#Recap: Fleming falls to Lk Gibson In 2A Final

Fleming Island wrestlers and coaches applaud a strong effort during the Golden Eagles’ FHSAA 2A state final with Lake Gibson Saturday afternoon at Osceola HS (Photo by Brant Parsons,

By MATMEN, Saturday, 7:40 p.m.

KISSIMMEE — Going back to the drawing board is a lonely place to go on the third Saturday night in January.

But while it’s the result of many good things happening over time, and thus a better place to be than not getting the chance at all to come up short, it’s also become a familiar, frustrating place for Fleming Island to return to on the third Saturday night in January.

The Golden Eagles made their fourth FHSAA state duals final with a 51-18 victory over Merritt Island in the morning’s 2A semis at Osceola HS. But Lake Gibson, a four-time 2A duals champion and 2x defending champ going in, had the answers once again in the title dual against Fleming Island (18-1 in duals), taking a 37-19 dual win that had moments where it felt justthatclose for the taking.

The Braves opened with a 6-2 win, with Tristan Vann (2nd-195) grabbing that start, but the Golden Eagles erased that and ran out to a 16-3 gap on three straight bonus-point wins, with pins from Ethan Hoffstetter (2nd-285) and Matthew Newman (2nd-106), plus a 10-1 major from Jhoel Robinson (1st-220).

But Lake Gibson would then find way, after way, after frustrating way, to not only break its way back into the dual, but seize control of it, starting with a six-match, 25-0 win streak between 113 and 152.

Gaetano Tedesco (2nd-132)’s fall was the biggest point-grabber for Lake Gibson, but the Braves took pieces out of Fleming’s momentum behind Christian Fretwell (1st-120)’s 11-2 major and decisions from Elijah Lowe (5th-113, match score 8-2), Colt Brown (3rd-126, 7-5 in sudden victory), Ny’Travious Walker (6th-138, 12-7 match score), Hayden Whidden (1st-145, 7-2 count) and Gianni Maldonado (1st-152, 8-7 decision).

The Eagles’ Christopher Chop (10th-160) broke the run with a 1-0 win when Fleming Island needed a win most, and that made it 28-19 LGHS with two weights to go.

But the Braves showed why they’ve built a program capable of five dual titles, and three in a row, closing out the day with Jace Brownlow (6th-170)’s sudden-victory fall and Tito Solorzano (1st-182)’s 7-3 win.

No one in Region 1 has occupied the space Fleming has — with four finals losses (2018 and 2019 against South Dade, 2022 and this year to Lake Gibson, plus semifinal losses to Dade in 2020 and Riverdale in 2021) — but now it’s IBT time for Fleming, starting next weekend with the Colby Singletary Memorial Invitational at Palmetto Ridge.

Fleming Island 51, Merritt Island 18: The Golden Eagles never trailed in the morning against the Region 4 champs, thanks to a 15-6 start and an 18-0 run in the middle of the dual which largely put it away.

Pins from Joshua Sandoval (4th-182) and Robinson (220), plus a 5-1 win from Hoffstetter, helped overcome Seven Tornga’s pin at 195 to give the Golden Eagles a 15-6 lead.

Landon Quiroga (6th-106) would grab a 5-2 win to cut that lead to six, but pins from Shane Duhaylungsod (8th-113), Laird Duhaylungsod (2nd-120) and Jayce Paridon (2nd-126) allowed Fleming a chance to build a 33-9 lead.

The Mustangs would bag decisions from Kyle Mulley (132) and Judge Deyoung (8th-145, competing at 138), plus another one at 152 from Dylan Quiroga (8th-160), but the Golden Eagles finished off the dual on a high note, with pins from Kaden Schaefer (2nd-145), Chop (160) and Ronan Bozeman (4th-170).

Lake Gibson 40, Charlotte 28: In the Braves’ preliminary Saturday morning, they found themselves trailing by a 22-4 count before putting it on the Tarpons behind a six-match run that clinched Lake Gibson’s spot in the final.

After Solorzano opened the day with a 17-5 major at 182, Charlotte would collect pins from Cael Newton (2nd-220) and Nikko Frattarelli (11th-285), a 14-6 major from Nathaniel Box (3rd-195) and decisions from both Matthew Schuler (12th-106, match score 4-1) and Camren French (1st-113, match score 5-1).

The Braves, though, were all staged up for their stars to make it happen, and make it happen they would, with a 31-0 run that saw pins from Fretwell (120), Brown (126), Whidden (145) and Maldonado (dual-clinching pin at 152), plus a 15-7 major from Walker at 138 and a 4-3 win from Gaetano Tedesco at 132.

The semifinal closed out behind Charlotte’s James Baltutis (7th-160) winning by fall and Brownlow (170) taking a 20-5 tech fall.

Results from all three 2A duals can be found HERE. All rankings from

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen, or on Instagram at nflamatmen. Please support our independent journalism! We’re on Venmo now: Shannon-Heaton-6. Or if you prefer PayPal, search me at Shannon Heaton (use the site email account to find the correct me).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s