Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
NEPTUNE BEACH — Just a few days removed from the 75th anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attacks, Fletcher’s wrestling team gathered to honor a former Senator killed in action in Iraq.
United States Marine Marcus Preudhomme wrestled for the Senators and was killed back in June 2008. Fletcher coach David Harrison, himself a former Marine in the 1980s, named the Senators’ annual dual event in his honor.
Then, Saturday afternoon, his team made sure that the Preudhomme name on the championship trophy stayed home, as the honorable mention-listed Senators went 5-0 in the duals, knocking off two Matmen-ranked teams along the way.
The Senators downed #4 Bartram Trail (41-36), St. Augustine (57-15), #8 Creekside (42-30), Ponte Vedra (42-27) and Gateway Conference rival Mandarin (60-14) for the win in an event where teams were mostly scheduled so as to avoid wrestling competition with their own counties.
“I told the boys my plans were to hammer the field,” Harrison said via email on Sunday. “I think we are getting better, but we have a ways to go if we are going to compete at districts. If we can start our A lineup at the Bobcat Duals (at Buchholz, just before Christmas), it will give us a better picture of where we are at.”
And the Senators pulled off the accomplishment while putting a total of 23 wrestlers into the lineup. With all the mixing and matching going on, just two Fletcher starters — Ivante White at 132 and Stanley Hollenbach at 285 — wrestled in all five matches.
Six different Senators were unbeaten in at least three matches on the day. Owen Beining (160) had four pins at 160 for a 4-0 day, and Carlo Grasso — a transfer from Maryland whose older brother, Sandro, wrestled for the Senators several years ago under former Fletcher HC Roy Fallon, also a Marine — was 4-0 with two pins and a decision at 182.
Trent Dalldorf (3 decisions at 120), Matt Moffitt (decision and pin at 145), Narek Stepanyan (3 falls at 195) and Bryce Bednarski (pin at 220) all were 3-0 for the Senators.
Both the Bears and Knights were 4-1 on the day, with their only losses coming against Fletcher.
Bartram Trail rallied from the opening-round loss to the Senators, downing Atlantic Coast (48-15), Fernandina Beach (66-12), Ed White (57-17) and Mandarin (54-24).
The Bears had four different wrestlers go 5-0 on the weekend. Blake Swor had two falls at 106, with Nicholas Vugman collecting four pins in competing at both 113 and 120.
James Mueller also had four falls, wrestling at 132, and Matt Pickett split time at 138 and 145, with two pins and a decision.
Creekside came out fast, with two romps past Ed White (71-12) and Mandarin (54-18) before falling to Fletcher in round 3. The Knights then hammered Atlantic Coast 66-18 and Fernandina Beach 72-0 in succession following the loss.
Like Bartram, the Knights had four unbeatens at 5-0 — Luke Davis (2 pins at 106), Jacob Cooney (pin and tech at 138), Brandon Dickman (two falls and a major at 170), and Saul Storey (three pins and decision, wrestling at both 220 and 285).
Dickman picked up his career 100th win in the dual victory over Mandarin, winning by fall in the second period of that dual.
Ed White finished a quiet fourth in the event, going 3-2 in duals. The Commanders beat Ponte Vedra 42-33 after the loss to Creekside, losing to Bartram Trail in round 4 and then closing out with wins over St. Augustine (48-36) and Fernandina Beach (46-18).
White’s top performer in terms of win-loss record was 285-pound Jordan Wilson, who was 4-1, with all four wins coming via forfeit.
Atlantic Coast was a late addition to the event and finished 2-2, with a 35-27 win over St. Augustine and 39-33 victory over Ponte Vedra. Uriah Ford (182) had two pins and a tech fall in representing the Stingrays as their lone unbeaten wrestler at 4-0.
Mandarin took several shots against their nearby St. Johns rival and — along with elsewhere-competing Westside — one of their fellow early Gateway Conference top contenders in the host Senators, but the Mustangs did find wins over St. Augustine (53-18) and Ponte Vedra (58-12). Adam Spikes (152, two falls, major and two decisions) was the only Mandarin wrestler to go 5-0 on the day.
Ponte Vedra brought just eight wrestlers (thanks in large part to its football team’s state-finals run) and went 1-4 on the day, with the Sharks’ lone victory over Fernandina Beach (36-21). Two Sharks were 5-0 on the day, as James Stanton had four falls at 132 and Harrison Crowley two at 138.
Likewise, St. Augustine was 1-4 on the day, filling nine weights. The Yellow Jackets’ lone win also came against Fernandina Beach, in a 42-18 win. Two St. Augustine wrestlers — Marcus Petersen (three pins in joint time split between 145 and 152) and Tracey Beshara (two pins and decision at 170) — were 5-0.
Fernandina Beach’s top performers on a winless day — the Pirates brought just seven wrestlers, with only four wrestling in all five matches — were Joseph Helm, who was 3-0 at 160 with three pins, and Uriah Giedrys (4-1 at 195).
Complete dual results can be found on both Matmen platforms (Local on Northeast and Statewide on Northwest)