4:55 for fifth.
152: Bishop Kenny’s Roberto Cuartero (28-1) bonus-pointed through every round of the tournament, with four pins and a 12-2 major, pinning Mosley’s Nick Hejke in 3:05 during the finals. Hejke got first takedown in the second period after a scoreless first, but Cuartero was able to reverse out and then put Hejke to back for the fall. Earlier, Cuartero had pins over Middleburg’s Aden Thornton (1:07), Oakleaf’s Elijah Shevchook (1:15) and Bartram Trail’s Jonathan Mizelle (:51), with the major over Matanzas’ Tyson Mills in the semis. Hejke had four max-point wins, with a forfeit in the second round and pins over Orange Park’s Cevan Broughton (:31), Buchholz’s Max Szabo (1:41) and Fletcher’s Christopher Strong (3:34) in the semis. Mills came back for third with two wins, including a 6-5 third-place win over Strong, while Thornton pinned Shevchook in 3:17 for fifth.
160: Bishop Kenny’s Collin Hearn reached the final, where he took a 3-1 loss against Villages’ Kevin Coon. Prior to the final, Hearn took pins over Satellite (1:59), Baker County’s Cannon Wimpey (2:45), Key West (4:36) and Oakleaf’s Roman Polinsky (4:30). After falling 3-0 to Coon in the semis, Orange Park’s Trevion Sermons won twice by bonus-points to grab third, with a medical forfeit over Polinsky, while Fletcher’s Josh Daltro took a 4-2 decision for fifth over Union County’s Caleb Crawford (4 consi-side victories to make podium after a round-of-16 loss to Sermons).
170: Matanzas’ Jordan Mills (42-4) pinned through the bracket prior to the finals, where he held the upper hand throughout against Bartram Trail’s John McNames. Mills bagged six takedowns in the match, three in the first period. Earlier in the tournament, Mills had falls over Space Coast (3:54), Union County’s Colin Hadlock (2:38), West Nassau’s Jakob Turnage (1:10) and Clay’s Ethan Larsen (4:51). McNames reached the final behind pins over Episcopal’s Brennan Doherty (4:38) and South Walton’s Shane Lane (1:38), with decisions over Space Coast (9-2) and Satellite (6-5). Larsen came back for third behind two wins, with a 13-10 third-place win over Turnage, while Oakleaf’s Mason Ganion (four consi-side wins to make podium) won by forfeit for fifth.
182: Clay’s Dominic Martin (31-6) found a takedown in sudden victory to break a 1-1 tie in the final, decisioning Buchholz’s Kason Nichols, 3-1, for the championship. Martin had preliminary falls over Palatka’s Curtis Clark (:35), Buchholz’s William Lancer (:56), Middleburg’s Austin Cruce (3:24) and Oakleaf’s Onjel Caraballo (3:48) to get to the championship, while Nichols won by fall over Palatka’s Christian Brannen (2:00) and had decisions over Key West (6-3), Clay’s Jadon Bell (8-1) and Villages (3-2) to reach the final. Caraballo was fourth, falling by a 14-5 major in the third-place match to Villages, while Lancer decisioned Orange Park’s Tyson Cruz, 3-1, for fifth.
195: North Bay Haven’s David Mercado (46-1) pinned his way through the tournament, with falls over Satellite (:12), Palatka’s Benjerman Alicea (:34), Buchholz’s Jamari Chisolm (1:41), Villages (2:26) and a pin in the final (1:21) over Baker County’s Toby Kinghorn. Kinghorn hit a 5-point move early on Mercado, but he was able to escape out and get a takedown and secure the fall. After a bye into the round of 16, Kinghorn had falls over Union County’s Danny Thornton (:29), Villages (1:32) and Clay’s Kedtric Wilbon (2:58). Wilbon wound up fourth, with a 7-2 loss to Villages in the third-place match.
220: The Blue Devils’ Garrett Tyre (38-2) won the title behind two pins and two decisions, overcoming Raines’ Jamari Watson by an 11-9 count in the final. Watson scored the first two takedowns, but a late reversal from Tyre in the first period started turning momentum his way, and he had scoring moves in both the second and third periods, plus a 3-point nearfall. Earlier, Tyre pinned Oakleaf’s Ben Gaddis (:38) and Baker County’s Ian Doyle (3:34), with a 6-0 semifinal win over Key West. Watson had four max-point wins, with a forfeit and pins over Villages (1:51), Key West (1:19) and Riverside’s Thomas Jones (1:03). Jones was fourth after an 11-1 loss to Key West in the medal round, while North Bay Haven’s Logan McAlister (winner of five consi-side matches) pinned Key West in 2:20 for fifth.
285: After pinning his way through to the finals, Bolles’ Jack Pyburn (24-0) won the title via forfeit over Fletcher’s Toby Matson. After a bye, Pyburn had falls over Bishop Kenny’s Kevin Thallemer (:56), Key West (2:24) and Baker County’s Chase Crews (:13), while Matson had pins over Bishop Snyder’s Angel Lecointe (5:35) and Key West (5:07), with an injury-default win in the quarters. South Walton’s Nick Lee, who won five consi-side matches en route to podiuming, was fourth after a loss by fall to Key West (:41), while Crews was fifth after pinning Key West (1 minute) in the place match.
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.