MIDDLEBURG - Buoyed by numbers in the finals, Lake Asbury Junior High’s wrestling team used just three individual champions to win the Clay County Junior High Wrestling Championships with Green …
MIDDLEBURG - Buoyed by numbers in the finals, Lake Asbury Junior High’s wrestling team used just three individual champions to win the Clay County Junior High Wrestling Championships with Green Cove Springs placing second with nine champions.
The six-team field was tight in the top four team scores with Lake Asbury getting 303.5 points just 10 points ahead of Green Cove with Wilkinson at 248.5 and Oakleaf at 220.0. Lakeside was fifth with Orange Park sixth.
In an awesome display of wrestling on their own, four female wrestlers, led by 77 pound champion Payton Dias of Lake Asbury, who won a grueling 8-7 title over Oakleaf’s Connor Barnes was top female wrestler of the day in competitive matches that sprinkled throughout the weight classes.
At 82 pounds, Wilkinson’s Bayleigh Girgis lost a tough 10-7 semifinal to Lake Asbury’s Braden Phenneger before roaring back in the third place match with two near falls of Orange Park’s John Humer to win a 9-1 major decision.
Lily Bradshawn, 85 out of Wilkinson, got pinned in her semifinal then turned the tables on Lakeside’s Joseph Hill with her own third period pin for the bronze medal.
At 97, Wilkinson got Kylie Gerber in the finals with Brady Glavin winning a tougher than the score looks 10-0 major decision.
After Dias’ opening match win, Lake Asbury’s team got titles from Michael Micelli by pin over Phenneger at 82; Lemmy Kirkland by pin over Angel Rodriguez of Oakleaf at 85 and Jordan Hernandez with a pin over Noah Montoro of Wilkinson at 197.
For Green Cove, nine individual titles wasn’t enough to upend the Lake Asbury depth with the Cougars getting titles to Brady Glavin at 97 over Wilkinson’s Gerber; Shane Duhaylongsod at 102 over Lake Asbury’s Jacob Bucci 2-1; Vonte Burke at 108 with a pin on Oakleaf’s Sebastian Bonachea; Laird Duhaylongsod at 115 with a pin over Caleb Eastwood of Lake Asbury; Cooper Beck at 122 with a 10-3 win over Rylan Herrera of Lake Asbury; Eli Erby at 134 with a 9-0 major decision over Oakleaf’s Kailani Barrientos; Angel Salitre-Garcia at 140 who survived a near fall situation to turn Mason Phillips of Lake Asbury over and pin just before the third period ended; Dylan Beck at 147 who pinned Merrick Joiner of Wilkinson and Tayshawn Tate at 154 who pinned Braden Ringer of Lake Asbury.
Oakleaf got two champions in Bryant Taylor at 162 who pinned Walter Poe of Green Cove and Jeremiah Baker at 172 who pinned Brody Lyda of Lake Asbury.
Wilkinson got three titles; Jordan Walker at 92 with a pin over Chris McKeel of Oakleaf; Dyllan Dalager at 184 with a pin over Lukas Graham of Lake Asbury and Kendric O’Neal with a pin over Aaron Stacy of Green Cove Springs.
In high school wrestling duals state tournament action, Fleming Island and Clay both advanced to the championship tournament to be held Friday and Saturday, Jan. 22-23 at Osceola High School.
Fleming Island heads to the region 1-3A championship on Friday after winning bouts of 56-16 over Flagler Palm Coast and 58-19 over Gainesville Buchholz last week to advance. Fleming Island will face Timber Creek for the region title and the green light to head to the 3A Final Four on Saturday with South Dade the defending state champion in the mix again.
Clay, with wins over Episcopal (62-7) and Yulee (62-10) in their region openers advances to face long-time rival Wakulla High on Friday. Clay recently got a dual meet win over Flagler Palm Coast as a tune up for the state tournament.
A win by Clay over Wakulla puts the Blue Devils, back under the direction of Jim Reape, in the mix with the likes of Cardinal Gibbons, Hernando, Somerset Academy, Anclote, Lemon Bay and Palm Bay. Wakulla posted wins of 81-0 and 73-6 in their region wins over Rocky Bayou and South Walton. Multiple time Class 1A champion Lake Highland Prep is no longer in the FHSAA playoff system and will not compete.