#Recap: Pirates Roll In Marine Corps Classic Win

Matanzas wrestlers and coaches take a final picture with the Marine Corps Challenge team title trophy on Saturday at Riverside HS in Jacksonville (Photo submitted by TJ Gillin via Facebook).

By MATMEN, Tuesday, 9:45 p.m.

JACKSONVILLE — Six weight-class titles will go a long way toward a team title.

In Matanzas’ case on Saturday, those titles meant moving on from a tough 2A-District 4 semifinal loss three days earlier, as the Pirates rolled to the team title, outpointing Wolfson by a 236-140 count to win the Marine Corps Challenge at Riverside.

Stanton was third in the 11-team, one-day IBT, with 132 points, followed by Beachside (129.5), Mainland (125), the host Generals (115), Keystone Heights (110), Paxon (83), Centennial (57), Providence (45) and Godby (40).

Timothy McLean (3rd-2A at 106, competing at 113) and Kaden Golder (15th-2A at 120) got the title carousel kicked off for the Pirates. McLean bonus-pointed through the tournament, with a 49-second pin and pair of majors, including a 13-5 finals win over Wolfson’s Tristian Martinez, while Golder had two pins in 84 seconds, then powered past Paxon’s Kyle Brown (9th-1A), 3-1, to win at 120.

In a wide-open bracket, the Pirates’ Michael Fries pinned his way through at 138, with three falls, including a 2nd-period pin (3:38) over Stanton’s Dean Holt. The trio of upper-weight upperclassmen finished off the title parade, as Samuel Nay (160), Landon Wright (170) and Jordan Mills (182) all took bracket gold.

Nay had three pins to reach the 160 final, where he overcame Paxon’s Brendan Lawson by an 11-7 count, while Wright (17th-2A) had two pins before pushing just past the hosts’ Anthony Kearney for an 8-7 win at 170. Mills, in his first known competition of the year, grabbed a 5-second pin in the semis, then knocked off any rust he may have had in a 10-3 decision over Beachside’s Eddie Craig (17th-1A).

Mainland was fifth in the team classification, but the Buccaneers went home with three gold medals thanks to eforts from Brian Harris (132), Joshua Stubbs (152) and Josh Newman (195).

Harris pinned his way through the 132 bracket, falling Matanzas’ Carter Wilder (9th-2A) in the semis and then adding a third-period fall in the final over Keystone Heights’ Phoenix Contes (4:50). Stubbs, at the top of the 152 bracket, had a bye into the semis, with a pair of pins that included a third-period fall (4:36) over Matanzas’ Andrew Sanchez, while Newman had the same situation as Stubbs in his bracket, with a bye into the semis and two first-period pins from there, including a 59-second fall over Beachside’s Isaac Pfaff.

Four area wrestlers — Wolfson’s Taylor Martinez (106), Stanton’s Elias Spurlin (126), Beachside’s Grady Smith (145) and the hosts’ Thomas Jones (220) — were their teams’ solo champions.

Martinez had a bye into the final in a 3-person bracket at 106, pinning Stanton’s Mackenzie Mock in 40 seconds in that round, while Spurlin needed just 44 seconds over two rounds after a bye into the 126 semis; he pinned Paxon’s Justin Williams in :24 for his first-place medal.

Smith had three pins en route to the 145 gold, falling Keystone Heights’ Luke Graves in 1:39 for the title, while Jones (9th-2A) used two pins to get to the 220 final, where he decisioned teammate Demontra Burnett by a 15-8 count for his first-place finish.

You can see full team scores and brackets from the weekend’s competition HERE.

All boys rankings from

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