KISSIMMEE – Fleming Island High senior wrestler Paul Detwiler continued his scorched Earth approach to the 2017 season with a second tournament loaded with first period pins as the Golden Eagles …
KISSIMMEE – Fleming Island High senior wrestler Paul Detwiler continued his scorched Earth approach to the 2017 season with a second tournament loaded with first period pins as the Golden Eagles defeated the field at the Danny Byron Invitational at Osceola High School in Kissimmee on Fri.-Sat., Dec. 8-9.
“Paul’s a machine,” said Fleming Island coach P.J. Cobbert, who orchestrated a strong winning tournament effort at Byron with his Golden Eagles topping Georgia defending 7A champion Camden County and Florida defending 3A champion South Dade. Fleming Island finishing second in 3A last year.
Fleming Island finished on top with 238.5 points ahead of Georgia’s Woodland High (Cartersville) who edged close at 232 points. South Dade, with 214.5 points, finished fourth behind Freedom High’s 223 points and ahead of Camden in fifth with 213 points. Sixth place was a distant 170 points from Apopka High.
“We want to give the kids an opportunity to wrestle against the best teams we can,” said Cobbert, who has Fleming Island set to travel to Richmond Hill, GA on Sat., Dec. 16. “It’s not about winning or losing at this point, but how they handle whichever comes to them.”
According to Richmond Hill High School wrestling coach Bob Parker, his tournament will feature 21 teams including teams from four states; one from Alabama, three from South Carolina including Hilton Head High. From Georgia, Class 6A team champion Alexander High is expected.
“We were a small tournament that a few teams came to, but we have worked to get it bigger and better to bring in some strong teams,” said Parker, who had Richmond Hill’s first state champion last year, Taylor Wilson at 182, a senior who finished at 49-3 last year. “He’s now a strong 195 pounder for us.”
Parker said he had eight returners from his 2017 team that finished sixth overall.
Detwiler, who won last week’s Keystone Invitational 170 pound division with all first period pins, strifed the field at Osceola with five pins on day two, the championship rounds, and three pins on day one, the preliminary rounds.
“His combination of tempo, strength and great wrestling combinations makes him tough,” said Cobbert. “He’s put in the work and is prepared.”
Also on Friday, Detwiler, third at 152 last year, reached the epic 100 pins for his career; just two years of varsity plus two matches for his senior year. Detwiler’s older brother, David Detwiler, now at the U.S. Naval Academy and also a Fleming Island state placer (fifth at 138) finished his three-year career (injured senior year) with 104 wins.
“I don’t know how many I had, but 100 pins in two years is pretty special,” said Cobbert, a four time state champion at Clay High School. “One hundred wins is good; but 100 pins means you close matches.”
Adding to the Fleming Island point total at the Byron tournament were 106 pounder Lou Gagliardo and 132 pounder Jaquan English, both recent transfers, and both wrestling at a high level in their new Fleming Island uniform.
“Both of those guys came here wanting to learn our way and they have both done that,” said Cobbert. “Lou has tuned in quickly to being a leader. Jaquan is such an elusive wrestler and is fun to watch.”
Gagliardo (15-0), twice third at 106 in Class 1A for Clay, defeated Camden County’s Nathan Orum in his championship match with a 4-2 win while English (19-0) beat Smaill Saint Pierre of Freedom 8-1. Saint Pierre was fifth at 120 in Class 3A last year. English was a Class 1A state qualifier last year.
At 113, in the day one Gold bracket, Fleming Island’s Briar Jackson finished second after losing to Caden McCrary of Woodland 4-3 in a tough match. Jackson finished third overall with two losses; to McCrary and to Camden’s Nicholas Krug.
At 138, Fleming Island sophomore Tyler Williams earned second with a 5-4 win over Apopka senior Dwight Parker. Williams finished fifth overall after day two.
At 145, Fleming Island junior Vincent Hauser won his pool with a pin over South Dade sophomore Jason Duarte. Hauser finished fourth after day two.
At 160, Fleming Island’s Trace Insalaco had a tough pool with Woodland state runnerup Cody Cochran beating South Dade state qualifier Todd Perry in the final with Insalaco falling by pin to Perry for third. Insalaco finished fourth overall after day two.