JACKSONVILLE – The Clay Blue Devil wrestling team once again sits on top of the North Florida rankings by capturing the team championship in Region 1-1A held at Bolles on Saturday with a score of …
JACKSONVILLE – The Clay Blue Devil wrestling team once again sits on top of the North Florida rankings by capturing the team championship in Region 1-1A held at Bolles on Saturday with a score of 193.5. Wakulla finished in second with 75.5 points while Yulee placed third with 134 points.
“Winning the region title is very important for us,” said veteran Clay head coach Jim Reape, who had another district and region title this year to his nearly two decades of coaching at Clay High School. “We did not win the region the last two years and put us in unfamiliar territory. We lost to Wakulla by one point after being up by 15 and we defeated Fleming Island this season so that is big for the team.”
The Blue Devils captured the Region 1-1A Titles at 160 weight class Cale Hoskinson (38-2, Luke Boree (27-7) at 138 pound class while Maverick Rainwater (31-6) placed 2nd at 113 pounds and Dominic Martin (33-8) placed 2nd at 152 pounds.
Ethan Larsen (30-11) 170 pound and Ethan Daniels (32-9) placed 3rd at 285 pounds. Chandler Thomas (20-9) 132 pounds and Josh Kumpf (19-6) 145pounds placed fourth. Clay will send a total of eight wrestlers to Silver Spurs Arena next weekend in Kissimmee in pursuit of titles.
“Our guys put in the work and overcame the obstacles that the pandemic caused,” Reape said. “Guys did a lot work on their own to prepare for the season and it paid off.”
Boree defeated Tyson Musgrove (45-5) of Suwannee by a 2-0 decision in overtime to capture the title. Boree secured the win with a critical takedown in the extra period.
“He is the guy that does the work,” said Reape. “He had a big overtime win in the Fleming Island match. He didn’t go to state last year and he is driven by that.”
Hoskinson dismantled Austin Ricks (36-8) of Yulee by tech fall 15-0 in his 160 pound final. Hoskinson won his three previous matched by fall en route to the finals.
“Cale is another guy who put in the work during the pandemic,” Reape said. “He was wrestling college kids and former Clay guys to get ready.”
Ethan Daniels (32-9) advanced to the third place match with a thrilling pin over Angel LeCointe of Bishop Snyder with 12 seconds left in the match. Daniels was trailing in the match 11-3 before the fall. He went on to capture third place.
“We preach about believing in ourselves,” Reape said. “He was getting dominated and he went big and it paid off.”
The success at Clay wrestling all begins with the feeder and youth programs and this is something that Coach Reape is most proud of.
“The first call I will make tonight will be to former coach Hunter Hill,” reflected Reape, noting Hill took over the storied Blue Devil program for three years before moving his family to Tennessee last year. “He helped to develop a lot of these guys.”
Also in Class 1A, at the region 2-1A wrestling championship, Keystone Heights had eight wrestlers advance from districts; Ethan Crosby at 126; Tyce Pigga at 132; Saige Dennis at 138; Canyon Hayes at 145; Alyx Nichols at 152; Shepard Wingate at 160; Stephan Raab at 195 and Gabe Adams at 285. Raab and Adams were the only wrestlers to win first round matches with both finishing in the consolation rounds.