By MATMEN, Tuesday, 4:45 p.m.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH — And then there was one.
Only Fleming Island remains among northern teams to have won the FHSAA district duals title every year it has been held.
Last Wednesday at the Golden Eagles’ new district home, 2A-District 4 — its third different district in the last three seasons — Fleming Island flexed its muscle in three dominant dual performances.
The Golden Eagles (6-0 after weekend wrestling) rolled up shutout wins over Belleview (82-0) and host New Smyrna Beach (72-0) before rolling past Clay, 70-3, in taking their sixth consecutive district duals title.
Yep, that’s one match lost.
Fleming Island will host 2A-Region 1 quarterfinal and semifinal rounds this Thursday in what turned out to be an all-Clay County set of duals.
That’s because Clay (12-2) bounced back from the loss to turn back the Barracudas, 48-34, to advance to the region round for the sixth time. Earlier in the day, the Blue Devils defeated Pedro Menendez, 54-24, and Matanzas, 65-15, to reach the final and Fleming. No match-by-match names for Clay were made available to Matmen at time of this publication.
Starting at 6 p.m., Fleming Island will face Oakleaf (10-8) in one quarterfinal, with Clay taking on Middleburg (14-3) in the other. The quarterfinal winners will then meet for a berth in the FHSAA 2A state duals tournament at Osceola on January 20, where Thursday’s semifinal winner will face another semifinal winner for the region title.
So, the one match lost thing. That meant that 11 Golden Eagle starters were 3-0 on the day, including Shane Duhaylungsod (113/120, 2 pins & tech), Laird Duhaylungsod (120/126, 2 pins), Jayce Paridon (126/132, pin & major), Dylan Beck (138, pin & 2 decisions), Kaden Schaefer (145, 2 pins & tech), Matthew Kotler (152, 3 pins), Christopher Chop (160, 2 pins), Ronan Bozeman (170, pin), Joshua Sandoval (182, pin/major/decision), Walter Poe (195, 2 pins) and Ethan Hoffstetter (285, 3 pins).
Cooper Beck (132, pin & major) and Jhoel Robinson (220, pin & decision) were both 2-0 for Fleming Island; Matthew Newman (106/113, major) was 2-1, with the lone loss a 3-1 count against the state’s top-ranked 106.
New Smyrna Beach (5-4 after district duals) opened its tournament with a 66-16 quarterfinal win before falling to Fleming in the semis and then taking its second loss to Clay for true 2nd place.
Three Barracuda wrestlers were 2-1 on the night, as Jonathan Bruner (132, pin & decision), Simjay Engberg (145, pin) and Micah Nilsson (170, pin) all won twice, with victories against Seabreeze and Clay.
Matanzas took an as-reported 54-20 win in the quarters over Mainland before falling in the semis to Clay. The Pirates (7-7 in duals for the year) did not report individual results to Matmen.
Pedro Menendez (7-5) reached the quarterfinals behind a 51-21 pigtail win over St Augustine (0-2).
The Falcons had eight contested wins over the two rounds, with Maddox Lehman (170/182) winding up as Menendez’s only 2-0 competitor.
For teams with reported results, Seabreeze (0-6 after district duals) got pins from Aiden Hedge (152) and Logan Smith (160), while William Sites (120) took a win by decision. The Yellow Jackets got pins from Tyshawn Whitfield (152) and Chris Johns (195), plus a decision win from Christian Jackson at 160. With their losses, Belleview is 0-1 and Mainland 4-6.
A set of results from last week’s tournament can be found HERE.