Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Wrestlers Top 16 Other Schools in Rotary Match; the Team Won the Tournament for Second Year, but Not by as Much

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Wrestlers Top 16 Other Schools in Rotary Match; the Team Won the Tournament for Second Year, but Not by as Much

Article excerpt

Byline: STEPHEN KINDLAND, Times-Union sports writer

Clay High School sent five wrestlers into the championship round of its own Green Cove Springs Rotary tournament Saturday, and all five emerged winners as the Blue Devils squeezed out a first-place finish over runner-up Suwannee County.

Clay's 193 1/2-190 victory was the school's second straight Rotary tournament title, but it didn't happen nearly the way it did last year when coach Jim Reape's eventual Class A state champions dominated a 14-team field, winning by 90 1/2 points over second-place Ridgeview.

Whether that's an indication of how Clay can do in this year's state tournament remains to be seen, said Reape, whose team topped 16 other schools at this year's Rotary event.

"We're not the dominating team we were last year, but at points [last season] we weren't dominant, either," he said. "We had periods of inconsistency, but we hit our stride in late January."

Clay might have won this year's Rotary event by a bigger margin had defending state champion Virgil McDuffie (125 pounds), Andy Milburn (135) and Seth Sieminski (160) been able to wrestle. McDuffie has seen limited action for personal reasons, and Milburn and Sieminski have been plagued by injuries.

A shoulder injury also has been bothering 2004 state qualifier Kyle Erickson, who came in fourth at 171.

Nonetheless, Clay has shown improvement since coming in 12th among 24 teams at a recent tournament in Oviedo.

"No excuses, we didn't do very well," Reape said. "But I was really pleased with the weekend [Rotary tournament]."

Among the tournament's surprises was Clay heavyweight Abe Tomlinson, who came in unseeded but zipped into the finals with wins over two state qualifiers. Tomlinson fell behind 6-3 in his championship match against highly regarded Jacob Sheffield of Forrest, but ended up pinning him in 4:43. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.