By MATMEN, Tuesday, 8 p.m.
FERNANDINA BEACH — After competing in a tournament with no team stakes, Clay next turned to the ultimate team concept — a duals tournament — in building its 2022-23 schedule.
The Blue Devils proved themselves capable in that environment Saturday at Fernandina Beach’s Dual in the Dunes one-day duals meet, taking the team title after five wins.
Clay had an average margin of victory of 30.6 points per dual, averaging nearly 55 points in each one wrestled.
Twelve teams — 11 of them from the coverage area, along with nearby Charlton County, just over the state line in Folkston GA — competed in the Pirates’ gym on Saturday.
Below follows a summary of the day:
1. Clay (5-0 tournament & overall) —
Wins: Union County (58-22), Lake Mary (48-27), Charlton County GA (72-12), Bartram Trail (48-28), Episcopal (46-30).
MVP: Landon Solomon. Competing at 145/152, Solomon was one of two max-pointers on the day for the Blue Devils, with falls over Lake Mary, Bartram Trail and Episcopal.
Hidden in the box scores: Kedtric Wilbourn (3rd at 2A-220) was an anchor up top for Clay, regardless of whether he was competing at 220 or 285 for the Blue Devils, picking up pins over Union County, Lake Mary and Charlton County. In the championship pool, Wilbourn powered through to two decisions (3-1 over Bartram, 4-0 over Episcopal; both at 220).
2. Bartram Trail (4-1 tournament, 9-1 overall) —
Wins: Fernandina Beach (40-36), Raines (72-0), Baker County (53-24), Episcopal (42-36).
MVP: Jacob George. Continuing his hot start, George had five pins in all on Saturday, pinning all four opponents listed above and Clay as well; in the four where fall times were recorded, George racked those four up in 1:50, with none going past 37 seconds.
Hidden in the box scores: Bartram had three 5-0 max-pointers, but only George and Preston Pena pinned their way through the tournament. Pena (8th at 3A-145) falled his four opponents at 152 with recorded fall times in 6 minutes exactly, no mean feat to accomplish across four separate duals and opponents.
3. Episcopal (3-2 tournament, 10-2 overall) —
Wins: Interlachen (84-0), New Smyrna Beach (42-36), Paxon (54-3).
MVP: Brennan Doherty (8th at 1A-170). Doherty was the Eagles’ lone 5-0 competitor, max-pointing through the day at 170, with pins over New Smyrna Beach, Bartram Trail and Clay providing key anchors for Episcopal.
Hidden in the box scores: Saturday saw the return of Lawson Perry (9th at 1A-195) to the lineup after being out with injury for much of last year. Perry took a loss in the New Smyrna Beach win, but after that pinned out at 195, with falls over Paxon, Bartram Trail and Clay.
4. Fernandina Beach (4-1 tournament & overall) —
Wins: Baker County (46-33), Raines (72-6), New Smyrna Beach (40-34), Union County (42-35).
MVP: Cole Misciagna. The Pirates’ lone max-pointer on the day, Misciagna (19th at 1A-145) was 5-0 with 30 dual points scored at 145, with pins over Bartram Trail (team’s only loss), Baker County and Union County.
Hidden in the box scores: The performance of freshman Cole Richter in his first tournament was a gem for Fernandina Beach. Competing at 106, Richter was 5-0, with pins over New Smyrna Beach and Union County, plus a 15-0 tech over Baker County.
5. New Smyrna Beach (3-2 tournament, 4-2 overall) —
Wins: Paxon (72-3), Interlachen (72-12), Union County (69-12).
MVP: Jonathon Bruner. Bruner (17th at 2A-126) was one of four 5-0 wrestlers for the ‘Cudas; after a pair of forfeits early on at 132, Bruner recorded two pins and a major, with an 11-1 win over Fernandina Beach there. His pins were against Interlachen and Union County.
Hidden in the box scores: Sawyer VanRider (6th at 2A-182) had to grind for his 5-0 tournament; after opening with a forfeit, VanRider had decision wins of 8-4, 10-5 and 9-5, all against ranked opponents, plus a fall over Interlachen.
6. Union County (2-3 tournament, 2-4 overall) —
Wins: Charlton County (42-40), Lake Mary (42-40).
MVP: Ian Halfcare. Was 3-0 in pool for the Tigers at 132, with pins over Clay and Lake Mary to push Union into the 4th-place pool. After a loss by fall to a 2A state qualifier, Halfacre rallied for a key decision over a region rival.
Hidden in the box scores: Had a part-time appearances, with three starts at 152, but Dante Johnson made the most of all three, with three pins (Clay, Lake Mary and Fernandina Beach).
7. Baker County (3-2 tournament, 7-2 overall) —
Wins: Raines (72-12), Paxon (78-6), Lake Mary (48-34).
MVP: Cannon Wimpey. Max-pointed through the day at 170, with key pins in the Wildcats’ losses against Fernandina Beach and Bartram Trail, plus a third pin in the win over Lake Mary.
Hidden in the box scores: Jareb Lauramore (18th at 1A-113) joined Wimpey as the Wildcats’ only unbeatens and also was a max-pointer at 113, with pins in the loss to Fernandina Beach and win over Paxon during the course of competition.
8. Lake Mary (2-3 tournament, 2-4 overall) —
Wins: Charlton County GA (54-21), Paxon (63-6).
MVP: Nathan Walck. Bonus-pointed through the day to a 5-0 tournament record at 106, with pins over Clay and Union County, plus a 9-1 major over Baker County to close out the day.
Hidden in the box scores: In his first appearance with the Rams, Michael Frederick (220) — who’d previously wrestled at Seminole — put a 4-0, four-pin performance, with falls in each of the first four rounds.
9. Paxon (1-4 tournament & overall) —
Wins: Interlachen (25-24, criteria).
MVP: Kyle Brown. Was 4-1 on the day at 120/126, with the team’s lone win against New Smyrna Beach (pin & 2 decisions on day). Brown’s only loss was in the final round against Lake Mary, where he’d bumped up to 126 to compete.
Hidden in the box scores: After a rough day of four losses by fall at 195, Lindsay Francis was able to get a note in the win column, with the Golden Eagles’ only points against Lake Mary.
11. Interlachen (1-4 tournament & overall) —
Wins: Raines (30-24).
MVP: George Rodriguez. Had three wins on the day at 182, including one of two pins that the Rams collected against Paxon. Rodriguez also had forfeits in the crossover round; the one against Raines was critical in the dual win.
Hidden in the box scores: After four contested losses in pool play, Dayron Wright (132) and John Sanders (138) both were 2-0 in the crossover, with pins over Charlton County. Both were 3-2 on the day.
12. Raines (0-5 tournament & overall) —
MVP: D’Cari Wilson. Was the only Vikings wrestler with two victories on Saturday as Raines had only five weight classes filled. Wilson (19th at 1A-220) had a fall over Baker County in the first round of the day, adding a second win by forfeit in the crossover, all at 220.
Please check out our photo gallery of Saturday’s wrestling on social media at North Florida Matmen (Facebook) and nflamatmen (Instagram). Full results for the tournament can be found HERE.