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All-Area Wrestling Team 2013

Mar 12, 2013 -- 11:23am

 

By Shannon Heaton

(Follow on Twitter at @QChawkeyeinFL)

 

Having not seen an all-area wrestling team posted locally yet, I thought I should get some thoughts together by way of wrapping up the 2012-13 season and get people thinking about next year. I guarantee you the non-senior wrestlers are, particularly those disappointed by how this year ended for them.

 

Before I roll out my thoughts on the top two kids at each weight class in the five-county Northeast Florida area (sorry, Georgia, it’s hard enough to follow local kids in just one state), I have to get a thought off my chest.

 

Like the kids disappointed in a premature end to their season, I’m disappointed, too. Disappointed by these hard-working kids’ lack of visible presence in the media of this community. Not one individual wrestler was interviewed in the major print media source during the course of this season. Not one Jacksonville-area PERSON, wrestler or coach, was interviewed at the Florida state tournament. Inexcusable. They’d riot up north if that were the case.

 

Perhaps that will change as winter sports all-area teams are announced, but the number of wrestlers interviewed and quoted won’t go up by much more than one.

 

I get it. Lack of media coverage is part of the deal with wrestling. In my experience, it always has been. Up north, it’s basketball that is king.

 

Here, basketball does get into wrestling’s way (a lot less than I would have thought; HS basketball fans, you’re getting gypped, FYI). Surprisingly, soccer does, too. I would have thought swimming, with Olympic-level athletes coming out on an annual basis from this area, would cut in too, but it largely doesn’t.

 

The biggest reason is due to a season that northerners can barely conceive of: spring football and college signings. While I steadfastly refuse to take on that foe head-on under the belief that prudence is the better part of valor, here’s what I did learn in two weekends on the wrestling mats at Mandarin and Bolles:

 

Wrestling is wrestling. It might be better-known and better-followed up north, but I saw the same things in these young men (and women) down here in my new city. Hard work. Commitment. Self-sacrifice.

 

Say what you will, wrestling is the only sport that requires a 24-hour commitment every day. That alone makes it a harder sport to compete in than every other one out there. Kids in this day and age of instant gratification and unreal “reality TV” who are willing to do that are worth your attention and time. And they are worth mine, even after I’d “retired” from writing for two years.

 

I was happy to come out of retirement for 1010XL.com and glad for the chance to highlight these kids’ hard work. But while I intend to continue next season doing that on at least an occasional basis, I have much bigger plans than that. If you want to know more, just follow me on Twitter. Change is coming.

 

With that said, here are my thoughts on 30 of the best wrestlers in Northeast Florida. I hesitate to say “the 30 best” because my window is restricted by the post-season. That’s the base of my knowledge. I’ve learned about a few kids who were hurt mid-season that could have been real difference-makers, but because they were hurt, vanished from my view because they didn’t compete at districts.

 

I also hesitate because I believe strongly in the concept of weight classes. You could have 30 kids with nine of them being at one weight and drop other weights out entirely (I can think of one that I could lose very easily from my own all-area team I’m announcing today). But that’s the same thing as an all-area football team with no linemen or kickers. That’s not my way. Wrestling is about a complete team – 106 pounds to 285. Granted, there’s always a weight or two where there are 3 truly outstanding kids and only two slots to give. I cheat by adding an at-large pick to both the first and second teams.

 

Here they are. Remember, it’s one man’s opinion based on a small window of season. My knowledge of your kids will only go up from here. Change is coming.

 

106 pounds:

First team: Dale Browning, Fr., Clay (39-13). 4th at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 4th at 1A state meet.

Second team: Chase Robison, Soph., Fleming Island (40-8). 1st at Mandarin district, 3rd at University regional, 1 win from 3A state medal.

 

113                      

First team: Aaron Galang, Sr., Creekside (41-7). 1st at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 6th at 2A state meet.

Second team: Zach McClinton, Soph., Middleburg (32-9). 2nd at Matanzas district, 2nd at Matanzas regional, 1 win from 2A state medal.

 

120                      

First team: Evan McCall, Jr., Fleming Island (45-4). 1st at Mandarin district, 1st at University regional, 3A state qualifier.

Second team: Dylan Martin, Jr., Clay (35-14). 1st at Clay district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.

 

126                      

First team: Charles Cuthbert, Jr., Fleming Island (45-6). 1st at Mandarin district, 1st at University regional, 4th at 3A state meet.

Second team: Joey Epstein, Jr., Ridgeview (32-12). 2nd at Matanzas district, 4th at Matanzas regional, 2A state qualifier.

 

132                      

First team: Jamarius Jackson, Sr., Ridgeview (40-0, All-Area Team Captain). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.

Second team: Max Sheppard, Sr., Episcopal (27-4). 1st at Episcopal district, 1st at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.

 

138

First team: Adam Breindel, Soph., Clay (39-12). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

Second team: Michael Fegins, Sr., University Christian (34-9). 1st at Episcopal district, 3rd at Bolles regional, 6th at 1A state meet.

 

145

First team: Trevor Betros, Soph., University Christian (29-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1A state qualifier.

Second team: John Martorano, Fr., Fleming Island (25-8). 1st at Mandarin district, regional qualifier, 1 win from 3A state meet.

                             

152

First team: Harry Glasser, Jr., Bolles (38-1). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 2nd at 1A state meet.

Second team: Jeff Rivers, Sr., Clay (35-9). 3rd at Clay district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

                             

160

First team: Cody Hankerson, Sr., University Christian (42-3). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

Second team: Justin Weltzbarker, Sr., Clay (44-11). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 4th at 1A state meet.

 

170

First team: Jake Bain, Sr., Clay (48-3). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

Second team: David Martinez, St. Augustine (33-4). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 4th at 2A state meet.

 

182

First team: Corey Van Dorn, Jr., Orange Park (45-0). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.

Second team: Tim Betros, Sr., University Christian (31-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 1 win from 1A state medal.

                             

195

First team: Shane Carpenter, Sr., Creekside (41-0). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 2A state champion.

Second team: Robert Parland, Sr., University Christian (35-7). 1st at Episcopal district, 1st at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

 

220

First team: Justin Fountain, Sr., Clay (49-3). 1st at Clay district, 1st at Bolles regional, 2nd at 1A state meet.

Second team: Frank Giordano, Sr., Ponte Vedra (37-8). 3rd at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 2A state qualifier.

 

285                      

First team: Jamal Fiffer, Jr., University Christian (37-6). 1st at Episcopal district, 2nd at Bolles regional, 3rd at 1A state meet.

Second team: Malcolm Kirce, Jr., Ridgeview (37-8). 3rd at Matanzas district, 3rd at Matanzas regional, 4th at 2A state meet.

 

At-large

First team: Devon Brooks, Jr., Orange Park (38-4 at 285). 1st at Matanzas district, 1st at Matanzas regional, 1 win from 2A state medal.

Second team: David Detwiler, Fr., Fleming Island (37-13 at 138). 1st at Mandarin district, 3rd at University regional, 1 win from 3A state medal.

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