#TheRecap: Clay Places 10, Takes Title At Valdosta

North Florida Matmen staff report

VALDOSTA, GA — South Georgia is on the move as an area for wrestling success above and beyond just Camden.

And several of the teams most immediately lined up behind Camden in terms of power-program status were trying to battle each other for top honors at the Allstate Wildcat Invitational last weekend.

But when the smoke cleared on what was a very evenly-matched tournament — just 9.5 points separated third from sixth and 49.5 separated the leader from sixth — it was Clay, with its 10 placewinners, that emerged victorious.

clay wins
Clay wrestlers and coaches brought a team title trophy back to Green Cove Springs from Valdosta on Saturday, site of the Allstate Wildcat Invitational (Photo submitted by Hunter Hill).

The Blue Devils held off Coffee County, a Georgia 6A top-10 fixture, 219-202, for the team title, with Valdosta city rivals Lowndes (179) and Valdosta (173.5) third and fourth, respectively, with Colquitt County (171) fifth.

Clay had one champion, two runners-up, and one third, with three fourths and three fifths.

Lincoln, with 130.5 points and five placewinners (one champion), was eighth in the 25-team tournament, while Columbia was 11th with 99.5 and three placers. Westside was 17th (37 points), with one placewinner, and Florida High 19th (29 points with one placewinner), with Bay 24th at 13.

We will have a Georgia-specific story on the tournament on the South Georgia website as well. Below follows a Florida-specific summary of the tournament:

106 — Clay’s Tazz Hampton reached the final, where he took his first loss of the year, falling to Lowndes’ Dominic DiTomasso, 11-4. Hampton had a bye in the round of 32, then pinned Bainbridge’s Malcom Spann (:39, round of 16) and Lee’s Riley Brewer (1:42, quarters) before decisioning Lincoln’s Elijah Hendley, 10-4, in the semi. Hendley had a pin and decision before falling in the semis; on the back side, he lost by a 7-0 count to Lowndes’ Hunter McCullough, then decisioned Coffee’s Kawanzi Baker, 9-3, for fifth. Florida High’s William Curry was 2-2 and Columbia’s Brett Millard 1-2 in the tournament; both were knocked out of the tournament in consi round 4.

113 — Lincoln’s Jimmy Martin was the top Florida wrestler, taking fifth. Martin had a bye and forfeit into the quarters, where he lost by fall to Tift County’s Sergio Martinez (4:56). Martin then won twice in the consis to secure a podium space, with a forfeit win and 9-4 decision over Clay’s Maverick Rainwater. Martin then lost by fall (2:44) in the consi semis to Lowndes’ Tyson McCullough, but rallied to pin Colquitt County’s Jayson Brown in 3:29 for fifth. Rainwater was 2-2 in the tournament and finished one match short of placing.

120 — Clay’s Dalton Huckelberry was the top Florida wrestler, placing fifth. Huckelberry had a bye and then majored Cairo GA’s Miguel Bastida, 16-3, to reach the quarters, where he lost by tech to eventual champion Kaleb Davis of Valdosta (16-1 in 5:34). Huckelberry pinned Wiregrass Ranch’s Elhadj Ndaiye (2:03) and Turner County GA’s Jaevon Jordan (1:14) to make podium, with a loss by fall to Lowndes’ Dominik Iverson-Medina (2:50) in the consi sems. Huckelberry bounced back for a 5-1 fifth-place win over Lee County’s Conner Bruner. Clay’s Leo Garcia and Lincoln’s Wesley Suta were both 1-2 in the tournament; Garcia lost to Bruner in consi round 4, while Suta lost to Bastida in consi round 3.

126 — Clay’s Luke Davis was fourth and Columbia’s Ian McGuigan fifth, reaching their podium spots via different paths. McGuigan advanced farthest on the front side, with two pins over Thomas County Central GA’s David Burgess (2:31, rd of 16) and Davis (3:09, quarters), but then lost by an 11-4 count to Georgia 2A two-time state champ Kevin Martin of Fitzgerald, the eventual champion, in the semis. McGuigan then lost to Burgess, 7-3, in the consi semis and then won by forfeit over Lee’s Ethan Dooley in the fifth-place match. Davis teched Cairo’s James Cartwright (17-1 in 5 minutes) in the round of 16; on the back side, Davis had three max-point wins, with pins over Tift’s Quay Goldsborough (4:59), and Valdosta’s Zytezz Victrum (:23) in the consi quarters, plus a forfeit in the consi semi. Davis then fell to Burgess in sudden-victory time, 8-6, in the third-place match. Lincoln’s Adam Barnes was 2-2 and Bay’s Corban Cherry 0-2 in the tournament. Barnes lost by fall to Victrum in consi round 4, knocking out Cherry (10-9) in consi round 2.

132 — Clay’s Abdiert Escobar was third, Columbia’s Alex McGuigan fourth and Florida High’s Tyler Reeve sixth. Escobar had pins over Valdosta’s John Walsh (4:37, round of 16) and Turner’s Jalias Smith (3:09, quarters), but then lost to eventual champ Jordan Hampton of Valdosta, 14-2, in the semis. Escobar then falled Pierce County’s Trevor Thoele (3:25) in the consi semis and held off McGuigan, 3-2 in double-overtime, for third. McGuigan had a decision and pin on the front, but then fell in the quarters to Hampton, 11-2. On the back, McGuigan won three times to get to the third-place match, teching Fitzgerald’s Nic Jordan (21-6 in 4 minutes), decisioning Smith (8-2) and winning by forfeit over Reeve. Reeve reached the semis with two majors (10-0 over Colquitt’s Michael Bledsoe and 17-4 over Thoele) but did not compete on Saturday. Lincoln’s Steven Leger was 2-2 (wins on both sides of the bracket, lost by fall in consi round 3 to Fitzgerald’s Jarrett Young) and Westside’s Donovan White 0-2 (lost by fall in consi round 2 to Leger) in the tournament.

138 — No Florida placers at this weight; Clay’s Luke Boree was one match from placing. Boree reached the quarters behind two pins, where he lost (by fall in 1:47) to two-time Georgia 3A state champ Todd Carter of Pierce. Boree knocked off 2019 Georgia 1A placewinner Roy Wilson of Turner, 7-1, but then lost in the blood round to Lee’s Phin Johnson, 5-2. Columbia’s Christopher Greene was 3-2 (lost to third-place Kason Sellers of Cairo in round of 16, lost 9-4 to eventual fifth-place Alek Rosales of Colquitt in consi round 4) in the tournament, While Bay’s Kyle Roper was 2-1 on Friday, but did not compete in Saturday’s consi rounds.

145 — No Florida placers at this weight; Columbia’s Daveyon Brown was one match from placing. Brown had a pin on the front before losing by fall (5:29) in the round of 16 to eventual runnerup Nolan Smith of Coffee. On the back, Brown had three bonus-point wins before taking a 9-6 loss in the consi quarters to sixth-place Clinton Folsom of Colquitt. Clay’s Dominic Martin (both wins in consis, lost 9-4 in consi round 4 to fifth-place Logan Frost of Lee), Lincoln’s Mason Kirkland (wins on both sides, lost by fall in consi round 3 to Tift’s Davarius Smith) and Trojan teammate Curtis Jones (wins on both sides, lost by fall to Martin in consi round 3) were all 2-2 in the tournament, while Bay’s Trenton Wood (lost by fall to Brown in consi round 2) and Westside’s Steven Millikin (lost by fall to Turner’s Kemorrion Newberry in consi round 2) were both 0-2. Florida High’s Dennis Ganim was 0-1 in Friday competition and did not compete on Saturday.

152 — Clay’s Cale Hoskinson reached the finals at 152, falling by a 5-2 count to Coffee’s Greg Lacoste. Hoskinson pinned Fitzgerald’s Lathan Curry (2:54, round of 16), teched Valdosta’s Cedric Stewart (15-0, quarters) and decisioned Columbia’s Obie Smith, 9-4, in the semi, before getting to Lacoste. Smith was fifth in the tournament, with two pins (:57 over Wiregrass Ranch’s Chaz Diaz and 1:01 over Colquitt’s Joseph Player) before falling to Hoskinson. On the back, Smith fell in the consi semis to Colquitt’s Deontae Edwards, 7-1, but then decisioned Lowndes’ Canyon Hebb, 7-2, for fifth. Lincoln’s Patrick Blanca was one match short of placing, losing in the round of 16 (1:06) to Lacoste, but then won three matches on the back before falling to Stewart (eventual 4th), 5-1, in the blood round. Florida High’s William Hawkes was 0-2 (lost by tech to Blanca in consi round 2) in the tournament.

160 — No Florida placers at this weight; Clay’s Luca Fiannca was one match from placing. Fiannca lost by fall in the round of 16 to third-place Nathanial Taylor of Colquitt, but then had three bonus-point wins before losing by fall to sixth-place Zach Williams of Lowndes in the consi quarters. Florida High’s Micah Perdue was 3-2 and Clay’s Tucker Reape 2-2; both reached consi round 4 (Reape decisioned Perdue, 4-0, but didn’t compete after his 3-0 quarterfinal loss to Turner runnerup Yaki Whitsett; Perdue won twice on the back, losing by fall to Taylor in consi round 4). Columbia’s Preston O’Quinn and Bay’s Caleb Pippin were 2-2 and 1-2, respectively, and both lost in consi round 3 (O’Quinn had wins on both sides and lost 4-3 to Williams, Pippin had a 7-6 win on the back over Westside’s Dorian Thomas and lost by tech fall to Lowndes’ Hayden Gilbert), while Thomas and Lincoln’s Evan Taylor were both 1-2 and lost in consi round 2 (Taylor had a pin on the front and lost to placers fourth-place Garrett Kelley of Coffee on the front and Williams on the back; Thomas’ lone win was by forfeit on the front).

170 — Westside’s Angelo Philpot was third and Clay’s Isaiah Clifford fourth in the tournament. Philpot had a pin before falling to Valdosta’s Josh McCutchen, the eventual runnerup, 8-5, in the quarters; in the consis, he had two pins, a 9-7 overtime consi-semi win over Lowndes’ Gareth Chaney, then falled Clifford in 1:34 for third. Clifford had two decisions to get to the semis, where he lost by fall to McCutchen (4:23); he then majored Colquitt’s MarKaybion Spradley, 9-1, in the consi semis. Columbia’s Joseph Rice was one match from placing, losing in the round of 16 (13-2) to McCutchen, but then won twice on the back before losing to fifth-place Spradley, 6-5, in the consi quarters. Lincoln’s Cayden Bevis was 1-2 in the tournament, falling 6-0 to Clifford on the front and by fall to Spradley (1:38) on consi round 4.

182 — Clay’s Jordan Bell was fourth and Lincoln’s Andrew Collins sixth in the tournament. Bell had a forfeit and fall over Collins (1:59) in the quarters before losing by fall (:56) to eventual champ Gerald Coney of Tift. Bell then pinned Coffee’s Jase Rish in 3:49 in the consi semis, but fell in the third-place match to the hosts’ Antione Scott, 9-3. Collins had one pin on the front before losing to Bell; on the back, he took two pins to make podium before losing by fall to Scott (:59) in the consi semis, and didn’t compete in the fifth-place match. Westside’s John Merritt was one match short of placing. Merritt had a forfeit to get to the round of 16, losing by fall to Scott, and then added a pin on the back before losing by fall to fifth-place Rish in the consi quarters. Columbia’s Takiyan Acosta was 1-2 in the tournament, with losses to Collins and Merritt (in consi round 3), while Florida High’s Diego Duprey was 0-2, with a loss by fall to Cairo’s Brandon Green in consi round 2.

195 — Lincoln’s Tanner Washburn was the Trojans’ lone champ. Washburn had byes into the quarters, where he pinned Cook’s Caleb Duggan (1:53); he then pinned Coffee’s Cameron Arvidson (4:35) in the semis, and then took down West Laurens’ Dre Bonner, 6-4, for the championship. Clay’s Joe Grelli was fifth, with a fall on the front before losing by fall (:52) to Tift’s Garrett Westberry in the quarters. Two pins in the consis got him on podium; Grelli then lost by fall to third-place Arvidson (:23) and won by forfeit over Westberry for fifth. Columbia’s Shawn Raggins was one match short of placing; after a pin on the front, he lost by fall to Bonner (1:31) in the quarters. Then, after a pin on the back, Grelli pinned Raggins in 2:17. Florida High’s Shelton Williams was 1-2 (win on the front, losses to Grelli and to Lowndes’ Jordan Tabor in consi round 3) and Westside’s Terrance Alexander (0-2 in the tournament, lost by fall to TCC’s Hunter Ryan in consi round 3).

220 — Clay’s Garrett Tyre was fifth, the only Florida placer. He had two pins on the front, then lost in overtime to runnerup Dequavion Harper of Fitzgerald, 3-1, in the semis. After an 11-7 loss to Lowndes’ third-place Kyle Moore in the consi semis, Tyre won by forfeit for fifth. Lincoln’s Omarion LaRoach was 2-2 in the tournament, with both wins on the front, and losses to fourth-place Gatlin Smith of Coffee in the quarters and Moore (2:04) in consi round 4. Bay’s Dexter Anderson was 0-2, with a loss by fall in consi round 2 to Moore.

285 — Clay’s Derrek Mosley won the title as the Blue Devils’ lone champ. Mosley falled Lowndes’ Alex Cardenas (1:02) in the round of 16, then took a sudden-victory decision over Lincoln’s Tyler Moss (3-1) in the quarters and a 5-1 win over Tift’s Garrett Sumner in the semis. In the final, Mosley rode out Coffee’s Jesus Riano, finding an escape in a 1-0 decision for the title. Moss would come back for third after the quarterfinal loss (had a 1-0 decision in round of 16 over Valdosta’s Dominique Harrell). Moss won three times by pin to get to the third-place match, where he shut out Harrell a second time, by a 3-0 count. Bay’s Jonathan Heller was 1-2 in the tournament, with a forfeit win in the consis, losing to Bainbridge’s Johntavis Pearson by fall (1:17) in consi round 4.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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