KISSIMMEE – The 155 pound weight class for Fleming Island High School wrestling could be a tough category for coach P.J. Cobbert to decide upon come November as two candidates, Luke Chop and …
KISSIMMEE – The 155 pound weight class for Fleming Island High School wrestling could be a tough category for coach P.J. Cobbert to decide upon come November as two candidates, Luke Chop and Joey Cusick both finished in the top four at the Super 32 Early Qualifier wrestling tournament held Friday and Saturday at Osceola High School in Kissimmee.
“We have a lot of young guys and we’re just going to lay low, hide and be ready for November,” said Fleming Island coach P.J. Cobbert, also the director of the North Florida Wrestling Academy. “We had a good showing and we’re geting 40-50 kids to wrestling practice every night. They are ready to get on it.”
Newcomer Tanner Hill, at 163, also finished second with a tough loss in the finals. Hill got to the final with four wins before losing in the final 7-5 to Lukens Tylynne of Manatee.
“Tanner was 0-2 last year at this tournament,” said Cobbert. “He’s improving everyday.”
The Super 32 Early Qualifier is a regional qualifier for area wrestlers to advance to the Super 32 National championships held Oct. 27-28 in Greensboro, NC. “We like to get this meet under our belt, but I think the October date for the Super 32 is a little close to the start of our season,” said Cobbert. “We’ll let the kids and their parents think about whether they go or not.”
Cusick, an add-on wrestler from Bishop Kenny High School (5th in Class 1A at 152 last year) who trains at the NFWA, lost to Lake Gibson wrestler Elijah Gray in the 155 final 3-2 after dispatching of four wrestlers to advance. Gray also beat Chop in the quarterfinals to push Chop to the consolation rounds. Chop advanced to the quarterfinal with three wins; a 1-0 decision, a 9-1 major decision and a 7-2 overtime decision.
In consolation, Chop fought for a top four spot; a 1-0 overtime match, a 1-0 decision and a 4-1 decision and finished third by forfeit when Winter Springs’ Hayden McCandless chose to not wrestle.
“Luke is a strong, mobile guy out there and he is improving his footwork,” said Cobbert. “Cusick is a strong wrestler from Bishop Kenny that has trained with us all summer. They will both be expected to excel come November.”
At 135, Dalton Baysinger won two decisions and via pin to advance to the quarterfinals, but lost by pin to drop to the consolation rounds where he lost by pin to Ted Gjerde of Charlotte, NC.
In the middle school ranks, Green Cove Springs Junior High’s Jhoel Robinson won four matches to take the 140 pound title. Robinson had two major decisions; 10-0 and 11-2, a decision (9-2) and won the title with a 26 second pin.
“I watched one of his matches and kids like him are how we are going to equal last year’s team,” said Cobbert. “Not this year so much because we are young, but we got some hammers coming and, in two years, we are going be strong top to bottom like last year.”
Wrestling for the Clay Wrestling team middle school division, Liam Davis won the 70 pound division with two pins and an 8-4 decision in the final.
Wyatt Leduc placed fourth at 100 pounds to advance with a bye, a loss by pin in the quartefinal then three consolation round wins before falling by pin four fourth place.
Fleming lsland 2018 Class 3A champion Paul Detwiler, at 170, won the Super 32 Early Qualifier in 2016 with Clay High’s Kurt Jackson at 223, also winning in 2016. Jackson was a Class 1A runnerup at 195 in 2018.
In 2017, the North Florida Wrestling Academy advanced Jaquan English (4th at 141), Trace Insalaco (3rd at 173) while, in 2016, Lou Gagliardo, formerly of Clay and also Fleming Island and now in New Jersey, competed (3rd at 109), Dylan Taylor, a senior now at Clay, (4th at 135) and Keath Sawdo of Clay (2nd at 148) all advanced.