ORANGE PARK - Ridgeview and Clay high school joined Fleming Island as District Duals wrestling champions with wins on Thurs., Jan. 4 and Sat., Jan. 6 as area wrestlers were set to crowd home gyms on …
ORANGE PARK - Ridgeview and Clay high school joined Fleming Island as District Duals wrestling champions with wins on Thurs., Jan. 4 and Sat., Jan. 6 as area wrestlers were set to crowd home gyms on Thurs., Jan. 11 (6 p.m. starts) for a shot to wrestle in the first FHSAA Duals Wrestling championships set for Jan. 19-20 at Osceola High School.
Florida recently joined Georgia to have a duals state championships meet ahead of the traditional individual state wrestling to be staged in March. Unlike traditional individually bracketed competitions based on weight divisions, the duals matchups pit teams against teams to determine a final state champion.
The Panthers (19th in 2A in 2017) and the Blue Devils (2nd in 1A in 2017), with their wins last week, join Fleming Island (2nd in 3A in 2017) in advancing to their respective duals regions championships on January 11.
Fleming Island, the district 1-3A champion over Flagler Palm Coast two weeks ago, will host the region 1-3A championships with the Golden Eagles facing Orlando Evans and Flagler Palm Coast (10th in 3A in 2017) facing Apopka High (26th in 3A in 2017) in round one. Winners from those two matches face off in the region final with the winner advancing to the state meet.
In the traditional region 1-3A championships last year, Fleming Island won over Winter Springs and Flagler Palm Coast with Apopka sixth and Orlando Evans 13th.
Ridgeview, with their win over Orange Park (28th in 2A in 2017) in the district 3-2A championship, will host matches between the Panthers and Matanzas while Orange Park will face off against Creekside High, winner of district 1-2A. Matanzas was district 1-2A runnerup. Middleburg, with a lineup missing athletes in weight classes from 160 and up, and Terry Parker, who had just seven wrestlers also competed in district 3-2A. The final tally had Ridgeview beating Middleburg (26th in 2A in 2017), Terry Parker and Orange Park for the championship. Orange Park beat Terry Parker and Middleburg.
Last year, Tallahassee Lincoln won the traditional region 1-2A championship over Pace and Tate high schools with Creekside fifth, Ridgeview ninth, Orange Park 11th and Matanzas 16th.
Clay, with wins over Baker County and West Nassau, won district 3-1A and will host Bolles in the region 1-1A tournament on Thurs., Jan. 11 with Bishop Kenny (17th in 1A in 2017) matching up with West Nassau in the second match.
Last year, Clay won region 1-1A in the traditional region championships over Wakulla and Florida High with Bishop Kenny seventh, Bolles ninth and West Nassau 18th.