Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
PALM COAST — First it was Kiwanis. Then Lyman. Clearly, #3 Fleming Island had turned a corner in IBT-formatted events to start the 2015-16 wrestling season.
But would the Golden Eagles hold up over two days in a grueling duals format, against some of the stronger competition not only in the area, but also against some tougher teams statewide?
Fleming Island (6th statewide in 3A) answered that with an emphatic yes just before the holidays, sweeping to an unbeaten pair of days at the Flagler Palm Coast Christmas Duals tournament, and going 10-0 over the course of the tournament.
The Golden Eagles didn’t fatten up against short-handed or inexperienced teams, either, winning every dual by double-digit margins. With one exception (New Smyrna Beach, which was 7th at 5-4), Fleming Island took down every team finishing in the top 10 in the team standings.
On Tuesday the 22nd, the Golden Eagles defeated — in succession — Matmen #7 Sandalwood (57-6), HM Orange Park (66-12), Matmen #1 and tournament runnerup Flagler Palm Coast (43-30, in a dual that essentially decided the tournament champion), Sebastian River (66-18) and Seabreeze (75-6).
In the victory over the host Bulldogs (fourth statewide in 3A), contested in the third round of the tournament and starting at 152, Flagler jumped out to a 12-0 lead, but the Golden Eagles won six of the next seven matches and never trailed after the 220 match.
Fleming didn’t let up on Wednesday the 23rd, hammering Palmetto Ridge (#9 statewide in 2A), 61-9, to start the day. From there, the Golden Eagles took down Palatka (58-18), St. Augustine (70-12), First Coast (72-12) and state-ranked Astronaut (#7 in 1A), 63-12.
As would be expected from such solid team strength throughout the tournament (and that’s with giving up a forfeit at 152 in each round), individual performances were also exceptional for the Golden Eagles, with six wrestlers going undefeated over the two-day tournament.
Leading the charge with 10-0 records on the weekend were Albie Snedaker (106), who had seven pins, a major and a decision at his weight, and Ryan Smenda (182), who had five falls and three decisions at his.
Deandre Demus (2 pins & 2 decisions at 113), Xaiver Sampsel (6 falls at 132), and Paul Detwiler (6 falls and a decision at 138) were each 9-0 for Fleming Island, with Jason Davis (195/220, 3 pins and a major) going 8-0.
Five wrestlers had just one loss, with Tracy Davis (pin, tech and two decisions at 126), John Martorano (4 pins & a major at 170) and Brandyne Mackey (6 falls, a major & decision at 285) all going 9-1. Martorano’s lone loss was to defending 2A state champ Joey Nadotti of Palmetto Ridge.
Jacob Sandoval (3 pins at 120) and Jose Concepcion (4 pins at 220) were both 8-1, with Gabe Lear (5 pins at 160) contributing a 6-4 tournament. Ian Kincaid added a 4-2 record after only seeing one match on the 23rd, but had three falls at 145.
The host Bulldogs finished the 22nd at 4-1, with wins over Pedro Menendez (78-6) and Sebastian River (72-9) early and Orange Park (70-12) New Smyrna Beach (69-9) late bookendng the loss to Fleming Island.
On the 23rd, FPC was 5-0, sweeping past Sandalwood (57-18), First Coast (80-0), Astronaut (57-15), North Florida Christian (84-0) and Palmetto Ridge (54-12) en route to a 9-1 finish, with the rout over the Naples-based Palmetto Ridge side enough for the Bulldogs to take second as a team in the tournament.
Wrestlers at 13 weights put together solid tournaments for Flagler Palm Coast, with three 10-0 wrestlers leading the charge. Avery Holder (120) had a pin and two tech falls, Tariq Johnson (145) had six falls and a tech, and Kaz Maia (160) had five pins, two techs and a major.
Michael DeAugustino (pin and two decisions at 126), Evyn Insalaco (2 pins/2 techs at 152), and Justin Haaf (four pins and a decision with time at both 220 and 285) were all 9-1 for the Bulldogs. Eddie Bryant was 8-1 at 182/195, with three pins and two decisions, and Vincent Ebanks was 6-1 at 285, with two falls and a decision.
Trace Insalaco (3 pins & decision at 132) was 8-2, as was the combination of Nathan St. Pierre (4-2, 3 pins) and Michael Martins (4-0, pin/major/decision) at 138. Steve Canidate (170/182, 4 pins) and Eric Rosso (170/182, 2 pins/decision) were 6-2, with Andrew Jones going 6-4 with three pins at 113. In a part-time starting stint, Tyler Ingoyen went 3-2, with one fall, at 195.
Sandalwood put together a solid tournament in tying for third place with state-ranked Palmetto Ridge, going 8-2, with the Saints’ only losses coming against Fleming Island and Flagler Palm Coast.
Aside from the sizable losses taken against Fleming and Flagler, Sandalwood had otherwise a solid tournament, taking all eight of their duals by double-digit margins.
The Saints defeated Astronaut (41-30), Palatka (45-30) First Coast (48-15), St. Augustine (47-27) on the 22nd, and Sebastian River (42-30), Seabreeze (48-30), Pedro Menendez (60-6) and Interlachen (48-12) on the 23rd.
Four Saints finished the tournament with just one loss. Jacques Hale (113/120, four pins, two majors, one decision), Cameron Bell (138 (five pins and a decision) and Blake Delapaz (145, four pins) all were 9-1, while Chris Shauman (five pins at 285) was 8-1.
Alex Barie (4 pins and a major at 106) was 8-2, as was Dillon Morency at 170 (three falls & two majors), while Hayden Raulerson was 7-3, with six falls, at 132, and Cole Friend was 5-5 with a pin and two decisions at 182. Leonardo Alonzo added a 6-2 tournament at 220 for Sandalwood.
Following is a breakdown of each Matmen-coverage area teams that fell outside of the top four teams follows, complete with performances of each wrestler that performed at or above a .500 record (must have wrestled at least 5 matches or one full day) during the tournament:
Palatka (6-4): The Panthers had a solid tournament, tying for fifth overall with Astronaut. Palatka opened with a pair of wins over St. Augustine (42-36) and North Florida Christian (45-7), picking up wins 3 and 4 over Seabreeze (54-12) and Interlachen (52-12) to start the first day solidly.
The 23rd was a bit rougher for Palatka, but it started well with a 48-30 win over First Coast. The Panthers also topped Orange Park, 45-18.
Leading the charge for Palatka was unbeaten Shade Ward (120/126), who was 9-0 with two pins, a major and two decisions. The 220/285 combination of Ira Dixon and Bryan Smith led to both going 9-1, with Dixon earning two falls and Smith three, plus a major and a decision.
Dean Lowe (126/132) was 8-2 with two pins and a major, with Kedrick Davis (195) going 7-3 with five falls. Jason Gullet (182) was 5-5 with two pins.
St. Augustine (3-6): Finishing 10th, the Yellow Jackets struggled to find their footing against strong competition on the 22nd, but did pick up a win over eighth-place Sebastian River (31-15). On the 23rd, St. Augustine fared better, with wins over Pedro Menendez (57-18) and North Florida Christian (48-18).
Kristopher Smith (106/113) was St. Augustine’s top performer during the tournament, going 8-1 with five pins, two majors and a decision over the two days. Jacob Linden (mixing and matching at anywhere from 145 through 160) was 7-2 with a pin and a major, and Tracey Beshara (same at 152 through 170) was 6-3 with four pins.
Pedro Menendez (2-7): The Falcons were short-handed throughout the tournament in tying for 11th, sending out just six wrestlers on the 22nd and five on the 23rd, making dual wins difficult. Menendez’s first win came in the initial round on the 23rd, over Interlachen (24-18) and the Falcons also edged out North Florida Christian on criteria, 25-24.
Limuel Mallari (106) led the charge for Menendez, going 7-2 over the two days, and collecting five falls. Avery Samples (152/160) went 6-3, with three pins and a decision during the tournament.
Orange Park (2-7): The Raiders also — uncharacteristically — struggled with numbers all weekend in tying for 11th, sending out only eight wrestlers on the 22nd and just five on the 23rd. Both of Orange Park’s wins came on the 22nd, over Interlachen (30-15) and Sebastian River (30-27).
Nartorian Lee (160/170) was the brightest light for the Raiders during the tournament, going 8-1, with four pins and two decisions. Dean Ganci (106/113, making his first varsity appearance this season) and Dashner St. Vilus (138) were both 5-4 with three falls each.
First Coast (2-8): The Buccaneers did pick up two wins in the tournament, but not until near the end of the day on the 22nd, with wins in round 5 against a pair of short-handed teams in Interlachen (48-18) and North Florida Christian (42-24). THe second day was far more difficult, with only a close match with Seabreeze (36-30 loss) not turning into a rout for a young FCHS side.
Top performer over the two days for First Coast was Joshua Rivers (152/160), who was 7-2 with three falls and a decision. Jason Schwartz had three pins and a decision in going 6-4 at 106/113, with Quentin Jones collecting one fall in going 5-5 at 132/138. Erik Sirmans (126) was 4-1 with a fall, competing only on the first day.
Interlachen (0-9): With just three wrestlers in the lineup, it was virtually impossible for the Rams to win a dual, but Interlachen was competitive with other short-handed teams, as all three wrestlers had much better than .500 records.
Leading the charge was Lance Hastings (195/220), who was 9-0 in the tournament with seven pins. Twin and teammate Logan Hastings (182/195) was 8-1, with five pins and a tech fall, while Cade Mason (132) put together a solid 6-3 record, with four pins and a decision.