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#RoadToTheShow: 2A-District 1 Recap

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Pace wrestlers and coaches celebrate a return to the top of the heap in 2A-District 1 with Saturday’s traditional tournament championship victory (Photo submitted by James Billhimer).

North Florida Matmen staff report

FT WALTON BEACH — It’s been three years since a Reggie Allen-coached team last won a district championship.

But it only took one season for Allen to turn things around at Pace.

The Patriots have perennially contended for the top spot in 2A-District 1, but turned to Allen at the start of the season. Saturday, their faith in him paid off, as Pace cruised out to the district team title with 210 points, 62 points ahead of a resurgent Ft Walton Beach side.

Pace qualified 13 wrestlers to Friday’s Region 1 meet at Chiles, with five champions, four runners-up, two thirds and two fourths.

Ft Walton Beach pushed past last year’s team champion, Gulf Breeze, with 148 points on nine qualifiers (two champions, one runnerup, three thirds and three fourths).

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Ft Walton Beach representatives take a pose with the Vikings’ 2A-District 1 team runnerup trophy won at home Saturday afternoon (Photo submitted to FWB team page on Facebook).

The 2A Dolphins also had nine qualifiers, with two champions, three runners-up, one third and three fourths.

Niceville was just 2.5 points back of Gulf Breeze in fourth, with 137.5 points and nine qualifiers of its own (one champion, two runners-up, five thirds and one fourth).

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Niceville coaches and wrestlers take a photo after finishing fourth in Saturday’s 2A-District 1 tournament at Ft Walton Beach (Photo submitted to Niceville team page on Facebook).

Choctaw headed up the bottom half of the table, with 84 points and five qualifiers (one champ, two runners-up, one third and one fourth). Crestview took sixth on 72.5 points, with two champions and two fourths.

Tate was seventh, with 70 points on four qualifiers (one of each medal type), while Milton took eighth with 31 points and two qualifiers (one runnerup and one third).

Below follows a complete recap of all eligible qualifiers and competitors in the event:

106 — In a five-person bracket, Gulf Breeze top-seeded freshman Brandon Walls (31-12) won his first district championship with a semifinal pin (:36) over Ft Walton Beach sophomore Reid Gannon (pigtail 18-9 major over Pace’s Natalie Lugo) and 9-2 decision in the finals over Choctaw freshman Deagan Kilpatrick (30-16). Kilpatrick reached the finals with a semifinal pin (1:24) over Niceville senior Grace Moore. Moore (29-17) punched her Chiles ticket with a pin over Lugo (2:15) in the consi semis and took third with a pin in 2:13 over Gannon (8-13) for third place. Gannon had a bye in the consi semis.

113 — Another five-person bracket saw Choctaw junior David Tambula (33-14) take his first district championship after finishing fourth in 2018. Tambula, the third seed, pinned Gulf Breeze freshman Max Kronlage in 4:50 in the semis, then overcame Pace freshman Atticus Waters (26-13), 9-3, for the championship. Waters reached the finals with a semifinal pin over Niceville sophomore Noah Tritz (9-5 pigtail win over Crestview’s Javan Alto). Tritz (20-11) would come back for third place with a bye in the consi semis and fall over Kronlage (29-12) in 3:57 for third. Kronlage punched his Chiles ticket with a 49-second fall over Alto in the consi semis.

120 — A full eight-person bracket saw top-seeded Pace junior Derrick Lancero (36-8) win his first district championship and earn some revenge for the previous year in the process. Lancero won three times for his bracket, with a quarterfinal pin (2:19 over Crestview’s Nathan Behr), semifinal tech (15-0 in 5:42 over Gulf Breeze freshman Logan Merritt) and 10-6 decision in the final over Ft Walton Beach sophomore Brandon Mallin (20th, 26-18), who’d majored Lancero, 13-0, in last year’s 2A-District 1 semis. Mallin got to the final with a quarterfinal pin (2:58 over Niceville’s Ethan Bueno) and semfiinal tech (19-4 in 6:00). Merritt got to the semis with a 32-second fall over Choctaw’s Ethan Pfhul, while Pfhul (2:25 over Behr) and Bueno (:48) won in WB round 1. Merritt (8-14) would take fourth with a 36-second fall over Bueno and then loss by fall in 4 minutes in the third-place match, while Pfhul lost by fall in 1:53 in the consi semis.

126 — In a six-person bracket reduced to five by a forfeit out of competition, second-seeded Gulf Breeze junior Kelly Scanlon (41-16) won his first district championship. Scanlon pinned his way through the draw with a 35-second version in the semis, then falled Pace senior Tyler Tran (34-11) in 3:04 in the final. Tran got to the final with a semifinal pin (1:19) over Ft Walton Beach sophomore Weston Burbidge (pigtail fall in 4:55 over Niceville junior Jay Pinto). However, Pinto (2-1 as reported) wasn’t done despite the early bounce into the consis, with a 10-6 consi-semi win and then getting revenge in the third-place match, with a pin in 3:18 over Burbidge (27-14).

132 — A seven-person bracket led to top-seeded Pace junior Ethan Billhimer (17th, 42-6) winning his first district championship after taking second at 145 in 2018 and second at 182 in 2017. Billhimer pinned his way through the draw, with a semifinal fall (:14) over Crestview’s Karter Watson (pigtail fall in 5:26) and then a second first-period pin in 1:56 in the title match over Gulf Breeze senior Michael Walls (16-3). Walls pinned his way into the final, with a quarterfinal fall (1:35) and semifinal version (3:20) over Ft Walton Beach’s Jarrod Hamilton. Watson and Hamilton both had pigtail falls to reach the semis, with Watson’s in 5:26 and Hamilton’s in 3:07 over Niceville’s Ty Hawkins. Watson (23-17) would finish fourth, punching his Chiles ticket with a consi-semi pin in 1:57 before losing by fall in 18 seconds in the third-place match. Hamilton fell in the consi semis by fall in 3:20.

138 — A full bracket saw third-seeded Niceville junior Keane Creager (29-8) emerge for his first district championship after finishing second in 2018. Creager pinned his way into the finals, with versions in the quarters (:42 over Choctaw’s Eli Devoid) and semis (3:04 over Pace’s Seth O’Gara) before pushing past Gulf Breeze junior Dylan Lawrence (37-11), 4-2, for the title. Lawrence also had two pins prior to the final, in :56 and 3:16, respectively. O’Gara reached the semis with a quarterfinal pin (1:25 over Crestview’s Jacob Allen), while Ft Walton Beach’s Canyon Dart lost, 10-0, in the quarters. Dart and Devoid would reach the consi semis with wins in WB round 1 (Dart with a 52-second fall, Devoid 9-8 over Allen). But it would be O’Gara (33-13) that would rally back for third, behind pins over Dart (49 seconds) in the consi semis and again in 1:27 for third. Devoid would fall in the consi semis as well, by an 8-1 count.

145 — Another seven-person bracket (originally full but dropped to seven due to a forfeit) was resolved with top-seeded Ft Walton Beach senior Carlos Bogan (15th, 32-7) winning his second district championship and first as a Viking after winning for Choctaw in 2018. Bogan pinned or teched his way through the draw, with a 21-4 (2:35) tech in the quarters, a semifinal pin (2:56) over Crestview sophomore Malachi Santiago (advanced with 28-second quarterfinal pin) and fall in 1:36 in the championship match over Gulf Breeze senior Calvin Malo (47-12). Malo reached the finals with pins over Niceville’s Luis Gallego (1:22 in quarters) and Pace sophomore Joseph Cortez (3:58 in the semis). Cortez advanced to the semi with a forfeit in the quarters, while Gallego got to the consi semis behind that same forfeit. Cortez (33-16) came back for third with a consi-semi fall in 1:50 and 10-5 third-place win over Santiago (18-17). Santiago punched his Chiles ticket with a 16-1 tech (3:28) over Gallego.

152 — A six-person bracket (originally seven, dropped due to a forfeit) went Pace top-seeded senior Kishma Davis’ way, as Davis (9th, 47-2) won his first district championship after taking third in 2017. Davis took an 18-4 major in the semis over Ft Walton Beach sophomore Caleb Tourgee, then powered past Niceville senior Collin Lentz (16th, 37-8), 8-5, for the championship. Lentz bonus-pointed his way into the finals, with a pigtail pin over Crestview’s Rowan Gomez (1:36) and 15-6 major in the semis over Choctaw senior Logan Myers (17th). Tourgee won by pin in the pigtails over Gulf Breeze’s Sean Jones (2:30). Myers (56-7) would come back for third with a consi-semi pin over Jones (2:26) and medical-forfeit win in the third-place match over Tourgee (24-13), who punched his Chiles ticket with a consi-semi pin in 2:18 over Gomez.

160 — Pace top-seeded senior Nate Golmon (2nd, 43-1) dominated a full bracket to win his second district championship and first for the Patriots after winning in 2018 and placing second in 2016 for Tate. Golmon pinned or teched his way through the tournament, with a quarterfinal pin (1:41 over Gulf Breeze’s Mason Bourgeois), semifinal tech (15-0 in 4:16 over Ft Walton’s Corban Ferguson) and fall in the finals in 3:03. Ferguson and Choctaw’s Hunter Pelfrey reached the semis with pins, Ferguson in 3:16 over Niceville sophomore McCoy Lamb and Pelfrey in 1:13 over Crestview’s Layne Franks; Pelfrey would then lose by fall in 2 minutes in the semis. Lamb and Franks would win WB round 1 matches (Lamb in :53 over Bourgeois, Franks in 2:22). Ferguson (16-10) came back for third with a consi-semi pin over Franks (2:38) and a medical forfeit in the third-place match over Lamb (11-8), who punched his Chiles ticket with a 21-8 major over Pelfrey in the consi semis.

170 — In a five-person bracket, top-seeded Ft Walton Beach junior Eddie Alexis (39-10) won his first district championship after not getting out of the consi rounds in his first two attempts. Alexis pinned his way thorugh the bracket, with a semifinal pin (1:28) over Niceville senior Matthew Murphy (pigtail fall in 1 minute over Pace sophomore Brody Andrews) and pin in 5:58 in the finals over Choctaw senior Paul Roberts (21-6). Roberts reached the final with a 56-second fall over Gulf Breeze’s Phillip Frazetta in the semis. Murphy (15-10) came back for third with a forfeit in the consi semis and 17-2 tech (5:00) over Andrews (16-22) in the place match. Andrews punched his Chiles ticket with a fall in 2:09 in the consi semis over Frazetta.

182 — In a six-person bracket, as Matmen foreshadowed in our preview of the district, Pace top-seeded senior John Gunther (15-0) returned to the lineup to win his first district title after finishing second in 2018 and fourth in 2017. Gunther pinned Ft Walton Beach sophomore Kaleb Williams (pigtail fall in 2:39 over Choctaw’s Samuel Santos) in 34 seconds in the semis and then overcame Niceville junior Sean Ripley (19th, 33-12), 9-6, for the title. Ripley got to the finals with two pins over Crestview’s CJ Banks (1:42 in pigtails) and Gulf Breeze senior Austin Earle (3:43 in the semis). Williams (35-15) had two pins on the back for third, falling Banks (1:36) in the consi semis and Earle (37-12) in 46 seconds for third. Earle punched his Chiles ticket with a pin in 4:29 over Santos in the consi semis.

195 — In a six-person bracket, Pace second-seeded sophomore Wyatt Dillon (20th, 36-9) reached the finals with a semifinal pin in 4:28 over Gulf Breeze’s Samuel Rosenbalm (pigtail fall in 1:58 over Crestview’s Mathew Sharp), then lost a wild finals match, 15-12. Ft Walton Beach’s Patrick Adams (29-21), who reached the semis with a pigtail pin in 3:01 over Choctaw senior Aiden Savage and then lost by fall in 3:20 in the semis, came back for third with pins in 1:40 over Sharp in the consi semis and 2:25 over Savage (22-25) in the third-place match. Savage punched his Chiles ticket with a fall in 4:15 over Rosenbaum in the consi semis.

220 — Crestview top-seeded junior Kennard Madden (26-13) won his first district championship after falling in the consi semis last year, pinning his way through the draw without going past the first period. Madden had a quarterfinal pin in 1:21, falled Pace sophomore Michael Poole (:26) in the semis and won by fall in 1:22 in the finals. Poole and Gulf Breeze’s Bryson Wick got to the semifinals with quarterfinal wins (Poole 10-7 over Niceville junior Ramsey Kidder, Wick by fall in 1:59 over Choctaw’s Michael Barton), with Wick losing by fall in the semis (:43), while Ft Walton Beach’s Spencer Mackenzie lost by fall in the quarters (1:47). Despite the quarterfinal loss, Kidder fought all the way back to third with three back-side pins: 1:10 in WB round 1 (Mackenzie took a 12-10 decision over Barton also in that round), 2:27 over Wick in the consi semis and gained revenge for the quarterfinal loss with a pin in 3:57 over Poole (22-22) for third place. Poole punched his Chiles ticket with a 14-3 major over Mackenzie in the consi semis.

285 — In a three-person bracket, Crestview senior Weston Tew (4-2) won his first district championship after finishing second in 2017. Tew falled Gulf Breeze junior Cameron Anderson in 44 seconds in the semis and then pinned Pace sophomore Cam Goodenow (25-16) in 1:52 for the championship. Goodenow advanced to the finals with a bye and Anderson (16-10) took third place with that same bye.

Editor’s Note: Not all eligible qualifiers and competitors could be completely recapped due to two teams within the district 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. If received prior to kickoff of region competition at Chiles, those two teams will be fully recapped next weekend.

Complete brackets for this tournament and all other contested 2A brackets can be found here.

All statewide rankings as created by Brant Parsons and as updated February 18.

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