Bishop Snyder showed a lot of promise in 2012-13 as a wrestling team that was young, struggling at times, but on the move in a positive direction.
This year, the HM-listed Cardinals are moving not just in the right direction, but also toward a position of strength up and down the lineup. On Saturday, at the first of two North Florida Duals events that Bishop Snyder hosts, the Cardinals ran the table, going 5-0 with convincing victories in each round to share top honors with Class 3A Gainesville Buchholz.
The Cardinals had an average margin of victory of 35.4 points in hammering five fellow Class 1A opponents, rolling past Duval Charter (60-24), West Nassau (54-21), Baker County (54-24), Episcopal (60-6) and Terry Parker (48-24).
Big moves were the order of the day for the Cardinals. With one exception — against short-handed Episcopal, against which Bishop Snyder recorded six forfeit wins — the team secured at least six falls in every dual, and seven against both Duval Charter and West Nassau to open the five-round tournament.
Putting together solid 4-1 efforts were Mandarin and HM-listed Bishop Kenny, both of which lost only to Buchholz during the course of the afternoon.
The Mustangs, just hours after a solid effort that brought just one win at Fletcher Friday night, won three in a row to start the day Saturday.
Mandarin opened with a win over coach John Evans’ old squad, Stanton, taking a 51-18 win over the Blue Devils. Oakleaf gave fits before falling to the Mustangs, 42-26, and the Mustangs rolled past Episcopal, 57-12, before taking it on the chin against Buchholz in a 52-24 loss. Mandarin righted the ship with a 65-18 victory over Duval Charter.
Bishop Kenny opened with two wins over Providence (60-12) and Terry Parker (54-24) before Buchholz hammered the Crusaders in a 59-16 rout.
Kenny did rally against a gritty Sandalwood side, taking a 48-27 victory and closing out the day with a 51-21 victory over Oakleaf.
For their part, Oakleaf and Sandalwood boasted plus-.500 records in their season-opening competition, as both teams went 3-2, as did Baker County.
Terry Parker, Providence and Ed White each finished 2-3 for the day, with Duval Charter and Stanton both going 1-4. Episcopal and HM-listed West Nassau, both of whom faced significant manpower shortages Saturday, were both 0-5.
Clay takes 2nd at Border Wars: Led by a title at 145 pounds from junior Adam Breindel, Clay took second in Saturday’s Border Wars, a 23-team event hosted by South Walton Beach Friday and Saturday. Breindel knocked off three-time Louisiana state champion Trevor Schermer to win the title at 145, going 7-0 on the weekend.
Two other Blue Devil wrestlers finished second in their weight classes. Freshman Cody Taylor brought home a runnerup effort at 113 after a 6-1 weekend, and senior Caleb Loyd reached the final of a varsity tournament for the first time in his HS career after going 5-1 at 160.
Seniors Dylan Martin (132) and Imier Almanzer (152) each took thirds in their weights, with Martin going 6-1 and Almanzer 7-1. Almanzer’s lone loss was to 2A state placewinner Forrest Lang of Mosley, in the semis by a 4-2 count.
Matanzas Duals: #3 Orange Park put together a dominating performance Saturday in Matanzas, as the Raiders swept to a 7-0 day to win the Matanzas Duals. Other than a tight 41-33 win over the hosts in the final round of the day, Orange Park was never seriously tested, winning its six other duals by an average of 58.7 points. The Raiders shut out Ponte Vedra (82-0) and Palatka (84-0) and rolled past Pedro Menendez (57-18), Nease (60-15), St. Augustine (64-14) and Satellite (66-14).
Ponte Vedra picked up one dual-meet win on Saturday, defeating Palatka by a 42-28 decision. The Sharks were also competitive with HM-listed St. Augustine (falling 54-30) and Satellite (42-36), but struggled against the hosts (78-6), #3 Orange Park and Nease (55-7).
Editor’s Note: Other teams competing in the Matanzas Duals have until 5 p.m. Monday to submit results and/or information so that they may be included in this first Saturday roundup story.