#WeWentThere: Experience Counts As Hosts Finish 2nd At Yulee Duals

Yulee wrestlers, coaches and managers with their hard-won runnerup trophy Saturday at the Yulee Duals. The day capped off a 24-dual month for the Hornets (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

North Florida Matmen staff report

YULEE — Georgia’s Ware County has been to the state duals tournament in Macon a few times. Yulee is still trying to get there.

And that experience advantage served the visiting Gators well this past weekend, as Ware entered the tournament for the first time and survived the gauntlet that was the two-day Yulee Duals.

After going 7-0 on the weekend, Ware then defeated Suwannee (48-23) and host Yulee, 40-36, in the final dual of the tournament, in a dual that had momentum swings, loud parents and engaged kids, but ultimately only one team winner.

The Hornets (22-2 in duals for the season) had leads twice during the course of the dual with Ware, but the Gators were equal to the challenge on both occasions, getting needed bonus points in the final match for the win.

“I was a little surprised by how far we went. Had four kids out of the regular lineup, so we had to rely on a couple of younger guys and JV guys. They wrestled tough all weekend, won some tough matches and lost some tough matches,” Yulee coach Brandon Crowder said.

“We needed to get knocked in the head a bit, needed to take one on the chin. Learn from our mistakes and go from there. We’ve come a long way, but still a long way to go. I’m proud of the kids, but I’m glad we have a break for a while. We’ll get rested up, healed up and go back to work.”

Yulee was 7-0 to win Pool A, with dual victories over Union (66-12), Paxon (78-0), Sandalwood (72-12), Ed White (72-4), Wayne County GA (58-24), First Coast (63-10) and Coral Gables (57-24). The Hornets had a non-pool and non-crossover dual with Camden County (which made an appearance on Saturday only), falling, 72-6, as well as the loss to Ware.

Yulee’s Aston Ricks (foreground) just before he was to record a fall during Yulee’s 40-36 championship-dual loss to Ware County at the Yulee Duals on Saturday (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

Senior captain Aston Ricks was 9-0 on the weekend, pinning his way through the tournament (he was the only wrestler over the two days to do that).

Trevor Gladson (120/126, 2 pins & decision) was 8-0 for the Hornets, while Dietrich Woods (138, 4 pins) was 5-0 on Friday.

Dylan Johns (132, 5 pins/major/decision) was 8-1, while Tristan Martinez (120/126, 2 pins), Jesse Johnson (145/152, 5 pins) and Bradley Durrance (220, 4 pins) all were 7-2 for the Hornets.

Darquill Brown (285, 3 pins & decision) was 6-3 and Jacob Proffit (106/113, 2 pins) was 5-4 on the weekend for Yulee.

Below follows summaries of the remainder of the area teams in the tournament:


Suwannee (6-1 and 3rd overall, 6-0-1st in Pool B): Despite just 10 kids in the lineup at tournament start and nine at its end, the Bulldogs took Pool B with wins over Bartram Trail (42-36), Steinbrenner (47-24), Bolles (39-24), Charlton County GA (58-18), University Christian (42-12) and Fernandina Beach (45-12); like Yulee, the Bulldogs fell to Ware, 48-23, in crossover competition. The trio of Timothy Jolicoeur (126, 4 pins & 2 decisions), Jaxon Sansouci (132, 2 pins, major & 2 decisions) and Tyson Musgrove (138, 3 pins & major) all were 7-0 for Suwannee, while Xander Kirkland (120, 4 pins) and Caleb Parsons (145/152, 2 pins/tech/decision) each were 6-1. Brody Boehm (106/113, pin/injury default/tech) was 4-2 and Foster Swain (106/113, 2 pins), Austin Howard (152/160, pin) and Jim King (170, pin) all were 4-3 for Suwannee during the tournament.


Bartram Trail (5-2 and 5th overall, 5-1-2nd in Pool B): The Bears lost only to Suwannee in pool, with victories over University Christian (54-21), Fernandina Beach (58-12), Charlton (57-18), Bolles (60-12) and Steinbrenner (45-33); in Bartram’s lone crossover dual, the Bears fell to Coral Gables by a 45-33 count. Ryan Piersza (285, 3 pins) max-pointed the weekend for Bartram at 7-0, while John McNames (160/170, 3 pins/major/decision) also was 7-0. Ethan Vugman (106, 3 pins & injury-default), Ralph Hamilton (182, 3 pins) and Clarke Hamilton (195, 3 pins) each were 6-1 for the Bears, while Maxwell Geller (132/138, 2 pins) and Dominick Grubb (160/170, pin) each were 5-2. Gregory Memory (132/138, 3 pins) and Matthew Tayloe (145, 2 decisions) were both 4-3, and Preston Pena (126, 2 pins) was 3-2 in a regular but not exclusive starting role for the Bears during the tournament.


Fletcher (6-1 and 6th overall, 6-1-2nd in Pool C): The Senators lost only to Ware (54-22) in the pool, with wins over Baker Cty (59-18), Episcopal (59-22), Oakleaf (42-29), Bishop Kenny (38-34), Mandarin (44-29) and a team forfeit win over West Nassau; they did not engage in crossover competition. Tyson Petrie (145/152, pin/major/2 decisions) was 6-0 and Joel Rodriguez (152/160, 3 pins & decision) 5-0 in regular but not exclusive starting roles for Fletcher, which started 21 different kids in mix-and-match roles. Ana Bradshaw (106, 3 pins), Gabe Daltro (126, 3 pins/tech/major), Ryan Klein (170/182, 3 pins & decision) and Michael Strong (195, 2 pins & tech) each were 6-1, while Stone Rockhill (182, 4 pins) was 5-1 and Tyler Dalldorf (160/170, 2 pins & major) 5-2 for Fletcher. In a regular role, Josh Daltro (132/138, decision) had a 3-3 weekend for the Senators.


Oakleaf (6-2 and 8th overall, 5-2-3rd in Pool C): The Clay County Knights had pool victories over West Nassau (56-24), Episcopal (43-33), Bishop Kenny (42-39), Baker Cty (46-36) and Mandarin (40-24), with their lone crossover dual resulting in a 42-36 win over First Coast. In addition to a loss noted earlier, Oakleaf also fell to Ware (48-20) in pool competition. In a regular but not exclusive starting role, David Parkes (152/160, 5 pins) was 7-0 and Oakleaf’s lone unbeaten wrestler. Marcus McGee (120/126, 4 pins & 2 decision) and Jason Mitchell (220, 3 pins & tech) were both 7-1 for the Knigts, while Trevor Owens (132/138, 3 pins/major/decision) and James McClintic (160/170, 3 pins) were both 6-2. Jason Stewart (126/132, pin & 2 majors and Dean Dahlem (145/152, 4 pins) were both 4-4 for the Knights; Jordan Mitchell (285, pin) was 3-2 in a regular but not exclusive role.


First Coast (5-4 and 9th overall, 5-2-3rd in Pool A): The Buccaneers took down Paxon (63-0), Ed White (54-9), Wayne (40-36), Sandalwood (60-18) and Union (45-24); in addition to losses noted elsewhere, First Coast fell to Coral Gables (57-18) in pool competition and to Steinbrenner (57-21) in crossover rounds. Josiah Mossor (145, 5 pins, major & 2 decisions) and Hakeem Culberson (220, 5 pins & major) were both 9-0 for First Coast, while Ian Leschinskey (113, 2 pins & decision) was 8-1 and Cleon Johnson (195, 3 pins) 5-4 for the Buccaneers. In regular but not exclusive roles, Dylan Lampkin (285, 2 pins) was 5-2 and Jace Austin (132, 2 pins & decision) had a 4-4 tournament for First Coast.


Bishop Kenny (4-4 and 10th overall, 3-4-4th in Pool C): The Crusaders won pool duals over Baker Cty (40-36), Mandarin (42-36) and had a team forfeit win over West Nassau. In crossover competition, Bishop Kenny hammered Charlton, 63-16; in addition to pool losses noted elsewhere, the Crusaders fell to Ware (57-13). Four Bishop Kenny wrestlers — Ryan Mayer (113, 4 pins & decision), Sebastian Deara (126, 4 pins & decision), Brock Hinson (132, pin, 2 majors & decision) and Roberto Cuartero (138/145, 4 pins & decision) — each were 7-1 on the weekend, while Curtis Leggett (285, 3 pins & decision) was 6-2 and Kevin Thallemer (220, pin & decision) 5-3 for the Crusaders. An addition four Kenny wrestlers — Allan Bustos (106, pin), Jack Raynor (120, pin & injury-default), Collin Heekin (145, 2 pins & decision) and Carter Wood (160/170, pin) — were all 4-4 on the weekend.

UCH Graffiti Final

Union (4-5 and 13th overall, 3-4-5th in Pool A): The Tigers made their competitive program debut and impressed with their numbers on and off the mat, recording some wins as well, with pool victories over Ed White (49-18), Paxon (60-3) and Sandalwood (42-30), with a crossover win over University Christian (42-18). In addition to losses noted earlier, Union fell to Coral Gables (78-6) and Wayne (54-18) in pool, with a non-pool loss to Camden (82-0). Kale Waters (106) was 5-4 for the Tigers, while Christian Simmons (113) had a 4-1 record on Friday. Ethan Shea (132, pin) and James Rogers (138) each were 3-3 in regular, but not exclusive, starting roles for the Tigers.

university christian

University Christian (2-6 and 14th overall, 2-4-5th in Pool B): Even with just four wrestlers that started the tournament and three that finished it, the Christians nearly finished in the top half of the tournament, with dual wins over Bolles (24-18) and Fernandina Beach (25-24, criteria I); in addition to the losses noted elsewhere, University Christian took out-of-area losses to Charlton (54-6) and Steinbrenner (54-18). Jayce Paridon (106, 6 pins & decision) and Egan Gustilo (113/120, 5 pins) both were 8-0, with Gustilo max-pointing through the weekend. Tamarcus Amaker (220, 2 pins) was 5-3 for the Christians as well.


Episcopal (3-4 and 15th overall, 3-4-5th in Pool C): The Eagles won in pool competition over West Nassau (42-27), Baker Cty (48-28) and Bishop Kenny (42-36), with an out-of-area loss, other than those noted elsewhere, to Ware (58-18); Episcopal did not compete in crossover competition. Noah Meyer (132/138) max-pointed through the weekend, going 7-0 with six pins. Christian Ryan (113, 3 pins & major) and Reid Hampton (152/160, 4 pins) were both 5-2 for Episcopal; in regular but not exclusive starting roles, Scott Bucey (106, 3 pins) was 3-2 and Robert Jackson (145, 2 pins) and John Fernandez (170/182, pin) each were 3-3 for the Eagles.


Mandarin (4-4 and 16th overall, 3-4-6th in Pool C): The Mustangs took pool victories over West Nassau (48-21), Episcopal (48-36) and Baker Cty (35-33) and won their lone crossover dual over Bolles, 30-23. In addition to losses noted elsewhere, the Mustangs also fell to Ware (59-24). Nathan Bremer (106, 5 pins) was 5-0 on Friday; among wrestlers that competed both days, Tony Carter (182/195, 5 pins & decision) and Nick Wilbur (285, 4 pins) were both 7-1. Royal Felton-Norman (220, pin) was 5-3 for Mandarin, while Devin Foster (113, 2 pins & decision), Ethan Harvey (120, 2 pins), Xaine Evans (145/152, 4 pins) and John Willis (160, 2 pins) were all 4-4 for the Mustangs. In regular but not exclusive starting roles, Jaelen Simmons (195, 2 pins) was 3-2 and Frank Kershaw (138, pin & injury-default) was 3-3 for Mandarin.


Sandalwood (3-5 and 17th overall, 2-5-6th in Pool A): The Saints took pool wins over Ed White (42-24) and Paxon (36-6) and won their lone crossover dual, 30-29, over Bolles; they had, in addition to losses noted elsewhere, out-of-area losses to Coral Gables (60-8) and Wayne (42-21). Sandalwood’s Josh Brown was 7-1 over the weekend, with four pins and a decision, while Michael Torres (170, 3 pins) had a 6-2 weekend for Sandalwood. In regular, but not exclusive roles, Santiago Amesty (126) and Khyle Ponds (182, pin & decision) each were 4-2 for the Saints.


Bolles (1-7 and 18th overall, 1-5-6th in Pool B): With a maximum of six wrestlers during the weekend, dual victories were difficult for the Bulldogs, but they found one in pool, defeating Fernandina Beach (24-21), with out-of-area losses to Steinbrenner (57-14) and Charlton (36-30). Every Bolles wrestler had a .500 record or better, with Julian Morris (145, pin & two decisions) going 5-0 on Friday. Tyson Riley (152, 2 pins & tech) was 7-1 on the weekend, while Jacob Witt (106, 4 pins & tech) had a 6-2 record over the weekend and Denny Vohs (126, 3 pins and tech) was 5-3. In regular but not exclusive starting roles, Dalton Posick (132, pin & decision) was 4-1 and Ethan Asbury (195, 2 pins) 3-3 for Bolles.


Baker Cty (3-6 and 19th overall, 1-6-7th in Pool C): The Wildcats defeated West Nassau (48-30) in pool, but after the pool, seemed to right the ship, with dominant crossover wins over Ed White (66-12) and University Christian (54-18). In addition to losses noted earlier, Baker County had one out-of-area loss, to Ware (69-12) in pool competition. Jaqrez Elliott (285) ran through the weekend undefeated at 9-0, with three pins and a decision. Shane Bullard (120, 3 pins & injury-default), Toby Kinghorn (182/195, 4 pins) and Conner South (195, 4 pins) all were 6-3, while Pierce Kirkland (220, 3 pins) was 5-3 and David Jackson (126, 2 pins & major) contributed a 5-4 weekend for the Wildcats.


Ed White (1-7 and 20th overall, 1-6-7th in Pool A): Ed White had its lone victory in pool competition with a 30-24 win over Paxon; in addition to the losses noted earlier, the Commanders fell in pool competition to Coral Gables (66-12) and Wayne (42-18). Sebastian Gonzalez (138, 4 pins) was 6-2 for Ed White, while Salvador Rodriguez (285, 2 pins, major & decision) was 5-1 in a regular but not exclusive starting role. Alex Rosario (145, pin) was 4-4 for the Commanders, with Larry McCurdy (220) going 3-2 in a regular but not exclusive role.


Fernandina Beach (1-6 and 21st overall, 0-6-7th in Pool B): In addition to the losses noted above, the Pirates took out-of-area losses in pool competition to Charlton (42-24) and Steinbrenner (48-23), and then won their lone crossover dual over Paxon, 30-6, to close out the tournament. Jeremy Mahoney (126, 5 pins), Jeremiah Giedrys (170/182, 3 pins & major) and Kolby Kidd (182/195, pin/major/decision) were all 6-1 for Fernandina Beach, while Caden Kubatzke (120, pin & major) was 4-3 for the Pirates.


Paxon (0-8 and 22nd overall, 0-7-8th in Pool A): The Golden Eagles struggled in most competitions; in addition to the losses noted above, Paxon fell to Coral Gables (78-0) and Wayne (48-12) as only one wrestler, David Kang (126/132, 3-1 on Saturday, 2 pins) had more than one contested win during the tournament for Paxon.


West Nassau (0-7 and 23rd overall, 0-7-8th in Pool C): The Warriors wrestled five contested duals Friday, then moved their short-handed group over to the JV side of the tournament, taking an out-of-area loss to Ware (72-3) along with the ones noted above. Bradley Hulett (138, 4 pins & decision) was 5-0 in the varsity side, while Brendan Ferenchik (126, 3 pins & decision) was 4-0. Blayden Tharpe (106, 3 pins) and Conner Nobles (182, 3 pins) were each 3-2 for West Nassau.

Match-by-match results for every dual contested in the tournament (around 100 of them or so) can be found HERE.

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