KISSIMMEE - Fleming Island High senior wrestler Gavin Smith put his name in the hat of upcoming grapplers to keep an eye with an impressive major decision championship match in the prestigious Danny …
KISSIMMEE - Fleming Island High senior wrestler Gavin Smith put his name in the hat of upcoming grapplers to keep an eye with an impressive major decision championship match in the prestigious Danny Byron Invitational at Osceola High School on Saturday.
The Danny Bryon event is traditionally the first gathering of the area’s superpowers; South Dade, Camden County, Lake Gibson, Fleming Island, Miami Southwest and the likes and individual titles are hard to come by.
Smith, with three pins to the final, took out South Dade’s Creig Silimon in a possible preview of an upcoming high-level rematch for state rankings.
Smith, sixth in Class 3A last year and third at 170 at last year’s Danny Byron, is one of a few returners from Fleming Island’s second in state team to South Dade.
In 2019, Fleming Island had three Danny Bryon gold champions; Gannon Janssen, Tanner Hill and Chad Nix, all graduated.
Coach P.J.Cobbert has been chasing South Dade now for three consecutive years with second place finishes in the duals state championship and also the individual state championship meet.
Smith, as well as teammates Joe Forte, Xavier Logan and Raul Gonzales; at 106, 132 and 220 respectively, in fourth, fourth and third in the gold bracket at Bryon, leads a contingent of fairly new faces into 2020.
Also at the Danny Bryon, Riley Holton won his Blue Division title at 126, another key state qualifier returner for Cobbert. Holton was fifth in the Gold Division last year.
Fleming Island will host the St. Johns River Athletic Conference Tournament on Saturday.
At Ponte Vedra, Clay High got five individual champions to win the team title with a victory over Middleburg, the runner-up, on Saturday. Clay secured the team trophy with a dramatic overtime win from Dalton Huckleberry over Middleburg’s Riley Girgis.
At Fernandina Beach, Ridgeview finished 3-2 in duals action with senior Matt Rodriguez punching in with five pins to lead with Ian Finnorn and Derrick Mosley wrestling unbeaten.
At Oakleaf’s Friday Knight Lights, Oakleaf finished 4-1 with a 72-0 win in action against Gainesville High. Oakleaf also got a duals match win over Middleburg during the week.
In girls wrestling, at Ponte Vedra, Clay High’s Madisyn Blackburn won with a pin at 134 and Orange Park’s Andrea Smith won via pin at 222/287. Girls wrestling is now a medal sport in the FHSAA. Orange Park finished fifth with Clay sixth, Middleburg 13th and Oakleaf 15th.