By Shannon Heaton
(Follow Heaton on Twitter at @QChawkeyeinFL and on Facebook).
The FHSAA recently released "tentative" district pairings in five sports last Friday afternoon and although certainly a number of readers might love to discuss an analysis of the changes in all five, I'm going to restrict myself to just the one -- wrestling.
In Class 3A locally, there are a few changes from last year's district meet at Mandarin. Tops among those will be the absence of Ed White and Tallahassee Chiles, both of which dropped into 2A. All of the remaining schools -- 2013 champion Fleming Island, Fletcher, Gainesville Buchholz, Mandarin, First Coast and Sandalwood -- return. Palm Coast will join the mix of District 1 teams this year for a seven-team meet at this point.
It would not surprise me if Fleming Island petitions, and successfully so, into 2A. My sources tell me Fleming was just six students over the 2A/3A enrollment cutoff. Staying in 3A, however, would have some upside as well.
Moving into 2A would bring at least one advantage for the Golden Eagles, as they could battle with Clay County rivals Orange Park, Ridgeview, Oakleaf and Middleburg to get into regionals, which would provide its wrestlers with stronger competition during the state series.
The downside is that Florida's top program -- Brandon -- moved down from 3A to 2A, which will clog the middle class at the top for state medals. At the same time, the Tampa suburban Eagles will be penciled in immediately as the favorite to win the team title. Should Fleming Island stay in 3A, with most of its top wrestlers returning this November, a top-eight finish and a few individual medals aren't out of the realm of possibility.
The northern part of Class 2A did see some shuffling in some very interesting ways. Region 1 has nine schools in District 1, just four in District 2, nine in District 3 and six in District 4.
Districts 3 and 4 have local (from my perspective) flavor (again, sorry, Columbia, two hours from my house equals not local in my book). District 3 is a mix of Clay and Duval, with the aforementioned Clay schools mixing it up with Ed White, Englewood, Lee, Stanton and Terry Parker.
The Duval teams (other than Ed White, that is) in 2A-3 competed in 2A-2 a year ago with Columbia and the Tallahassee-area schools, and while Stanton had a runnerup finish in 2013, I'm not sure it would be able to duplicate that finish against the mixture of Orange Park and Middleburg at the very least. Even a top-four finish would be much tougher to pull off.
The field in the proposed 2A-4 looks a lot like the St. Johns County and Flagler part of 2A-3 a year ago, which should make for a fun battle between Matanzas, Creekside and St. Augustine -- just 12 points apart a year ago -- for top honors. Should Fleming petition successfully into 2A, look for an add or two of Duval schools into 2A-4. My geography is a little fuzzy, but Englewood and Stanton might be the possibles.
Most of the larger changes affecting locals seem to have occurred in Class 1A. District 1 is mostly the northwest corner of the state, as before, with Tallahassee schools in District 2.
Thankfully from my perspective, Baker County is no longer in 1A-2 but has moved east to 1A-3, right into the wheelhouse of a nine-team all-local district, with it, Nassau County reps Fernandina Beach, West Nassau and Yulee joining Duval County publics Andrew Jackson, Forrest, Paxon and Raines, as well as private Bishop Snyder. Could be an interesting battle between Snyder and Yulee for that district title.
District 4 is a bit more stacked up, with University Christian and Bolles leading the way, but Bishop Kenny, Episcopal and Providence all have talent in parts of their lineup. That should be a competitive district as it plays out. Menendez and Florida Deaf & Blind also will be competing, along with Wolfson, which dropped down from 2A, and newcomer Duval Charter, which did not have a team in 2012-13.
Wondering why arguably the area's biggest heavyweight, program-wise, hasn't been mentioned yet? Well, Clay fans, I haven't forgotten about you, but apparently the FHSAA wants you to travel in 2014. Clay, along with Bradford and Interlachen (non-locals in my book) has been moved out of Region 1 completely and will compete in Region 2 this year.
I don't think the Blue Devils will have trouble maintaining their district-title run while competing in District 5 -- although Villages has had some stellar kids that could make things interesting at least a little. However, Clay now has to face Orlando's Lake Highland Prep -- usually, along with Cardinal Gibbons, the toughest teams the Blue Devils face at state -- in regional competition now.
That should make Wakulla and University Christian -- the only schools in serious competition with Clay at last year's Region 1 meet at Bolles -- very happy. Look for an absolute buzzsaw when Clay and LHP square off as the state's titanic smaller-school powers -- at regionals in the second weekend of February next year.
Already, I can't wait to see how all the changes shake out. The weather is starting to heat up, state AAU tournaments are just a few weeks out, and pretty soon schedules for the winter will be finalized. Then, area wrestling fans, get ready for the biggest change seen in quite some time. More on that to follow…
By Shannon Heaton
(Follow on Twitter at @QChawkeyeinFL)
Having not seen an all-area wrestling team posted locally yet, I thought I should get some thoughts together by way of wrapping up the 2012-13 season and get people thinking about next year. I guarantee you the non-senior wrestlers are, particularly those disappointed by how this year ended for them.
Before I roll out my thoughts on the top two kids at each weight class in the five-county Northeast Florida area (sorry, Georgia, it’s hard enough to follow local kids in just one state), I have to get a thought off my chest.
Like the kids disappointed in a premature end to their season, I’m disappointed, too. Disappointed by these hard-working kids’ lack of visible presence in the media of this community. Not one individual wrestler was interviewed in the major print media source during the course of this season. Not one Jacksonville-area PERSON, wrestler or coach, was interviewed at the Florida state tournament. Inexcusable. They’d riot up north if that were the case.
Perhaps that will change as winter sports all-area teams are announced, but the number of wrestlers interviewed and quoted won’t go up by much more than one.
I get it. Lack of media coverage is part of the deal with wrestling. In my experience, it always has been. Up north, it’s basketball that is king.
Here, basketball does get into wrestling’s way (a lot less than I would have thought; HS basketball fans, you’re getting gypped, FYI). Surprisingly, soccer does, too. I would have thought swimming, with Olympic-level athletes coming out on an annual basis from this area, would cut in too, but it largely doesn’t.
The biggest reason is due to a season that northerners can barely conceive of: spring football and college signings. While I steadfastly refuse to take on that foe head-on under the belief that prudence is the better part of valor, here’s what I did learn in two weekends on the wrestling mats at Mandarin and Bolles:
Wrestling is wrestling. It might be better-known and better-followed up north, but I saw the same things in these young men (and women) down here in my new city. Hard work. Commitment. Self-sacrifice.
Say what you will, wrestling is the only sport that requires a 24-hour commitment every day. That alone makes it a harder sport to compete in than every other one out there. Kids in this day and age of instant gratification and unreal “reality TV” who are willing to do that are worth your attention and time. And they are worth mine, even after I’d “retired” from writing for two years.
I was happy to come out of retirement for 1010XL.com and glad for the chance to highlight these kids’ hard work. But while I intend to continue next season doing that on at least an occasional basis, I have much bigger plans than that. If you want to know more, just follow me on Twitter. Change is coming.
With that said, here are my thoughts on 30 of the best wrestlers in Northeast Florida. I hesitate to say “the 30 best” because my window is restricted by the post-season. That’s the base of my knowledge. I’ve learned about a few kids who were hurt mid-season that could have been real difference-makers, but because they were hurt, vanished from my view because they didn’t compete at districts.
I also hesitate because I believe strongly in the concept of weight classes. You could have 30 kids with nine of them being at one weight and drop other weights out entirely (I can think of one that I could lose very easily from my own all-area team I’m announcing today). But that’s the same thing as an all-area football team with no linemen or kickers. That’s not my way. Wrestling is about a complete team – 106 pounds to 285. Granted, there’s always a weight or two where there are 3 truly outstanding kids and only two slots to give. I cheat by adding an at-large pick to both the first and second teams.
Here they are. Remember, it’s one man’s opinion based on a small window of season. My knowledge of your kids will only go up from here. Change is coming.
First team: Dale Browning, Fr., Clay (39-13). 4th at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 4th at 1A state meet.
Second team: Chase Robison, Soph., Fleming Island (40-8). 1st at Mandarin district, 3rd at University regional, 1 win from 3A state medal.
First team: Aaron Galang, Sr., Creekside (41-7). 1st at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 6th at 2A state meet.
Second team: Zach McClinton, Soph., Middleburg (32-9). 2nd at Matanzas district, 2nd at Matanzas regional, 1 win from 2A state medal.
First team: Evan McCall, Jr., Fleming Island (45-4). 1st at Mandarin district, 1st at University regional, 3A state qualifier.
Second team: Dylan Martin, Jr., Clay (35-14). 1st at Clay district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.
First team: Charles Cuthbert, Jr., Fleming Island (45-6). 1st at Mandarin district, 1st at University regional, 4th at 3A state meet.
Second team: Joey Epstein, Jr., Ridgeview (32-12). 2nd at Matanzas district, 4th at Matanzas regional, 2A state qualifier.
First team: Jamarius Jackson, Sr., Ridgeview (40-0, All-Area Team Captain). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.
Second team: Max Sheppard, Sr., Episcopal (27-4). 1st at Episcopal district, 1st at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.
First team: Adam Breindel, Soph., Clay (39-12). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
Second team: Michael Fegins, Sr., University Christian (34-9). 1st at Episcopal district, 3rd at Bolles regional, 6th at 1A state meet.
First team: Trevor Betros, Soph., University Christian (29-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.
Second team: John Martorano, Fr., Fleming Island (25-8). 1st at Mandarin district, regional qualifier, 1 win from 3A state meet.
First team: Harry Glasser, Jr., Bolles (38-1). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 2nd at 1A state meet.
Second team: Jeff Rivers, Sr., Clay (35-9). 3rd at Clay district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
First team: Cody Hankerson, Sr., University Christian (42-3). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
Second team: Justin Weltzbarker, Sr., Clay (44-11). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 4th at 1A state meet.
First team: Jake Bain, Sr., Clay (48-3). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
Second team: David Martinez, St. Augustine (33-4). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 4th at 2A state meet.
First team: Corey Van Dorn, Jr., Orange Park (45-0). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.
Second team: Tim Betros, Sr., University Christian (31-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1 win from 1A state medal.
First team: Shane Carpenter, Sr., Creekside (41-0). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.
Second team: Robert Parland, Sr., University Christian (35-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
First team: Justin Fountain, Sr., Clay (49-3). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 2nd at 1A state meet.
Second team: Frank Giordano, Sr., Ponte Vedra (37-8). 3rd at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 2A state qualifier.
First team: Jamal Fiffer, Jr., University Christian (37-6). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.
Second team: Malcolm Kirce, Jr., Ridgeview (37-8). 3rd at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 4th at 2A state meet.
First team: Devon Brooks, Jr., Orange Park (38-4 at 285). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 1 win from 2A state medal.
Second team: David Detwiler, Fr., Fleming Island (37-13 at 138). 1st at Mandarin district, 3rd at University regional, 1 win from 3A state medal.
Team scores: 1. Brandon 251. 2. Osceola 163.5. 3. St. Thomas Aquinas 94.5. 4. Christopher Columbus 74. 5. Palm Harbor 72.5. 17. Fleming Island 24.5.
Individual results (title matches, locals listed individually)
106 -- #1 Ariel Dominguez (Osceola) dec. #2 Geoffrey Doback (Brandon), 3-1.
Chase Robison (Fleming Island) – dec. #10 Nicholas Villamil (G. Holmes Braddock), 1-0; lost to #3 Jonathan Francois (Plantation), 9-5; tech falled #15 Mike Gibson (Coral Springs), 19-3; lost to #11 Alex Radii (Jupiter), 10-6.
113 -- #1 Kyle Norstrem (Brandon) pinned #2 Alex Uhre (St. Thomas), 5:34. No locals.
120 -- #1 Jared Prince (Palm Harbor) dec. #2 James Flint (Brandon), 3-1.
Evan McCall (Fleming Island) – pinned Grayson Whipp (Monarch), 1:41; lost to #2 Alex Velez (Gateway), 7-5; lost to #10 Briar MacFarlane (Wellington), 4-3.
126 -- #1 Dylan Lucas (Brandon) tech falled #3 Justin Ramirez (South Dade), 17-1.
Charles Cuthbert (Fleming Island) – dec. Ryan Strickland (Geo. Jenkins), 7-2; pinned #14 Nik Bonadies (Wellington), 5:53; pinned by Lucas, 1:51; dec. #4 Sal Guerriero (St. Thomas), 3-1; lost to #2 Connor Prince (Palm Harbor), 1-0 (4th place).
Cal Rodgers (Fletcher) – lost to #6 Austin Haley (Durant), 12-5; lost to #16 Tyler Sage (Cypress Bay), 9-2.
132 -- #2 Nosomy Pozo (SW Miami) major dec. #1 Shiquan Hall (St. Thomas), 12-3. No locals.
138 -- #1 Kevin Norstrem (Brandon) dec. #3 Jayden Semrad (Lyden), 12-6.
David Detwiler (Fleming Island) – lost to #6 Geoffrey Nicholas (Braddock), 16-4; dec. #13 Rami Sadek (Coral Glades), 7-4; dec. #12 Hunter Taroli (Port St. Lucie), 5-4; lost to #8 Patrick Cobb (Winter Springs), 5-2.
145 -- #1 Ritchie Guillaume (N. Miami Beach), dec. #2 Paul Aupofska (Osceola), 1-0. No locals.
152 -- #1 Fox Baldwin (Osceola) tech falled #2 Aaron Hartman (Palm Harbor), 17-3.
Heath Whidden (Fleming Island) – tech falled by #4 Kris Iglesias (St. Thomas), 15-0; lost to #9 Ernie Levy (Miramar), 10-1.
160 -- #3 Christian Vazquez (Gateway) dec. #1 Jacob Haydock (Brandon), 6-5.
Ben Galloway (Fleming Island) – tech falled by Haydock, 20-4; lost to #7 Nathaniel Delevoe (S. Broward), 5-3.
170 -- #1 Travis Berridge (Brandon) major dec. #4 Nisson Anderson (East Bay), 11-2. No locals.
182 -- #1 Jesse Stephanos (Jupiter) dec. #2 Corey Ray (East River), 6-0. No locals.
195 -- #1 Chris Pagan (Osceola) pinned #3 Keiran Paulino (Cypress Creek), :57. No locals.
220 -- #2 Ben Cruz (Osceola) dec. #1 Nicholas Wethy (Christopher Columbus), 2-1. No locals.
285 -- #1 Kevin Jacques (S. Broward) dec. #15 Deontrae Neal (Buchholz), 6-2. No locals.
Team scores: 1. Springstead 98. 2. Lake Gibson 94.5. 3. Olympic Heights 93. 4. Riverdale 67. 5. Nature Coast 58. 10. (tie) Ridgeview 41. 15. Creekside 32. 16. Orange Park 31.5. 37. (tie) St. Augustine 16. 47. (tie) Middleburg 10. 69. (tie) Ponte Vedra & Atlantic Coast 2.
Individual results (title matches, locals listed individually)
106 -- #1 Radley Gillis (Arch. McCarthy) dec. #3 Sean Nguyen (Nature Coast), 4-2.
Aaron Wynn (Creekside) – tech falled by #4 Randy Garay (Hallandale), 15-0; lost to #11 Dominick Telasco (Land O’Lakes), 11-2.
113 -- #1 Donoven Hough (Armwood) dec. #3 Cole Schreiber (Columbia), 3-2.
Aaron Galang (Creekside) – pinned by #4 Joe McGinley (St. Cloud), :48; dec. #13 Jacob West (Hillsborough), 9-7; pinned #9 Zachary Kelly (Venice), :59; dec. #12 Zach McClinton (Middleburg), 6-2; lost to McGinley, 11-1; lost by injdef to #2 Mike McDonald (Springstead) (6th place).
McClinton – lost to #7 Seth Kelley (Lake Gibson), 8-4; pinned Daniel Caron (Merritt Island), 1:10; won by injdef over #8 Jake Gillis (Arch. McCarthy); lost to Galang, 6-2.
120 -- #1 Brandon Gacad (Ida Baker) dec. Joseph Guelfi (Naples), 4-0. No locals.
126 -- #1 Clarence Arrington (Dunedin) dec. #2 Adam Lewis (Tampa Jesuit), 8-3.
Joey Epstein (Ridgeview) – lost to Arrington, 13-4; lost to #15 Jeffrey Bayonne (P. Bay Heritage), 4-2.
132 -- #1 Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview) tech falled #10 Laurence Kosoy (Olympic Heights), 27-12.
Jackson – tech falled #4 Blake Riley-Hawkins (Lakewood Ranch), 20-5; pinned Hunter Dowdy (Auburndale), 2:17); major dec. #2 Nicholas Anthony (Cape Coral), 12-4.
138 -- #1 Jordan Rivera (Springstead) major dec. #3 Joey Muccio (Melbourne), 12-3.
Kyle McClinton (Middleburg) – dec. #11 James Medal (Mia. Springs), 7-4; lost to #6 Joey Nadotti (Palmetto Ridge), 10-5; lost to #12 Devonta Bohannon (Homestead), 6-4.
145 -- #2 Chase Krutzky (Lake Gibson) pinned #3 Steven Vonnlederhausen (Palm Bay), 3:01.
Travis Neubeck (Middleburg) – lost to #14 Johntavious Broner (Homestead), 10-7; major dec. Nathan Callihan (Palmetto), 11-0; lost to #7 Matt Martinez (Lely), 14-2.
Dominic Jones (Oakleaf) – pinned by #4 Alex Duran (Mia. Springs), 3:06; dec. Jacob Ewles (Winter Haven), 8-6; dec. #8 Tyler Sierra (Lennard), 5-4; lost to Martinez, 10-3.
152 -- #2 Tristan Sommer (Lincoln) dec. #3 Kenny Boyd (Stranahan), 10-5.
Frank Waters (Orange Park) – dec. #9 Tyler Williford (Palmetto), 4-2; lost to Boyd, 15-6; lost to #12 Miguel Nunez (Lennard), 7-4.
160 -- #8 Brandon Vovan (Nature Coast) dec. #4 Jabari Irons (Lehigh), 6-2.
Branden Wade (Nease) – lost to Vovan, 4-0; lost to #7 Robert Witte (Armwood), 2-1.
170 -- #1 Chris Favoroso (Jensen Beach) dec. #3 Dorian Spradlin (Lake Gibson), 5-2.
David Martinez (St. Augustine) – pinned #14 Allen Leitner (Okeechobee), 1:52; pinned #2 Connor Ross (Springstead), 5:44; lost to Favoroso, 4-3; dec. #5 Luis Aldana (Dixie Hollins), 7-2; lost to Ross, 6-1. (4th place).
Jacob Abdel (Orange Park) – dec. Elijah Saboor (P. Bay Heritage), 10-3; tech falled by Spradlin, 21-6; dec. Samuel Massenburg (Braden River), 9-4; lost to Aldana, 3-2.
182 -- #2 Corey Van Dorn (Orange Park) dec. #4 Derrick Doss (Largo), 2-1.
Van Dorn – tech falled Cynard Bailey (Miami NW), 17-2; dec. Brandon Taylor (Citrus), 5-1; dec. Ashani Brown-Knight (Palmetto Ridge), 7-2.
Adrian Steinbrecher (Atlantic Coast) – pinned by #1 Keith Simmons (Homestead), 2:38; pinned by #14 Joel Morrison (Zephyrhills), 4:53.
195 -- #2 Shane Carpenter (Creekside) dec. #6 Ronaldo Abreu (Olympic Heights), 4-3.
Carpenter – dec. Zach Kweller (Sunlake), 5-1; dec. #5 Anthony Wint (Homestead), 1-0; pinned #14 Jason Foster (Lake Gibson), 2:53.
Travis Hutchinson (Atlantic Coast) – dec. #10 Gary Garcia (Land O’Lakes), 11-4; lost to Abreu, 7-2; lost to Matt Fields (Melbourne), 9-6.
220 -- #3 Edwin Etienne (Riverdale) dec. #1 Austin Underwood (Tampa Jesuit), 7-6.
Frank Giordano (Ponte Vedra) – pinned by Corey Humphrey (Springstead), 2:40; dec. #12 Thomas Carello (Venice), 7-4; dec. #4 Matthew Sheffield (Ft Walton Beach), 14-7; lost to #7 Jesse Gaudin (Hernando), 2-1.
285 -- #2 Brady Pallante (Barron Collier) dec. #1 Charles Feguierson (Ft. Myers), 3-2.
Malcolm Kirce (Ridgeview) – lost to Feguierson, 4-3; major dec. #14 Michael Jean-Baskin (Blanche Ely), 9-1; pinned #8 Keyon Burgess (Miami Central), 3:49; dec. #12 Devon Brooks (Orange Park), 4-1; dec. #4 Tomelle One (Bayside), 5-2; lost to #5 Antonio Thomas (Auburndale), 7-6. (4th place).
Brooks – dec. #9 Bucky Dennis (Charlotte), 12-8; lost to #16 Nick Longstreet (Lake Region), 7-5; dec. Steven Moseley (Matanzas), 7-4; lost to Kirce, 4-1.
Team scores: 1. Lake Highland Prep 150.5. 2. Clay 123. 3. Cardinal Gibbons 111. 4. University Christian 76. 5. (tie) Wakulla & Somerset Academy 67. 21. (tie) Bolles 24. 57. (tie) Episcopal 3. 60. (tie) Bishop Kenny & Yulee 2.
Individual results (title matches, locals listed individually)
106 -- #1 Jake Brindley (LH Prep) dec. #2 Angelo Guieb (Key West), 4-2.
Dale Browning (Clay) – pinned #13 Joseph Lopez (Somerset), 3:18; pinned Jose Munoz (Robinson), 4:50; lost to Guieb, 13-4; dec. Yevier Lopez (Lake Nona), 6-4; lost to #4 Zach Sherman (Am Heritage Plantation), 3-1 (4th place).
Dustin Young (Providence) – lost to Sherman, 10-4; pinned by #12 Kevin Tipton (Pasco), 1:36.
113 -- #1 Franco Valdes (Somerset) dec. #2 Zach Malik (Wakulla), 9-4.
Zach Tipton (Fernandina) – pinned by Travis Ahrens (Astronaut), 3:27; lost to #16 Maher Jaser (Mourning), 9-1.
Nick Toney (Bishop Kenny) – dec. #9 Bryce Rogers (CFCA), 9-3; pinned by Valdes, 1:14; lost to #13 Joseph Padron (Am Heritage Plantation), 17-9.
Brad Kumm (Clay) – pinned by #8 Dre Neely (Avon Park), 3:57; dec. Devin Whitacre (Wesley Chapel), 6-4; lost to Ahrens, 9-0.
120 -- #2 Tony Ruggio (Wesley Chapel) dec. #4 Chrisopher Moreno (Doral Academy), 6-5.
Dylan Martin (Clay) – lost to #7 Anthony Agzaram (Gulf), 2-0; dec. Dante Padilla (Weekiwachee), 6-4; lost to #10 Brock Carlan (Arnold), 2-0.
126 -- #1 Jamal Morris (Cardinal Gibbons) dec. #2 Nick Vestal (LH Prep), 5-2.
Josh Calhoun (Bolles) – lost to #12 Philip Gross (Cocoa Beach), 12-10; dec. Dayan Saez (Golden Gate), 7-4; lost to #7 Johnny Baldridge (Avon Park), 11-5.
132 -- #2 Anthony Petrone (LH Prep) major dec. #6 Eric Cabral (Booker), 18-8.
Max Sheppard (Episcopal) – major dec. Joey Fazio (Bradenton SE), 13-0; lost to #13 Matthew Seymour (Titusville), 15-4;
Austin Luke (Clay) – dec. #7 Kaman Wilmington (NSide Christian), 4-1; lost to Petrone, 5-3; dec. Cody Joseph (University Christian), 6-2; major dec. #16 Brennan Robinson (Clearwater CC), 9-0; lost to #13 Matthew Seymour (Titusville), 5-4; lost to #1 Kevon White (Wakulla), 5-3 (6th place).
Max Sheppard (Episcopal) – major dec. Joey Fazio (Bradenton SE), 13-0; lost to #13 Matthew Seymour (Titusville), 15-4; lost to White, 8-2.
Joseph – lost to Cabral, 11-6; major dec. #15 Nicholas James (Am Heritage Plantation), 13-0; lost to Luke, 6-2.
138 -- #1 Danny Garcia (Doral Academy) dec. #8 Skylar White (Pasco), 10-5.
Adam Breindel (Clay) – pinned David Morse (Am Heritage Delray), 3:06; lost to #2 Anthony Espinosa (LH Prep), 9-6; major dec. #4 Erich Byelick (Calvary CA), 11-2; dec. Leo Torres (Rockledge), 3-2; won by injdef over Michael Fegins (University Christian); dec. Espinosa, 3-0. (3rd place).
Fegins – dec. Byelick, 6-2; dec. #14 Kionte Crocker (Robinson), 11-9; pinned by White, 5:32; lost by injdef to Breindel; lost to #7 Conner Allshouse (Indian Rocks Christian), 11-7.
JP Santiago (Pedro Menendez) – pinned by Garcia, 3:33; lost to #11 Robert Napolitano (Gulf), 3-0.
145 -- #1 Chase Singletary (Somerset) pinned #10 Nick Limperis (Cardinal Gibbons), 1:38.
Trevor Betros (University Christian) – won by fft over Draguan Golden (Miami Edison); lost to #6 Andrew Sherer (Fivay), 11-5; lost to #9 Taylor Ryan (Arnold), 5-1.
152 -- #1 Jake Spengler (LH Prep) dec. #2 Harry Glasser (Bolles), 2-1.
Glasser – pinned Jacob Newman (Gulf), 4:43; pinned Brian Treacy (Mulberry), :29; major dec. #5 Dylan Ayala (Crystal River), 10-1.
Jeff Rivers (Clay) – pinned #13 Kevin Colhoun (Golden Gate), 4:28; pinned #8 Trace Woxberg (Rockledge), 3:40; lost to Spengler, 11-6; pinned #10 Devin Combs (Marianna), 4:53; pinned Ayala, 2:43 (3rd place).
Garrett James (Yulee) – dec. #4 Nick Schofield (Lemon Bay), 6-3; tech falled by Spengler, 20-5; lost to #6 Eric Massey (Berkeley Prep), 4-2.
160 -- #1 Colton Jackson (Villages) dec. #2 Spencer Baxter (Gulf), 4-0.
Cody Hankerson (University Christian) – lost to #9 Clayton Farrer (Frostproof), 5-4; pinned #13 Racheed Skyers (Glades Central), :55; major dec. #10 Joe Pascale (Oasis), 12-3; dec. #5 Logan Fletcher (Suwannee), 10-5; dec. #4 Jonathan Pickens (Astronaut), 3-1; dec. #8 Justin Weltzbarker (Clay), 8-3. (3rd place).
Weltzbarker – dec. #14 Derek Di Bernardo (CFCA), 6-5; pinned #11 Uriel Diaz (Key West), 3:06; lost to Jackson, 6-5; dec. Farrer, 4-3; lost to Hankerson, 8-3 (4th place).
170 -- #2 Luis Pergero (Robinson) dec. #4 Nick Mosco (Tampa Prep), 3-1, OT.
Jake Bain (Clay) – pinned Antonio Sannasardo (Cardinal Gibbons), :58; dec. #3 Nicco Lightfoot (Fivay), 11-10; lost to Mosco, 16-9; dec. #10 Connor Andrew (LH Prep), 9-5; pinned Lightfoot, :25 (3rd place).
Trey Miller (University Christian) – pinned #11 Tyler Gilbert (Am Heritage Delray), 1:21; lost to Pergero, 9-0; pinned Sannasardo, 1:39; lost to Andrew, 4-2.
182 -- #1 Taylor Jackson (Villages) pinned #2 Colin Hahn (Fivay), 3:26.
Tim Betros (University Christian) – pinned Matthew Poirer (Calvary Christian), 1:40; lost to Jackson, 9-3; pinned #14 Matt Lorenzi (Space Coast), 3:37; lost to #10 Christopher Rodriguez (Robinson), 3-1.
Jermaine Oliver (Raines) – pinned by Chase Kelley (Key West), 1:06; pinned by Lorenzi, 1:59.
195 -- #1 Alex Kruklinski (NS Christian) dec. #5 Dylan Meeks (CFCA), 7-4.
Robert Parland (University Christian) – pinned Xavier Scott (Atlantic), 4:28; dec. #3 Ben Willard (Evangelical Christian), 6-3; lost to Meeks, 2-1; dec. #2 Phillip James (Bradford), 9-3; pinned #6 Delroy Blake (Avon Park), 4:35 (3rd place).
220 -- #1 Carter Shipley (LH Prep) dec. #2 Justin Fountain (Clay), 4-2.
Fountain – pinned Geo Valadaros (Crystal River), :53; pinned #11 Kendonte Nichols (Robinson), 1:42; pinned Noah Huxley (SW Fla Christian), 1:18.
285 -- #1 Aaron Pringle (North Marion) dec. #7 Christopher Griffin (Wakulla), 5-1.
Jamal Fiffer (University Christian) – dec. Emanuel Rivera (Middleton), 8-2; pinned #4 Richard Desir (Am Heritage Delray), 3:19; lost to Pringle, 8-2; pinned Mashawn Knight (Godby), 4:37; lost by DQ to Desir (4th place).
By Shannon Heaton
Follow on Twitter at @QChawkeyeinFL
The team race was the highlight in Class 1A. The individual glory was supreme in 2A.
Local wrestlers in four counties found plenty of success at last weekend’s Florida state wrestling tournament in Lakeland. Some were left wondering what might have been, others leave the 2012-13 season with a bright future still ahead.
Still, the area scene remains vibrant – if a bit under-publicized – as 28 state-qualifying wrestlers – including one state champion and one runnerup – will return for the 2013-14 season.
But, first, a look at two local grapplers who completed their high-school careers at the pinnacle – a state championship.
Leading the charge was Ridgeview senior Jamarius Jackson, who entered the weekend with the #1 ranking and an undefeated record. Despite having the status of prohibitive favorite, Jackson didn’t let that distract him.
Instead, he went out and dominated, with two tech falls and a pin. His closest match of the weekend was a 12-4 major decision in the semifinals. From there, Jackson showed off a takedown clinic in the title match against Olympic Heights freshman Laurence Kosoy, winning by a 27-12 tech fall. Jackson’s career ended with a 40-0 senior season.
Jackson’s effort, along with a fourth-place effort from 285-pound teammate Malcolm Kirce, propelled Ridgeview to a tie for 10th place among 2A teams.
Creekside senior Shane Carpenter had to go through some closer shaves than Jackson in order to claim his gold Saturday night, but the result was the same as Jackson’s. Carpenter won three matches by decision – a fourth win, in the semis – came by fall – with two of those three decisions by just a point.
Still, though, Carpenter got through unscathed, defeating Olympic Heights’ Ronaldo Abreu by a 4-3 decision in the title match. Carpenter completed his career with a 41-0 senior season.
The one champion from the area that will return to defend his title was Orange Park junior 182-pounder Corey Van Dorn. After opening his state weekend with a tech fall in the first round, Van Dorn won three matches by decision – including a 2-1 win over previously unbeaten senior Derek Doss of Largo in the finals.
Van Dorn finished the season with a 45-0 record and will likely enter 2013-14 as the top-ranked wrestler at either 182 or 195, should he move up for next season.
In Class 1A, Clay finished second overall – the only local school in any class to earn a top-five finish – but although the team success was solid and even perhaps a little above expectations, the individual hopes for the Blue Devils couldn’t be fulfilled.
Clay’s ace upperweight seniors – Jake Bain at 170 and Justin Fountain at 220 – both fell short of a state title. Fountain dropped a 4-2 decision in the finals to Lake Highland Prep’s Carter Shipley after earning three first-period falls to reach the title match.
Bain got into a wild semifinal with ace eighth-grader Nick Mosco of Tampa Prep, but Mosco was too much for the three-time Clay medalist, taking a 16-9 victory. Bain wrestled back for third, winning by fall in just 25 seconds in the third-place match.
Several other Blue Devil wrestlers – Dale Browning at 106 (4th), Austin Luke at 132 (6th), Adam Breindel at 138 (3rd), Jeff Rivers at 152 (3rd) and Justin Weltzbarker at 160 (3rd) – contributed mightily to the Clay team score, but it wasn’t enough to overcome Lake Highland Prep for the team title. Clay finishes with 123 points, 27.5 back of the champions.
University Christian put together a solid fourth-place team finish with 76 points, led by a pair of third-place efforts from Cody Hankerson (160) and Robert Parland (195), a fourth from junior Jamal Fiffer (285) and a sixth from Michael Fegins (138).
Individually in Class 1A, Bolles junior Harry Glasser nearly reached the gold, but fell just short in the finals to top-ranked Jake Spengler of Lake Highland Prep, 2-1. Glasser is the top local coming back next year for 1A.
Other medalists on the weekend included: Fleming Island’s Charles Cuthbert (4th at 126), St. Augustine’s David Martinez (4th at 170 in 2A), Creekside’s Aaron Galang (6th at 113 in 2A).