Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
MELBOURNE — Ridgeview got a chance to get out of the area and check out competition in south Florida this past weekend.
The verdict? It’s pretty solid.
The Clay County Panthers competed in Palm Bay’s Ships & Duals two-day tournament last weekend, going 1-2 in duals on Friday and placing 13th out of 18 teams in Saturday’s IBT component of the tournament.
In duals on Friday, Ridgeview opened with 3A state-ranked Columbus out of Miami, taking a 57-15 loss. In that dual, Marcus Reid (120) and Saeid Ejmali (138) each won by fall, with Requan Works (132) adding a 13-8 decision. Things got closer against Mater Academy of Hialeah Gardens in a 40-25 loss, with Reid, Jacob McGowan (126) and John Tiedeman (170) all winning by fall, Malachi Martin (145) winning by a 9-0 major and Ejmali taking a 10-7 win.
The final dual of the night was South Miami, and the Panthers were able to take a win there, 45-24, thanks in some small part to four forfeits that brought Ridgeview 24 points. Works and Martin both had pins, Ejmali a win by injury-default and Tiedeman winning by decision, 7-5.
On Saturday, three Ridgeview wrestlers medaled in the tournament, won by 2A state power Riverdale with 302 points, 94 ahead of runnerup Columbus. Ridgeview finished the day with 56 points.
Reid brought home top honors for the Panthers, and the team’s lone gold besides, at 120. He had three pins through the early rounds, including a second-period fall in the semis over state-ranked Caleb Cavanaugh of Riverdale, and then decisioned another state-ranked opponent in the final, Heritage’s Seth Adeclat, 6-2, in the title match.
Works added a sixth at 132. He was the only wrestler to avoid being pinned by eventual champion Shane Stewart of Palm Bay, but Stewart did win by technical fall. After not wrestling on Friday, Eli Kull (138) added an eighth-place medal.
The Panthers are now off until Wednesday, when they will host Clay County rival Middleburg.