By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
FERNANDINA BEACH — Brandon Crowder looked like he’d been put through the ringer by the end of the day Saturday afternoon.
The veteran Yulee coach’s fatigue contrasted with the euphoria of his wrestlers, who bagged back-to-back team tournament titles on Saturday with a 5-0 performance to win the inaugural Dual at the Dunes, hosted by Fernandina Beach. Barely 17 hours earlier, the Hornets had gone 5-0 to win another inaugural tournament, Oakleaf’s Friday Knight Lights.
“We felt really good about that,” Crowder said, referring to body management, which Yulee had to maximize this past weekend. “Going to tough tournaments like last week and last night, seeing a lot of 3A teams, helped us today. Kids are learning to fight, no matter what; they’re understanding what it takes to win all three periods.”
Yulee won Pool A with dual victories over Stanton (72-12), West Nassau (60-24), Mandarin (57-23) and Baldwin (78-0), then overcame a 28-9 deficit against Pool B champ Suwannee, with max points at every weight from 152 through 285, for a 51-28 victory over the Bulldogs.
“They’re stoked,” Crowder said of his team. “All been good kids, really jelled well together. Still a ton to do; what matters is the end of the season.”
Three different Hornets “max-pointed” (scored six points in every dual the team contested), as Aston Ricks (152, 3 pins), Joseph Michel (195, pin) and Bradley Durrance (220, 4 pins) were all 5-0 with max points. Bryce Bees (132, 2 pins & decision) also was 5-0, while regular lineup entrants Isaiah Shook (160/170, pin), Jesse Johnson (160, 2 pins) and Collin Sewell (170, 2 pins) each were 3-0.
Jacob Proffit (113, pin), Tristan Martinez (120, 3 pins), Dylan Johns (145, pin & decision) and Darquill Brown (285, pin) each were 4-1 for the Hornets, while Duhan Lewis (106, 2 pins) and Dietrich Woods (138, pin) were both 3-2. At every starting weight but one, Yulee had three wins.
Below follows a review of the rest of the Florida teams in competition on Saturday:
Suwannee (4-0 in Pool B, 2nd): Before falling to the Hornets in the title match, the Bulldogs rolled through pool competition, with wins over Charlton County GA (54-24), Fernandina Beach (51-24), Atlantic Coast (54-18) and Paxon (60-12), with a lineup with just one senior and had three weights unfilled throughout the day. “Our freshmen made freshman mistakes; they panicked when they got the legs in and flew around all over the place,” Suwannee coach John Wainwright said. “That’s why we’re here, in these dual tournaments. Need the mat time. The middle of our lineup’s looking pretty solid. We just have to get in shape.”
Xander Kirkland (120, 2 pins), Tyson Musgrove (138, 3 pins and win by DQ) were max-pointers for the Bulldogs with 5-0 days; they were joined by fellow unbeatens Timothy Jolicoeur (126, 4 pins & decision) and Caleb Parsons (145, pin & major). Five Suwannee wrestlers — Foster Swain (106/113, pin), Jaxon Sansouci (132, 4 pins), Austin Howard (152, pin), Austin Baxter (160) and Dustin Wood (182, pin) — were 4-1 on the day, while Brody Boehm (106/113, 2 pins) was 3-2 for the Bulldogs.
Mandarin (3-1 in Pool A, 3rd): The Mustangs held off West Nassau, 31-30 in criteria, and had easier times of it in rounds 3 over Baldwin (60-0) and Stanton (54-18), trailing twice (18-6 and again 36-33) against Fernandina Beach in the third-place match before securing a 39-36 victory with a just slightly more-complete lineup over the Pirates for third place. Nathan Bremer (106, 2 pins & injury-default) and Nick Wilbur (285, 2 pins) max-pointed their way to 5-0 days for the Mustangs, while Tony Carter (182, 2 pins, tech & decision) also was 5-0. Tristan Garcia (126/132, 3 pins) and John Willis (160, 2 pins) were both 4-1 on the day, while Xaine Evans (145, 2 pins) was 3-2 for Mandarin.
Fernandina Beach (3-1 in Pool B, 4th): The host Pirates jumped out in round 1 with a 41-18 win over Atlantic Coast, following that up with pool wins in round 3 over Paxon (60-6) and Charlton (37-15). Jared Hutchinson (220, 2 pins) max-pointed through the day for Fernandina Beach, while Jeremiah Giedrys (170, 2 pins & major) was also 5-0. Caden Kubatzke (120, 2 pins), Jeremy Mahoney (126, 2 pins & tech), Kolby Kidd (182, 2 pins) and Tyler Harris (195, 2 pins & decision) all were 4-1 each for the Pirates, with Nik Saldana (106) contributing a 3-2 record on the afternoon.
West Nassau (2-2 in Pool A, 5th): The Warriors took their two losses in the first two rounds, but rallied from there, with duals wins over Baldwin (54-0) in round 3 and Stanton (48-30) in round 4 and then taking a third dual victory in the fifth-place match over Charlton, 30-24). West Nassau had three max-pointing wrestlers in Brendan Ferenchik (126/132, 2 pins), Bradley Hulett (138, 4 pins) and Conner Nobles (182, 4 pins), all of whom were 5-0. Jackson Rowell (220, 4 pins) was 4-1 for the Warriors, while Blayden Tharpe (106, 2 pins) and Gibreen Ahmad (152, pin) were both 3-2 for West Nassau.
Stanton (1-3 in Pool A, 7th): The Blue Devils had only a 60-6 victory in round 2 over Baldwin in pool competition to hang their hats on, but closed out the day in nice fashion, overcoming Atlantic Coast, 51-15, for seventh place. Artin Rezaei (126, 3 pins) led the charge for Stanton, with a 4-1 day, while four different Blue Devil wrestlers — Liam Salem (145), Jesse Liu (152), Alejandro Fluitt (160) and Timothy Sinclair (182/195, 3 pins) — all were 3-2 for Stanton.
Atlantic Coast (1-3 in Pool B, 8th): The Stingrays picked up their lone pool win in round 3 over Paxon (30-18), in addition to the losses noted, Atlantic Coast fell also to Charlton, 24-15. Three different Stingrays were 4-1 on the day: Eric Harper (113, 3 pins); Joel Dudley (138, 3 pins & decision) and John Johnson (195, 4 pins). Additionally, Nick Shay (126, 2 pins & decision) contributed a 3-2 tournament for Atlantic Coast.
Paxon (0-4 in Pool B, 9th): The Golden Eagles had a hard time in pool competition, with seven wrestlers competing. In addition to the losses noted, Paxon also fell to Charlton, 48-12, in round 1, but came back for a 36-6 win in the crossover match for 9th place over Baldwin. Alexandr Denyakin (152) had a 4-1 day for the Golden Eagles, while Khoi Nguyen (170, pin) and Matthew Brunelli (195/220, pin) were both 3-2 for Paxon.
Baldwin (0-4 in Pool A, 10th): The Indians struggled to find traction, with just two wrestlers in the lineup and only one contested win on the day.
Full results from all 25 duals contested Saturday can be found HERE.
JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.
LIVE coverage of South Georgia’s regular season is underway! Check out our latest reports on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com
Please support our independent journalism!