Knockout Day 2 Recap: Three Local Champs, Fleming 3rd

Knockoutchamps

Crowned champions at the 2017 Knockout Christmas Classic, hosted by Osceola Friday and Saturday, pose in their champion singlets, including Fleming Island’s Jaquan English (132, front row, third from right), Paul Detwiler (170, back row, third from left) and Bishop Kenny’s Josiah McCallum (285, back row, farthest right). (Photo submitted to Florida Wrestling News via Facebook).

North Florida Matmen staff report

KISSIMMEE — It’s progress, and at the highest levels of Florida high school wrestling, that takes on a very different meaning.

Last year, Fleming Island was a very distant fourth at the 2016 Knockout Christmas Classic, with one champion, and their Region 1 rivals right on their heels in the team classification.

Saturday, the top-ranked (NE) Golden Eagles were in the team race at least until the morning semifinals, brought home two brackets this year, and finished third — 44.5 points ahead of fourth-place Lake Gibson, 74.5 ahead of fifth-place Union Grove, GA, and 78.5 ahead of Southwest Miami, which finished above Fleming Island a year ago.

Progress.

But Fleming Island’s goals aren’t measured by just progress. Chasing down South Dade is, and although the Buccaneers didn’t win the team title — thanks in some part to a Matmen-area competitor who bagged a Knockout bracket of his own — they were in the hunt to do so, falling just short to defending Georgia state champions Camden County, 226.5-223.5, when the smoke cleared Saturday evening.

Jaquan English was Fleming’s first champion on the night, bringing home the 132 bracket. English turned back Southwest Miami’s Julian Hernandez, 6-4, in the semis, setting up a finals match with top seed Bryson Neace of Union Grove in the final. There, English had enough offense to extend his season record to 36-1, with a 5-3 decision and the title.

Paul Detwiler won the Golden Eagles’ other title, competing at 170. Like English, Detwiler entered the tournament as the second seed, and, like English, he had a pair of decisions on Saturday, starting with a 4-2 win in the semis over Lincoln’s Justin Grant. That put Detwiler into the finals against Lake Gibson’s Ashton Habeil, a 2A state champion in 2017. Unfazed, Detwiler put together enough combinations to stave off Habeil, winning by a 10-6 count.

Briar Jackson (113) was the first finalist for the Golden Eagles, but his bid for a Knockout title was just one point short. After winning 8-3 over top-seeded Devin Sweeney of Potomac, VA, in the semis, Jackson found his offense shut down by Camden County’s Nick Krug, who took a 1-0 decision in the championship match.

Fleming Island had three additional semifinalists that placed on Saturday.

At 106, Louis Gagliardo fell in the semis, 6-4, to eventual champ Luis Peraza of South Dade, rallying for two wins on the back side to take third, setting the pace in a 9-2 decision over Camden’s Nathan Orum in the third-place match. Albie Snedaker (120) lost to eventual champ Bretli Reyna of South Dade, 16-4, in the semis, came back with a win in the consi semis, but took a 6-1 loss to Hagerty’s Dylan Kohn in the third-place match. Finally, Jose Concepcion (285) lost by fall in the semis to South Dade’s Trayvonne Jackson, dropping a consi-semi match, but then edging Osceola’s Dion Bergan, 3-2, in the ultimate tiebreaker.

Four Fleming Island wrestlers in the consis — Jacob Sandoval (126), Dalton Williams (138), Jeffrey Lascano (182) and Jalyn Robinson (195) — all were 1-1 on Saturday, losing in the blood round. Trace Insalaco (160) lost his only Saturday match in the wrestlebacks.

Bishop Kenny finished tied for 20th in the 38-team field with 51 points, but came back to Jacksonville with a Knockout bracket, as fourth-seeded Josiah McCallum had a pair of 2-1 victories to take the championship. McCallum stopped top seed Joshua Isaac of Potomac, VA, in the semis, to set up a final against second seed Jackson in the final. There, too, McCallum did enough for a 2-1 win in the final, and in accomplishing the feat, allowed Camden County to preserve defense of its team championship.

The Crusaders’ Jack Delaney (120) was 1-1 on Saturday, falling just short of a Knockout medal, while Joey Cusick (152) was 0-1 in the consis.

The Tallahassee area finished the day with two medalists, as top-ranked (NW) Lincoln was tied for 25th at 38 points and third-ranked (NW) Florida High was 33rd with 24. Both teams had one Knockout medalist.

For the Trojans, Grant at 170 finished third, with a pair of falls following his loss to Detwiler in the semis. The second of those came in 3:21 in the third-place match over Hagerty’s Justin Segarra. Likewise at 182, Florida High’s Will Haigler was fourth after an 11-3 semifinal loss to eventual champ Cole Mitchell of Cocoa Beach. Haigler came back with a major in the consi semis, but then lost 17-5 in the third-place match to South Dade’s Mikael Fundora.

Two Tallahassee wrestlers in the 113 consis — Lincoln’s Mark Munroe and Florida High’s Brooks Dyer — lost their initial matches on Saturday.

Complete brackets, with team scores, can be found here.

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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