KISSIMMEE - Ridgeview High senior Matthew Rodriguez finally, after two runnerup finishes, got his gold medal while Clay High’s Cale Hoskinson, also a senior, faced off and beat an unbeaten opponent …
KISSIMMEE - Ridgeview High senior Matthew Rodriguez finally, after two runnerup finishes, got his gold medal while Clay High’s Cale Hoskinson, also a senior, faced off and beat an unbeaten opponent as both wrestlers won state titles Saturday in Kissimmee.
“Yes sir, it’s been a long journey,” said Rodriguez, twice a Class 1A runnerup after a third place as a freshman. “I’ve come close the past couple of years and I just touched it in my first try as a freshman. I knew it was going to be about how much I wanted to win it.”
For Hoskinson, third last year at 152 and 42-2 this season at 160, the championship match looked to be similar to Hoskinson’s battle with Robert E. Lee High’s 2020 state runnerup Ahmahd Denmark at the Clay Rotary as he faced off against unbeaten Terrell Taylor. 29-0 and fourth last year at 160. Denmark, third at 160 in 2A on Saturday, offered a muscular, athletic foe for Hoskinson that Hoskinson went into a bloodied overtime to defeat in the Clay Rotary final.
“He looked very similar to Ahmahd and I know that that match would be good for my confidence for the rest of the season,” said Hoskinson. “I just relied on my craft work and wrestled my guy.”
Clay coach Jim Reape noted that Hoskinson has faced off against few strong, athletic wrestlers in the past years and was set to take on Taylor in a good mindset.
“The Clay Rotary guy was just a big, strong kid with a lot of horsepower and Cale has wrestled the Camden County guy a bunch over the summer and he’s built the same way,” said Reape. “He just does the work, prepares and doesn’t flinch on the mat.”
In their match, Taylor was getting caught with possible single leg takedowns by Hoskinson, but relied on the sideline to avoid the two point awards. Taylor executed a very rugged and high-flying double leg takedown on Hoskinson right off the opening whistle, but finished the move out of bounds.
“In the match, I didn’t worry about what he was doing or where he was going,” said Hoskinson. “I just stayed my plan and kept wrestling him wherever he went.”
In the final period, Taylor showed off some frustration with a head slap on Hoskinson that cost him a point, but Hoskinson stayed focused.
“He, and the Ridgeview guy, have both been laser focused on today,” said Reape. “They are both quality champions and quality athletes.”
Rodriguez, who went the entire season without a point scored against him, scored pins of 17 seconds, 34 seconds and a third period flat to get to the final.
“All season, we have been working a lot on turning stall tactics to our advantage,” said Matthew Rodriguez, who finishes at 57-0 and has signed to continue wrestling at NCAA Div.I power Lehigh University. “I worked on the things I needed to get back to this place and finish. The two runnerup matches showed me some things I needed to be able to do to win and that was what we focused on.”
Also medaling from Clay County, Fleming Island got two fourths; from Hunter Herrington at 113 and from Hunter Williams at 195. Both lost to eventual state runnerups in their semifinal matches. Clay High got a sixth from Dominic Martin at 152 with a quarterfinal loss to eventual champion Darian Estevez of Somerset Academy who finished at 42-1. Ridgeview 285 Derrick Mosley suffered an ankle injury and wrestled through to finish fourth.
“I knew he would have kept going, but I pulled him from his last match to avoid further injury,” said Bart Rodriguez, Ridgeview High coach. “He has been so instrumental in being a great teammate of Matthew and the rest of the boys and I wanted him to be able to return here next year.”
In team scores, in Class 1A, Somerset Academy won with 196.0 points with Palm Bay second at 140. Clay finished 10th with 45.5 points with Ridgeview 13th with 41.0.
In Class 2A, Charlotte unseated three time team champion Lake Gibson with 153.5 points with Palmetto Ridge also besting Lake Gibson with 145.0 points to Lake Gibson’s third place total of 141.5.
In Class 3A, South Dade won the team title with 164.0 points with Southwest Miami second at 130.5 and Fort Pierce Central third at 129.0. Fleming Island, the state runnerup for five years, finished 10th with 49.5 points with Oakleaf finishing 51st with two points.
State Wrestling Results
Clay: 113-Marvin Rainwater 1-2; 132-Chandler Thomas 0-2; 138: Luke Boree 0-2; 145-Dominic Martin 3-3 6th; 160: Cale Hoskinson-4-0 1st; 170: Ethan Larsen 1-2; 285: Ethan Daniels 1-2
Ridgeview: 132: Matt Rodriguez 4-0 1st; 285: Derrick Mosley 3-3 6th
Orange Park: 106: Ryder Pimienta 0-2; 120: Davon Bailey 0-2; 285: Gabe Hecht 2-2
Middleburg: 113: Grady Woodard 0-2; 126: Riley Girgis 1-2
Oakleaf: 120: Kevin Gilley 1-2; 126: Marcus McGee 0-2; 138: Trevor Owens 0-2; 195: Isaiah Shevchook 0-2
Fleming Island: 106: Joseph Forte 1-2; 113: Hunter Herrington 3-2 4th; 126: Riley Holton 1-2; 132: Xavier Logan 0-2; 160: David Parkes 1-2; 170: Joshua Sandoval 1-2; 195: Hunter Williams 3-2 4th; 220: Grant Travis 1-2; 285: Ethan Hoffstetter 2-2