Devils keep streak alive

By Randy Lefko
Posted 2/27/19

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - Eight individual champions fueled a 21st district wrestling title for the Clay High Blue Devils as first-year head coach Hunter Hill put together a game plan to keep the Jim …

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Devils keep streak alive

Posted

GREEN COVE SPRINGS - Eight individual champions fueled a 21st district wrestling title for the Clay High Blue Devils as first-year head coach Hunter Hill put together a game plan to keep the Jim Reape streak of 20 titles in tact as Clay decisively beat all challengers at the district 3-1A wrestling championships held Wed., Feb. 13 at Clay High School. Clay scored 238.5 points for the win with Yulee a distant second at 126.5.

Clay advances to the region 1-1A championship meet with the entire team intact led by district champions Tazz Hampton (106), Josh Kumpf (120), Luke Davis (126), Cale Hoskinson (132), Andrew McGowan (138), Grant Stanish (145), Jered Mosley (152) and Joseph Grelli (220). Hoskinson is Hill’s lone state returner with much of his lineup underclassmen.

Hampton, who awakened his own inner psyche with a climactic win over Fleming Island’s Hunter Herrington in the annual Tussle of Muscle clash a week ago, rifled through his lineup with two quick pins. Hampton’s region bracket features top-seed Tanner Brockman, a senior at Arnold High of Panama City, who is at 57-11, and Wakulla’s George Hernandez, a sophomore at 42-14. Wakulla was Class 1A Duals runnerup to Lake Highland Prep.

On Hampton’s side of the bracket are a handful of freshman and just one other junior.

“I’m a little more patient with my attack since coming to Clay,” said Hampton, who was a state qualifier for

2A-Middleburg last year. “Things that used to get me panicky or upset don’t anymore and I am wrestling smarter. I don’t want to regret making a stupid mistake and missing my shot at going to state.”

Clay’s lone state returner, Hoskinson, who got his first ticket last year as a freshman, has been stealthily building his record up for his return shot.

“I’ve been working on my craft to be able to do battle with the tough kids in our region from the Panhandle,” said Hoskinson, who has Wakulla’s Isaiah Wilson, a freshman at 21-7, and South Walton’s Seth Weinthal, a senior returning state qualifier at 38-11, on his side of the region bracket. Yulee senior Orion Duffy, at 40-12, is opposite Hoskinson’s bracket and the top record there. Notwithstanding, Hoskinson pinned Duffy in the district semifinal.

Stanish, at 37-19 as a senior, looks to have a region bracket filled with lesser record opponents with Wakulla junior Noah Wilson at 55-4 as the top threat for a region final with Stanish.

Finishing as top four medalists were Wil Dorvilus (160) who got third with a pin; Luca Fiannaca (170) who won third with an 8-3 decision; Almando Martinez (182) who won 9-6 for third; Jordan Bell at 195 who won 6-3 for third and Derek Mosley (285) lost in the final for second place.

Derek Mosley, just a freshman, but with tree trunk legs and massive upper body strength, has the eye of former Clay High medalist Kaleb Collins, who has returned to assist coach with Hill, as the post season approaches.

“He’s a strong, big kid with good agility for a big kid,” said Collins. “He could be a dark horse through region and state. He’s only a freshman with a lot of potential.”

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