KISSIMMEE - With the likes of 3A team duals and overall champion South Dade, Class 2A champion Lake Brantley and 3A regional powerhouses Hagerty and Osceola and even Class 1A runnerup Clay High, the …
KISSIMMEE - With the likes of 3A team duals and overall champion South Dade, Class 2A champion Lake Brantley and 3A regional powerhouses Hagerty and Osceola and even Class 1A runnerup Clay High, the opening of the 2018 wrestling season got a quick glimpse of the new faces on the mats at the Who’s #1 Duals Invitational on Saturday at Osceola High School in Kissimmee.
“It was a good showing for our young guys,” said Fleming Island wrestling coach P.J. Cobbert, who had his troops in succession against Hagerty, Lake Gibson and South Dade in a gauntlet of state powerhouses in the Saturday slugfest. “We have to let the new, young guys just what Class 3A is all about.”
With a 36-26 win over Hagerty the first order of business, Cobbert set up with Lake Gibson, a matchup that also occurred in the championship round of the AAU Scholastic Duals over the summer that went to Lake Gibson.
“We scrapped,” said Cobbert. “Now, we have a bench mark to get better to. There’s no sense in opening with a soft schedule and then thinking you are ready for the season. This tells us a lot.”
Top matches for the day included a double toss and throw underhook match at 195 for Fleming Island’s Jeffrey Loscano against Lake Gibson that saw Loscano twice make the dramatic throw with the second one leading to a pin.
Against South Dade, Clay High transfer Peyton Hughes made a dramatic debut into 3A with an overtime match against South Dade that ended after six overtime exchanges and Hughes a 4-3 loser.
In the next match, Luke Chop, at 152, went to five overtime exchanges to win 2-1.
At 160, Tanner Hill got matched with South Dade three-time champion Brevin Balmeceda with Gavin Smith getting 170 state champion Todd Perry.
“They battled,” said Cobbert. “We showed that our fitness is good. We just have to become finishers; close out the matches we need to win in the big tournaments against the big guns like South Dade.”
For Clay, who took on Osceola High in their second matchup, the Hines brothers; Jaekus, a 3A runnerup at 106, and Malyke, a 3A champion at 126, got warmed up on Clay’s Luke Davis and Cale Hoskinson while Middleburg High transfer Tazz Hampton found rough going at 106.
Most area teams open regular matches in December. On Thurs., Nov. 29, Fleming Island travels to the Buchholz High preseason classic in Gainesville.
Clay will travel to Camden County November 29 for a JV meet with the regular season opening with the December 1 Fresh Meat meet and the December 5 dual meet at Orange Park.