Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
MATANZAS — The battle lines were already drawn in preseason between #4 Bartram Trail and #8 Creekside for 2A-District 4 top honors.
Those battle lines should only get tougher to cross between now and the dual between the two St Johns County teams, particularly following the conclusion of the Matanzas Duals Saturday afternoon.
In the third of five rounds, the two teams — both having won their first two duals — had what was the most competitive dual of the day at this particular event, with the St Johns Knights edging the Bears, 40-39. Creekside then defeated the hosts and Orlando’s The Master’s Academy to win the event with a 5-0 record.
“The Bartram dual was close, with both our teams missing a few key wrestlers,” Creekside coach Rick Marabell said via email on Sunday. “So, January 18 (date for the scheduled dual between the two teams) will be a titanic matchup between our programs.”
Bartram won four of the first five contested matches between the two teams, with that particular dual beginning at 170, but forfeits kept the Knights close at 24-18. Creekside surged into a four-point lead behind a fall from Jake Summers at 120 and major from Max Patterson at 126, but Bartram broke back with a pair of falls from James Mueller and Matt Pickett at 132 and 138 to go up 36-28.
The Knights would retake the lead behind Jack Tellin’s win by disqualification at 145 and Brendan Jones’ fall at 152, going up 40-36. Sometimes, in duals, there are such things as “good losses,” and the 9-8 win that the Bears’ Kevin Williams got at 160 was one such good loss for Creekside, as the ability to stay out of a bonus-point situation helped preserve the Knights’ victory.
Creekside’s other wins came by an average of 37 points per margin of victory, as the Knights took down Wolfson (48-15), Pedro Menendez (53-15), the host Pirates (47-15) and The Master’s Academy (63-18).
Summers (2 pins & major), Jones (4 pins), Brandon Dickman (2 pins, major & decision, all at 170) all had 5-0 days for Creekside.
Like Creekside, Bartram Trail rolled in its four wins, with an average margin of 38 points per dual victory. The Bears stopped The Master’s Academy (60-9), Matanzas (42-31, first program win over the Pirates), Wolfson (63-12) and Pedro Menendez (57-18).
Pickett (4 pins), Williams (2 pins & 2 decisions) and Kolton McDaniel (3 pins & decision) all had 5-0 days for Bartram Trail.
Although the hosts took losses after a heavy graduation loss in 2015-16, Matanzas had three solid wins to finish third in the event. The Pirates beat Pedro Menendez 46-30 in round 1, The Master’s Academy 54-21 in round 3 and Wolfson 51-27 to close out the day.
Heavyweight Daniel Leonard (2 pins & decision) was Matanzas’ lone unbeaten wrestler, going 4-0 through the first four rounds.
Although the Falcons and Wolfpack had their struggles, they — along with the visiting Orlando side — each all found one team victory during the course of the day.
Wolfson’s dual win came in round 3 over the Falcons, a 40-36 outcome, while Pedro Menendez took down The Master’s Academy, 51-30, in round 4.
For the Wolfpack, heavyweight Ronald Brunson (3 pins at 285) was 5-0, with Mark Harrington contributing a pin and decision in a part-time role at 160, going 3-0 there. The Falcons were lead by the 5-0 day from Justin Van Hoogten at 195, who had two pins, a tech fall and decision.
Complete results from the Matanzas Duals have already been posted on both Matmen platforms (Local for Northeast, Statewide for Northwest).