By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen
JACKSONVILLE — Saturday’s North Florida Duals at Bishop Snyder had one of the, if not the, biggest set of teams that the Cardinals has hosted as part of their way to kick off wrestling seasons.
When the day was complete by early evening, just two of the 15 teams in attendance had put together unbeaten records. One was Camden County’s B-side squad.
The other was #6 Bishop Kenny, which ran up three one-sided victories in its first three duals and then held off HM-listed Orange Park, 39-33, to go 4-0 on the day. The Crusaders were scheduled to face another honorable-mention lister in Fletcher, but given that the two teams had faced one another on Wednesday, the coaches decided by mutual agreement not to square off a second time in 72 hours.
The Crusaders cruised past Fernandina Beach (72-12), #7 Oakleaf (54-20) and HM-listed West Nassau (78-4) before running into a tussle from the Raiders. Bishop Kenny ran out to a 27-0 lead through its middle-weight strength and then had to hang on for the win over the Raiders.
“I think we wrestled better than we did on Wednesday night, but what also helped is that everybody made weight and wrestled decent,” Crusaders coach Paul Schloth said. “Now, the kids are so psyched because they get to go home.
“This was good stuff today, but we’re psyched also for Capital City (next weekend in Tallahassee). That’s when everybody shifts down a weight. That’s when it gets real for us.”
Four Kenny wrestlers were undefeated on the day, led by middleweights Andrew Slade (138 pounds, 4-0 with three pins) and Joey Cusick (145/152, 4-0 & four pins). Josiah McCallum was 4-0 with two pins at 285, and Sid Madison was 2-0 with two pins in a half-time role.
HM-listed Nease, also, bagged four wins Saturday, with only a 39-36 loss to #7 Oakleaf marring the St Johns Panthers’ day. Nease handled things early against tournament host Bishop Snyder (51-15), Godby (66-18) and Fernandina Beach (66-15) before the 3-point loss to the Clay County Knights. After that, the Panthers regrouped for a 60-24 win over West Nassau.
“Everything went good for us. We’re staying pretty basic right now,” Nease coach Craig Muckle said. “Just supporting each other, keeping our attitude together. Whether we’re down or we’re up, we still want to have good attitudes.”
Like Bishop Kenny, Nease had four wrestlers with unbeaten days, led by Nick Thoresen’s 5-0, five-pin outing at 220/285. Jacob Satterfield (132/138) was 5-0 with four pins and a decision, while Gannon Janssen had three pins on a 5-0 day. Jonathan Hepburn (170/182) was 4-0, with four pins.
Fletcher didn’t get a second shot at Bishop Kenny, but the Senators saw plenty of solid competition on the day, going 3-1 in duals. While the Senators rolled in their first dual past First Coast (58-9), they were tested by Westside (36-35) and Middleburg (45-36), and hung in against Camden before falling 45-31.
“We looked at this as a way to get a lot of matches for our young kids, to get them the opportunity to wrestle, to keep them in the program,” Senators coach David Harrison said. “We have a long way to go, but that said, I was pleased with the performance. We have to get our lineup right for conference (next month).”
The only wrestler for Fletcher to pick up four wins Saturday was James Knox (126), who had two pins and a major. Trent Dalldorf (120), Narek Stepanyan (195) and Bryce Bednarski (220) all were 3-0 on the day, with Dalldorf getting two pins and a major, Stepanyan three pins and Bednarski one.
Middleburg, Oakleaf and Westside all went 3-2 on the day. The Broncos won over Baker County (60-17), First Coast (62-6) and Westside (54-30), but then ran into Camden’s buzzsaw in a 68-6 loss before ending the day against Fletcher.
Oakleaf had no favors done in its early schedule, falling 60-21 to Camden and then to Bishop Kenny, but the Knights rallied, taking down Bolles 54-21, Nease and then Baker County (53-30).
The Knights had three lower-weight wrestlers go 5-0 on the afternoon. Kyle Tairovski-Romeu (106, 3 pins), Ryan Rosano (113, 5 pins) and Ethan Gustilo (126, 3 pins & 1 major) all achieved the feat.
Westside had two one-point duals to start the day, winning in criteria over HM-listed Orange Park (43-42) and then losing to Fletcher and Middleburg before righting the ship with one-sided wins over the hosts (65-18) and Godby (60-12).
Two Wolverines went 5-0 on the day, with Jacob Boyd (145/152) collecting four falls and a tech fall and Tariq Hookfin (285) taking three pins.
Host Bishop Snyder was 2-2, falling to Nease in the opener but rallied for a 48-30 win over Baker County. The Cardinals picked up their second win, 36-33, before falling to Westside.
Orange Park, Baker County and Bolles all were 2-3 on the day. The Raiders started off 0-3, falling to Westside, Camden (although giving the Georgians their closest dual of the day, 45-33) and Bishop Kenny, but rallied with wins over Bolles (69-6) and West Nassau (60-21).
The Raiders were unbeaten at 113, with Frank Sawyer going 3-0 on two pins and Cameron Broughton adding the other wins. Nartorian Lee (170/182, 3 pins & 2 decisions) and Tyler Dehart (220, 4 pins) each were 5-0.
Baker County rallied from its losses to Middleburg and Bishop Snyder with wins over Godby (42-24) and Fernandina Beach (46-24) before falling to Oakleaf.
Jordan Johnson (132) was 5-0 with four pins and a technical fall and Jestin Canterbury (285) added three pins in a 5-0 day for the Wildcats.
Bolles started quickly, with wins over Godby (42-30) and Fernandina Beach (39-30) before falling to Oakleaf, West Nassau (42-36) and Orange Park.
West Nassau’s day opened with a tough loss to Camden (72-12) before Bishop Kenny, but the Warriors did get on the winning side with the Bolles win before falling to Nease and Orange Park. William Tharpe (145) was 3-0 with two pins for West Nassau.
First Coast had consecutive losses to Fletcher, Middleburg, Bishop Snyder and Godby (29-24) before breaking through on the Buccaneers’ final dual of the day, a 30-29 win over Fernandina Beach, which went 0-5, but did have one undefeated wrestler in Joseph Helm (160/170, 5-0, 4 pins and a tech).