- January 10, 2023
It was a busy week for Flagler County's high school wrestling teams.
While Flagler Palm Coast and Matanzas each advanced to regional dual competition in boys wrestling -- yes this season we have to say boys wrestling -- the Matanzas girls team won a high-powered tournament.
In the first year of FHSAA-sanctioned girls wrestling, the Pirates showed they are a team to be reckoned with. Matanzas won the Lady Rams Tournament of Champions on Jan. 8 at Lake Mary by one point. The Pirates defeated five-time reigning state champ Orlando Dr. Phillips, 103-102.
Although the state titles were unsanctioned in previous seasons, Dr. Phillips was considered a favorite to win the first FHSAA girls championship. The Pirates took two titles and sent two other wrestlers to the finals to edge the Panthers.
"It came down to the heavyweight match. We were down nine points, and we had to pin for us to win," Matanzas coach John White said.
Freshman Nahia Lubin did just that, pinning Windermere's Madison Benson in 13 seconds to clinch the team title. Freshman Mariah Mills won the 105-pound title. Tiana Fries (110) and Brooklyn Watts (190) were runners-up. Three days earlier, Matanzas defeated Ponte Vedra, 42-36, in a home duals match.
The Matanzas boys also beat Ponte Vedra, 69-6. The Pirates then traveled to New Smyrna Beach the next day for the district duals tournament. They finished second to the host Barracudas to advance to the regional quarterfinals on Jan. 13 at Neptune Beach Fletcher.
The Matanzas boys ended their week by finishing second in the Marine Corps Challenge in Jacksonville. Five Pirates won their weight classes -- Carter Wilder (120), Toryion Stallings (126), Dylan Parkinson (132), Tyson Mills (152) and Jordan Mills (170). Bradyn Cox finished second at 160.
FPC won its district duals tournament at Sanford Seminole, defeating DeLand, 48-24 in the final. The Bulldogs will meet Orange Park Oakleaf in a regional quarterfinal match on Jan. 13 at Creekside High School. The winner will meet the DeLand-Creekside winner for a spot in the final eight Jan. 21.
Seth Davis stepped up big at duals, beating two wrestlers ranked ahead of him, coach Zach Sanford said.
On Jan. 8, the Bulldogs finished third in the 22-team Cradle Cancer Invitational at Jensen Beach. Kole Hannant pinned his way to the 120-pound title. Hannant, the fourth seed coming in, pinned the top two seeds in the tournament. Marcelo Gonzalez won the 182-pound title.