Beast of the Beach Recap: Wakulla Dominates Scene

North Florida Matmen staff report

FT WALTON BEACH — Wakulla entered the Christmas holiday on a winning note after finishing second twice in earlier tournaments.

The War Eagles put together a dominating performance at the Beast of the Beach on December 21-22, winning the tournament with a 9-0 record.

But that only tells part of the story. Wakulla lost just two matches (not duals, matches) in five rounds of pool play, and during the tournament shut out four consecutive opponents. That’s a minimum of 56 straight victories, and there was surely a streak of match wins started before, and continued after, those four duals, as Wakulla lost just one match in each of those.

The War Eagles defeated Choctaw (78-6), Mosley (73-6), Crestview (82-0), Veterans B GA (84-0) and Bozeman (84-0) in pool play on Friday. On Saturday, Wakulla stopped Tate, 80-0, in the round of 16, followed by a quarterfinal win over Spanish Fort AL (63-5), a semifinal win over Smiths Station AL (49-13) and then its only semi-close dual in the championship against Arab AL, 41-31.

In that championship, the War Eagles led, 25-10, halfway through the dual, only to see Arab take a 28-25 lead. But Wakulla scored bonus points in three of the final four weight classes to clinch the victory.

Every Wakulla starter had at least six victories during the course of the weekend, including six War Eagles that were undefeated. Leading that charge was Darius Wilkins (285), who was the only wrestler in the tournament to win all of his matches with maximum points (6 pins, plus three forfeits).

Matthew Owen (126, 5 pins, tech & major), Charlie Owens (132, 4 pins, major & decision), Noah Wilson (145, 6 pins & 2 majors), John Trevor Hinsey (195, 7 pins & major) and Slade Watkins (220, 4 pins & 3 decisions) also were undefeated with 9-0 records.

Five Wakulla wrestlers were 8-1, including: Julian Harvey (106/113, 3 pins & decision), Raymond Hatchman (120, 4 pins, tech & major), Chase Roberts (138, 6 pins, tech & decision), Jackson Osteen (152, 3 pins, major & decision) and Cole Baggett (160, 4 pins, 2 decisions). George Hernandez (106/113, 5 pins) and Andrew Annand (182, 3 pins & decision) were both 7-2, while Hayden Reeves was 6-3 with 2 pins & a decision.

Below follows a summary of how other local teams fared at the Beast of the Beach:

Gulf Breeze: After Wakulla’s title effort, the 2A Dolphins were the next best Matmen-area team in the tournament, placing 10th in the championship bracket. Gulf Breeze was 3-2 in pool competition, with wins over Niceville (39-36), North Bay Haven (72-0) and Milton (54-18), with out-of-state losses to Smiths Station (54-24) and Westmoore OK (70-12). The Dolphins fell to Veterans, 63-18, in the round of 16 within the championship bracket, but then defeated Tallassee AL (42-40) in the consi quarters and Florida High (42-33) in the 9th place semis before falling to Brusly LA, 45-36, in the 9th place match. Gulf Breeze’s top performer was Samuel Rosenbalm (195), who was 8-1 during the weekend, with three pins. Five different Dolphin wrestlers pulled together six wins during the weekend, including: Max Kronlage (106, 3 pins), Ian Daily (120, 3 pins & decision), Dylan Lawrence (132, 5 pins & decision), Austin Earle (182, 4 pins & injury default) and Bryson Wick (220, 3 pins). Sean Jones (145, 2 pins) was 5-2 in a regular role and Calvin Malo (152/160, 3 pins) was 5-4.

Ft Walton Beach: The hosts were 3-2 in pool play and 2-2 on Saturday, placing 11th in the championship bracket. The Vikings had pool wins over Godby (66-12), Wakulla B (58-15) and Tate (54-18), with an out-of-state loss to Veterans (70-12). After a round-of-16 loss to Hiram GA (48-24), FWB rallied for a 40-24 consi quarters win over Mosley, only to fall in the 9th place semis to Brusly (42-33). The leaders for the Vikings were Eddie Alexis (182, 4 pins) and Kaleb Williams (195, 2 pins, major and decision), both of whom were 7-1. Caleb Tourgee (160, 4 pins) was 5-3, and five different Viking wrestlers — Weston Burbidge (120/126, 2 pins), Jarrod Hamilton (126/132, 2 pins & major), Martin Muniz (145, 3 pins), Corban Ferguson (170, 2 pins) and Patrick Adams (220, 2 pins, major & decision) all contributed four wins during the weekend.

Florida High: The young Seminole group was 4-1 in pool play on Friday, but had just one win in the championship bracket on Saturday, placing 12th. Florida High did get an extra dual with Mosley, outside of the tournament, taking a win in that dual (54-26). Friday pool wins included Wakulla B (60-18), Tate (42-36), Godby (68-6) and Ft Walton Beach (39-30), with the one Saturday bracketed win coming in the consi quarters over Crestview (48-27). The Seminoles did take out-of-state losses in pool play to Veterans GA (52-15) and in the round of 16 to Arab (57-18). Florida High had two wrestlers go undefeated on the weekend, as Max Metcalf (138/145) was 9-0 with five pins, one tech and two decisions, while Brooks Dyer (120) was 8-0 with four pins, a tech and decision. Emil Ganim (113, 5 pins) and Noah Perdue (160, 6 pins and tech) were both 8-1, while Chauncy Riggsby (170/182, 4 pins) was 7-2. Dennis Ganim (145/152, 4 pins) was 6-3 and — in a regular role — Dean Wright (126/132, pin) put together four wins.

Mosley: The 1A Dolphins were 3-2 on Friday, but with just half a team available to start, wins were harder to come by in the championship bracket. After losses in the round of 16 to Smiths Station and again in the consi quarters, Mosley’s lone win was in the 13th place semis, when the Dolphins knocked off the Aggies, 39-36, before falling to Tallassee, 51-21, placing 14th. Mosley defeated Veterans B (35-27), Bozeman (42-18) and Choctaw (40-30) in Friday’s wrestling. Garrison Kovacs was the Dolphins’ top performer, going 9-1 on the weekend with six pins and two decisions. Kaydon Lester (138/145, 4 pins, tech & decision) and Caleb Ward (160, 3 pins, major & decision) both were 7-3, while Cole Bell (106, pin) and Logan Gall (145/152, 3 pins & decision) both were 6-4. Daniel Bockstege (285, pin) was 5-5, while Lonnie Bell (132, 2 pins) and Jonathan Griffin (138/145) each contributed four wins.

Crestview: The 2A Bulldogs had a solid start to the weekend, going 4-1 in pool play, but struggled much harder on Saturday, losing their first three championship bracket duals until defeating Tate, 46-28, in the 15th place match. Crestivew rolled past Mosley (54-30), Bozeman (60-18), Choctaw (54-30) and Veterans B (66-18), with two-out-of-state losses to Auburn AL (71-9) in the round of 16 and Tallassee (57-24) in the 13th place semifinals. Kennard Madden (220) was the top individual performer, going 7-2 with three pins. Three Crestview wrestlers were 6-3, including: Javan Alto (113, 3 pins), Karter Watson (132, 2 pins & decision) and Rolando Hernandez (285, 4 pins). Malachi Santiago (152/160, decision) and Luke Baker (182, pin) were both 5-4 during the tournament.

Tate: The Aggies went 2-3 and were the last 2-3 team to make the championship bracket cut, but Saturday was a tough day, as they lost all four duals to place 16th. Tate did defeat Wakulla B (45-30) and Godby (42-30), taking out-of-state losses against Veterans (65-15) in pool play and against Brusly (66-12) in the consi quarters. Azaya Purifoy (195) led the Aggies’ performance during the weekend, going 7-2 with 3 pins and a decision. Tyce Bethard (220, 3 pins & decision) was 6-3, while David Luckey (120, 3 pins) was 5-4. In a regular-time role, Gabriel Durazo was 4-3, with one pin.

Arnold: After a 1-4 start to the tournament, the Marlins rolled to three dominant win;the Best of the Rest bracket. Arnold also defeated Daviess County (42-39) in pool play, with out-of-state losses to Arab (65-6), Spanish Fort (54-20), Tallassee (49-30) and Hiram (51-24). Leading the charge toward Arnold’s successful tournament finish was Tanner Brockman (106, 4 pins and tech), who was 7-1 on the weekend. Nicholas Hejke (120/26, 5 pins & decision) was 6-1 and Griffin Hebert (138/145, 5 pins & decision) were 6-2. Will Ashby (113/120, 5 pins) and Layton Tomasiewicz (132/138, 4 pins) were both 5-3, while Josh Young (220, 2 pins) contributed four victories.

Choctaw: The Indians were 2-3 in pool play, and their reward was a pair of byes in the BOTR bracket, which got them into the semis, where they defeated Daviess County KY in criteria, 43-42, to meet up with Arnold in the bracket final, with wins over Veterans B (53-24) and Bozeman (54-18) in pool play. Choctaw had one unbeaten wrestler, as Logan Myers (152) had five pins and a major. David Tambula (120, 3 pins & decision) was 6-1, while Hunter Pelfrey (160, 3 pins & tech) was 5-2. Deagan Kilpatrick (106, 2 pins) added four wins for the Indians.

Niceville: The 2A Eagles didn’t win a single pool dual on Friday, but rallied to go 3-1 on Saturday and finish third in the BOTR bracket, defeating Bozeman (54-12), Wakulla B (45-30) and Daviess County (45-33) in the third-place match after falling to Arnold in the semis. Niceville did fall to four out-of-state opponents on Friday: Westmoore (60-18), Smiths Station (63-12), Auburn (67-12) and Brusly (52-27). Niceville’s weekend individual leaders were Keane Creager (138, 5 pins & decision) and Collin Lentz (152, 3 pins, tech & major), as both were 7-2. Sean Ripley (182/195, 4 pins & 2 decisions) was 6-3, while Jay Pinto (126, pin & decision) went 5-4.

Wakulla B: Despite having just six wrestlers competing in the tournament, the second group of War Eagles won three duals, including two of their three on Saturday, defeating Godby (30-18) in pool play. The War Eagles defeated Bay, 35-12, in the round of 16 in the BOTR bracket and went on to place fifth, after a quarterfinal loss and bye in the fifth-place semis, with a second win over Godby (30-24). Wakulla took just one out-of-state loss against Veterans (72-10). Jackson Merrick led the way for the Wakulla second group, going 7-1 with two pins, one tech, one major and one decision. Juan Jimenez (106, 2 pins) and Jayven Hearns (285, 3 pins) each were 6-2 for the War Eagles, while Tyler Edenfield (152/160, 4 pins), Ethan Kaufmann (170/182/195, 2 pins) and Jayvon Brown (182/195/220, 2 pins) all were 5-3.

Godby: The Cougars finished sixth in the BOTR division. While all Cougar dual results are and, as received, will continue to be posted on Matmen, we regrettably will not be able to more fully recap the Godby weekend until three of five dual results from the Cougars’ performance at Citrus’ one-day Storm Surge dual tournament are received.

Marianna: The 1A Bulldogs were 3-5 in the tournament, winning one dual in pool play (Bay, 42-30) and taking wins in their final two BOTR duals to place ninth in that bracket, with victories over North Bay Haven (42-24) and Veterans B (42-30). Marianna fell to out-of-state opponents Tallassee (51-30), Hiram (51-30), Spanish Fort (62-12) and Arab (67-9), with a 42-41 loss in the BOTR round of 16 to Daviess County. Despite the team losses, Marianna did have one unbeaten wrestler in Corey Davis (6-0, 3 pins, tech, 2 decisions). Christian Cosson (160, 4 pins) and Jonah Mercer (195/220, 2 pins & decision) each were 6-2, while John Maddox (170, 3 pins) was 5-2 and Hunter Monday (132, 3 pins) was 4-2.

Bozeman: Although the Bucks were 0-5 on Friday, they did scratch out a 25-24 criteria victory in the BOTR consi quarters over Bay, and that was enough to propel Bozeman into the 11th place match, where they received a bye. The Bucks fell to Veterans B (54-24) in their only competition against out-of-state teams. Brian Zerr (126) was Bozeman’s top performer over the weekend, going 5-2 with three pins. Chase Wyzard (160), Jay May (195/220) and David Hagans all pulled together four wins.

Bay: The Tornadoes did not find a dual victory until their final contest of the weekend on Saturday, as they defeated North Bay Haven, 30-18, in the BOTR 13th place match. Bay also took out-of-state losses against Hiram (66-6), Tallassee (60-12), Arab (84-0) and Spanish Fort (66-6). Kyle Roper (145) was the strongest competitor for the Tornadoes, pulling together a 6-2 weekend with three pins. Jeremiah O’Neal (132/138, three pins) and Cameron Butler (182, 4 pins) each added four victories for Bay.

North Bay Haven: There’s always potential for a team not to find a single dual win even at a tournament of this size, and with just four wrestlers in the lineup, the Buccaneers were the likeliest to be that team, although they were in the hunt against both Milton in pool play and Bay in the 13th place BOTR match. North Bay Haven had out-of-state losses to Auburn (84-0), Brusly (72-12) and Smiths Station (76-0). Isaac Biddle (106/113) was 5-3 over the course of the tournament, while Lucas Biddle (106/113, 2 pins) and Ethan Cole (182, 4 pins) each had four victories.

Complete scorelists for this tournament, and full dual results, can be found here.

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Deep South Bayou Recap: Wakulla 3rd, Arnold in top 16

North Florida Matmen staff report

GONZALES, LA — It is taking a state-champion level of talent to turn back the Wakulla team this year.

We saw that at Border Wars. We saw it at Capital City. We saw it in the War Eagles’ win at Beast on the Beach (Editor’s Note: Story WILL be coming on that one. Promise. Hopefully tonight.).

And we saw it this past weekend at the Deep South Bayou Duals, as only two state champion teams were able to turn back the War Eagles, which finished third in the 24-team, two-day tournament at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center Saturday.

Wakulla had just one loss in pool play, falling to long-time Georgia state power Jefferson, 37-25, in the second round of Pool A competition, with victories over four Louisiana teams: Sulphur (57-18), St Michael the Archangel (69-12), St Louis (50-13) and Catholic Brothers (36-33).

On Saturday, the War Eagles got to the semifinals, rolling past East Ascension (LA), 49-20, and pushing past South Paulding (GA), 37-36, before running into one of the two strongest teams in Louisiana, Holy Cross, taking a 54-12 loss there. Wakulla responded with a solid win over a very good long-time Louisiana program in Jesuit, 51-18, for third place.

Leading the charge for the War Eagles was Noah Wilson (145/152), who was the only Wakulla wrestler to survive the weekend unbeaten at 9-0, with four pins, a tech fall, a major and three decisions.

Three Wakulla starters were 8-1, including Matthew Owen (126, 3 pins/major/3 decisions), John Trevor Hinsey (195, 4 pins/2 decisions), and Darius Wilkins (285, 4 pins/2 decisions). Two War Eagles posted 6-2 weekend efforts: Charlie Owens (132, 3 pins/3 decisions) & Chase Roberts (138, 3 pins/major/decision).

Four wrestlers contributed five wins over the weekend, including: George Hernandez (106, 5 pins); Cole Baggett (160, 4 pins/decision), Andrew Annand (182, 4 pins/decision) and Slade Watkins (220, 2 pins/2 decisions).

Arnold also took its shot at competing in a multi-state, two-day tournament, and the Marlins did reach the championship bracket round on Saturday, with two pool victories.

The Marlins defeated two Louisiana teams, Acadiana (39-34) and Dunham (48-21), but also ran into three tough customers, falling to St Amant LA (68-9), Jesuit (57-21) and West Forsyth GA (57-12). And while the fourth-place pool effort got Arnold into the championship bracket, the Marlins couldn’t find a dual win in three attempts, falling to South Paulding in the first round (60-12), East Ascension in the consi quarters (51-22) and Sulphur LA in the 13th-place semis (57-9). With a short-handed group, Arnold did not wrestle in the 15th place match against Catoosa, Oklahoma.

Two Arnold wrestlers posted 6-2 records on the weekend. Nicholas Hejke (120/26) had two pins, a major and two decisions, while Griffin Hebert (138) picked up five pins and one decision. Tanner Brockman (106) contributed five victories, including three pins and one decision.

Below follows brief recaps on both teams’ round-by-round:

Friday Match 1:
Wakulla: Kicked things off with a solid start over Sulphur, rolling up eight pins and a decision. The War Eagles won six of seven — all with max points — betweeen 138 and 195. Pins from Hernandez, Owen, Roberts, Wilson, Baggett, Trevor Hart (170), Annand and Wilkins, with a 6-4 win for Raymond Hatchman (120).
Arnold: Struggled to find footing against St Amant, with just two weight class wins and giving up forfeits at six weights. Pin from Brockman and 9-7 win from Hebert.

Friday Match 2:
Wakulla: Had a slight advantage over Jefferson in the lowers, 4 wins to 3 but same points. Jefferson scored max points at five weights and that was just enough. Pins from Hatchman and Watkins, a 15-2 major from Wilson, and decisions from Owen (3-2), Owens (8-5), Hinsey (4-1) and Wilkins (7-0).
Arnold: Righted the ship against Acadiana, with six max-point wins, as the in-staters got just one contested win. Pins from Layton Tomasiewicz (132), Hebert, Nick Kendrick (152) and Max Gaylord (160), plus a 13-11 sudden-victory win from Heike.

Friday Match 3:
Wakulla: Roared past St Michael the Archangel, winning every contested match, with nine pins in all: Jumped out to a 30-0 lead, and closed out dual with six straight wins. Pins from Hatchman, Owen, Owens, Roberts, Wilson, Baggett, Annand, Hernandez and Jackson Merrick (113), plus a 2-1 win from Watkins.
Arnold: Jesuit’s full lineup meant taking advantage of eight Arnold forfeits, but in contested matches, the Marlins held the upper hand. Pins from Hejke, Hebert and Brockman, plus a 3-2 win from Will Ashby (113).

Friday Match 4:
Wakulla: Again started fast, leading 26-0 through 182 before St Louis got on the board, and winning four of five after the in-staters scored. Pins from Owens, Baggett, Hinsey, Wilkins, Hernandez and Merrick, an 18-2 tech from Wilson (up a weight at 152), and an 8-2 win from Roberts.
Arnold: Had their most decisive win of the weekend against Dunham, doubling up the in-staters behind three pins (Tomasiewicz, Kendrick and Brockman). Arnold lost just one competitive match, and that in sudden-victory.

Friday Match 5:
Wakulla: Had to work hard for this win over Catholic Brothers, overcoming an early deficit (21-9 through six weights) with four consecutive pins, then needing a close-out win from Owen to secure the dual. Pins from Annand, Hinsey, Watkins and Wilkins, decisions from Wilson (11-10) and Owen (9-3).
Arnold: West Forsyth proved to be too strong, rolling out to a 51-0 lead fueled largely by six forfeits, with a seventh comng at the end. Pin from Hejke, decisions from Brockman (7-0) and Ashby (7-1).

Saturday Round of 16:
Wakulla: Trailed early to East Ascension (14-9 through five weights), but then won six matches in a row and eight of the last nine to put the dual away. Pins from Roberts, Hinsey, Wilkins, Hernandez and Merrick, a 12-1 major from Owen, and decisions from Wilson (9-3), Annand (9-2) and Owens (9-4).
Arnold: Led South Paulding very early, 12-6 through three weights, but then the Georgians won each of the last 10 weights that had representation. Hebert and Kendrick pins represented the Marlins’ points.

Saturday Match 2:
Wakulla: In the quarters, South Paulding proved to be a tough out, leading by 12 (36-24) with three weights to go. Roberts’ key major in the final match sealed the deal in the War Eagles’ favor, as Wakulla had to win out and collect solid bonus to reach the semi. Pins from Wilson, Jackson Osteen (152), Baggett and Owen, Roberts’ 13-5 major and a 7-5 sudden-victory win from Owens, which might have been as key as Roberts’ major that followed it.
Arnold: In the consi quarters, East Ascension won all of the first eight matches that had representation, although the Marlins did take four of the last five. Pins from Ashby, Tomasiewicz and Hebert, with a 12-0 major from Hejke.

Saturday Match 3:
Wakulla: Holy Cross took wins at 11 weights, including the first four and six in a row from 106-138, going on to later win the tournament title. Pin from Wilson, decisions from Hinsey (9-5) and Wilkins (5-0).
Arnold: The Marlins’ final dual of the tournament saw Sulphur rip through wins in the first eight represented weight classes, and just two Arnold victories in all. Hebert won by a first-period fall and Hejke took a 14-8 decision.

Saturday Match 4:
Wakulla: Bounced back from the Holy Cross loss by allowing Jesuit just one contested win, with a five-match win streak from 106-132. Pins from Annand, Hinsey, Hernandez, Hatchman, Owens and Osteen, decisions from Baggett (5-4), Watkins (9-7 in double OT), Merrick (3-0) and Wilson (7-0).

Complete scorelists for this tournament, and full dual results for both Wakulla and Arnold, can be found here.

Learn more about south Georgia’s scene! Check out our affiliated site at

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our websites:


Fight At The Fort Recap: Gulf Breeze 2nd, 3 Champs

North Florida Matmen staff report

SPANISH FORT, AL — Gulf Breeze held on to its first-day second-place team finish at the seven-team Fight At The Fort, a two-day roundrobin, on Saturday.

The 2A Dolphins scored 261 points, only finishing behind McAdory AL, which had 343.5. Gulf Breeze was 22.5 points ahead of the third-place hosts.

Below follows a recap of each of the 11 Dolphins’ performances over the course of the weekend:

106 — Noah Kronlage placed sixth after two early falls over Spanish Fort wrestlers (:44 over Aaron Kinslow, :38 over Chase Lee), but then medical-forfeited all remaining rounds, including the fifth-place match.

113 — Brandon Walls was 4-2 on the weekend, placing third with two pins (5:17 over Daphne AL’s Cameron Holder, :46 over Spanish Fort’s Dawson Tucker) and two decisions (6-5 in pool over Weaver’s Travis Bellar and 4-0 in the third-place match, over Bellar).

120 — Ian Daily was 4-1 and placed second in round-robin competition, with two pins (1:55 over Robertsdale’s Gavin Strain and 2:30 over Spanish Fort’s Gavin Gray), one tech fall (15-0 in 3:02 over Daphne’s Dalton Jones) and a medical forfeit, but lost by fall to Spanish Fort’s Gabriel Warren (3:25) in the effective title match.

126 — Kelly Scanlon was 4-1 and placed second, with four pins. He falled Weaver’s Joshua Johannson (:44), Daphne’s Alton Wisdom (:25), Robertsdale’s Isaac Wilde (:37) and McAdory’s Sebastian Furlow (:22), losing by fall to another McAdory wrestler, Donald Phillips (4:46).

132 — Riley Scanlon went 2-3 and was fifth, with one victory in pool play (1:39 over Daphne’s Tyler Smith). Scanlon lost in the quarters to Spanish Fort’s Chris Duran (1:07), and after a bye in the consi semis, pinned Daphne’s Chris Stuck in 3:23 for fifth place.

138 — Michael Walls scored maximum points in putting together a 5-0 record and weight-class win, with four pins (1:50 over Weaver’s Dylan Deloach, 1:32 over Spanish Fort’s Tucker Harville, 1:01 over McAdory’s Gemir Scott and :22 over Robertsdale’s Matthew Sharp), plus a medical forfeit.

152 — Calvin Malo rolled through the bracket for the title, with three pins (Daphne’s Ben Ryder in :17, McAdory’s Jacob Champion in 2:40, Spanish Fort’s Joseph Kennedy in 2:31), plus a tech fall in 3:24 (19-3) over Weaver’s Dylan Harrington.

170 — Phillip Frazetta went 4-1 in round-robin action and placed second in the tournament, with four pins (Robertsdale’s Darren Davis in :54, Spanish Fort’s Adam Patterson in 1:52, McAdory’s Carson Roberts in 1:14, and Spanish Fort’s Brody Peak in :15).

182 — Austin Earle was 3-0 and placed first, with a fall (Daphne’s Logan Sliman in 3:15), major (14-2 over Robertsdale’s Alex Robinson) and decision (7-4 over McAdory’s Nickolans Pate).

195 — Samuel Rosenbalm was 3-2 and placed third in the round-robin competition, with three pins (5:58 over Daphne’s Jon Davis, :18 over Robertsdale’s Caiden Arnold and 1:29 over Weaver’s Hayden Ransom).

220 — Kyler Vonarb was 2-3 and placed fifth in the tournament, with one fall in pool play (Spanish Fort’s William Blount, in 1:29). In the quarters, he fell to Spanish Fort’s Carson Peak, 13-11; after a bye in the consi semis, Vonarb avenged a pool-play loss with a pin in 5:03 over McAdory’s Yaxzkhin Martinez in 5:03.

Complete results for this tournament can be found here.

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Knockout Recap: 4 Area Wrestlers Reach Blood Round

North Florida Matmen staff report

KISSIMMEE — The Knockout Christmas Classic has been, for several years now, the pre-eminent regular-season tournament in Florida.

This year, it had the goal of taking over the top spot in the Southeast, and so it has done. Consider that Florida large-school state champion South Dade was 6th in the 39-team field (when was the last tournament South Dade finished sixth in?), long-time Alabama state power Thompson was seventh and Georgia small-school powerhouse Woodward Academy finished 12th.

When the tournament concluded Saturday night, there were no local placewinners. Fleming Island finished tied for 26th, scoring 52 points, while Fletcher tied for 35th with 26 points and Florida High was 38th at 16.5.

Camden was the overall champion, holding off state rival Woodland, Cartersville and Florida’s returning 2A state champion, Lake Gibson, by a 191-185 count (the opponents had tied for second), with Cleveland TN fourth at 149 and Charlotte fifth at 144.5.

Below follows a brief recap of each weight class, along with local representation:

106 — Cleveland TN’s Trae McDaniel had one pin, two majors and two decisions to take the championship, with a 9-0 victory in the final over Jensen Beach’s Dylan Layton (2 pins/2 decisions prior to final). Fleming Island’s Hunter Herrington won a pigtail match by fall over Woodland Academy’s Michael Rinker (2:57), but then lost by disqualification in the round of 32 to Camden’s DeMarquis Hall (eventually placed 6th) and that loss carried over into the consi round.

113 — Thompson AL’s Dylan Lesueur battled through five decisions en route to the title, where he stopped Cleveland’s Jackson Bradford (tech & 3 decisions prior to final), 9-8, for the championship. Florida High’s Brooks Dyer was the top local performer, going 3-2 on the day after an 8-2 loss in the round of 32 to Lesueur early in the event. Dyer pinned Charlotte’s Patrick Nolan (3:13) in consi round 3, SW Miami’s Joshua Fonseca (2:13) in consi round 4 and teched Colquitt GA’s Ethan Sellers (15-0 in 4:51) in consi round 5 before falling to Camden’s John Myers (eventual fifth-place finisher), 3-1. Fleming Island’s Riley Holton was 1-2 in the tournament. Holton lost to Camden’s Nathan Orum (eventual semifinalist, third placer) by fall in 5:52 in the round of 32, decisioning George Duncan of Osceola, 4-2, in consi round 3. Holton then lost to Brennan Watkins of Dobyns Bennett TN, 7-5, in consi round 4. Florida High’s Emil Ganim was 0-2 in the tournament, opening with a 9-6 loss to Valdosta’s Kaleb Davis; after a bye, Ganim then lost by fall to defending 2A state champ Chase Ayers (eventual sixth-place finisher) of Lake Gibson in 1:50 in consi round 3.

120 — Woodland, Cartersville’s Kyle Gollhofer bonus-pointed his way through the tournament, with four pins and a major decision. His fourth pin came in the finals against Charlotte’s Donovan Cataldi (pin, 2 majors and decision prior to final), in 3:11. Fleming Island’s Briar Jackson was just one of three local quarterfinalists in the tournament. Jackson falled Dallastown Area PA’s Carter MacDonald in 3:01 in the round of 32, then decisioned Riverdale’s Tajh Clayton, 9-2, in the round of 16. That set up a meet up with Camden’s Tyler Crew (eventual third-place finisher) in Saturday’s quarterfinal round, with Jackson falling, 2-0. Jackson turned back Valdosta’s Jordan Hampton, 10-7, in consi round 4, but then lost to Collins Hill GA’s Joey Felix (eventual fourth-place finisher), 2-1 in sudden-victory, one match short of a place finish.

126 — Woodland, Cartersville’s Caleb Henson pinned his way into the final, with four in all, then held off Woodward Academy’s Nick Masters, 7-5, in a matchup of unbeaten wrestlers. Fleming Island’s Ryan Hobson was 1-2 in the tournament, with a fall over Freedom’s Brennon Reid in the round of 32. Hobson then lost by fall to Henson in 1:18 in the round of 16, and then took a 5-3 loss to Brookwood GA’s Vaughn Williams in consi round 4.

132 — Woodland, Cartersville’s Caden McCrary had a fall, tech and pair of decisions, then knocked off multiple-time Florida state champion Bretli Reyna (pin, 2 techs, decision prior to final) of South Dade in the ultimate tiebreaker, 2-1. Fleming Island’s Garrett Cole was 2-2 in the tournament, with a round-of-32 opening loss (13-1) to Lake Gibson’s Evan Butler (eventual fifth-place finisher), but rallied with two wins at the back: a 6-2 decision over Valdosta’s Cameron Bradley in consi round 3 and a fall over Winter Springs’ Tony Stribling in 3:26 in consi round 4 before falling to Hernando’s Michael Brown, 10-6. Fletcher’s Christopher Strong was 1-2 in the tournament, opening with a loss by fall (2:24) to McCrary in the round of 32. After a bye, Strong pinned Jensen Beach’s Jacobi Genn in 2:20 in consi round 3, but then lost to multiple-time Florida placewinner Alan Morano of Tampa Prep, by fall in 2:13 in consi round 4.

138 — Osceola’s Malyke Hines became the first four-time Knockout champion in the event’s history, with four pins and two decisions, the second of those a 6-3 win over Woodward Academy’s Matthew Singleton (2 pins, major and 2 decisions prior to final). Like Jackson at 120, Florida High’s Max Metcalf was one match short of placing, but his path was significantly different. Metcalf’s first match in the tournament was Hines in the round of 32, which ended by fall in 49 seconds. Metcalf then won four matches on the back side to give himself a chance at a medal: 18-3 tech in 2:37 over Fletcher’s Tyler Dalldorf in consi round 3; pin of Woodland Cartersville’s Cole Cochran in 1:15 in consi round 4; pin over SW Miami’s Andy Dematas in 2:43 in consi round 5, then a win by ID over Chariho RI’s Kyle Merritt in consi round 6. In the “blood round,” Metcalf lost by fall to eventual sixth-place finisher Matt Phillips of Winter Springs, in 3:56. Fleming Island’s Dalton Williams was 2-2 in the tournament, with a pair of techs over Thompson’s Judah Campbell (15-0 in 2:43) and Hillcrest SC’s Lucas Conti (16-1 in 4:36), but then injury-defaulted in the second period to Union Grove GA’s Bryson Neace (eventual fifth-place finisher), and took no further part in the tournament. Dalldorf was 0-2 in the tournament, losing by fall in the round of 32 to Charlotte’s Richard Lawyer.

145 — Woodland, Cartersville’s Jaxon Smith pulled together a tech and four decisions, the last two of those needing sudden victory, including the final, where he got the takedown against Camden’s Tyler Dahlgren (2 pins, major and decision prior to final). Fletcher’s Douglas Tappin and Florida High’s Dennis Ganim were both 1-2 in the tournament. Tappin majored Dobyns Bennett’s Shane Lemons, 17-5, in the round of 32, but then lost by fall in 1:11 to SW Miami’s Julian Hernandez (eventual fourth-place finisher). Tappin then took a second loss by fall in consi round 2, in 3:53 to Collins Hill’s Jerimiah Pierre. Ganim lost by fall in the round of 32 to Charlotte’s Cody Rice (1:49), but rallied for a 4-1 win over Chariho’s Jeremy Ryan in consi round 1. Ganim then was knocked out in consi round 2 by fall in 41 seconds to Dallastown’ Sam Druck.

152 — Southridge’s Johnny Lovett had a fall and four decisions to win Florida’s second title, decisioning Hagerty’s Ethan Woods (2 pins & 2 decisions prior to final), 14-8, in the first of back-to-back all-Florida finals in the tournament. Fleming Island’s Luke Chop was 3-2 in the tournament, starting with a fall in the round of 32 over Countryside’s Chase Niles in 5:41. He then lost to Lovett in the round of 16, 7-3, where he would win two back-side matches. Chop majored Riverdale’s Victor Perez, 11-1, in consi round 4, and stopped Miami Palmetto’s Charlie Veliz, 3-0, in consi round 5. However, it would take former state champion Lucas Willis, of Charlotte, and extra time, to derail Chop’s run, as Willis won 3-1 in sudden victory in consi round 6. Fletcher’s Tyson Petrie was 0-2 in the tournament, with a loss by fall in the round of 32 to Columbus’ Ryan Gonzalez, in 3:40. Petrie then injury-defaulted in the second period of his consi round 3 match with Colquitt GA’s Ny’Quavian McBurrows.

160 — South Dade’s Brevin Balmeceda had three first-minute pins and a first-period tech in getting to the final, then held down Lake Gibson’s Miguel Hernandez (pin, major, 2 decisions prior to final), 1-0, in the championship match. Fleming Island’s Tanner Hill was the second of three area quarterfinalists in the tournament, advancing that far behind two decisions: 12-10 over Jensen Beach’s Hayden Zehe in the round of 32 and 7-5 over Camden’s Omega Clark in the round of 16. On Saturday, Hill fell to Osceola’s Nolin Eaddy (eventual sixth-place finisher), 4-0, in the quarters, and took a 3-2 loss in consi round 6 to eventual fifth-place finisher Derek Hussey of Thompson, 3-2. Fletcher’s Stone Rockhill and Florida High’s Noah Perdue were both 0-2 in the tournament. Rockhill lost by fall (5:25) in the round of 32 to Southridge’s Jalen Durham, and injury-defaulted to Woodland, Cartersville’s Tommy Duke in consi round 3. Perdue lost to Zehe in the pigtail round, 13-0, and then took a 3-2 loss in consi round 2 to North Gwinnett GA’s Lucas Haller.

170 — Tampa Prep’s Colin Nation rolled up a pin, tech and two decisions, with a third one coming in the championship match against Hillcrest’s Walker Stephenson (3 pins & decision prior to final), as Nation won by a 6-3 count. Florida High’s Chauncy Riggsby had the best area effort in the weight class, going 2-2. He lost by fall (1:05) in the round of 32 to Union Grove’s Torrence Dumas, but then won twice on the back side. He pinned Dobyns Bennett’s Daniel Martinez in consi round 1 and teched Columbus’ Brian Walsh (18-3 in 4 minutes) in consi round 2, but then lost by fall in 18 seconds to Riverdale’s Nick Rodriguez. Riggsby’s teammate, Syre Ganim, and Fletcher’s Joel Rodriguez were both 1-2 in the tournament. Ganim lost by fall in 23 seconds in the first round to Stephenson, but rallied with a fall over Hernando’s Johnathan Ahne (:53) in consi round 1 before taking a loss by fall in consi round 2 to Dumas, in 3:16. Joel Rodriguez lost by fall (1:47) in the first round to Cleveland’s Ashton Davis, but came back to pin North Gwinnett’s Cameron Crumpton in 4:06 in consi round 1. He then was knocked out in consi round 2 by Lake Gibson’s Kameron McCall in 1:59. Fleming Island’s Gavin Smith was 0-2 in the tournament. After a bye, Smith lost by fall to Camden’s Hunter Malson in the round of 16, in 1:43, with a second loss by fall in consi round 2 to Nick Rodriguez, in 1:43.

182 — In a third all-Florida final, Lake Gibson’s Ashton Habeil rolled up two pins and two decisions, then won by injury default in the finals over a potential state-final matchup in Riverdale’s Jesse Martinez (3 pins & decision prior to final). Fletcher’s Michael Strong was 2-2 in the tournament, with a front side fall in 2:48 over Jensen Beach’s James Sisson in the round of 32. Strong then lost in the round of 16 to Winter Springs’ Jessiah Contreras (eventual fourth-place finisher), in 1:59. On the back side, Strong pinned Jensen Beach’s Andrew Burnette in 56 seconds in consi round 2, but then lost by fall in consi round 3, in 3:53, to Woodland, Cartersville’s Bryce Shedd.

195 — Countryside’s Anthony Burburija racked up two pins and two decisions to get to the finals, where he majored Woodward Academy’s Malcolm Wiley (2 pins & ID prior to final), 12-4. Fleming Island’s Chad Nix was the third area wrestler to get within a match of medaling. Nix pinned Dobyns Bennett’s Jesse Greer in 1:11 in the round of 32, but then fell, 3-2, to Charlotte’s Anthony Andou (eventual third-place finisher) in the round of 16. On the back side, Nix won three times to reach the blood round: injury default over Hillcrest’s Cameron Spence; 7-1 decision over Miami Palmetto’s Chris Green in consi round 3; and by forfeit over Valdosta’s Noah Pettigrew in consi round 4. In the blood round, Camden’s Myles Starke (eventual sixth-place finisher) pinned Nix in 18 seconds. Fletcher’s Matthew Strong was 0-2 in the tournament. Strong fell in the round of 32, 10-4, to Riverdale’s Ethan McLean, and then lost by fall in consi round 1 to Collins Hill’s Anthony Vinson in 2:19.

220 — Charlotte’s Jose Valdez had two first-period falls on Friday, with a major and decision to reach the final and Brookwood’s Justin Oldknow (3 pins & ID prior to final). Fleming Island’s Raul Gonzalez and Fletcher’s Ethan Hollenbach were both 0-2 in the tournament. Gonzalez lost by fall in the first round to Thompson’s Isaac McAdams (3:52) and then medical-forfeited out of the tournament, while Hollenbach lost by fall in the first round to Collins Hill’s Cody Hutchison in 1:21. In consi round 1, Hollenbach lost to Camden’s Garrett Gaston, 3-0.

285 — Dallastown Area’s Raymond Christas rolled up two pins, a decision and then won by injury-default in the third period over Collins Hill’s Tomari Fox (4 pins prior to final). Fletcher’s Stanley Hollenbach was the area’s third quarterfinalist and fourth wrestler to be one match short of a medal, reaching that part of the bracket after two quick falls over Dobyns Bennett’s Justin Lemons (:24 in the round of 32) and Union Grove’s Brian Shaw (:25 in the round of 16). Hollenbach fell to Brentwood Academy’s Thomas Gore in sudden victory, 9-7, in the quarters, but put himself into the blood round by riding out Hernando’s Sam Fleming in the ultimate tiebreaker, 6-6, in consi round 4. In the blood round, Hollenbach fell to Valdosta’s Demetrius Allen, 8-2.

Complete brackets for this tournament can be found here.

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Tiger Duals Recap: Young Columbia Rallies For Title

Columbia successfully defended its Tiger Duals title on Saturday, rolling through four pool opponents and coming from 22 points down to beat Buchholz in the title dual (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

North Florida Matmen

LAKE CITY — If Columbia is going to make the jump from local to statewide significance as a program, it’s experiences like Saturday’s defense of its Tiger Duals that will make it happen.

A young group of Tigers — with several starters competing for either Lake City or Richardson Middle Schools last year — gave up eight straight match defeats against Buchholz, itself shorthanded and having bumped most of its solid upper-weight group up a weight to put even more pressure on Columbia.

Needing nearly maximum points in the final four weights after trailing the Bobcats, 33-11, Columbia did better than nearly, picking up 24 in those four weights and coming from behind to defeat Buchholz, 35-33, and defend its one-day dual tournament’s first-place trophy.

“We’ve had a pretty good start to the season,” Columbia coach Peter Whittington said of a December that saw the Tigers take first at the Hornet Duals just over the state line in Cook County in the first week of the month, plus two solid IBT efforts at Capital City and Valdosta’s Allstate Wildcat Invitational.

“We had goals set for the future. We had some big losses from last year’s team, but we wanted to make it clear to the kids that it doesn’t matter, that we should take a step forward. I truly believe that we’re a better team this year. Kids are wrestling for each other and not for themselves.”

Columbia jumped out to an 11-0 lead in the title match, which pitted pool champions in head-to-head crossover competition. Daveyon Brown (138) won by fall and lower weight OW Matt Ross (145), in limited duty, made the most of his time on the mat, rolling up a 16-0 tech fall by first period’s end.

Then the Bobcats cranked up their upper-weight power, winning every match in the uppers plus at 106 to boot. It took four weights to grab the lead away, on Matt Vann’s 22-second fall at 182 (Buchholz had bumped each of its starters from 160 to 220 up a weight).

But Buchholz steadily pulled away behind additional falls from upper weight OW Armando Acosta (195, with his 100th match victory earlier in the day) and Aiden Moore (106), a 9-0 major from Billy Green-Church at 152 and wins from Immanuel Hernandez (7-4 at 160), Tracen Ransdell (4-3 at 170), Lawrence Smith-Jackson (6-4 at 220) and Nevan Burney (4-1 at 285).

That threw the pressure solidly back upon Columbia’s lower weights, most specificly upon Braxton Abbott first at 113. Needing to secure at least bonus to give the Tigers a chance at all, Abbott was up to the task, with a first-period fall. Columbia knew two forfeits would be coming their way, but which McGuigan — 126-pound Ian or 132-pound Alex — would be called upon to close it out was somewhat open.

Buchholz moved its starting 126 up a weight, meaning it would be on Alex McGuigan at 132 to secure the defense, and he came through solidly, with a quick fall in 1:10 and a fist pump and roar afterward.

“The meat of our lineup is 120 through 145, with a couple of uppers guys that are real solid; everybody else is a 50/50 proposition at times,” Whittington said. “We knew it would be us and Buchholz, we knew it would come down to a point or two and that it would depend on how those wins came about. We were able to put together enough wins. Hats off to Pankey, it was a tough dual; most of those boys on these teams are real familiar with each other.”

Earlier in the day, Columbia had four dominant wins. In a 64-16 opening victory over Lecanto, the Tigers got pins from Ian McGuigan, Kaleb Davis (145), Joseph Rice (152), Preston O’Quinn (160), David Thompson (170), Chad Sapp (195) and Jaycob Jones (285). Against 2A-District 2 rival Gainesville, in a 78-3 win, Abbott, Ian McGuigan, Brown, Davis and Sapp all had pins. Next up was Oakleaf, which the Tigers pushed past, 66-9, on pins from Brown, Matt Ross, Thompson, Shawn Raggins (182), Sapp and Jones, plus a tech from Ian McGuigan, a 17-4 major from Alex McGuigan and decision from Abbott. The final pool opponent was Episcopal, a 72-12 win, with pins from Matt Ross, Obie Smith (152), Thompson and Sapp (this time at 220).

On the day, the McGuigans were both 5-0, with Ian racking up two pins and a tech, while Alex had a pin and major. Brown was also 5-0, with three pins and a major. Five Tiger starters were 4-1: Thomas Greene (120), O’Quinn (pin), Sapp (4 pins), Julius Moreland (195/220) and Jones (2 pins). Matt Ross (2 pins & tech), Abbott (2 pins & decision) and Thompson (3 pins) each contributed three victories on the afternoon.

Here’s a look at the rest of the teams in the 10-team, one-day dual tournament:

Buchholz: The Bobcats rolled through Pool B with four double-digit victories prior to the crossover despite missing two weights (120 & 138); of the 12 starters that appeared on Saturday, 11 of them contributed three victories. “We took a shot (at beating Columbia) and we felt good about it. Last week (in finishing second at their own two-day dual tournament to Lincoln) we felt like we folded a bit. Last week, the kids were disappointed, and this week we responded. We were encouraged,” Buchholz coach Billy Pankey said. “No doubt (the missing weights were a factor), but you’ve got to wrestle with the guys you have. It was a fun dual. We didn’t win, but I think we wrestled close to our full potential.”

Buchholz defeated North Bay Haven, 66-0, in the opener with pins from Moore, Venumadhava Mirel (113), Xiya Zhou (126), Vann (at 170 this time) and Acosta (at 182 this time). Next up was a 63-12 win over Columbia B, with Mirel, Brandon Thomas (132) and Green-Church all racking up falls and Timothy Bowen (145) winning by decision. The Bobcats got a tussle from eventual third-place Celebration, winning 45-30 behind pins from Moore, Green-Church, Ransdell, Vann, Smith-Jackson and Jacob Robinson (285), plus a decision win from Acosta. Buchholz wrapped up the pool with a 54-22 victory over Westside, on pins from Moore, Mirel, Thomas, Bowen, Green-Church, Vann and Burney. Moore and Vann not only were 5-0 on the day, but they both scored maximum dual points for the Bobcats, as both had four pins. Green-Church (3 pins & major), Acosta (2 pins & decision), Smith-Jackson (pin & decision) and Burney (pin & decision) all were 5-0, while Ransdell had two pins and a decision en route to a 4-0 day. Mirel (3 pins), Thomas (2 pins) and Robinson (pin, with just one loss) all chipped in three victories for Buchholz.

Oakleaf: The Clay County Knights achieved three wins in the middle of the pack, finishing third in Pool A, with wins over Episcopal (45-24) and Gainesville (48-15), and an out-of-area loss to Lecanto (54-30), plus a win in the 5th-6th place match over Westside, 42-30. Oakleaf got pins from Owen Bronson (126) and David Parkes (145), plus a decision from Marcus McGee (106); against Gainesville, Bronson, Parkes and Gabe Hecht (220) each won by fall. In the victory over Westside, Oakleaf picked up six falls, one each from McGee, Abdiert Escobar (120), Bronson, Logan Gilbert (132), Parkes and Hecht. McGee and Escobar were both 5-0 on the day for the 3A Knights. McGee had three pins and a decision, while Esocbar had one pin and one decision. Gilbert (pin) and Parkes (4 pins) each were 4-1, while Bronson (3 pins) and Hecht (2 pins) both contributed three victories.

Westside: The Wolverines were 2-3 on the day, with two wins in Pool B over Columbia B (57-12) and North Bay Haven (54-12), plus an out-of-area loss to Celebration (48-25). Westside grabbed pins from Ernest Terry (120), Seth Britton (126), Tashuan Young (132) and Angelo Philpot (160), plus a sudden-victory decision from Jalonie Harris at 145, in the Columbia B win, with pins from Keith McReynolds (106), Young and Philpot (this time at 170) in the victory over North Bay Haven. Ray Bolden (285) scored maximum points for the Wolverines, going 5-0 with two pins and a win by injury-default, while Philpot was also 5-0, with four falls and a major. Terry (2 pins), Britton (2 pins & major) and Harris (pin & decision) each were 4-1, while Samir Thompson contributed three victories at 220.

Episcopal: The Eagles pulled together a 2-3 tournament and gave competitive fight in two of their three losses (including a 40-27 out-of-area loss to Lecanto), with only the tournament champs completely out of their league. Episcopal took a pool victory over Gainesville, 30-12, and won the 7th-8th place match over Columbia B by a 42-18 count. The victory over the Hurricanes saw pins from Kyle Hopkins (113), Reid Hampton (145), Robert Jackson (152) and Freddy Dollison (220), while all six Episcopal wrestlers scored maximum points against Columbia B, including falls from Hopkins, Hampton, Robert Jackson and Daniel Cooper (170). Hopkins was 5-0, with four pins and a decision on the day, while Joe Jackson (106, two pins), Robert Jackson (four pins) and Dollison (two pins) were each 4-1. Hampton (three pins) contributed three victories.

Columbia B: Called into duty when Bradford dropped from the tournament, the second group of Tigers had one win in Pool B, defeating North Bay Haven, 36-24, with an out-of-area loss to Celebration, 52-23. That dual saw Brendan Chancellor (126) win by fall, as Columbia lost just one contested match. On the day, Chancellor (two additional pins) and Zach Newsome (138) were both 4-1, while Trevon Patterson (152) contributed three victories, one by fall and a second by tech fall.

Gainesville: The Hurricanes were 0-4 in Pool A (including a 46-24 loss to Lecanto), but all six of their wrestlers that competed found victory in their final dual of the day, a 35-12 victory over North Bay Haven in the 9th-10th place match. That dual saw pins from Brennan Kade (113) and Shamar Lewis (126), plus a tech from Bronson Carter (170). Carter was 5-0 on the day for Gainesville, with three pins and a decision to go with that tech fall, while Lewis had one more pin in earning three victories.

North Bay Haven: The Buccaneers were looking to get five duals for their very young side, and did so, but with just five wrestlers competing, team success would be hard to find, as they couldn’t get closer to any other team than 12 points apart (including an out-of-area 66-0 loss to Celebration). It was somewhat difficult to find individual success to, but Ethan Cole (182/195) did pull together three victories on the day, with a fall in the Westside dual.

Complete match-by-match results for every dual can be found here.

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Friday Recap: Knockout, Deep South, Fight at Fort

North Florida Matmen staff report

KISSIMMEE — In a field loaded with powerhouse talent, Fleming Island is in the top half of the Knockout Christmas Classic, hosted by Osceola Friday and Saturday.

The Golden Eagles are 19th after the first day of competition in the 39-team IBT, with 48 points. Camden County leads the field with 102.5 points, while Cleveland TN is second at 90 and Riverdale the top Florida team third at 84.5.

Fletcher is 34th (25 points) and Florida High 38th (10.5).

Still alive in the championship side from north Florida are Fleming Island’s Briar Jackson (120) and Tanner Hill (160) along with Fletcher’s Stanley Hollenbach (285), along with former Yulee & Clay standout Stevie Chopek (120), now at Countryside.

Deep South Bayou Duals: At Gonzales, LA, Wakulla and Arnold could meet in Saturday’s championship quarterfinals of the two-day dual tournament if both win their opening round duals.

Wakulla was 4-1 after the first day of competition in Pool A, with a loss only to long-time Georgia powerhouse program Jefferson. Arnold was 2-3 in Pool B.

Fight at the Fort: At Spanish Fort, ALA, Gulf Breeze is in second place after the first day of the two-day roundrobin tournament. McAdory AL leads the field with 122 points, with the 2A Dolphins in second with 98, four points ahead of third-place Weaver.

Fuller recaps from all of these tournaments will be written up by or before Tuesday.

Complete brackets from the IBTs can be found here. Wakulla and Arnold Day 1 dual results can be found here.

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Allstate Wildcat Recap: Columbia 6th, Rodriquez Lone Local Champ

North Florida Matmen staff report

VALDOSTA, GA — Three Matmen-area teams competed in the two-day Allstate Wildcat Invitational, hosted by Valdosta HS last weekend.

Leading the charge for Florida was Columbia, which finished sixth in the 22-team tournament with 144 points. Suwannee was 10th with 122, while Ridgeview was 14th at 67. Host Valdosta won, 212.5-183, over West Laurens, another Georgia program. Peach State teams Coffee (172), Valdosta’s crosstown rival Lowndes (171.5) and Colquitt County (151.5) rounded out the top five.

Below follows a recap of each weight class, including finalists and all Matmen-area participants:

106 — Ridgeview’s Matthew Rodriquez had two byes into the quarters, and from there he picked up three contested wins to win the bracket, pinning Suwannee’s Yoamet Perez in 12 seconds in the quarters, Tift County GA’s Caleb Barber in 2:17 in the semis, and then shutting out Valdosta’s Darrell Rochester (pin & tech prior to final), 4-0, for first place. Columbia’s Brett Millard was sixth, losing by fall to Barber in 55 seconds in the quarters. Millard won by fall twice on the back side to clinch a place finish, pinning Lamar GA’s Seth Kellam in 1:32 in consi round 4 and Perez in 4:43 in the consi quarters, before falling to Lowndes’ Dominic DiTomasso in 34 seconds in the consi semis and to Lee GA’s Drake McMinn in 1:42 in the fifth-place match. Perez was 3-2 in the tournament, one match short of the medals after losing to Millard. He had a pair of forfeit wins and a fall in 1:26 over teammate William Swain, who was 1-2 in the event (fall over Kellam in 5:49, loss by fall in consi round 2 to Colquitt’s Jayson Brown in 1:40 in addition to the loss to Perez).

113 — Toombs GA’s Cruz Arredondo won four times, bonus-pointing his way to the finals (pin/tech/major), but had to push harder to turn back Ridgeview’s Gabe Guzman, 4-2, in the championship match, Guzman’s first loss of the season. Guzman reached the final with a pair of decisions, 1-0 in the quarters over Valdosta’s Kaleb Davis and 2-0 in the semis over Coffee’s Phillip Farabow. Columbia’s Braxton Abbott was 1-2 in the tournament, with a pigtail fall in 1:50 over Bainbridge GA’s Luke Emmons, but then lost to Davis, 18-4, in the round of 16 and to Tift GA’s Quay Goldsborough in 27 seconds in consi round 4.

120 — The hosts’ Jordan Hampton nearly pinned his way through the draw, with three in the tournament, plus a third-period tech fall in the semis. Hampton pinned Columbia’s Thomas Greene in 3:07 for the title win. Greene got to the finals with three wins, starting with an 8-7 pigtail decision over Lee’s Zach Schultz; after a bye, Greene pinned Coffee’s Zane Cumbass in 1:51 in the quarters and falled Toombs’ Martin Santana in 3:51 in the semis to get to Hampton. Suwannee’s Timothy Jolicoeur took third in the tournament with a 4-1 weekend, winning by forfeit over Pelham GA’s Hunter Coker in the round of 16 and pinning Lowndes’ Cole Chandler in 2:56 in the quarters. Jolicoeur was the only wrestler in the bracket not to be pinned by Hampton, taking the loss by tech in 4:31, but rallied for pins in the consi semis over Cumbass (3:33) and Chandler in the third-place match (3:50). Jolicoeur’s teammate, Trevor Tanner, was 1-2 in the tournament, with a pigtail loss by fall to Cumbass (1:40), followed by a forfeit win over Coker and a loss to Schultz by fall in 4:07 at consi round 3.

126 — Celebration’s KeShawn Peterson repped Central Florida on the top of the podium, as Peterson had a pin and tech prior to the finals, where he knocked off the hosts’ Tyler Lamon (2 pins & decision prior to final), 7-4, for the bracket. Columbia’s Ian McGuigan was a semifinalist and placed third in the weight class with a 3-1 weekend. After two byes, McGuigan majored Pelham’s Russell Sheppard, 16-4, in the quarters, and was just edged out by Lamon, 6-5, in the semi, but rallied on the backside, with a 9-2 consi-semi win over Colquitt’s Zack Kirkland and a 4-0 shutout of Lee’s Ethan Dooley in the third-place match.

132 — Coffee’s Nolan Smith had two falls to get to the semis, then pulled together a pair of decisions, the second of those a 7-3 win over Lowndes’ Andrew Adams (2 decisions prior to final). Columbia’s Alex McGuigan joined his twin brother as a third-place finisher, with a 6-1 record. McGuigan started with a pigtail fall over Colquitt’s Alek Rosales (5:37) and 14-1 major in the round of 16 over Lee’s Logan Frost before falling to Adams, 2-1, in the quarters. He then won four straight on the backside: 3-2 over Thomas County Central GA’s Bryson Yarley in consi round 4, 11-2 over Rosales in the consi quarters, 10-1 over Cook’s Tripp Williams in the consi semis and 5-2 over Suwannee’s Jaxon Sansouci in the third-place match. Sansouci got to the semis with wins over Yarley in the pigtails (3:43), Dodge GA’s Tavalos Wrease (3:44) and Colquitt’s Timmy Brinson (5-4) in the quarters before falling, 2-0, to Adams in the semis. Sansouci then downed Frost, 6-4, in the consi semis to get to McGuigan. Ridgeview’s Logan Champion was 0-2 in the weight class, with a round of 16 loss by fall to the hosts’ John Walsh (:59) and to Yarley by fall (2:42) in consi round 3.

138 — Toombs’ Ricardo Santana stayed unbeaten with four pins en route to the title match, where he falled Lee’s Phin Johnson (pin & decision prior to final) in 1:04 for the bracket. Suwannee’s Caleb Parsons was the top Florida finisher, taking fourth and reaching the semis. Parsons pinned West Laurens’ Bobby Beasley in 5:30 in the round of 16 and won by ID over Coffee’s Garrett Kelley in the quarters before losing by fall to Santana in 3:13 in the semis. Parsons pinned Columbia’s Alex Arango in 3:50 in the consi semis before losing by fall in the third-place match to Colquitt’s Austin Paradice in 3:47. Arango would go on to place fifth with a 4-2 weekend, starting with a 53-second pin in the round of 16 over Lowndes’ Devron Gardner. He lost to Johnson by fall in 5:38, but then won twice at the back to secure a place finish, with a fall over Beasley (1:47) in consi round 4 and a 6-3 win in the consi quarters over teammate Daveyon Brown. He pinned Coffee’s Kelley in 4:47 in the fifth-place match. Brown was 2-2 in the tournament, with a round-of-16 fall in 4 minutes over Bainbridge’s Carson Love, but then lost by fall (2:00) in the quarters to Paradice. Brown rallied with a 12-5 win over Lamar’s Chaz Hammock in consi round 4 before meeting Arango.

145 — Lowndes’ Jackson Lawson pulled together three pins and a decision to take the weight class, with the third fall coming in the finals, as he needed just 45 seconds to fall Colquitt’s Nathan Taylor (2 pins, forfeit and decision prior to final). Suwannee’s Jaquary Pratt was sixth in the weight class, rallying from an injury-default loss to do it. Pratt pinned Cook’s KJ Walton in 5:24 in the pigtails, but then lost by ID to Bainbridge’s Kendall Glover in the round of 16. He then had to win four at the back to get to the podium (10-1 over teammate Tyson Musgrove in consi round 2, 2:44 over Celebration’s Jose Leon in consi round 3, forfeit in consi round 4 and a fall in 1:21 over Columbia’s Kaleb Davis in the consi quarters) before dropping a 10-9 loss to Coffee’s Gregory Lacoste in the consi semis and 12-9 loss to Walton in the fifth-place match. Davis had two pins on the front side (5:53 over Clarke Central GA’s Cooper Allen in the pigtails, :46 over Tift’s Gary Coleman in the round of 16) before losing by fall in the quarters (2:49) to West Laurens’ Evan Stokes. Davis did get to the “blood round” with an 8-7 win over Pelham’s Cameron Drinkwater, then faced Pratt. Musgrove was 1-2 in the tournament, with a 3-2 loss to Coleman in the pigtails and fall in 4:46 over Allen in consi round 1, then Pratt.

152 — Coffee’s Case Merritt pinned or teched his way to the final, where he didn’t pick up bonus points but still controlled the pace in an 11-4 decision over Cook’s Brian Odom (pin/tech/decision prior to final). Ridgeview’s Reed Propes advanced the farthest among Floridians, getting to the blood round before being eliminated. Propes had a round-of-16 fall (5:39) over West Laurens’ Caden Snell but then fell to Lamar’s Cory Young, 11-5, in the quarters. He won by forfeit over Mitchell GA’s Ja’Quint McCullough in consi round 4, falling to Lowndes’ Colby Strawder, the eventual third-place finisher, in 2:23 in the consi quarters. Two Columbia wrestlers, Joseph Rice and Obie Smith, fell in consi round 4. Rice won by forfeit in the round of 16, but then lost, 12-9, in the quarters to Valdosta’s Javari Lester, and was eliminated with a 6-5 loss to Snell in consi round 4. Smith pinned Tift’s Jayce Newman in 1:16 in the round of 16, but then took a tech loss to Odom in 4:25 in the quarters and was eliminated in a 5-2 loss to Colquitt’s Ny’Quavion McBurrows.

160 — Clarke Central’s Mashai Coleman had two byes, with a pin and two decisions once contested matches began. The second of those was the final, where Coleman turned back Coffee’s Tayon Wimberly (forfeit & 2 decisions prior to final), 6-4. Advancing farthest among Florida wrestlers was Columbia’s Preston O’Quinn, who reached consi round 4 before being eliminated. O’Quinn lost by fall to Tift’s Angel Calles in 3:06 in the round of 16, but then pinned Suwannee’s Pablo Oliva in 1:12 in consi round 2 and had a bye in round 3, losing by fall in 1:54 to Toombs’ Chandler Lynn in 1:54 in consi round 4. Oliva was 0-2 in the tournament, with a loss in the pigtails by fall in 3:53 to Lowndes’ Gareth Chaney.

170 — West Laurens’ Dre Bonner pinned his way into the final, where he needed just a takedown to stop Tift’s Rod Redding (pin & decision prior to final), 2-1, for the championship. Columbia’s David Thompson was 3-1, reaching the semifinals and placing third in the weight class. he had a pair of byes to the quarters, where he decisioned Lowndes’ Zach Williams, 8-2. Redding had just a bit too much offense in the semi, sending Thompson to the consis with a 9-7 loss. However, on the consi side, Thompson rallied, with a fall in 5:10 over Celebration’s Dylan Dozier in the consi semis, and an 11-3 major in the third-place match against the hosts’ Sam McFarland.

182 — West Laurens’ Brent Carr never had to go past the first period in taking the title, collecting four falls in 3:56. The last of those in the final came against Celebration’s Alfonso Serrano (pin & 2 decisions prior to final). Suwannee’s Blaine Howard was the top Matmen finisher, taking sixth in the bracket. Howard lost by fall (4:17) in the pigtails to eventual semifinalist and third-place finisher Gerald Coney of Tift, but got on the podium with four consecutive falls over Cook’s Marquavious Huntley (2:27 in consi round 2), Crisp GA’s Ethan Pollock (2:26 in consi round 3), Dodge’s Josh Gay (2 minutes in consi round 4) and Bainbridge’s Randy Fillingame (3:34 in the blood round) before taking a loss by fall to Toombs’ Jonathan Morales in 1:58 in the consi semis. He then fell, 3-1, in the fifth-place match to the hosts’ Antione Scott. Columbia’s Shawn Raggins and Ridgeview’s Ryan Inman were both 0-2 in the tournament, with Raggins falling to Coney in 1:11 in the round of 16 and to Clarke Central’s Marcus Barrow in 3:29 in consi round 3. Inman lost by fall to Fillingame in 1:32 in the round of 16 and to Barrow in 2:24 in consi round 2.

195 — Michael Thomsen made it back-to-back-to-back titles for West Laurens, with four pins in 6:17, the last of those in the finals against Thomas CC’s Brian Beckwith (pin & major prior to final), where Thomsen won by pin in 3:04. Columbia’s Julius Moreland was 2-2 in the tournament, with wins on both sides. Moreland pinned Clarke Central’s Patrick Flannery in 48 seconds in the pigtails, but then lost by fall in the round of 16 to Toombs’ Ethan Halama in two minutes. On the backside, Moreland falled Lowndes’ Noah Hart in 3:48 in consi round 3, but then lost in consi round 4 to Cook’s Jesse Mathis in 3:19.

220 — The hosts’ Noah Pettigrew stayed unbeaten with pins or techs prior to the final, where he stopped West Laurens’ Chase Horne (forfeit/pin/decision prior to final) from pulling off a four-peat of weight-class wins, edging Horne, 4-3, for the bracket win. Ridgeview’s Od’juan Whitfield advanced the farthest among local wrestlers, being eliminated in consi round 4. Whitfield had a forfeit win in the pigtails over Pelham’s Nicholas Moore and then lost by fall in 5:10 to Lowndes’ Kyle Moore in the round of 16. He had two forfeit wins on the backside over Pelham’s Moore a second time in consi round 2 and over Celebration’s Joshua Riddle in consi round 3, losing by fall in 4:40 in consi round 4 to Dodge’s Javon McNeal. Columbia’s Chadrick Linton was 0-2, both losses by fall to Pettigrew (1:26) in the round of 16 and to Toombs’ Devante Willis (1:43) in consi round 3.

285 — West Laurens added a fourth champion, as Spencer Dacus stayed unbeaten with two pins to get to the final, then outlasting the hosts’ Demetrius Allen (2 pins and decision prior to final) in the ultimate tiebreaker, winning 3-2 for the weight-class victory. Suwannee’s Billy Duchaj placed sixth in the tournament, with a 4-3 record. Duchaj had two falls on the front side (3:17 over Lowndes’ Tyler McKinnon in the pigtails, 1:31 over Pelham’s Joe Mango in the round of 16) before falling in the quarters to Tift’s Seth Spillers (4:36). He knocked off Columbia’s Jaycob Jones, 7-4, in consi round 4 and pinned Colquitt’s Fulton King in 5:43 to clinch a podium spot, falling to Lamar’s LaJavis Nelson, 7-2, in the consi semis and to the hosts’ LB Neloms, 4-1, in the fifth-place match. Jones was 2-2 in the tournament, with wins on both sides of the bracket. Jones pinned Thomas CC’s Timothy Homesley in 2 minutes in the pigtails before losing to Neloms by fall (2:26) in the round of 16, then had a forfeit victory in consi round 2 and bye before meeting Duchaj.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found here.

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A Quick Note

We’re going to catch up on some Georgia writing before we tackle Beast of the Beach. It took four hours to work up notes and write the Bobcat last night, and there are more times at Beast.

I have been advised by Marianna sources that the North Bay Haven Bash has a home next weekend, and that Wewahitchka will serve as physical host. Hopefully, in an ideal world, they’ll put it on Track.

I’ve been advised I will get Yulee today; none of it has come over yet. I have not heard a thing on 1A-District 1. Starting to wonder if I should just post the one-page handwritten bracket that I got and call it good, even though I was assured I would receive full results the day after the tournament and we’re now looking at eight days after as of today.


Bobcat Holiday Duals Recap: Lincoln Survives To Defend Title

North Florida Matmen staff report

GAINESVILLE — Looking at just the wins, and looking at the 13 starting wrestlers that posted solid to great records last weekend at the Bobcat Holiday Invitational, one might think Lincoln sailed through to the title, as it had a year ago.

Not so fast, my friend, as is said this time of year. While the Trojans did indeed roll through their first six duals in stunning fashion — losing only four matches on Friday — in both Lincoln’s last pool dual and the championship match against host Buchholz, a come-from-behind situation was required in either the final weight or the final two.

But it was the Trojans that survived the weekend unscathed and once again tournament champions. Friday, by comparison, was a breeze, as Lincoln rolled past Lecanto (63-12), Gainesville (74-0), Eastside (84-0) and Buchholz 2 (78-6). On Saturday, Lincoln opened fast, with big wins against Sunlake (66-15) and Oakleaf (58-21), but things got hairy from there.

Against Oviedo, with a title appearance on the line, the Trojans had to overcome a 37-30 deficit, getting a 12-11 decision from Reed Watterson at 145 and first-period fall from Eli Crum at 152 to take the dual and pool, 39-37.

Then, against the Bobcats, Lincoln spotted the hosts a 21-0 deficit and trailed, 32-12, with six weights to go, requiring a furious comeback in five of the last six weights, including back-to-back pins from Crum and Tony Davis at 152 and 160 to secure the victory, 39-38.

Crum, who scored maximum points for his team throughout the weekend (8-0 with seven pins, with only the Gainesville match ending in injury-default), was named as the tournament’s outstanding wrestler for the second straight year.

He wasn’t the only 8-0 Lincoln wrestler to score maximum points, as teammate Jace White (132, pins against Eastside, Buchholz 2, Sunlake, Oakleaf, Oviedo and Buchholz) also pulled off the task, as did the 285 combo of Rivers (5-0, pins against Lecanto, Gainesville and Buchholz) and Tyler Moss (3-0, pins against Eastside, Sunlake and Oakleaf). Davis, in a part-time role at 160, was 4-0, with three pins (Gainesville, Oakleaf and Buchholz) and a major over Lecanto.

Two Lincoln wrestlers were 7-1 on the weekend. Mark Munroe (113, pins against Lecanto, Gainesville, Buchholz 2, Sunlake, Oakleaf and Buchholz) and Tanner Washburn (pins over Gainesville, Eastside, Buchholz 2, Sunlake, Oakleaf, Oviedo, plus a tech against Lecanto) managed that. Elijah Hendley (106, pins over Lecanto and Buchholz 2, major over Oakleaf), Ikeon Myles (120/126, pin against Oviedo, tech against Gainesville) and Watterson (138/145, pins against Eastside, Buchholz 2 and Sunlake, decisions against Gainesville, Oviedo and Buchholz) were all 6-2, while Jimmy Martin (126, pins over Lecanto and Buchholz) and Jeremiah Brown (195, pin against Gainesville) were 5-2.

Wyatt Yown (220, pins over Lecanto, Gainesville and Oviedo) was 5-3, while Andrew Collins (170, pins against Gainesville, Buchholz 2, Sunlake and Oakleaf) had four wins.

Here’s a look at the rest of the local teams in the field:

Buchholz: The hosts won the Red pool with a 7-0 record, with Friday wins over Lyman (78-6), South Miami (69-6), West Port (60-18) and Keystone Heights (77-0), with Saturday victories over 3A-District 1 rivals Sandalwood (69-12) and First Coast (63-16), closing out the pool with a 78-6 win over Interlachen, which put them into the championship dual against the Trojans, as 13 Buchholz starters had at least four wins. Five Bobcat wrestlers staged perfect 8-0 records on the weekend, with two — DeAngelo Fletcher (145) and Armando Acosta (182) — scoring maximum dual points for their team. Fletcher had seven pins, with only a forfeit against Interlachen keeping him from pinning his way through the tournament, while Acosta had five (South Miami, West Port, Sandalwood, First Coast and Lincoln). Aiden Moore (106) had a pin against Lyman and techs against Keystone Heights and Lincoln in going 8-0, while Bryan Perkins (120/126) had two pins (West Port and Lincoln) and a decision against First Coast, with Lawrence Smith-Jackson (195) racking up six pins (Lyman, West Port, Keystone Heights, Sandalwood, First Coast and Interlachen), a major over Lincoln and decision over South Miami. Four Bobcats were 7-1: Venumadhava Mirel (113, pins over Lyman, Sandalwood and First Coast, major over West Port); Brandon Thomas (132, pins over Lyman, South Miami, Sandalwood, First Coast, Interlachen, decision over West Port), Hunter Griffin (138, pins over South Miami, Sandalwood and First Coast, plus a disqualification win over West Port) and Nevan Burney (220, pins over West Port, First Coast and Lincoln), while three added six wins. Matt Vann (170, 6-1) had pins over Lyman, South Miami, West Port and Sandalwood, plus a tech fall over Lincoln, while William Green-Church (152, 6-2, pins over Lyman, South Miami, Keystone Heights, Sandalwood and First Coast) and Jacob Robinson (285, 6-2, pins over West Port and Interlachen, decision over Sandalwood) also reached six. Immanuel Hernandez (160/170) had four wins, including pins over Keystone Heights and First Coast.

First Coast: The Buccaneers were the top local team in the tournament that wasn’t in the title match, going 5-3 with two of their three losses coming by a combined total of six (seven if you’re a criteria-point adder) points on Friday. First Coast went 2-2 that day, with wins over 3A-District 1 rival Sandalwood (54-27) and 3A-Region 1 rival Lyman (72-12). On Saturday, First Coast added wins over Interlachen (72-0), Keystone Heights (60-24) and rolled past Sunlake, 48-27, in the 7th-8th place match. The Friday losses were both non-local, as First Coast fell to South Miami (37-36, criteria) and West Port (42-36). Gustavo Martinez (285) was 8-0 with a maximum-points weekend that included five falls (Sandalwood, West Port, Interlachen, Buchholz and Sunlake), while Devante Wyatt (170) both nearly matched that feat and exceeded it, going 7-0 and pinning his way through in each match (he did not appear against Interlachen to start Saturday). Four Buccaneers had six wins on the weekend: Jonah Ingram (113, 6-1, pins over Sandalwood, Lyman and Sunlake), Dreshawn Thompson (126, 6-2, pins over Lyman and Buchholz), Josiah Mossor (132, 6-2, pins over Sandalwood, Lyman, West Port, Interlachen and Sunlake) and Austin Mims (182, 6-2, pins over Sandalwood, West Port and Sunlake). Nicholas Monroe (152/160, pins over South Miami, Sandalwood and Lyman) and Hakeem Culberson (220, pin over West Port) were both 5-3 for First Coast, while two wrestlers had four wins. One of those was Jason Schwartz (120, one loss, pin over West Port), who collected his 100th career win during the tournament, and the other was Keyshawn Brown (145, pins over Lyman and Sunlake).

First Coast senior Jason Schwartz secured his 100th victory for the Buccaneers at the Bobcat Holiday Duals last weekend (Photo submitted by Jason Schwartz to Facebook).

Sandalwood: The Saints started strong in a 4-4 weekend, going 3-1 on Friday with pool wins over Keystone Heights (60-12), Interlachen (54-8) and Lyman (54-16), but didn’t find a Saturday win until the 9th-10th place match against 3A-District 1 rival Oakleaf, where Sandalwood took a 43-42 victory on criteria. The Saints did take a pair of Saturday non-local losses, falling to South Miami (34-21) and West Port (53-24). Leonardo Alonzo (160) pulled together an unbeaten weekend, going 8-0 with four pins (First Coast, Buchholz, West Port and Oakleaf) plus a decision win over South Miami. Juvens Augustin (126) went 6-2 over the weekend, collecting four pins as well (First Coast, Interlachen, Lyman and Buchholz). Three Saints contributed five wins, including Hunter Brandon (138, pins over First Coast and Oakleaf) at 5-2, Lavaughn Brown (145, pins against Keystone Heights, First Coast, Lyman and West Port) and Josh Brown (170, pins over Keystone Heights, Lyman, South Miami and Oakleaf) both at 5-3. Hunter Milner (113/120), Austin Tekin (182/195) and Christian Henry (285) all had four wins on the weekend, with Milner winning by fall against Lyman and Oakleaf, and Tekin and Henry both with pins against Interlachen and Oakleaf.

Oakleaf: The Clay County Knights finished 3-5 on the weekend, with two wins in the Green pool on Friday, taking down Gainesville (54-30) and Eastside (60-18), with a third pool win over Buchholz 2 (60-15) before falling to Sandalwood in the 9th-10th place match. Oakleaf had non-local losses against Sunlake (51-30) and Lecanto (41-36) on Friday, and to Oviedo (51-27) on Saturday. The Knights’ Owen Bronson (126) was on the lowest-finishing team that had an unbeaten wrestler, scoring maximum points on the weekend, including four falls (Lecanto, Oviedo, Lincoln and Sandalwood). Three Oakleaf wrestlers would add 7-1 records. Abdiert Escobar (120) had pins over Gainesville, Sunlake and Lincoln, while Logan Gilbert (132) picked up five pins in all (Sunlake, Eastside, Oviedo, Buchholz 2 and Sandalwood). David Parkes (145) had five pins (Gainesville, Lecanto, Oviedo, Buchholz 2 and Sandalwood) plus a decision win over Lincoln. Gabe Hecht (220) was 6-2 with falls over Gainesville, Lecanto and Lincoln, while Marcus McGhee added a 5-1 record in a regular role as the 106 starter, with pins over Lecanto and Buchholz 2 and a major over Oviedo. James McClintic (152) had four wins, including pins over Gainesville, Eastside and Sandalwood.

Buchholz 2: The second group of Bobcats was 3-5 on the weekend, but two of those three wins came against city rivals Eastside (45-24) and Gainesville (39-36) in the Green pool, with the third a 28-24 win in the 11th-12th place match over Lyman. Buchholz 2 did sustain non-local losses against Sunlake (54-24) on Friday and Lecanto (72-6) as well as Oviedo (72-6) on Saturday. Devon Bell led the charge for the second group, going 6-2 at 132, with four pins (Sunlake, Eastside, Oviedo and Lyman). Liam Buchanan was 5-3 at 138, with four falls of his own (Eastside, Lincoln, Oakleaf and Lyman), while Jason Martin (170/182) had four wins, with pins over Sunlake, Gainesville and Oakleaf, plus a decision victory over Eastside.

Gainesville: The Hurricanes’ 2-6 record included a Saturday forfeit win over intracity rival Eastside in the Green pool, but Gainesville did finish off the weekend with a contested dual win over Interlachen, 30-9, in the 13th-place match, with non-local losses to Oviedo (70-9) on Friday, with Saturday losses to Sunlake (48-18) and Lecanto (65-6). Three Gainesville wrestlers were 5-3 on the weekend. Brennan Kade (120/126) had a pin in the Sunlake dual and decision in the Oviedo one, while Jonte’ Criswell picked up pins against Oakleaf, Buchholz 2 and Oviedo, all on Friday. Gregory Milinkovic had falls against Oakleaf, Sunlake and Interlachen as well, while Luis Bonilla (195/220) was 4-2 in a part-time appearance for the Hurricanes.

Interlachen: The Putnam County Rams were 1-7 in the tournament, with their only victory coming in the Red pool, a 25-24 dual win over Keystone Heights thanks to Interlachen 195 Nick Boyd’s pin in the only contested match in that dual. The Rams took non-local losses against West Port (72-3), Lyman (50-12) and South Miami (54-6) on Friday. From the tournament standpoint as a whole, Interlachen’s top competitor was John Spears, who was 6-2 at 120, with a pin over Buchholz, a major over Sandalwood and decision wins over West Port and Gainesville. Elijah Miller (132/138) added four wins, with a pin over Lyman and major over Sandalwood during the weekend.

Keystone Heights: The Indians didn’t find a contested team win in the tournament, going 0-7 in the Red pool, with non-local losses to West Port (78-0) and South Miami (54-6) on Friday, plus Lyman (41-12) on Saturday. However, Keystone won by a forfeit in the 15th-place match over Eastside. Keystone Heights brought just five wrestlers to each dual, so team wins were going to be tough to find, but individually two of the Indians had some success. Jason Bowden was 6-2 at 106, with a pin against Lyman, while Dylan Page had four wins, all of them on Saturday, including pins over Lyman and First Coast.

Eastside: The Alachua County Rams made their first appearance of the season, but it was short-lived, as they only reported for Friday’s four pool-play rounds, with a non-local loss to Oviedo (78-0). Ethan Anderson (160, 2 pins against Buchholz 2 and Oakleaf) and Jai Calleja (170, 2 pins against Buchholz 2 and Oakleaf) each were 2-2 on Friday.

Complete dual results from the tournament can be found here.

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SJRC Recap: Fleming Goes 92-5 In Defending Title

Fleming Island rolled to seven wins in defending its St Johns River Conference championship last weekend at the Clay County Fairgrounds (Photo submitted by Ricki Nix via Facebook).

North Florida Matmen staff report

ORANGE PARK — Tuning up for the start of Friday’s Knockout Christmas Classic, hosted by Osceola, has usually meant defending a St Johns River Conference title for Fleming Island.

And the Golden Eagles responded to defense well, rolling through last weekend’s two-day, seven-dual tournament, losing just five matches along the way.

Friday saw Fleming Island give up just one weight each in wins over Palatka (75-6), Orange Park (69-3) and Bartram Trail (75-3). On Saturday, the Golden Eagles dominated to wins over Middleburg (75-0), Pedro Menendez (78-5), St. Augustine (80-0) and Matanzas (75-2) in a dual that was for the conference title.

Five matches lost, just three by regular starters over the weekend, led to 11 all-conference nominations for Hunter Herrington (106), Briar Jackson (120), Ryan Hobson (126), Garrett Cole (132), Gannon Janssen (145), Luke Chop (152), Tanner Hill (160), Nick Janssen (182), Chad Nix (195), Tanner Speer (220) and Jeffrey Lascano (285).

Of those, just two ran through the weekend with 7-0 records, though most if not all dominated equally effectively with fewer matches. Hill had decision victories over Bartram and Middleburg at 160, while Lascano had pins against Palatka, Orange Park, Bartram and Matanzas, with a decision over St. Augustine.

Cole and Chop were each 6-0 for the Golden Eagles. Cole, who competed at both 132 and 138, had pins over Bartram, Menendez and St. Augustine and decisions over Palatka and Matanzas, while Chop had pins over Bartram and Middleburg and a decision over Matanzas. Teammates Riley Holton (113) and Gavin Smith (170) were both 6-1, with Holton winning by fall over Bartram and Middleburg and taking a decision over Orange Park, while Smith had a pin over Bartram.

Herrington, Hobson and Nix each were 5-0 for Fleming Island. Herrington had a pin against Middleburg, while Hobson (126/132) had falls against Bartram, Menendez and St. Augustine, and Nix (competing at 195 and 220) collected pins against Bartram, Menendez and Matanzas, with techs against Orange Park and St. Augustine. Dalton Williams (138) added a 5-1 weekend, with pins over Palatka and Menendez, a tech against Matanzas, major against Orange Park and decision over Middleburg.

Jackson and both Janssens were 4-0 on the weekend. Jackson had a pin in the Bartram victory, while Gannon Janssen had falls against both Palatka and Bartram, with decisions against Middleburg and Matanzas. Nick Janssen picked up pins against Bartram and Matanzas. Speer had a pin over Orange Park in a 3-0 part-time appearance, but 220 teammate Robert Tyre also was 3-0, as was Hunter Williams (145, 3 pins) and Julian Mitchell (195, pin).

Here’s a rundown on the other seven teams competing in the tournament last weekend:

Matanzas: The Pirates were unbeaten in the tournament until their final round of competition and Fleming, with Friday wins over Pedro Menendez (69-0), Palatka (60-6) and Middleburg (51-16), along with Saturday wins over St. Augustine (54-17), Orange Park (40-27) and Bartram Trail (51-18). Leading the charge as one of three non-Fleming representatives on the all-conference team was Shaun Culbreth (113/120), who was 7-0 and all-league at 113. Culbreth had pins over Middleburg and Bartram, a major over Orange Park and decisions over Menendez and Fleming. Two Matanzas wrestlers were 6-1: Ian Eckert (145, pins over Menendez, Palatka, St. Augustine, Orange Park, and Bartram, plus a decision over Middleburg) and Noel Alicea (152, pins over Middleburg and Bartram). Two additional Pirates had five wins, as Ethan Goodman (120/126, pins over Menendez and Bartram) was 5-1 and Tyrel Scheltz (182, pin over Middleburg) was 5-2. Joshua Jeffers (106/113, pin over Bartram), Cecil Bermudez (220/285, pins over Menendez and Orange Park) and Alex Licul (285, pins against Palatka and Bartram) each contributed four wins apiece on the weekend.

Orange Park: The Raiders took third, with Friday wins over Middleburg (48-18) and Palatka (42-10), with Saturday victories over Bartram Trail (36-35), Pedro Menendez (48-12) and Palatka (45-12). Orange Park also had one representative on the all-tournament team, as Jacob Campbell was 7-0 at 170, with one pin (Middleburg) and two decisions (Fleming and Bartram). Dean Ganci was 6-1 at 132 with three pins (Palatka, Menendez and St. Augustine) and a decision (Matanzas), with three wrestlers collecting five wins. Jacob Moore (182/195) was 5-1, with two pins (Bartram and Menendez) and a decision (St. Augustine), while Davon Bailey (113, pin over Middleburg, decision over Bartram) and Cameron Broughton (138/145, pins over Middleburg, Palatka, Matanzas, Menendez and St. Augustine) were both 5-2. In a part-time role, Julian Moore (182/195, pins against Middleburg, Bartram and Matanzas) had four wins.

Bartram Trail: The Bears finished the tournament at 4-3, with two wins both days, taking down St. Augustine (56-12) and Pedro Menendez (56-11) on Friday, with Saturday wins over Middleburg (46-27) and Palatka (66-6). Bartram Trail was represented on the SJRC all-conference team by Nicholas Vugman (138), who was 7-0 with three pins (Menendez, Orange Park, Palatka), one tech (St. Augustine), one major (Middleburg) and two decisions (Fleming and Matanzas). Jerry Gomer (126/132) was 5-2 with two pins (St. Augustine & Menendez) and a decision (Matanzas), while Elijah Sutherland (170) also was 5-2. Michael Moore (113, pin against Orange Park), Joseph Governara (145, pins against Menendez, Orange Park and Palatka, decision over St. Augustine), Stephen Ferris (152, pin over Palatka) and Dominick Fields (182/195, pin against Menendez) each compiled 4-3 records, as did Vincent DeLeo (106), Gregory Memory (120) and Luis Parrales (160).

Middleburg: Will be updated pending submission of win/loss records from the Bulldog Brawl, contested December 15 at St. Cloud. Full Bronco results are on the Week 3 local duals page.

St. Augustine: The Yellow Jackets finished the weekend at 2-5, with a Friday win over Pedro Menendez (30-21) and Saturday win over Palatka (30-11), fielding lineups with no more than seven wrestlers. St. Augustine 285 Darius Stanley was 6-1 on the weekend, with three pins (Bartram, Matanzas and Orange Park), while Ryan Murphy (195/220) put together a 5-2 weekend, also with three pins (Bartram, Middleburg, Menendez) and a tech against Matanzas.

Pedro Menendez: The Falcons were 1-6 on the weekend, with a dual win to start Saturday over Palatka (21-12), despite also never having more than seven wrestlers in the lineup. Two Menendez wrestlers picked up five wins on the weekend. Robert Iglesias (120 on Friday, 120/132 on Saturday) was 5-1, with one pin (Middleburg), two techs (Bartram and Fleming) and a decision (Palatka), while Carter Payne was 5-2 with a pair of pins (Bartram and Orange Park).

Palatka: With just six wrestlers in the lineup on Friday and only four on Saturday, the Panthers were going to have a hard time finding wins, even against short-handed teams. One Palatka wrestler, Drevon Wallace (126/132) was 5-2 on the weekend, with two pins (Fleming Island and Bartram Trail), one tech fall (St. Augustine) and a decision (Matanzas).

Complete dual results from the tournament can be found here.

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