#TheRecap: Golden Eagles Rampage Through Milton-Winter Field

Fleming Island coaches and wrestlers take home eight brackets and the team trophy Saturday at the Milton-Winter Invitational two-day IBT hosted by St Cloud (Photo submitted by Ricki Nix).

North Florida Matmen staff report

ST CLOUD — Now it’s five days in the practice room at the North Florida Wrestling Academy space, equal parts pressure cooker and dream creator for the Fleming Island wrestling team.

The Golden Eagles had their final tuneup this weekend in preparation for Friday’s 3A-Region 1 final against Hagerty — and perhaps 1 or 2 duals on Saturday — at Osceola, dominating the scene at the Milton-Winter Invitational two-day IBT at St Cloud HS.

Fleming Island put 10 wrestlers (out of 12; even with the margin of victory the Golden Eagles had, they had no representation at 106 or 113) into the Milton-Winter finals, and that meant piling on the points, 301 in all, nearly 100 ahead of runnerup Harmony (205.5).

Winter Springs (179.5), Venice (104.5) and Cocoa Beach (95) rounded out the top five teams in the field. Locally, Seminole tied for 10th with 58 points, while Deltona was T-15th with 46 and Middleburg 17th at 41 in the 25-team field.

Below follows a summary of the tournament, with local wrestlers’ performances where applicable:

106 — Liberty’s William Valach (15th-2A) had a fall, 12-2 major and two decisions en route to the title, where he took a 7-4 win over Venice’s Lauren Stone (9th-3A; 3 pins prior to final). Seminole’s Noah Barbour was 2-2 in the tournament, with a round-of-16 loss (:39) to eventual-3rd Josh Rivas of Cocoa Beach. On the back, Barbour pinned Boone’s Dillon Dorman (2:05) and Cocoa Beach’s Kyler Coe (1:34) before losing by fall in the consi quarters to the hosts’ Sophia Anderson (:43). Deltona’s Michael Formoso was 1-2, with a 12-8 loss to Coe in the round of 16 and loss by fall (:51) to Rivas after downing Poinciana’s Lucas Woo, 8-6, in consi round 3.

113 — Harmony’s Aiden Poe (8th-2A) pinned or teched his way through the bracket, with techs in the round of 16 and semis and pins in the quarters and final, pinning Spanish River’s Ryan Feinstein (6th-3A; 2 pins prior to final) in 3:52 for the title. Seminole’s Corry Sanchez was a semifinalist and placed fourth. Sanchez falled Liberty’s Jermiah Tervil (1:48) and South Lake’s Max Stansfield (3:00) to get to the semis, where he lost by tech (23-6, 5:43) to Poe. Sanchez then pinned Harmony’s Kade Toner (1:37) in the consi semis before falling, 15-7, to Boone’s Joseph Lyttle (15th-3A) in the third-place match. Deltona’s Kevin Kerns was 2-2 and a quarterfinalist. Kerns pinned Cocoa Beach’s Tyler Martin (:16) and then lost by fall to Poe (:54) in the quarters on the front. After pinning Plant City’s Jeremiah Smith (2:50) in consi round 4, Kerns lost by fall to Winter Springs’ Silas Mantero (18th-2A) in 3:33 in the consi quarters.

120 — Poinciana’s Zayveon Mitchell (8th-2A at 126) bonus-pointed into the final, with a pin, third-period tech and 10-2 major before taking down Fleming Island’s Ryan Hobson (18th-3A), 6-1, in the finals. Hobson had pinned his way into the finals, with falls over Gateway’s Dustin Velez (round of 16), Boone’s Kris Tellez (1:03, quarters) and Venice’s Thomas Chrone (2:21, semis). Deltona’s Luis Vazquez was a semifinalist and placed fourth. After a bye, Vazquez majored Middleburg’s Riley Girgis, 17-6, in the round of 16 and pushed past Cocoa Beach’s Billy Day, 14-10, in the quarters before falling by the 10-2 major to Mitchell. Vazquez then decisioned Harmony’s Dean Miller, 11-5, in the consi semis to earn a place, but then lost by fall (3:39) in a rematch with Day for third place. Girgis was 1-2 in the tournament; after the loss to Vazquez, he pinned Lake Nona’s Elyon Castanon (2:52) in consi round 3 but then fell to Tellez, 9-3, in consi round 4. Seminole’s Carrolino Reyes was 0-2, with losses on the front to Tellez (14-1, round of 16) and Velez (:59) in consi round 3.

126 — Harmony’s Dylan Jones (4th-2A) bonus-pointed through the preliminary rounds (2 pins & major) before taking down Venice’s Jack Stone (5th-3A; 2 pins & decision prior to final), 7-2, in the championship match. Fleming Island’s Riley Holton (6th-3A) was a semifinalist and placed third. Holton pinned his way into the semis, with falls over Middleburg’s Ryan Browning (1:30), Cocoa Beach’s Elliott Neal (1:10) and South Lake’s Griffin Revell (3:04, quarters) before falling, 11-0, to Jones in the semis. Holton then pinned Steinbrenner’s Frank Diaz (2:47) in the consi semis and teched Winter Springs’ Davis Deal (15-0 in 3:37) for third. Holton’s teammate, Liam McKenzie, was 3-2 and one match short of placing. After losing by fall (:42) to Stone in the round of 16, McKenzie won three at the back, pinning Cocoa Beach’s Phillip Corriveau (3:51) and decisioning Revell (8-4) before pinning Deltona’s Carlos Pineda (:50) in the consi quarters. McKenzie then fell to Deal, 11-1, in the consi semis. Pineda also was 3-2, with two wins on the front over Poinciana’s Maximus Kousiry (2:54) and Gateway’s Marquell Mitchell (3:12) before losing by fall to Jones (:23) in the quarters. Pineda then decisioned the hosts’ Maverick Hauser, 5-2, in consi round 4 to get to McKenzie. Seminole’s Ethan Gorospe was 1-2, with a loss by fall on the front (1:32, round of 16) to Jones; he then pinned Mitchell (4:17) in consi round 3 before falling to Diaz, 4-2, in round 4. Browning was 0-2, with a loss on the back (15-0 in 2:46) to Hauser. Deltona’s Jeffrey Root was also 0-2, with losses on the front to Plant City’s Blake Johnston (1:06) and on the back to Mitchell (1:46).

132 — Fleming Island’s Isaac Padgett (15th-3A) emerged from the 7th-seed position in the bracket to win the weight class. After pinning Cocoa Beach’s Gareth Bennett (:27) and Forest Hill’s Eddy Nunez (1:51) to get to the quarters, Padgett teched Plant City’s Brenton Ruedeman (17th-3A), 16-0 in 4:59. Padgett then downed two Winter Springs wrestlers to win the bracket, with a 6-4 win over Aiden Reichert in the semis and a 7-5 championship victory over Riley Chapdelaine (20th-2A; 2 pins & 2 decisions) in the final. Deltona’s Jacob Swanson was 2-2 in the tournament; after a bye, Swanson fell to Liberty’s Manuel Rentas, 5-4, in the round of 16. On the back, Swanson pinned Middleburg’s Gabe Burch (:26) and St Cloud’s Tyler Bullard (3:40) before falling to Ruedeman, 9-2, in consi round 4. Burch lost on the front side to Ridge Community’s Donte Hutley (2:32).

138 — The Golden Eagles’ Dalton Williams (14th-3A) made it back-to-back bracket wins, bonus-pointing through every round of the tournament. Williams pinned Lake Nona’s Levi Thiessen (1:06, round of 32) and teched Lyman’s Jacob Zifferblatt (17-2 in 3:03, round of 16) en route to the quarters, where he falled St Cloud’s Logan Holoubek (2:53). Williams then majored Kathleen’s Christopher Barthelemy (9-0) in the semis and Harmony’s Melvin Ewen (10th-2A; 2 pins & decision prior to final), 16-6, in the title match. Middleburg’s Ephraim Long was 2-2 in the tournament; after a round-of-16 loss by fall to Winter Springs’ Luis Alvarado (3:54), Long pinned Cocoa’s Skyler Milstead (:22) and St Cloud’s Pedro Albarran (4:41) before falling to Forest Hill’s Glenn Osting, 11-6, in the consi quarters. Seminole’s Isaac Epperson was 1-2; after a 13-3 loss in the round of 32 to Alvarado, Epperson pinned Plant City’s Lane Best (2:17) before falling, 15-5, to Boone’s Kevin Ortiz in consi round 3.

145 — Fleming Island’s Gannon Janssen (2nd-3A) made it three in a row for titles, pinning his way through the draw, needing just 3:01 to get to the final. Janssen pinned Forest Hill’s Elijah Lugo (:28) in the round of 16, East River’s William Belcher (1:26) in the quarters and Winter Springs’ Harlan McCandless (1:07, semis) before finally seeing the second (and part of the third) period in the final against Cocoa Beach’s James Clark-Herndon (5th-1A; 2 pins & decision prior to final) before winning by fall in 5:07. Middleburg’s Aden Thornton was 1-2 in the tournament. After falling, 9-3, to Harmony’s Fletcher Small in the round of 16, Thornton downed Boone’s Rian DelValle, 4-2, in consi round 3 before falling to Belcher, 8-5, in consi round 4. Seminole’s Benjamin Bohring was 0-2, with losses on the front to South Lake’s Jonathon Cherry (:42) and Plant City’s Jermariah Jackson (11-6 in consi round 2).

152 — Winter Springs’ JJ Contreras (2nd-2A) pinned or teched his way into the final (2 pins & tech), then decisioned former region rival Tanner Hill (5th-3A) of Fleming Island, 9-4, in the final. Hill, the third seed, pinned Ridge Community’s Brandon Garcia (2:33) in the round of 16, then powered past Harmony’s Peyton Britton (7-0) in the quarters and second seed Truman Noble (2nd-3A) of Steinbrenner, 4-3, in the semi. Middleburg’s Michael Higginbotham was 2-2 and a quarterfinalist. After a bye, Higginbotham pinned South Lake’s Michael Hernandez (1:44) before losing by fall to Noble (:49) in the quarters. He then pinned East River’s Trevor Folse (:56) before losing by fall to Britton (2:40) in the consi quarters.

160 — Fleming Island’s Luke Chop (3rd-3A) won the Golden Eagles’ fourth title on the weekend. Chop pinned his way into the semis, with falls over Forest Hill’s Elie Chalhoub (3:58, rd of 32), Lake Nona’s Phillip Castanon (3:57, rd of 16) and Venice’s Josh Stewart (3:21, quarters). Chop then decisioned St Cloud’s Wilfredo Martinez (7th-3A), 6-1, in the semis, and then shut out Boone’s Colbi Giroux (15th-3A; pin & 2 decisions prior to final), 6-0, for the bracket win. Chop’s teammate, Jhoel Robinson, was 3-2 in the tournament and one match short of placing. After a bye, Robinson decisioned Forest Hill’s Alain Santos, 2-0, in the round of 16, before falling to Giroux, 8-5, in the quarters. Robinson then decisioned Gateway’s Justin Chamorro, 8-3, in consi round 4 and pinned Winter Springs’ Dylan Deal in 2:59 in the consi quarters before falling to Martinez, 7-1, in the consi semis. Seminole’s Justin Shima and Gaven Nieves, as well as Middleburg’s Jaden Lane, were all 0-2 in the tournament. Shima lost on the front to Stewart (1:12) and Chamorro (1:00 in consi rd 2), while Nieves lost on the front to Santos (3:02) and Deal (:11 in consi rd 2). Lane lost on the front to Harmony’s Sean Seery (4th-2A; 1:10) and Chalhoub (2:21 in consi rd 2).

170 — The Golden Eagles’ Gavin Smith (7th-3A) picked up his team’s fifth weight-class victory, with two pins and two decisions. After a bye, Smith pinned East River’s Christopher Matos (2:30, rd of 16) and then falled Poinciana’s Carlson Michel (1:07) in the quarters. In the semi, Smith took down Kathleen’s Maurice Blackmon (10th-2A), 3-1, and then added a second decision over former region rival Joe Burgess (16th-2A; 3 pins prior to final) by a 5-1 count. Smith’s teammate, Hunter Williams, was 4-2 and placed fourth. After a bye, Williams pinned Harmony’s Colton Kempfer (2:54) before falling to Blackmon (7-1) in the quarters. On the back, Williams pinned Middleburg’s Brayden Weaver (4:29), teched St Cloud’s Galen Drawdy (17-2 in 4:51) and majored Harmony’s Will Jacobson (17th-2A), 19-6, in the consi semis before taking a second loss to Blackmon, 8-0, in the third-place match. Weaver lost on the front side to Burgess (3:47) on the round of 16.

182 — Like his brother, Fleming Island’s Nick Janssen (10th-3A) pinned his way through the bracket, for the Golden Eagles’ sixth title. After a bye, Janssen pinned Lake Nona’s Jeremy Miller (2:42) in the round of 16 and Plant City’s Austin Bridges (:30) in the quarters. Janssen then pinned teammate Josh Sandoval in 3:53 in the semis, then falled Harmony’s Marshall Smith (19th-2A; 2 pins and major prior to final) in 5:31 for the championship. Sandoval’s only loss in the tourhament was to Janssen, as he went 4-1 and placed third. Sandoval pinned Seminole’s Clifford Pinthieve (:40) and Kathleen’s Prince Fields (6:23 in sudden victory) to get to Janssen; on the back, he falled Ridge Community’s Bentham (2:23) in the consi semis and Lakeland’s Rudy Destin (18th-2A; 4:23) for third place. Middleburg’s Ethan Larsen was 3-2 in the tournament. Larsen pinned Boone’s Axel Quinones (1:49) in a round-of-32 match before losing by fall to Smith (1:27) in the 16s; on the back, Larsen pinned Gateway’s Aidan Cooper (1:58) and Plant City’s Austin Bridges (2:45) before losing by fall to Fields (2:36) in the consi quarters. Pinthieve was 0-2 in the tournament, with his loss in the consis to Bentham (1:13).

195 — Two bonus-point decisions bookended a 12-5 semifinal win for the Golden Eagles’ Jeffrey Lascano (3rd-3A), Fleming’s seventh champ of the tournament. After two byes into the quarters, Lascano pinned East River’s Javier Rivera (:20) in the quarters, then decisioned Plant City’s Caleb Turner in the semis. In the final, Lascano teched Harmony’s Juan Gomez (15th-2A; 3 pins prior to final) by a 22-7 margin in 5:56 for the championship. Seminole’s William James was 0-2 in the tournament, losing by fall on the front the Winter Springs’ Nick Rehberg (10th-2A; 2:37) and by DQ to Rivera in the consis.

220 — After racking up three falls in 70 seconds, Fleming Island’s Chad Nix (1st-3A) picked up title #8 for the Golden Eagles with a 7-3 decision in the final over Winter Springs’ Marvin Collins (3rd-2A; 4 pins prior to final). Earlier, Nix pinned Plant City’s Dar’Tavious Robinson (:17, rd of 16), Middleburg’s Drew McDaniels (:32, quarters) and Boone’s Miles Tankovich (:21, semis). Deltona’s Ethan Chiu was 3-2 in the tournament and one match short of placing. Chiu pinned Liberty’s Antonio Diaz in the round of 16, but then fell to Tankovich, 4-1, in the quarters. Chiu then downed Liberty’s Daniel King, 2-1, and Harmony’s Nelson Toro, 11-4, in the consi quarters before falling to Ocoee’s Korey Karbowsky (15th-3A at 285), 5-1, in the consi semi. McDaniels was 2-2 in the tournament, with front-side pins over Seminole’s Deon Davis (1:46) and Cocoa’s Blake Peck (:16) before falling to Nix and then to Toro, 7-3, in consi round 4. Davis and teammate Desmond Harris were both 1-2. On the back, Davis pinned Kathleen’s Cendessa Krus (1:45) in consi round 2 before falling to King (1:55) in consi round 3. Harris lost by fall to St Cloud’s Anthony Galarza (1:20) on the front; in the consis, Harris pinned Peck (:08) before losing by fall (:30) to Ridge Community’s Blaze Simmons in consi round 3.

285 — Lakeland’s Willie Lampkin (2nd-2A) took the title after a pin and three decisions; in a matchup of unbeatens in the final, Lampkin handed Seminole’s Curtis Ruff (1st-3A) his first loss of the season, 2-1 in double-overtime. Ruff reached the final after a bye into the quarters, with pins over Kathleen’s Jeremiah Jackson (1:38) in the quarters and Gateway’s Kyjuan Allen (14th-2A; 2:35) in the semis. Fleming Island’s Raul Gonzalez (6th-3A) was 3-2 and one match short of placing. After a bye into the round of 16, Gonzalez pinned Plant City’s Nelson Cortes (1:48), but then fell to Poinciana’s Quaylen Hill (8th-2A; eventual 3rd), 5-0, in the quarters. Gonzalez then majored Boone’s Daniel Kelly, 8-0, in consi round 4 and decisioned Steinbrenner’s Desmond Mamudi, 5-1, in the consi quarters, before falling to Allen (eventual 4th), 7-4, in the consi semis.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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