Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
GAINESVILLE — Can a preliminary of the #UncivilWar be held in Alachua County?
It wasn’t so neatly hashtag-able as next month’s matchup at Clay ought to be, but Fleming Island and Clay wound up tangling for top honors in Thursday’s Bobcat Holiday Duals championship match that capped an event which, for both teams, served as a good tuneup for next week’s Knockout Christmas Classic, hosted by Osceola.
When the “intemperate battle” (nope, not hashtag-able) was finished, Fleming Island finished the day unbeaten, taking down the Blue Devils, 39-28, to go 5-0 in duals.
Clay jumped out to an early lead in the dual, with Peyton Hughes winning by fall at 138 plus a forfeit at 145 giving the Blue Devils an early 12-0 advantage. That lead extended to 18-3, following a tight win for the Golden Eagles’ Paul Detwiler, 2-1, over Keath Sawdo (who bumped up a weight) at 152, as Dalton Wright picked up a fall for Clay at 160.
From there, though, it was mostly all Golden Eagles, who won eight of the next nine matches to put the dual away. Jalyn Robinson (170) also won a tight decision over Isiah Clifford, 1-0, as did Ryan Smenda (195) over Clay’s Kaleb Collins, 6-4.
Clay’s Kurt Jackson did push the Blue Devil lead to 22-15 with a major decision at 220, but Jose Concepcion’s fall at 285, plus two forfeits following, erased that lead and then some. Deandre Demus (120) then edged Clay’s Chris Merring, 9-8, at 120, in a dual-clinching decision.
Fleming’s Jacob Sandoval added some icing with a decision at 126, with Clay’s Dylan Fabiani (132) closing out the dual with a fall for the Blue Devils.
On the day for Fleming, seven wrestlers were undefeated while seeing a majority of the five matches. Briar Jackson (106/113, pin & tech), Sandoval (2 pins, major & decision at 126), Detwiler (3 pins, major & decision at 152), Anthony Breeden (3 pins at 182) and Concepcion (5 pins at 285, one of just two local wrestlers to pull off a five-pin day) were all 5-0, with Joseph Donato (pin at 113) going 4-0 and Smenda (pin & 2 decisions at 195) 3-0.
The Golden Eagles won three matches in Pool C of the event to put themselves into the championship bracket, hammering past Bartram Trail (51-27), Gainesville (53-12) and West Orange (54-12).
Against the Bears, Demus, Sandoval, Detwiler, Breeden, Smenda and Concepcion had pins, with Seamus Wade (160) winning by decision, while Demus, Tyler Williams (132), Luke Chop (138), Detwiler, Breeden and Concepcion taking pins and Jackson (at 113) a tech fall. Donato, Breeden and Concepcion won by fall against West Orange, with Brandyne Mackey (220) winning by injury-default, Sandoval, Williams and Detwiler with majors and Demus, Chop, Robinson and Smenda with decisions.
That set up a championship-pool match with Timber Creek, which Fleming won 63-17. In that match, Jackson, Sandoval, Williams, Bennett Corey (195), Mackey and Concepcion had pins, with Chop winning by decision.
As for Clay, the Blue Devils had advanced to the championship pool with three wins in the B pool over Fletcher (37-21), Lemon Bay (56-12) and Harmony (53-21).
Four Blue Devil wrestlers had unbeaten days, led by Jackson at 220 (2 pins, tech and 2 majors), who was 5-0. Hughes (4 pins at 132/138) and Dylan Becker (pin & decision at 138/145) were both 4-0, while Fabiani (2 pins & decision at 132) was 3-0.
Fabiani and Justin Merring (152) had pins for Clay over Fletcher, with Sawdo winning by tech fall, Chris Merring (120) and Jackson by majors and Gabe Peddichord (126), Becker, Wright and Ryan Rivers (285) by decisions. Against Lemon Bay, Hughes, Justin Merring, Garrett Weseman (160) and Wright had pins, with Jackson adding a tech and Chris Merring, Fabiani and Clifford (at 182) taking decisions. Against Harmony, Chris Merring, Peddichord, Hughes, Wright, Collins and Jackson won by fall and Sawdo had a tech fall.
Like Fleming, Clay also hammered Timber Creek in the championship pool, 60-10. In that dual, Hughes, Becker, Sawdo, Justin Merring, Collins, Jackson and Rivers had pins, with Chris Merring and Peddichord adding decisions.
The host Bobcats finished fourth in the 12-team event, going 2-1 in the A pool, winning over Sandalwood (36-33) and Interlachen (66-13) before falling to Timber Creek, 37-36. In the 4th-6th pool, the Bobcats took down West Orange, 32-30, and Fletcher, 35-30.
Two Bobcat wrestlers finished 5-0 on the day. Gant Moore (138) had two pins, a tech and an injury-default victory, while Jose Romero (220) joined Concepcion as the only Northeast Matmen wrestlers to pin through their respective weight classes.
DeAngelo Fletcher (126) and Romero had pins for Buchholz against the Saints, with Nevan Burney (195) winning by disqualification. Against Interlachen, Brandon Thomas (132), Moore, Armando Acosta (182) and Romero had falls, with Burney and Romero pinning against Timber Creek and Moore winning by injury-default.
Against West Orange, Hunter Griffin (113), Moore and Romero had falls, with Tracen Ransdell (145) and Acosta taking majors and Billy Green-Church (120) and Jordan Mobley (160) decisions. In the Fletcher dual, Fletcher, Acosta and Romero won by pin, with Moore collecting a tech and Green-Church and Ransdell both decisions.
Fletcher took fifth place after the loss to the hosts in the 4th-6th pool, going 2-1 in the B pool. After the Senators’ loss to Clay, they rallied for wins over Harmony (41-30) and Lemon Bay (51-21) and took down West Orange, 31-30, in the 4th-6th pool.
Two Senator wrestlers went 5-0, with a third weight class putting together a combined 5-0 day. Julion Fix had 3 pins and a decision at 170 and Narek Stepanyan had 3 falls & 2 decisions at 195/220, with the 113-pound weight class contributing 3 pins and a decision (contributed mostly but not entirely by Rayquan Piper, 4-0 with 2 pins and decision).
Fix (fall) and Stepanyan (decision) had the Senators’ only contested wins against Clay, but the Senators rallied against Harmony, with Piper, James Knox (126), Tanner Wood (182) and Stepanyan all winning by fall. In the win over Lemon Bay, Stone Rockhill (152), Owen Beining (160), Fix, Wood and Stepanyan (wrestling at 220) had pins, with Piper winning by decision.
In the 4th-6th pool, Bradley Lonergan (113), Beining and McBride won by fall, with Trent Dalldorf (120), Knox , Fix and Stepanyan taking decisions against West Orange. Piper, Fritz Salomon (132), Fix and Stepanyan won by fall against Buchholz, with Rockhill and Beining winning by decision.
Bartram Trail finished eighth, going 1-2 in Pool C, taking a loss to West Orange (46-16) before rolling past Gainesville, 57-16. In the 7th-9th pool, the Bears stopped Sandalwood, 36-32, but fell to Harmony, 40-24.
Three Bartram wrestlers were 5-0 on the day. James Mueller (132) picked up two pins, a major and decision, while Matt Pickett (138) had two pins and a decision. Kolton McDaniel (220) added 3 pins and a decision for the Bears. Additionally, William King was 3-0 at 170, with three pins.
In the loss to Fleming Island, Mueller, Pickett and King had falls, with McDaniel winning by decision. McDaniel had the lone fall against West Orange, with Mueller, Pickett and Kevin Williams (160) all taking decisions. Against Gainesville, the Bears got falls from Mueller, Pickett, Caleb Sutherland (152), King and Chris Kwarteng (195), with a decision from Jerry Gomer at 120.
In the 7th-9th pool against Sandalwood, Joseph Governara (126), Christian Crews (152), Carter Copeland (195) and McDaniel had falls, with King and McDaniel pinning against Harmony and Mueller adding a major.
Sandalwood wound up ninth, going 1-2 in Pool A and then 0-2 in the 7th-9th pool, showing some level of the depth at the top. The Saints lost to Timber Creek (52-30) and downed Interlachen (54-15) as well as their loss to Buchholz in the prelim pool, with a 36-28 loss to Harmony as well as to Bartram Trail.
Individually, though, the Saints were solid, with three of their 10 wrestlers going 5-0 and another three going 4-1. Leon Cruz (2 pins & decision at 113/120), Cameron Bell (3 pins, 2 majors at 145) and Dillon Morency (4 pins at 170) were Sandalwood’s unbeatens on the day.
In the Buchholz loss, Cruz, Cameron Bell, Lavaughn Brown (152) and Morency won by fall, with Chandler Bell (160), Cole Friend (182) and Miguel Velazquez (285) taking decisions. Cameron Bell, Devin Smith (195) and Velazquez had falls in the loss to Timber Creek, with Cameron Bell, Morency, Friend and Gustavo Martinez winning by pins in the Interlachen dual.
In the placement pool, Cruz (at 120), Morency, Friend and Velazquez won by fall over Bartram Trail, with both Bell twins taking majors. Against Harmony, Morency had the only fall, with Cameron Bell winning by major and Cruz, Chandler Bell and Friend by decisions.
Gainesville finished 11th on the day, going 0-3 in Pool C (60-15 loss to West Orange as well as the Fleming and Bartram defeats) and was 1-2 in the 10th-12th pool, with a 52-12 loss to Lemon Bay and a 36-24 win over Interlachen.
Nicholas Hanson (113) and Donnie Wilburn (285) had falls for the Hurricanes against West Orange, with Corey Ryan (182) wining by decision. In the loss to Fleming, Gainesville’s points came from falls by Logan Fernandez-Smith (170) and Pierre Toney (195), while Ryan and Wilburn had pins against Bartram Trail. Ryan had the only contested Gainesville win against Lemon Bay, a pin, adding another (along with Elijah Keselowsky at 132) against Interlachen.
The Rams — bringing six wrestlers to Gainesville — were the day’s only 0-5 team, falling 60-12 to Timber Creek in Pool A as well as the losses to Buchholz and Sandalwood. Interlachen also fell to Lemon Bay, 54-12, in the 10th-12th pool.
Interlachen did have one unbeaten wrestler, as Corey Adkins (195) had four pins en route to a 5-0 day. He and Cade Mason (138) had falls against Timber Creek, with Brennan Wykoff (170) joining Adkins as a pinner against Buchholz. Adkins did have the only contested win over Sandalwood, while Julian Rivera (182) was the Rams’ only contested winner against Lemon Bay, with a pin. Mason, Wykoff and Adkins all had falls in the loss to Gainesville.
While Clay and Fleming will be at Knockout next week, all other local teams in the event are off until next year. First up will be Gainesville, which travels to Columbia on January 3. Buchholz and Sandalwood will be at Lake Mary’s Tournament of Champions on January 6-7, with Bartram Trail at Bolles and Interlachen at Bradford’s quad on the 10th and Fletcher hosting a quad on the 11th.