Bishop Kenny — The Season, 2013-14

We’ll roll out five today and will have to see about the other five. I think Monday for those. Because of the great job that the Crusaders did with their reports all season, there were very few discrepancies between what I had and what Kenny reported. I’d say that so far, it’s BIshop Kenny, Creekside and one other school that will be rolled out today that had the fewest. Kenny and I had only two differences and it was one win more for Caron and one loss more for Warren, who wouldn’t have wrestled in the same weight at any rate. I call that pretty dang good.

By the way, we went over 100,000 page views on Wednesday. That doesn’t happen without your willingness to work with me, no matter what the school. So thank you, very much, for all of your efforts.



One Weekend For Glory: 1A

1A state preview

We wrap up our previews with Class 1A. Enough talk. Enough words. GO TIME!

Wrestling starts: Friday at 10 a.m. at The Lakeland Center and continues throughout the day with two rounds of championship and two rounds of consolation wrestling. Saturday picks up at 10 a.m. with the semifinals, followed by two rounds of consolation wrestling, third- and fifth-place matches and the finals at 6.

Locals: Andrew Klopman (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. (tie) Third & Bottom 39. 4. Second 55.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #1 William Pickren of South Walton takes on unranked Matthew Davis of McKeel in the first round, with the winner facing #3 Steven Moreno of Miami Pace or #7 Lukas Twardosky of Pasco in the quarters.
Klopman’s podium chances: Pretty good, considering that he comes out of what is on paper the easiest quarter of the four. Klopman’s also beaten several ranked wrestlers during the year, so shouldn’t be fazed by seeing #4 Cullen Telfer in the quarters, possibly.
Semifinal choices: Pickren, Klopman, Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep) and Brevin Balmeceda (Keys Gate).

Locals: Dale Browning (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 30. 2. Third 34. 3. Top 35. 4. Bottom 49.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #4 Browning takes on #8 Jack Lipp of Lemon Bay in the first round, with the winner facing either unranked Chance Layfield of Bay or #1 Kennedy Monday of Cardinal Gibbons in the quarters.
Browning’s podium chances: Despite the draw of Monday — who has made a splash this year — as a quarterfinal opponent, either way they’re pretty good. Semis = podium automatically, a loss would mean needing two wins at least on the back end, which is doable, but would also have to come against ranked opponents.

Locals: Nick Toney (Bishop Kenny).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 34. 2. Third 35. 3. Second 37. 4. Top 50.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #9 Dante Pedilla of Weeki Wachee faces #7 Dy’Juan Carney of Wakulla in the first round, with the winner taking on either unranked Eric Garcia of Lely or #1 Brady Moser of American Heritage in the quarters.
Toney’s podium chances: He probably liked getting this draw and facing #10 Austin Rasmussen of Deltona in round 1, given that Rasmussen decisioned #6 Toney 1-0 at Clay Rotary when Toney was still getting used to sucking back to 120 after being up higher. His road is better off with a first-round win; if Rasmussen can repeat the feat, Toney’s path in the consis, where he is in the bracket, is a lot harder than the path he’d take with a quarterfinal loss.
Semifinal choices: Richie McClanahan (Arnold), Bryce Rogers (Lake Highland Prep), Anthony Artalona (Tampa Prep), Moser.

Locals: Michael Allen (Pedro Menendez), Tharin Hessenauer (Fernandina Beach).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 32. 2. Second 33. 3. Top 37. 4. Third 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #14 Brown faces #6 Justin Cohen of Miami Pace in the first round, with the winner taking on #14 Mark Espinosa of Nature Coast or #1 Donovon Hough of Tampa Prep in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Brown has a fair chance of hanging around for a medal, but it won’t be easy, coming out of a quarter with four ranked wrestlers. Same holds true for #16 Hessenauer, who’s in with three top-10s in the second quarter.
Semifinal choices: Brock Carlan (Arnold), Anthony Vazquez (Cardinal Gibbons), Michael Allen (Crystal River), Hough.

Locals: Josh Calhoun (Bolles), Dylan Martin (Clay), Brandon Harvey (Baker County).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. Bottom 35. 3. Second 37. 4. Third 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Calhoun faces #7 Jesus Nieves of Weeki Wachee in the first round, with the winner taking on #10 Joey Fazio of Southeast or #5 Jonathan Astacio of Somerset Academy in the quarters. Evenly-matched quarter based on the rankings.
Locals’ podium chances: Calhoun should be in the mix for a podium finish no matter where he ends up Friday, but a first-round loss would be the hardest way to go, given the way the draws break. Either #4 Martin or #13 Harvey has to go into the consolation round at some point, as the two face each other in round 1. The first round of the back end for the loser of that match is survivable.
Semifinal choices: Calhoun, Elijah Cleary (Lake Highland Prep), Jay Dugmore (Indian Rocks Christian), Jamel Morris (Cardinal Gibbons).

Locals: Austin Luke (Clay), Timothy Worthen (Yulee).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 26. 2. Third 32. 3. (tie) Top & Second 34. Very even brackets.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Luke faces #1 Jamel Morris of Cardinal Gibbons in the first round, with the winner taking on either #11 Billy Jenkins of Suwannee or #8 Eric Cabral of Booker in the quarterfinals.
Luke’s podium chances: Still good, despite the lousy draw of a #6 facing a #1 in round 1. Considering that Luke came out of a region that advanced 2-3-4-6, there’s going to be guys he can beat all the way along the path. The biggest stumbling block, if Luke were to lose in round 1, to a podium finish is having 1 and 2 in the same semifinal (as they are here) — one of those two would be in the consi semis with him, but if he gets that far he’ll be on the podium already.
Semifinal choices: Max Wohlabaugh (Bishop Moore), Skyler White (Pasco), Anthony Petrone (Lake Highland Prep), Morris.

Locals: Adam Breindel (Clay), Cody Joseph (University Christian), Josh Helm (Fernandina Beach).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 29. 2. (tie) Top & Third 36. 4. Bottom 50.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #2 Christian Perez of Miami Pace faces #8 Justin Martinez of Lake Highland Prep in the first round, with the winner facing either #14 Cody Davis of Wakulla or #5 Erich Byelick of Indian Rocks Christian in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: At top end, Breindel has enough to win the state championship. Don’t be surprised to see a Breindel-Joseph quarterfinal, as they are in the same quarter. Both Joseph and Helm should at least both make the quarters, and Helm may do better than that. It would not surprise me a bit to see all three somewhere on the podium Saturday night.
Semifinal choices: Tag Wilber (Jupiter Christian), Perez, Breindel, Alex Lopouchanski (Cardinal Gibbons).

Locals: Imier Almanzar (Clay), Thomas Monaghan (Fernandina Beach), Rodney Padgett (Pedro Menendez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: Bottom 34. Second 36. Top 38. Third 41. Another evenly-matched bracket.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #2 Almanzar draws a tough #5 Devin Combs of Marianna in the first round, with the winner facing either unranked Bobby Caspolich of Lemon Bay or #10 Nick Delvecchio of Cardinal Gibbons.
Locals’ podium chances: Should Almanzar get through rd 1 as expected, he should make the semis and that would get him on the podium. He has a solid shot at Saturday night. #11 Padgett faces #1 and defending state champion Jake Spengler of Lake Highland Prep in rd 1, and so could be looking at having to win three on the back end. #15 Monaghan isn’t favored against #6 Jonte Scott of Anclote in rd 1, but if he can get through that one, his chances for a medal improve significantly.
Semifinal choices: Connor Steinfeld (Sarasota Military), Spengler, Connor Allshouse (Indian Rocks Christian), Almanzar.

Locals: Daniel Folkner (University Christian), Michael Dudzinski (West Nassau), Caleb Loyd (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 33. 2. Third 36. 3. Top 44. 4. Second 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: Unranked Bryce Hill of American Heritage (Delray) faces #1 Shawn Brown of Suwannee, with the winner taking on #11 Zachary Logan of Villages or #4 Ryan Dodge of Lemon Bay in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: By the numbers, #9 Dudzinski is under-rated in his first-rounder with #8 Julien Georgescu of Cardinal Gibbons, but I’ve said to anyone who’d listen or read that Dudzinski has been under-rated, and I think he proved it Saturday at Bishop Snyder. That being said, a quarter with #2 Trace Woxberg of Rockledge is a tall order. Loyd is unranked and could get a quarterfinal date with Folkner. The two met at Clay in the first week of January, with Folkner taking an 8-4 decision. Folkner got a very good draw, and Loyd might have the capability to go deep into the tournament, too.
Semifinal choices: Jarraid Forsyth (Bradford), Folkner, Woxberg, Brown.

Locals: Kuba Kaszuba (Bishop Kenny), Brandon Dattoli (Bolles), Trevor Larson (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 29. 2. Third 35. 3. Second 40. 4. Top 42.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #7 Sasha Key of Suwannee takes on #8 Tupac Isme of Lely in the first round, with the winner facing either #12 Le’Shaun Gray of Nature Coast or #2 Matt Kirkland of Miami Pace.
Locals’ podium chances: Podium is all there for Kaszuba, who is the highest-ranked wrestler in his quarter (the top one). Two wins and he’s in. He might have to go through Larson, who’s also in that quarter. Larson has a fall in hand over his first-round opponent. #14 Dattoli isn’t favored to win his first-round match, by the rankings, as he takes on #6 Anthony Dampier of Dunedin, but he should be able to win at least two matches in the consolation round.
Semifinal choices: Kaszuba, Connor Andrew (Lake Highland Prep), Colton Jackson (Villages), Kirkland.

Locals: Brandon Marshall (Bishop Snyder), Jermaine Oliver (Raines).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 33. 2. Top 35. 3. Bottom 37. 4. Third 51.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Diego Bell of Cardinal Gibbons takes on #3 Jarred Kruse of Gulf in the first round, with the winner facing unranked Robert Rodriguez of Suwannee or #7 Termaine McClendon of Lely in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Both are very strong chances indeed. Marshall versus Kruse in a semifinal should be a great match; that could be the only significant roadblock en route to Saturday night. Look at the winner of the bottom quarterfinal — likely to be Oliver or #1 Raekwon Reggler of Somerset Academy — to make the final.
Semifinal choices: Marshall, Kruse, Brandon Brown (Brooksville Central), Reggler.

Locals: Trey Miller (University Christian), Nathan Morales (Bishop Snyder), Garrett Fairbanks (Pedro Menendez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. Third 33. 3. Bottom 36. 4. Second 41. Pretty good brackets.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #1 Miller opens his bid for a state title with #11 Jarvis Gamble of Ft. Pierce Westwood in the first round. The winner will face either #6 Chris Ralston of Satellite or #10 Michael Dunlap of Dunedin in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Miller’s are very solid. He shouldn’t get pushed hard before the semis, when a podium finish would already be secured. Fairbanks drew #3 Ryan Thomas of Cardinal Gibbons in the first round, so he may have to look at the back end as the route to a medal. Both he and Morales have a fair shot at a medal, though one may have to knock out the other for it to happen.
Semifinal choices: Miller, Thomas, Cole Fagan (Dunnellon), Delroy Blake (Avon Park).

Locals: David Trigg (University Christian), Max Cobb (Providence), Lenny Carter (Baker County).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 32. 2. Top 46. 3. Third 48. 4. Bottom 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: Unranked Carter (who was ranked in preseason, so don’t sleep on him) will open with #7 Ken Rosa of Coral Springs Charter in the first round, with the winner facing either #3 Travis Dunbar of Astronaut or #5 Noah Huxley of SW Florida Christian in the quarterfinals.
Locals’ podium chances: Winning that first-rounder might be critical for Carter in order to stay alive, as he would be facing a top-five — and desperate — wrestler with something to prove in the consolation round. Trigg is unranked also, but has a pretty fair shot at the quarters, as does Cobb. There are only 10 ranked wrestlers in the draw, so there’s lots of chances to walk away with a podium finish.
Semifinal choices: Anthony Contegiacomo (Nature Coast), Dunbar, Jesse Gaudin (Hernando), Alejandro Lopez (Mariner).

Locals: Jamal Fiffer (University Christian), Roland Samec (Clay), DeAngeles Harris (Wolfson), Austin Gwin (Pedro Martinez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Third 35. 2. Second 41. 3. (tie) Top and Bottom 52.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #12 Samec drew #2 MaShawn Knight of Godby in the first round, with the winner taking on #4 Kane Takacs of Southeast or unranked Ronald Smith of American Heritage (Delray) in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: For Fiffer, very strong. With three unranked wrestlers in his quarter, he should not have a problem reaching the semis (and the podium). Gwin is the only unranked wrestler in the second quarter, and he faces #3 Andrew Ivie of Pasco (Fiffer’s likely semifinal opponent), so the back end would be his route. If he can win the first round on the consolation side, anything’s possible after that. Samec didn’t get a great early draw, but he has a very strong chance at a medal. Harris will face #11 Anthony Vines of Weeki Wachee in the first round. As Duval County public schools’ only Class 1A representative, Harris is a wild-card who could learn a lot about what is possible for his future this weekend.
Semifinal choices: Fiffer, Ivie, Knight, Matt Knick (Cardinal Gibbons).


District Picks, Part VII — Episcopal Generations

Welcome to the final installment of Rock or Suck — Part VII: Episcopal Generations. Yes, there’s been a Star Trek theme to the titles. I do enjoy random references on occasion. ABCs of me.

We wrap up the look back at the seven district meets to see if I botched it, got it right, or something somewhere in the middle. I started off pretty solidly, and as my sleep decreased or so it seems, so did my accuracy. Let’s see if I righted the ship or not this go-round.

106: My picks were Timmons and then Slade/Garcia/Wiley in some combination, and added that whoever Bradford sent out was OK enough to extend the season by a week. As it wound up turning out, Tornado 106 Shayne Kahakua-Lodivero was good enough to extend the season for two weeks and win the district title over Timmons. In a matchup of 7th-graders, UC’s Wiley defeated Bolles’ Fagan for third. Fagan knocked out one of my 2-4 mixers. So this pick was mostly sucky, but I do appreciate Fagan making a run as part of Bolles’ wrestling day of the season.

113: Thought Bradford’s Griffis would be at 120; at 113 he was too much for Duval Charter’s Porter, my pick to win. I did think Tessar would be in the mix and he was, and I thought Wolfson’s Tran was a wild-card entrant, but at 106, where he was for Gateway. He was at this weight two Saturdays ago. So some small rockishness amidst a general miss by me.

120: Ah finally, a district champ pick gone right. Toney went 1 as picked, Allen was 2 as picked, Rice 4 as picked. I did have the right school but wrong kid at 3, as Funderburk dropped to here. This pick pretty much rocked.

126: Holy cow, Setth Snow. Way to messer-upper my projection by pinning Menendez’s Michael Brown (who overcame the loss the following weekend by qualifying for state, so I’m sure he’s taken it in stride by now). With Brown knocked down to 3rd, Caron won, Snow was second. I also had no expectation that Gray Creed would finish fourth, but again, he was part of that crazy momentum Bolles had on Saturday. The picks weren’t good, but they were somewhat in the ballpark, too. Kinda somewhat.

132: There was definitely a gap between Calhoun and the rest of the field. Two pins and 3:44 and it was district title #4 for the Bolles junior. It was Bishop Kenny’s Kyle Black who benefited most from having the mix of competitors Saturday. So this pick only rocked and didn’t really suck, in that it was a bit of a waffle. If I had been pushed and knew in advance everyone here, I would have probably taken Addison of Bradford.

138: We hadn’t seen Connor Cronk for a little while. You have to give him props, because he’d shown a little bit of promise in December, but hadn’t wrestled much in January. Cronk won all three of his matches handily, including in the finals over my pick, Maldonado. I don’t mind when guys prove me wrong, not one little bit. Also a nice tounament for Duval Charter’s Fitzpatrick in makng it out. The pick was not good, because Cronk was good.

145: UC’s Joseph was indeed the overwhelming competitor in this district field, with three first-period pins. Bolles’ Surenyan took down FSDB’s McCreath, my pick to make finals, again as part of that momentum surge. I’m all about the emotional side of the sport, so seeing Bolles kids as jacked as they were at Episcopal, even though I could only be there about an hour, was really great. The pick was somewhat rocky, somewhat sucky.

152: Padgett and Steele were picked to go 1-2, and that’s exactly what they did. I picked Episcopal’s Selton to be in the 3-4 mix, and he was. Josh Miller of Duval Charter dropped from 160, and he wound up the fourth. It was mostly a rocking pick, with a little bit of suckiness on the back end.

160: I said that wherever Forsyth would be, he would win. He was at this weight. I said that Folkner would be second if Forsyth was here, and Folkner was. I said that Homewood would be in the 3-4 mix if at this weight, and he was. The 4 spot was a bit open since Episcopal’s Weldon was at 170, and Morency of Duval Charter seized on that openness. Pick mostly rocked in the same way 152 did.

170: Since Forsyth was not here, my pick of Kaszuba-Dattoli 1-2 was solid. Weldon and Merry were both here, and Merry beat Wildon for third. So this pick rocked, even though it was phrased in something of a conditional way.

182: Not wanting to tip off that I had inside information, but wanting to raise the possibility of him dropping anyway, I made the projection that if Yates could drop, he could win. He could drop, and did win. DeWees Surprised me by emerging out of the pack as the finalist, but that’s what he was able to accomplish, and Touahri pinned Smith of Providence — whom I hadn’t seen wrestle in about a month — for third. So the pick was a bit of a waffle, but only because I didn’t want to let on as much as I knew.

195: Got the first three right, and Bolles’ Calhoun rode the Bulldog momentum wave right on past my pick for fourth. Bolles did a fantastic job of messer-uppering my projections all day. I’d had the Bulldogs #5 to start the season, and it took a while for them (all season in fact) to come close to that projection. Mostly rocked, a little sucky.

220: There haven’t been many highlights for Providence this season, and when there have been, it’s been Cobb providing them. He did so again in winning the district title over Trigg (and then qualifying for state yesterday). I had the right two kids, just in the wrong order, for 1-2. I had Chepenik slated for third, and that’s where he wound up. Know what I said about Bolles being the messer-upper all day long? Props to Jordan Jackson for knocking off my pick for fourth. Mostly rocked, just like 182, just like 195.

285: With three eventual state qualifiers coming from this district, I was right in saying the field might give Fiffer a good workout. But he had two pins to win the title. Condoroteanu proved the head is smarter than the gut, at least for district week (the gut returned the favor at regions, however, as Harris made it out to state as one of just five Duval County public-school qualifiers). This pick rocked.

Final count (props if you get this reference right):

Picks that rocked: 8 1/2
Picks that sucked: 4 1/2
Picks that waffled: 1

Maybe I got better at this with the regions. We’ll start to find out tomorrow.


Bishop Kenny Ends Title Drought With 1A-4 District Title Win

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

The last time that Bishop Kenny won a district wrestling championship, Bill Clinton was president and Saving Private Ryan was the #1 movie of the year.

That was 1998, and it’s been a long dry spell for the Crusaders since then. That is, until Saturday.

Titles at or near the bookends of the Bishop Kenny lineup helped the Crusaders hold off furious challenges from Bolles and University Christian, as Bishop Kenny won the 1A District 4 championship at Episcopal.

“When we started the season, I posted our season goals in the wrestling room. District team champion was one of the big ones,” Crusaders coach Paul Schloth said. “I talked to the kids all week about us needing bonus points to win the team title.

“We drilled pinning combinations all week and I stressed the need to finish when you had an opponent in trouble. The room was completely full at practice all week. I am so proud of these guys. Everyone from our JV guys to our champions helped us.”

Bishop Kenny scored 164.5 points, 13 ahead of Bolles and 28.5 ahead of UC, with four champions, and moved nine wrestlers into next week’s Region 1 meet at Bishop Snyder.

Nick Toney started things off in the final round for the Crusaders, pinning UC’s Brysen Allen late in the third period for his title at 120 pounds, with Nate Caron following it up with back-to-back championship efforts at 126 with a 14-6 major decision over Setth Snow of Florida School for the Deaf & Blind.

Later on, with the Bulldogs and Christians trying to make up ground, Bishop Kenny got titles from Kuba Kaszuba at 170 (technical fall over Bolles’ Brandon Dattoli in the finals) and Ethan Yates, who made his first appearence at 182 after spending the entirety of the 2013-14 regular season at 195 (fall over Bolles’ Philip DeWees).

“We’re very proud of our guys who stepped up yesterday,” Crusaders assistant Zach Fox said. “Big wins from Kuba and Ethan practically locked it up for us.”

Still, though, Bolles had its finest single event of the season in its runnerup showing Saturday, a showing that justified the Bulldogs’ preseason ranking locally.

Bolles picked up two titles on the day, advancing 10 wrestlers to region. Junior Josh Calhoun (132) won his fourth district title for his career, pinning Bishop Kenny’s Kyle Black in 2 minutes and 44 seconds for the win.

A weight later, Connor Cronk also won for the Bulldogs, decisioning FSDB’s Marcus Maldonado 6-1 for the championship at 138.

University Christian picked up three championships, with eight moving on to region. The Christians’ first title of the day came from Cody Joseph at 145, who cruised through his bracket with little trouble, putting together three first-period pins — including a fall over Bolles’ Michael Surenyan in 1:53 — for the third district title in his career.

Trey Miller (195) pinned Pedro Menendez’s Garrett Fairbanks in the first period for his title, with Jamal Fiffer (285) going into the second period to fall Alexander Condoroteanu of Bishop Kenny and win his championship.

Fourth-place Bradford bagged titles from Shayne Kahakua-Lodivero (106), Jason Griffis (113) and Jarraid Forsyth (160) to finish fourth overall with 98 points.

FSDB had no champions, but moved seven wrestlers to region to finish fifth with 90. Pedro Menendez got a championship from Rodney Padgett at 152 to finish sixth with 66 points, while Duval Charter was seventh with 50.

The host Eagles were eighth with 38, while Max Cobb won at 220 for ninth-place Providence, which had 37. Wolfson rounded out the field with 22.

A complete list of region qualifiers can be found elsewhere on the home page of the site. Region pairings will be published as they are made available.


1A-District 4 Preview

1A-4 meet preview

When & where: Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Per the FHSAA website, the finals start time has yet to be determined.

Teams in the field: #4 University Christian and #10 Bishop Kenny should battle for top honors in the 10-team district — which is the largest among the local district tournaments. The Crusaders have more numbers, but only just barely, while the Christians have more star power. Several solid teams — Florida School for the Deaf & Blind, Pedro Menendez and Bradford — should also be near the top. Episcopal closed the regular season with a flurry, while Duval Charter showed willingness to dual anyone, anywhere. Bolles found more numbers, and a bit more success, as the season wore on after opening the year with a preseason #5 ranking, while Wolfson and Providence had the ups and downs that any emerging program would.

We’re going to do weight classes as we did for 1A-3.

106 — I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Ryan Timmons for Bishop Kenny, KJ Fagan for Bolles, Andrew Slade for Duval Charter, Henry Zimmer for Episcopal, Diego Garcia for FSDB, Brandon Gardner for Menendez, Mikey Mitaly for Providence, Cameron Wiley for UC and Richard Tran for Wolfson. Either Peyton Brown or Shayne Kahakua-Lodivero should start for Bradford. Based on what I’ve seen, I will take Timmmons as the favorite to win the district title. While Timmons does have 10 losses on his resume, they’re all — for the most part — against regional-level qualifiers, and all are either 2A or 3A. How 2-4 shakes out could be very interesting, as Garcia has pinned Slade and been pinned by Wiley (twice), who, in turn, has been pinned by Slade. Could be all about style and matchups. Slade’s fall was later in the year than the first Garcia-Slade and Garcia-Wiley matchups, so if you’re above tossing a coin, that could be somewhat instructive. Don’t sleep on whoever Bradford puts out at 106; that wrestler is OK enough to extend the season by a week, and Tran might be a wild card entrant after spending most of the year at 113 before dropping to this weight for Gateway.

113 — I do not see a 113 for Bishop Kenny, Bolles or Wolfson (though the Warriors could throw out former 106 Quetin O’Berry at 113). I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: whichever didn’t wrestle at 106 for Bradford between Brown and Kahakua-Lodivero, either Daniel Porter or Hunter Lawson for Duval Charter, Jake Tessar for FSDB, Elliot Callison for Providence and Derrick Stump for UC. Not so sure about Menendez, who could put out Gardner, Limuel Mallari or James Carter. Also not entirely sure about Providence, as three or four kids have each wrestled one or two matches and that’s about all I’ve got reported. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m going to make a conditional pick: If Porter is at 113, he is the solid favorite to win the district title. Porter has been the Panthers’ top wrestler all season, but he has also had several matches at 120 throughout the year. It would be better for him to be here, though, as opposed to a loaded bracket at 120. I look at the Bradford 113 and Tessar as the likeliest challengers for the finals. I’m not sure that anybody else leaps out at me to project them as a fourth-place finisher and regional qualifier. The spot’s open for the taking, though.

120 — I do not see a 120 for Pedro Menendez or for Wolfson. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Nick Toney for Bishop Kenny (as of today, 11th statewide), Ben Barton for Bolles, Jason Griffis for Bradford (16th statewide at 113), (probably) Hunter Lawson for Duval Charter, Connor Evans for Episcopal, AJ Rice or Nick Thompson for FSDB, Brian Storandt for Providence and Brysen Allen of UC (who was ranked statewide until today). Based on what I’ve seen, Toney is the solid pick to win the district title. Toney spent a lot of time 1 or 2 weights up, but his coaches believed in his possibilities at 120. We’re starting to see those possibilities play out, as he’s 9-2 since the drop, with both of those losses coming at Clay Rotary, a grind for anybody. I would take Allen as my choice to reach the final as well, over Griffis as of today. Right now, if Rice were at 120, he would the choice at 4 over Lawson, but depending on who’s here and who isn’t Lawson is still a candidate to move on to the next round. Evans could be in the mix to contend as well.

126 — I do not see a 126 for UC. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Nate Caron of Bishop Kenny (15th statewide), Gray Creed of Bolles, Brandon Funderburk of Bradford, Chris Duchaussee of Duval Charter, either Curry Pajcic or Shane Pack for Episcopal, either Setth Snow or Rice for FSDB, Michael Brown for Pedro Menendez (9th statewide), Evan Merry for Providence and Charles Kessinger for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m going to take Brown as the solid-to-heavy favorite to win the district title. Brown’s only local losses (non-injury default, anyway) have been to 3A’s Evan McCall. I’m troubled, though, that he didn’t wrestle at Bartram Trail’s duals tournament two weekends ago for the Falcons, but if he can be back he should be. Caron is the solid #2 and Snow (or Rice) is a solid #3 at this weight. Fourth is going to be an interesting fight, with Bradford’s Funderburk (my choice now if I was backed up against a wall), the Episcopal 126, Merry and Kessinger all in the mix. Should be a good, competitive bracket.

132 — I do not see a 132 for Providence. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: either Kyle Black or Jonathan Chiotti for Bishop Kenny, Josh Calhoun for Bolles (7th statewide), Blake Addison for Bradford, Blaise Puig for Duval Charter, Pack or Pajcic for Episcopal (whoever didn’t wrestle at 126), Jose Mercado for FSDB, (probably) Dominique Bordley for Pedro Menendez, David Glies for UC and Joshua Cade for Wolfson. Admittedly, Bordley hasn’t been in the lineup for quite some time. Based on what I’ve seen, I think Calhoun is the heavy favorite to win the district title. Calhoun has had struggles against some really strong competition in the area’s strongest weight class. But that has prepared him for this postseason. As for who he might face in the finals, I’m not entirely certain. As I figure the Dragons’ Snow will be at 26 and I don’t truly know if Bordley will be back, it appears that there is, or certainly could be, quite a bit of gap out there between Calhoun and the rest of the field. That means that almost everyone has a chance to find their way into the mix with a strong Saturday.

138 — I do not see a 138 for Bolles, Bradford or UC. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Chiotti or Black for Bishop Kenny (whoever isn’t at 132), either Ethan Barry or Ben Fitzpatrick for Duval Charter (both have split time with roughly-equal results), Christian Rickey for Episcopal, Marcus Maldonado for FSDB, either Daniel Desario or Nicholas DiGregorio for Pedro Menendez, Spencer Turner for Providence and Jorge Hernandez for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I think…it’s a complete tossup. I’m tempted right now to go with Maldonado as the slight favorite based on how he and the Dragons have wrestled, but I’m not 100 percent certain. It’s been quite awhile since DiGregorio has been in the lineup for Menendez; I might have tipped him as the pick if he had been in the lineup more recently. It’s unfortunate that Bishop Kenny’s Logan Bote won’t be available after sustaining a concussion. He would have been a solid choice for the title as well. His replacement has a shot of getting out, still, as does Rickey. So I think Maldonado, but it’s an even, wide-open field.

145 — I do not see a 145 for Bradford or Providence. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Colin Warren for Bishop Kenny, Michael Surenyan for Bolles, Andrew Duchaussee or James Allinson for Duval Charter, Peter Pitochi for Episcopal, Kyle McCreath for FSDB, Brandon Anderson for Pedro Menendez, Cody Joseph for UC (11th statewide) and Albert Quintanilla for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, Joseph should be the heavy, if not overwhelming as well, favorite to win the district title. I actually feel Joseph is a bit underrated statewide and should be seen as a state podium threat. Saturday, I”m not sure anyone will be able to stay six minutes. Who will be in the final? I am thinking it could be McCreath when it’s all said and done. He’s taken a lot of strides during the course of the season, and the rest of the field either hasn’t seen enough time on the mat this year, or the competition that FSDB has gone and faced. I think Warren and Surenyan should battle it out for 3-4, but don’t sleep on Pitochi making things interesting for the hosts.

152 — I do not see a 152 for Bradford or UC, and possibly not for Providence, either. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Christian Schloth or Will Myer for Bishop Kenny, Bradshaw Steele for Bolles, either Allinson or Mike Dinkla for Duval Charter, Hunter Selton for Episcopal, Nick Stanfield for FSDB, Rodney Padgett for Pedro Menendez (14th statewide), Khalif Carter for Wolfson and probably Charlie Rush for Providence. Based on what I’ve seen here, Padgett is the solid favorite to win the district title. Padgett has quietly been great for the Falcons, anchoring the middle of the lineup with solid performances throughout the season. I expect that to continue on Saturday, and I would expect that he would meet Steele in the finals. That could be a good match. Steele is starting to look like he’s found the same form he had early in the season. I do think there is a sizable gap between the first two and the rest of the group. I think Kenny’s 152, Stanfield and Selton are all in the mix for the 3-4 slots. It wouldn’t surprise me if Selton, a senior, finds a way into one of those spots in his final appearance on the home mat.

160 — Oh man. This weight and 170 could be the spotlight weight classes of the tournament. I’m not sure there’ll be a 160 for Menendez. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Tim Bianco or Jack McMorrow for Bishop Kenny, Garrett Bennett for Bolles, either Jarraid Forsyth (3rd statewide at this weight) or Richard Hill for Bradford, Josh Miller for Duval Charter, Mac Weldon or Alex Woodward for Episcopal, Wesley Homewood or Michael Shoemaker for FSDB, Ty Merry or Smith Aaron for Providence, Daniel Folkner for UC (6th statewide), Joao Celso for Wolfson. If Menendez has a 160, it would probably be Jonathan Samples, but it’s been a while. Based on what I’ve seen, I am making…a conditional pick. The question is: Where will Forsyth go? If he’s here, which I think he will be, he’s the favorite to win the district title. If he’s at 170, then I would go with Folkner. Both are exceptional wrestlers, I would say that I think Folkner’s schedule might be a bit more challenging. His only 1A loss was to Lake Highland Prep, if that says anything. Would be a great finals match. I think third and fourth go to Weldon and Homewood, if they’re both at this weight. If that’s the quartet that makes it out, that’s one of the strongest foursomes the district will have going to region next week. Should Merry be here, he could be in the mix, too.

170 — I don’t see a 170 for Menendez and Wolfson. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Kuba Kaszuba for Bishop Kenny (5th statewide), Brandon Dattoli for Bolles (14th statewide), Forsyth or Hill for Bradford, Dillon Morency for Duval Charter, Woodward or Weldon for Episcopal, Shoemaker or Homewood for FSDB, Aaron or Merry for Providence, and Michael Marshall for UC. Not sure there’d be any mats left after the 160 final, but based on what I’ve seen, it’s…another conditional pick!  Should Forsyth be here, and I don’t think he will be, he would be the choice, with Kaszuba 2nd, Dattoli 3rd and Weldon or Merry (if either are here) or Marshall for the fourth spot. If he’s not, then move Kaszuba and Dattoli up a slot, slot in Hill for third and the rest more or less the same. How’s that for decisiveness? You can’t get that level of decisiveness from ESPN, I tell you. There’ll be a lot of great matches wrestled, I know that much for sure.

182 — I don’t see a 182 for Bradford, Episcopal, Menendez or Providence, which makes this a six-man district and only two wrestlers eliminated. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Bayley Judah or, possibly, Ethan Yates of Bishop Kenny, Philip DeWees of Bolles, Max Weaver for Duval Charter, Imed Touahri for FSDB, Mack Green for UC and Nassiem Waitley for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I think it’s a three-person race between DeWees, Touahri and Judah, for the moment, to win the district title. Not sure between the three who has the horses to go all the way to the title, I can actually see it playing out in favor of each of them. I’m not certain that Yates can drop down, but if he’s able to, he might have the capability to win the title. I think Green is probably the best of the remaining three. He certainly has had some entertaining matches during the course of the season for the Christians.

195 — I do not see a 195 for Bradford, Wolfson or possibly Providence. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Yates or Judah for Bishop Kenny, Caleb Calhoun for Bolles, Matthew Agostino for Duval Charter, Hayes Oken for Episcopal, Thaddeus Smith for FSDB, Garrett Fairbanks for Pedro Menendez (7th statewide) and Trey Miller for UC (1st statewide), with possibly Stovall Welms for Providence. Based on what I’ve seen, I would choose Miller as an overwhelming favorite to win the district title, with a slam-dunk final between Miller and Fairbanks. That could be a good match for a while, but Miller is just too strong and has too high a motor to overcome this weekend. Oken is the solid choice for third at this weight, and I would see Yates fourth here, which is why it might be advantageous for him to move down, because Judah might be able to come up here and still nab fourth over Calhoun and possibly Smith. That’s how I see it playing out, anyway.

220 — I do not see a 220 for Bishop Kenny, Bradford, Menendez and possibly DUval Charter, which could make for another six-person bracket and only two eliminations. I do think the following wrestlers will turn up: Jordan Jackson for Bolles, either Conor Chepenik (more likely) or Travis Williams for Episcopal, either Frankie Stewart or Jordan Philyor  (more likely) for FSDB, Max Cobb for Providence, David Trigg for UC (10th statewide) and Joseph Brokaw for Wolfson. 220 could even be open for FSDB, as Stewart hasn’t wrestled for quite a while. Based on what I’ve seen, I would pick Trigg as the solid favorite to win the district title. Trigg has improved a lot wrestling in between two statewide #1s in MIller and Jamal Fiffer, and the time has improved his skills a great deal. I would slot Cobb in as the other finalist at this weight, with Episcopal and FSDB battling it out for third. If FSDB’s open, then Episcopal would be the slam-dunk third, regardless of who they have there. If Michael Booker is able to come back for Duval Charter, he would have a solid chance at the 4 spot.

285 — I do not see a 285 for Bolles, Duval Charter, Providence and possibly FSDB if Philyor is at 220, which is a strong possibility based on who is here. I do think the following wrestlers will turn up: Alexander Condoroteanu-oroveanu for Bishop Kenny, Kyle Brooks for Bradford, Chepenik or (more likely) Williams for Episcopal, William Gwin for Pedro Menendez, Jamal Fiffer for UC (#1 statewide) and DeAngeles Harris for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I see Fiffer leading a very strong class of heavies into regions next week. Fiffer is, in almost every instance, the strongest heavyweight in any field he’s in, but this field could give him a good workout for the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure who will be the 2. The head says Condoroteanu, but the gut says Harris. Either way, both will get in, as should Gwin, and perhaps I can finally get settled whether it’s William or Austin, as I often see Gwin’s first name in results. If nothing else, I want to get that straight at least. This is going to be a monster weight next week at Bishop Snyder, and we’ll get a little taste of how monstrous at Episcopal on Saturday.


Orange Park 10-Way Dual Schedule

Orange Park 10-way Duals

Wrestling to start Saturday at 9 a.m. on four mats. If a tie in pool competition, NFHS criteria will determine pool placement.

Black pool: Orange Park, West Nassau, St. Augustine, Matanzas, Baker County.

Orange pool: Lincoln, Nease, Oakleaf, Palatka, Bishop Kenny.

Round 1 — Mat 1: West Nassau v. Baker County; Mat 2: St. Augustine v. Matanzas; Mat 3: Oakleaf v. Palatka; Mat 4: Nease v. Bishop Kenny.

Round 2 — Mat 1: Orange Park v. Baker County; Mat 2: West Nassau v. St. Augustine; Mat 3: Lincoln v. Oakleaf; Mat 4: Nease v. Palatka.

Round 3 — Mat 1: Orange Park v. Matanzas; Mat 2: Baker County v. St. Augustine; Mat 3: Lincoln v. Palatka; Bishop Kenny v. Oakleaf.

Round 4 — Mat 1: Orange Park v. St. Augustine; Mat 2: Matanzas v. West Nassau; Mat 3: Lincoln v. Bishop Kenny; Mat 4: Oakleaf v. Nease.

Round 5 — Mat 1: Orange Park v. West Nassau; Mat 2: Matanzas v. Baker County; Mat 3: Lincoln v. Nease; Mat 4: Palatka v. Bishop Kenny.

Round 6 (place round) — Orange 1 v. Black 1; Orange 2 v. Black 2; Orange 3 v. Black 3; Orange 4 v. Black 4; Orange 5 v. Black 5.


December 11 Roundup Story

For the time being, Yulee is the king of Nassau County prep wrestling.

The Hornets staked their claim to the throne in a pair of duals Wednesday night at home against fellow county rivals Fernandina Beach and West Nassau, defeating the Pirates 42-36 and Warriors 39-33, in their first dual meets in the area for 2013-14.

In the third dual, West Nassau edged Fernandina by a 39-37 count.

Against West Nassau, Yulee got falls from Dylan Youmans (106), John Parker (113), Timothy Worthen (138), RJ Adams (170), Duna Polard (195) and Nick Parker (220) to secure the win, plus an overtime decision from Ty Youmans at 120.

West Nassau received a pair of victories on the night from Jacob Savage (132, two pins), John Forehand (145, two pins), #1 Michael Dudzinski at 160 (pin & decision) and Jackson Moyle (285, 2 pins).

In results reported for Fernandina, Rafael Charriez (106), Jesse Henn (152), Matthew Schuyler (170) and Wyatt Roach (195) had falls for the Pirates over West Nassau.

In other dual meets Wednesday night:

#8 Ridgeview 59, Ponte Vedra 6: The Panthers dominated affairs at home, with five pins in the middle weights from Justin Trinh (120), #4 Joey Epstein (132), Mark Coaxum (138), Chase Gold (145) and Marcus Gomez (160), plus a tech fall at 113 from #2 Jeremiah Watson. Jack Fox (106) won by fall for the Sharks’ lone points.

Palm Coast 50, #10 Creekside 22: 3A regional power Palm Coast had seven pins over Knight wrestlers in securing the home dual victory. For Creekside, Rafael Lopez (220) and Cole Eubanks (285) each had falls, with #4 (at 106) Austin Wynn (wrestling Wednesday at 113) taking a major decision.

Providence double dual: Episcopal continued its winning ways after a slow start to the season, adding two more wins at its in-town rival, as the Eagles defeated the host Stallions 42-30 and Andrew Jackson 48-30.

The third dual saw the matchups go the Tigers’ way in a 36-6 victory, Jackson’s first of the season, as reported by Jackson coach Joe Warren.

Episcopal had four double winners in Connor Evans (120), Christian Rickey (138), Peter Pitochi (145) and Hunter Selton (152), while Andrew Jackson equaled the feat with Daisan Biffle (126), Demonta Bell (160), Tracy Russell (170) and Kenyon Johnson (182) all winning twice. Max Cobb (220/285) was Providence’s lone double winner.

Pedro Menendez 39, Bartram Trail 27: The Falcons’ third-ranked wrestler at 152, Rodney Padgett, secured the victory for Menendez with a third-period fall in the last match of the nigh, wrapping up the road dual victory. #2 (at 126) Michael Brown (wrestling at 132), Jonathan Samples (160), #3 Garrett Fairbanks (195) and William Gwin (285) all had falls for Menendez. Bartram got pins from Kyle Bachman (113) and Andy Plish (145).

Bishop Kenny 54, Bolles 15: Pins from Jonathan Chiotti (132) and #1 Kuba Kaszuba (170), plus a host of forfeits against a still short-handed Bolles side, pushed the Crusaders to the road dual victory. #5 (at 132) Josh Calhoun (wrestling at 138) and Michael Surenyan (152) had pins for the Bulldogs.

FSDB 60, Interlachen 15: The Dragons improved to 2-0 in duals behind pins from Wesley Homewood (182) and Imed Touahri (220), plus eight forfeit victories. Homewood needed just 51 seconds for his fall, while Touahri finished his off in 1:47. The dual was unique in that it was a mid-afternoon contest at Interlachen, with the entire student body in attendance.

Other results: Unofficially, @NEFloridaMatmen received word that St. Augustine and Nease were tied at 42-all, with the Yellow Jackets getting the victory, presumably in criteria. Neither of the Yellow Jackets’ or Panthers’ head coaches confirmed the result at press time. There was no report from Wednesday’s dual at Baker County matching the Wildcats against #7 Ed White.


University Christian Takes Episcopal Team Title


  • University Christian senior Jamal Fiffer strains to put Bishop Kenny’s Alexander Condoroteanu to the mat in Saturday’s 285-pound final at the Rob Bierbaum Invitational, hosted by Episcopal. Fiffer pinned Condoroteanu in 1:10 to win the weight-class title (Photo by Daniel Allen).

By Shannon Heaton, Northeast Florida Matmen

One of the area’s year-in and year-out wrestling powerhouses has had its program mostly under wraps through the first four weeks of the 2013-14 season.

Saturday, #4 University Christian made the wait worth it. In the Christians’ first appearance of the year, they amassed six individual titles, and needed every last one of them to overcome a dogged effort from Bishop Kenny in this weekend’s Rob Bierman Invitational, hosted by Episcopal School in the Semmes Athletic Center Friday and Saturday morning.

“When it came down to it, we had a senior on the mat who had to win for us to win, and he did that,” UC first-year coach Kevin Wiley said, referring to top-ranked 285-pounder Jamal Fiffer, whose fall over Bishop Kenny’s Alexander Condoroteanu in 1 minute and 10 seconds secured the Christians’ title, but by a narrow margin. When the smoke cleared, UC outpointed the Crusaders 152-148.5 for the team win.

“We’re young right now, but everyone was battling out there really good. It was an amazing experience,” Fiffer said of the team win. “We’ve just been willing to fight through the whole six minutes of every match.”

The Christians collected titles from 7th-grader Derrick Stumph at 113, Brysen Allen (120), Cody Joseph (145), Daniel Folkner (160) and David Trigg (220) as well as from Fiffer after starting Saturday tied with Bishop Kenny. With just eight wrestlers in uniform, every point counted — and UC counted almost as many as it possibly could, as all eight bagged medals, with Cameron Wiley (106) adding a runnerup effort and Mack Green (182) taking third.

“We’re not reinventing the wheel at UC,” Wiley said. “The kids have bought into the mindset we are trying to preach to them. These were kids that we’re going to depend upon, and they did what they had to do.”

Bishop Kenny picked up its first title from 170-pound Kuba Kaszuba on Friday night due to Kaszuba needing to take the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) on Saturday. Joining Kaszuba as titlists were Ryan Timmons (106), Nate Caron (126) and Logan Bote (138), but the Crusaders just couldn’t match UC point-for-point when it counted.

“We needed guys in the consis to win, and that didn’t happen as much as we needed it to. But, a lot of them were first-year guys, so just getting there was great for them,” Bishop Kenny coach Paul Schloth said. “Only losing by a few points, it came down to bonus points. That’s how you win tournaments. We had six (in the finals) and they had seven. They had a guy get second and we didn’t. That’s how it goes down.”

Fernandina Beach crowned one champion in 195-pound Kelsey Greathouse, who led the Pirates to a third-place finish with 130 points. Fernandina chased both of the leaders admirably, but couldn’t make up any ground Saturday. Likewise, Mandarin had one champion (Samuel Hernandez at 182) to take fourth with 99 points. Florida School for the Deaf & Blind had no champions, but battled admirably to edge out Episcopal and Bolles for fifth, scoring 77 points to the host Eagles’ 75 and Bulldogs’ 73.

Bolles did have two titlists, though, so didn’t go away entirely empty-handed, as Josh Calhoun (132, also won Friday night in anticipation of SATs Saturday) and Bradshaw Steele (152) took home weight-class wins. Stanton was eighth with 33 points.

A breakdown of each titlist’s path to their win follows:

106 — Timmons had two pins, both in the third period, to win the weight class. He controlled the action throughout against UC’s Wiley, just a 7th-grader, before getting the fall in 5:28.

113 — Stumph only had to wrestle once, pinning FSDB’s Jake Tessar — who is blind — in 1:41. Only two matches were contested in the weight class all weekend.

120 — Allen had one pin and a major decision (15-2) over Fernandina’s Joseph Helm in the finals. Helm seemed to control the tie early, but once the action moved to the mat, it was all Allen.

126 — Caron was solid against Fernandina’s James Hessenauer, not allowing Hessenauer any space at all to open up any offense. Caron also had a pin earlier in the tournament.

132 — Calhoun pinned twice for his title Friday night, decking Bishop Kenny’s Nick Toney in 2:33 in the finals. It was Calhoun’s first wrestling action, as he missed Tuesday’s home dual against Episcopal due to a band concert.

138 — Bote was brutally efficient against Episcopal’s CHristian Rickey in the final, rolling to a technical fall in 4 minutes. Bote also had a fall in the semis.

145 — Joseph’s match against Stanton’s Nicholas Stiles looked on paper like one of the better finals matches of the tournament, and it was, as both Joseph and Stiles had the momentum going their way early. Joseph used a funky style, though, to rip the momentum away from Stiles with a fall in 3:50 in the final. Joseph was one of the rare champions who had three matches, all pins.

152 — Steele also won three times by fall, but it took an impressive roll to overcome the strength of Mandarin’s Noah Perez in the finals, as Steele was in trouble early before getting the pin in 4:38.

160 — Folkner’s match with Fernandina’s Thomas Monaghan wound up the best of the day Saturday – and the most controversial one — as both coaches had a long conference with the referee at the scorer’s table with regulation over and Folkner apparently up, 9-8. The score was changed to 10-all, requiring overtime, but Folkner got a takedown 27 seconds in for the sudden-victory win.

170 — Kaszuba had two pins and a decision en route to the title, taking down Mandarin’s Richard Gagnon by fall in 3:38 for the championship.

182 — Hernandez was in control from the beginning against Florida School’s Wesley Homewood, methodically wearing down Homewood with a fall in 5:18.

195 — Greathouse pinned his way through the draw, taking charge early in the final against Episcopal’s Hayes Oken before picking up the pin in 4:35.

220 — Trigg, by far the most experienced wrestler in the draw, proved it, with two first-period pins — including a 43-second fall over Episcopal’s Conor Chepenik in the final.

285 — Like his teammate Trigg, Fiffer didn’t have to go into the second period in 2 matches. “I have a target on my back, and it’s up to me to hold it (the state’s top ranking in Class 1A),” he said. “If I don’t push myself, nobody will.”


December 4 Roundup Story

Fletcher has been the top program in the Gateway Conference for quite some time now.

And, while Senators coach Roy Fallon has sought out, right from the start of the 2013-14 season, some of the area’s best competition to toughen up his team, the rest of the Gateway seems to want to be on the move for the top, too.

Take Wednesday night’s quadrangular meet at Forrest — scheduled to be a five-team event, but Paxon arrived with a team but no weigh-in sheet.

THe #10 Rebels, themselves coming off a solid fourth-place finish at Fleming Island’s Keystone Duals, were poised to run the table at home, but another Gateway squad also wanted a slice of the pie that made for a 3-way tie Wednesday night.

In the second of three rounds of wrestling, Atlantic Coast — which had been off for nearly 3 weeks after a sluggish 0-3 start at Fletcher back in mid-November — took down the Rebels, 38-33, after falling earlier to Baker County, 42-32.

Then, in the final round, Forrest rallied, breaking a 24-24 tie with three pins and two forfeits to defeat Baker County, 54-30.

With all three of the round-robin winners taking wins over Englewood, that meant all three teams finished 2-1 on the night.

Triple winners for Forrest were Isaiah Golson (170/82), Malik Brown (195) and Kahlil Welsh (285). For Baker County, Logan Kish (138) and James Carter (220) each won three times.

Atlantic Coast was energized by the first appearance this season from Ollie Dixon, who began the season ranked in Class 3A. Dixon (132) was 3-0 for the Stingrays, as was Brandon Bemister (120), Nacierre Williams (126), Ectrus Barber (145) and Dillon May (152).

Englewood had just one triple winner in 113-pound Archie Brown.

#8 Creekside 48, Bishop Kenny 18: Behind falls from Joshua Cordle (113), Ryan Baker (138), Jared Langdo (145), David Cline (160) and Gus Fischer (195), the Knights won their home opener against a short-handed Crusader team, which had four weights open.

Middleburg 44, #9 St. Augustine 31: The hosts showed the form that had them listed as a preseason honorable mention pick, with falls from Tristan Tollison (138), Travis Neubeck (145), J.T. Davie (160), Jonathan Shoen (195) and Ammon Meeks (285) fueling the victory.

Wolfson opens season 2-0: The Warriors got double wins from Richard Tran (113), Charles Kessinger (126), Joshua Cade (132) and Rafeal Leon (195) in taking wins over Lee (42-30) and Stanton (48-24).

Ponte Vedra 42, Bartram Trail 39: The Sharks were able to pick up three pins to the Bears’ two in the six contested matches, with Zach Gregory (145), Colin Peaks (152) and Michael Swain (170) providing the difference for Ponte Vedra with their falls.

Florida Deaf & Blind 59, Providence 18: Five falls and a technical fall got FSDB out to a strong start in its home and season-opener, as Diego Garcia (106), John Tessar (113), Marcus Maldonado (138), Kyle McCreath (152) and Wesley Homewood (182) had pins and Chasien Taylor (145) picked up a tech fall.

Thursday action cancelled: The scheduled dual between Raines and First Coast was cancelled, according to Raines school personnel Thursday evening. No make-up date was known at press time.


November 23 Roundup Story

Experience counts in large amounts, even for teams with high expectations and tons of talent.

For #1 Fleming Island on Saturday, not having the services of state-ranked and state-tournament tested seniors Evan McCall (staph infection) and Peter Martorano (waiting to certify after a school field trip forced a missed certification date), plus newly-transferred state qualifier Trevor Betros (shoulder) didn’t mean a day-long struggle.

It just meant a day without a team title at the Robert “Keystone” Northway Duals, a day punctuated at the start by a presentation of a plaque signed by the entire Fleming team and given to the Northway family.

The Golden Eagles ran through what was by comparison the tougher of two pools with relative ease, defeating #6 Ridgeview (63-18) and #9 St. Augustine handily (54-27), as well as Bishop Kenny (66-0) and Duval Charter (72-0).

In the day’s finale, though, Fleming Island ran into Georgia 2012 Class AAAAA duals champion in Camden County, and with so much of its battle-tested experience sitting the day out, Camden proved too tough for the Golden Eagles, taking a 42-18 decision and the title of the 11-team event.

Ridgeview rallied from the pool-round loss to its Clay County rival, however, and went on to take third place, taking a 54-24 victory over a surprising Forrest team, also in its season-opener. Both Ridgeview and Forrest were 3-1 in their respective pools.

St. Augustine edged First Coast 38-29 for fifth, and #9 Pedro Menendez took seventh with a 43-18 victory over Oakleaf.

Tough going for Raiders: #3 Orange Park ran into some rough seas Saturday at the Tallahassee Lincoln duals, going 2-3 on the day.

Orange Park (9-3 for the season) defeated Arnold 45-32 and Tallahassee Chiles 48-30, but fell to event champion Tallahassee Lincoln 46-24, Wakulla 45-36 and Marianna 36-34 on the day.

Two Orange Park wrestlers — Skyler Taylor (170) and Christian Tejada (285) — did go 5-0 on the day for the Raiders. Tejada is a perfect 12-0 for the season.

Hornets stung in Deltona: Yulee opened the 2013-14 season with some tough sledding at the Deltona Duals, taking just one win on the day, a 42-32 decision over Hagerty.

The Hornets fell 47-23 to Ocala Forest, 61-18 to duals champion Timber Creek, 51-21 to Deland and 45-30 to the event hosts.