By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
JACKSONVILLE — Not every reign is destined to go on forever.
And although Bishop Kenny put on a stellar hosting effort Saturday at the 1A-District 4 traditional tournament, the short-handed Crusaders could not overcome Bolles’ full lineup, as the Bulldogs did just enough in the finals to wrest away the team trophy, outpointing BKHS, 188-186.
“Just a gradual process of trying to get better, trying to get everyone healthy and down to weight. It helps when you have all 14 weights filled,” Bulldogs coach Matt Morris said.
“It was fun, and it was tight. Finals were back and forth, ebb and flow, and I didn’t think we had it. I thought we had lost by two. But it’s going to be great to have another week of practice with the whole team.”
Bolles got 13 through to Friday’s Region 1 meet at South Walton, with four champions, four runners-up, four thirds and one fourth.
Bishop Kenny, with no 145, 195 or 220, still nearly came all the way back in the final round, winning five district titles, with four runners-up, one third and one fourth, to qualify all 11 wrestlers the Crusaders brought Saturday on to regions, but their bid for a sixth consecutive district title fell just short.
“We had a bunch of championships, kids doing what they were doing. We had kids peaking at the right time, but we just fell short. It’s a shame; a bitter pill to swallow,” Kenny coach Paul Schloth said. “Congrats to the Bolles kids and staff; I always enjoy wrestling with Matt (Morris).”
Pedro Menendez took third, qualifying 10 wrestlers out and scoring 123 points behind two champions, one runnerup, five thirds and two fourths.
“We had 14 guys quit this year, nine had never seen a mat before this year. Coming from not competing at all in duals and tournaments to third here and taking 95% of the guys to regionals, I think it’s great,” Falcons coach Kevin Leonard said. “Hopefully that will help us with retaining kids from year to year.”
Episcopal was well clear of the rest of the group in fourth place, scoring 90.5 points as the Eagles qualified six out to regions, with two champions, three runners-up and one fourth.
Wolfson, with 47 points, was fifth (one runnerup, one third and two fourths), while Bradford was sixth with 42 (one champ, one third and one fourth) and Florida Deaf & Blind seventh with 35 (one runnerup, one third and two fourths).
Below follows a complete recap for all eligible competitors in the tournament:
106 — Bolles freshman Jacob Witt (16th in 1A, 29-11) won his first district championship after finishing second in 2018. Witt had a major and decision in taking the title, with a 10-2 win over FSDB junior Rey Suero (pigtail win by fall over Wolfson’s Andrew Harbin in 3:08) in the semis and then pushing past Episcopal sophomore Joseph Jackson (17th, 28-10), 9-5, for the championship. Jackson advanced to the final with a 6-0 semifinal win over Bishop Kenny sophomore Ryan Mayer. Mayer (2-1 as reported) came back for third, punching his South Walton ticket with a fall in 1:41 in the consi semis over Harbin, then pinning Suero (1-2 as reported) in 4:04 for third place.
113 — Episcopal junior Kyle Hopkins (2nd, 30-2) pinned or teched his way through the tournament for his third district title after finishing second in 2016. Hopkins teched Wolfson senior Keayon Gray (pigtail fall in 1:36 over Bolles’ Mac Walters), 17-2, in the semis, then falled FSDB sophomore Lance Gardenhire (16-10) in 2:55 for the championship. Gardenhire reached the finals with an 8-0 major over Bishop Kenny sophomore Will Weinbecker. Gray (2-1 as reported) came back for third with a bye in the consi semis and then falled Weinbecker (1-2 as reported) with a pin in 2:05 for third place. Weinbecker had punched his South Walton ticket with a fall in the consi semis over Walters.
120 — In a four-person bracket, Menendez senior Robert Iglesias (9th, 2-0 as reported) won his first district title and qualified for regions for the fourth time, after finishing second in 2017 and 2018, with a third in 2016. Iglesias pinned his way through the bracket, with a 40-second fall in the semis over FSDB sophomore Ty Snow and then fall in the championship over Bishop Kenny senior Reilly Gentges (1-1 as reported) in 1:28. Gentges advanced to the final with a 14-2 major in the semis over Bolles freshman Denny Vohs (24-13), who came back for third place with a fall in 2:28 over Snow (2-6).
126 — With six in the bracket, Bolles junior Dalton Posick (26-10) pushed through with two wins for his first district title and fifth region appearance (second in 2018, third in 2017, fourths in 2015 and 2016), falling Wolfson freshman Max Lewallen (1:21, pigtail 6-3 win over Episcopal’s Noah Meyer) in the semis, then coming back from a 2-1 deficit late to turn back Bishop Kenny junior Daniel Maher (1-1 as reported), 6-2, in the title match. Maher advanced to the final with a semifinal pin in 1:40 over Pedro Menendez freshman Logan Meehan (pigtail fall over FSDB’s Josh O’Connor in 1:27). Meehan (3-1 as reported) won by fall twice on the back side to claim third, falling Meyer in 2:18 in the consi semis and then pinning Lewallen (2-2 as reported) in 5:15 for third place. Lewallen punched his South Walton ticket with a pin over O’Connor in 3:12 in the consi semis.
132 — Bishop Kenny junior Brock Hinson (1-1 as reported) reached the finals with a 3-1 semifinal win over FSDB’s Ajani Zahira (pigtail fall in :34 over Wolfson’s Aakash Thornton), but then lost in the finals in 1:34. After a semifinal loss by fall (1:37), Pedro Menendez junior Jarrett Ellis (pigtail fall in 3:14 over Bolles’ Skylar Malone) pinned his way back to third, with a 51-second fall over Thornton in the consi semis and pin in 2:13 in the third-place match over Malone (5-4). Malone punched his South Walton ticket with a fall over Zahira in 2:58 in the consi semis.
138 — Bolles junior Julian Morris (9-5) won his first district title after thirds in 2016 and 2017. Morris pinned his way into the finals, with falls over Wolfson senior Hays Lewallen (1:54) in a pigtail match and over Menendez sophomore Jose Ruiz (3:09) in the semis. Morris then stopped Bishop Kenny senior John Schloth (1-1 as reported), 7-1, for the championship. Schloth reached the final with a 45-second pin over Episcopal’s Will Thompson. Ruiz (1-1 as reported) came back for third with a bye in the consi semis and 12-8 decision over Lewallen (1-2 as reported) in the third-place match. Lewallen punched his South Walton ticket with a fall in 2:21 over Thompson in the consi semis.
145 — Pedro Menendez sophomore Connor Spossey (14th, 2-0 as reported) won his second district championship in a three-person bracket, with a 51-second fall in the semis over Bolles eighth-grader Jeffrey Ashby, then holding off Episcopal junior Reid Hampton (11th, 22-10), 10-5, in the championship match. Hampton had a bye into the finals and Ashby (5-3) had a bye in the third-place match.
152 — Bishop Kenny senior Joey Cusick (6th, 2-0 as reported) won his second district championship after placing second in 2017 and third in 2016, pinning his way through the bracket. Cusick falled Episcopal junior Robert Jackson (pigtail fall in 1:34 over Menendez’s Alex Binkiewicz) in 17 seconds in the semifinals, then pinned Wolfson junior Cameron Frison (1-1 as reported) in 2:25 in the championship match. Frison falled Bolles sophomore Luke Selmont (pigtail fall in :57) in 49 seconds to reach the finals. Selmont (11-8) came back for third place with two pins, falling Binkiewicz in 2:23 in the consi semis and 2:15 in the third-place match over Jackson (9-17). Jackson punched his South Walton ticket with a pin in 1:34 in the consi semis.
160 — Bishop Kenny senior Andrew Slade (8th, 2-0 as reported) won his fourth district championship (2015, 2017 and 2018) in his fifth finals appearance (2nd in 2016) and sixth district tournament. Slade pinned his way through the bracket in a four-person bracket, with a 24-second fall in the semis over Pedro Menendez junior Layne Fender and fall in 1:28 over Episcopal freshman Kaiman Clark (11-8) in the title match. Clark downed Bolles senior Rick Garcia-Bengochea, 4-2, in the semis in order to reach the final. Garcia-Bengochea (21-15) pinned Fender (0-2 as reported) in 52 seconds for third place.
170 — Bishop Kenny senior Nolan Scheets (2-0 as reported) won twice in a three-person bracket for his first district championship, with a 15-second fall in the semis over FSDB 7th-grader David Chinchilla, then overcoming Bolles freshman Jack Pyburn (24-13) with a 9-3 decision in the final. Pyburn had a bye into the finals and Chinchilla (0-3 as reported) had a bye in the third-place match.
182 — Bishop Kenny Esa Farah (2-0 as reported) won his first district championship, with a fall in the semis over Menendez sophomore Dane Litzinger (1:54), then edging Bolles sophomore Ethan Asbury (25-16), 2-1, for the championship. Asbury reached the finals with a bye and Litzinger received a bye in the third-place match.
195 — In a two-person bracket, Bolles senior Kyle Coffindaffer (7-5 as reported) hit a head throw for a fall in 21 seconds and his first district championship, pinning Pedro Menendez senior Carter Payne (0-1 as reported).
220 — After finishing 1 match short of regions in 2016 and 2017, Episcopal senior Freddy Dollison (25-5) won his first district championship. Dollison needed just 38 seconds to pin Menendez junior Gavin Storch (pigtail fall in 53 seconds over FSDB’s Leo Baxajay), then staved off all challenges in the final against Bolles sophomore David Adewale (27-13), taking a 7-4 decision. Adewale reached the final with pins over Wolfson’s Devin Collins (:37) in the pigtail and 1:06 in the semis. Storch (3-1 as reported) came back with two pins for third, falling Collins (:58) in the consi semis and again in 1:56 for third place. Baxajay was one match short of regions, losing by fall in 1:54.
285 — Bishop Kenny junior Curtis Leggett (2-0 as reported) won his first district championship, pinning his way through the bracket. Leggett falled Wolfson’s Ernest Soles in 44 seconds in the semis, then pinned Bolles sophomore Cam Neal (9-9) in 2:40 for the title. Neal had two pins of his own, with falls in the pigtail (1:40) and agains in the semis over Pedro Menendez freshman Lucas Millar (1:13). Millar (0-2 as reported) came back for fourth, with a bye in the consi semis and loss by fall in 2:10 in the third-place match. Soles lost by fall in the consi semis, in 1:42.
Editor’s Note: Not all eligible qualifiers and competitors could be completely recapped due to missing regular-season results not submitted to Matmen. Matmen will accept those results, or win-loss records for the events that are missing, even after the end of the season.
Complete brackets for this tournament and all other contested 1A brackets can be found here.
All statewide rankings as created by Brant Parsons and as updated February 18.
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