District wrestling titles go to Fleming Island, Clay

RHS Rodriguez, Mosley undefeated

By Randy Lefko Sports Editor
Posted 2/24/21

OAKLEAF - Fleming Island High wrestling survived their fair share of bumps and bruises in 2021 and managed a Flagler Rotary title, a Final Four Duals finish and, yet again, a district 1-3A title at …

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District wrestling titles go to Fleming Island, Clay

RHS Rodriguez, Mosley undefeated

Posted

OAKLEAF - Fleming Island High wrestling survived their fair share of bumps and bruises in 2021 and managed a Flagler Rotary title, a Final Four Duals finish and, yet again, a district 1-3A title at Saturday’s championship held at Oakleaf High School. Area teams will head to region championships with top four finishers from districts all advancing. Top four finishers at regions will advance to the state championships to be held March 5-6 in Silver Spur Arena in

Fleming Island held off Creekside 187.5-165 for their title with Oakleaf third at 154.

Fleming Island had three district champions; Hunter Herrington, David Parkes and Hunter Williams. Oakleaf had three champions in Kevin Gilley, Trevor Owens and Roman Polinsky.

“This has been a challenging season a any,” said Fleming Island High coach P.J. Cobbert, who suffered a 32-30 loss to Clay last week in the annual Tussle of Muscle. “We have a lot of young kids that have experienced things my teams have never had to experience like COVID, no summer wrestling, no weightlifting. Most of these kids had ever been in a gym like that Clay match atmosphere. We learned a lesson about our readiness and that Clay match was a good wakeup call. Coach Reape (Clay coach Jim Reape) is one of the best motivators of his teams. Kids will run through a wall for him and he had them ready for that night.”

Region championship meets are scheduled for Friday and Saturday,

Feb. 26-27. Fleming Island and Oakleaf both travel to Flagler Palm Coast for the region 1-3A championships. Clay and Ridgeview will travel to Bolles for the region 1-1A championship. Keystone Heights will travel to Palm Bay High School for the

region 2-1A championship. Orange Park and Middleburg will travel to

Mosley High for region 1-2A.

After the tough 32-30 win over Fleming Island in the annual Tussle of Muscle dual match between the two programs, Clay regrouped, recovered and won their 22nd district wresting title convincingly on Wednesday in the Clay High gym. Clay won convincingly with 255 points with Union County second at 137 and Ridgeview third at 106.

Clay had eight district champions; Maverick Rainwater, Thomas Viens, Luke Boree, Josh Kumpf, Dominic Martin, Cale Hoskinson, Ethan Larsen and Kedtric Wilbon.

Ridgeview came away from the district 4-1A tournament with two wrestlers; Matthew Rodriguez (49-0) at 132 and Derrick Mosley (45-0) at 285, maintaining unbeaten season records as the Panthers will send their entire team to regions this season.

“Not many people are paying attention to Derrick Mosley being undefeated,” said Ridgeview High coach Bart Rodriguez, during a recent practice session. “The attention on Matthew has kind of let Derrick wrestle with little pressure. He’s going to surprise some people.”

In region 2-2A, a bit of a surprise ending for the Middleburg High Broncos, who have scrapped all season with a diminished roster, fell one point shy of district runnerup to champion Tallahassee Lincoln as Columbia Lake City scored 125 points to Middleburg’s 124 to wrest away second place.

“We were beat up a little bit, but getting to the finals was expected,” said Middleburg coach Richie Dusinberre. “We had some winnable matches, but the young guys had tough matches to close. We used to win our district but now we are in this new one and it is probably one of the toughest in our region.”

Lincoln won with 185.5 points. Orange Park finished sixth with 70.

Middleburg finished with two district champions; Riley Girgis and Alex Nayfack. Orange Park finished with three district runnerups; Ryder Pimienta, Davon Bailey and Elijah Serrano.

In district 5-1A, Keystone Heights finished fifth behind Palatka, Menendez and Atlantic with Palatka winning at 159.5, Menendez at 149 and Atlantic at 129. Keystone Heights had 79 team points.

Keystone Heights had one district champion; Stephan Raab at 195.

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