Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
MATANZAS — As sophomores, they had to share the 2A-District 4 title.
By the time Rocky Samples, Carter Goodman, Tristan Kraus, Eddy Leon de la Cruz, Maverick Dennis and Jordin Castanheira were juniors at Matanzas, they were kind of over the sharing thing, and won the title outright.
Now seniors for the #4-ranked team in the coverage area, the Pirates’ group of 12th graders paced the way toward a third straight 2A-4 title Wednesday night, outpointing Creekside 202-176 behind five individual champs and 12 qualifiers for the Region 1 tournament hosted by Chiles on February 26-27.
Not a bad way to close out their home careers.
“(Our) seniors wrestled great,” Matanzas coach John White said, as four of the seniors (all but Castanheira) won titles. “Carter had a great win, Rocky, Tristan and Maverick all dominated their weight classes and Jordin lost a close one. He will get it back next week.”
Creekside had four champions and qualified 10 for regions. “Very proud of my team with nine in the finals, which I do not think has ever happened before to our program,” Knights coach Richard Marabell said. “I can honestly say the tougher tournaments this year, such as Timberwolf duals, Osceola, Flagler and Clay really paid off.”
In third place was Bartram Trail at 141.5, with the Bears taking two titles and qualifying 11 out. Nease, with one champion and eight qualifiers was fourth at 115.5.
Ponte Vedra was fifth at 94 points, nabbing one championship and qualifying eight out, while St. Augustine had one champ and qualified four, scoring 52. Paxon brought up the rear, with three qualifiers and 28 points.
A summary of each weight class follows:
106: St. Augustine senior and Matmen #3 Kristopher Smith took the bracket behind two falls and a 7-4 semifinal, pinning Bartram Trail’s Nicholas Vugman (#10 in area) in 1:27. #9 Sean Arnold of Nease, who’d lost 9-8 to Vugman in the semis, had a fall and tech fall in the third-place match over Matanzas’ Josh Bower, winning 19-2.
113: Matmen #4 Samples pinned his way through the bracket, without having to go past the end of the first period, winning three times, including a fall in 1:48 over Creekside’s Jake Summers — making his first appearance at 113 this year and first at any weight in a few weeks — for the title. Nease’s Brenden Teaman, who lost by fall in the semis to Summers, had two consi-round pins, including one in 1:45 over Bartram’s Blake Swor in the third-place match.
120: #8 Dylan Martinson of Nease needed just 84 seconds in two matches for the title, pinning #9 Tony Giordano of Ponte Vedra in 46 seconds in the final. Matanzas’ Stone White, who lost to Giordano in the semis, needed extra time to turn back Bartram’s Sean McDonald, 10-8, in the third-place match.
126: Goodman (#6 at 120) avenged a recent defeat at the hands of Nease’s seventh-ranked Tristen Lucessi, with a fall in the semis and then a 5-2 decision over the Nease senior. Ponte Vedra’s Jack Fox, who lost to Lucessi in the semis, had two wins by decision on the back side, overcoming Bartram’s James Mueller 13-11 for third.
132: #10 Matthew Pickett of Bartram Trail had a fall in the semis and then shut out Matanzas’ Lawrence Russo, with a 15-0 tech fall, in the title match. Ponte Vedra’s James Stanton had just one match on the backside, pinning Paxon’s Aldwin Pontejos in 1:34 for third place.
138: Kraus, ranked 4th at the weight, had two pins to get to the final, where he advanced with an injury-default victory over #6 David Tyer of Creekside. St. Augustine’s Nick Thomson, who lost to Kraus in the semis, came back with two pins in the consis, falling Ponte Vedra’s Harrison Crowley in 2:56 to take third.
145: First upset, per the rankings at least, in the title round, as T-8 Steven Stanton of Creekside had two falls to get to the finals, where he overcame #3 Dalton Koike of Nease, 7-6, for the bracket. Bartram’s Kevin Williams (T-10th), who lost in the semis to Stanton, had a tech and major decision to take third, winning 14-2 over Ponte Vedra’s Marshall Frye.
152: #2 Brandon Dickman of Creekside made it back-to-back Knights titles with two second-period pins, the second one coming in 3:49 over #3 Leon de la Cruz for the championship. Paxon’s Garen Mauney, who’d lost by fall to Leon de la Cruz in the semis, had an injury-default win and then pinned St. Augustine’s Tracey Beshara in 3:42 for third place.
160: The Pirates’ Christopher Mixan (HM) was their only non-senior to win a bracket, with a major in the semis and second-period fall in 3:01 over Bartram’s Jacob Bennett to win the championship. Nease’s Jarrod Case, who lost to Bennett in the semis, came back to pin Creekside’s Trey Chesser for third.
170: Bartram’s Brooks Harp (HM) took the title behind a tech fall in the semis and then a pin in 2:28 over Creekside’s Jake Lockwood for the championship. Nease’s Grayson Suggs, who’d lost to Harp in the semis, had two pins on the backside, including a fall in 2:20 over Paxon’s Pavan Guduri in the third-place match.
182: Dennis, ranked 2nd in the area, had a fall in the semis and then moved to the championship with a 7-2 decision over #3 Willy Lulias of Creekside. Bartram’s Anthony Stith (8th), after losing to Lulias in the semis, came back with a fall in 2:38 over Ponte Vedra’s Zach Gregory to take third.
195: #3 Gus Fischer of Creekside picked up a pin in the semis and then had one of the tightest-contested match in the finals, edging #4 Castanheira 3-2 to win the bracket. Bartram Trail’s John Wilson (6th) rallied after losing by fall in the semis to Castanheira, pinning St. Augustine’s Robert Zuzu in 45 seconds for third.
220: Ranked 10th in the area, Creekside’s Cory Grower wasn’t favored to win here, but he had a fall in the semis and then himself had another tightly-wound final, decisioning #5 Kolton McDaniel of Bartram Trail, 4-3, to take the bracket. The hosts’ Paul Berent took third in the bracket, pinning Ponte Vedra’s Cole Scott in 1:29 in that match.
285: Matmen HM Taylor Montroy was able to keep upset-minded Creekside freshman Saul Storey at bay, pinning his way through the bracket, including a third-period fall over Storey in the final. #7 Daniel Leonard of Matanzas, who’d lost to Storey in the semis, needed 37 seconds in two consi-round pins, including a 25-second fall over Nease’s Jonathan Walter for third place.