North Florida Matmen staff report
TALLAHASSEE — For the first time in at least a few seasons Saturday, Lincoln’s Trojan Invitational was a duals tournament rather than its usual IBT.
But that didn’t stop the Trojans, or for that matter champion Manatee, from continuing to dominate the tournament, as the teams did a year ago in IBT format (only in reverse order, with Lincoln winning).
Lincoln hammered all three of its opponents in Pool A competition, with wins over University Christian (75-3), Godby (75-6) and Ponte Vedra (72-12). After a 51-27 win over region rival Niceville in the semis, the Trojans and Hurricanes — which had won Pool B at 3-0 and then defeated Ponte Vedra in the semis — squared off in the final.
The final was a rematch of competition two Saturdays earlier at Manatee, where the Hurricanes took a 48-26 win. Saturday’s dual was slightly closer but still decidedly in Manatee’s favor, as the Trojans fell by a 48-34 count to finish second in their final tuneup prior to the FHSAA 2A state dual team tournament this Friday at Osceola.
Two Lincoln wrestlers were 5-0 “max-pointers” (scored 6 dual team points in every dual the team contested). Wyatt Yown (182) pinned all five opponents put in front of him — the only local wrestler to do so — while Tyler Moss (285, 3 pins) also was a max-pointer; Moss and Manatee’s Angelo DeDona (106) were named as the tournament’s outstanding wrestlers for the upper and lower weights, respectively.
Joining Yown and Moss as 5-0 unbeatens for the Trojans were Patrick Blanca (152, 2 pins & decision) and Jeremiah Brown (220, 3 pins & decision).
Adam Barnes (126, 3 pins) and Tanner Washburn (195, 2 pins & major) were both 4-1 and Elijah Hendley (106/113, 2 pins & decision) and Ron Taylor (106/113) each 3-1, as Lincoln had every weight class covered by wrestlers that won three times Saturday.
Jimmy Martin (113/120, 2 pins), Mekhi Williams (132, pin), Zaire Fernanders-Jackson (138, pin), Mason Crowder (160, 2 pins) and Andrew Collins (170, 2 pins) all were 3-2 for Lincoln.
Below follows a summary of the other seven local teams in the tournament:
Niceville (3-2, 2-1 in Pool B): The Eagles ran past Episcopal (66-8) and Leon (66-6) in Rounds 1 and 2 of pool play, but then took one on the chin in the pool finale against Manatee (60-18). After falling to Lincoln in the championship semis, Niceville rallied for a 51-27 victory over Ponte Vedra in the third-place dual. Jayden Pinto (132, 2 pins, major, 2 decisions) was the Eagles’ lone unbeaten wrestler at 5-0 on the day, with six others — Ty Hawkins (138/145, 3 pins), Keane Creager (145/152, 3 pins & decision), Nathan Black (160, 3 pins), Sean Ripley (195, 2 pins & decision), Ramsey Kidder (220, 2 pins) and Joe Hanson (285, pin) all at 4-1. Ethan Pinto (113, 2 pins & major) was 3-2 and Noah Tritz (120, pin) 2-2 for Niceville.
Ponte Vedra (2-3, 2-1 in Pool A): The Sharks took wins over Godby (57-21) and University Christian (60-15) in pool play, but then took three losses, including a championship semifinal to Manatee (65-17). Ethan Baur (160, 2 pins & 2 decisions) was Ponte Vedra’s lone unbeaten wrestler at 5-0, while Rett Maritato (170, 3 pins) was 4-1. Luke Babin (145, pin) and John Whitley (152) were both 3-2. Additionally, Michael Stephens (120/126) and Harlan Nikolov (220) had pins in the victory over Godby.
Episcopal (3-2, 1-2 in Pool B): The Eagles took one-sided losses in their first two duals, including a 76-6 loss to Manatee in Round 2, but Episcopal closed out the day with a 36-33 Round 3 pool win over Leon and crossover wins against University Christian (30-15) and Godby (48-24). Reid Hampton (152, pin & 2 decisions) led the charge for the Eagles with a 5-0 record. Baylor Maurer (120, pin) was 3-0 in a regular but not exclusive starting role, while five Episcopal starters — Cohen Chesser (106/113), Joe Jackson (120/126, pin & major), Ben Helton (126/132, decision), Brennan Doherty (160) and John Fernandez (170, 2 pins) all were 3-2.
Leon (1-4; 0-3 in Pool B): While the Lions did not have a pool victory, they did defeat Godby, 28-27, in criteria, plus Leon took a 76-0 loss to Manatee in Round 1 of pool play. Three Leon wrestlers had three wins on the day, with Hudson Large (138) compiling a 3-1 record and both Ethan Eudy (145/152, decision) and Cole Dalton (152/160) going 3-2. Noah Bounds (182) had falls in the Episcopal and Godby duals, while Derek Holloman (132) won by pin against Godby and Alex Crago (113/120) had a decision in the Episcopal dual.
Godby (1-4; 1-2 in Pool A): The Cougars picked up their lone dual victory in Round 3 of pool play, with a 36-18 win over University Christian. Four Godby wrestlers finished the day with three wins, as Gabriel Richardson (285) was 3-0, Julian Green (195, pin & decision) 3-1 and both John Breaux (120, 2 pins & decision) and Robert Harrell (220) were 3-2. T’Juan Harris (152/160) and Joshua Yarbrough (285) had pins in the Ponte Vedra dual, while Thomas Branson (170) won by fall against Leon and Seth Williamson (182) had a pin in the Episcopal dual.
University Christian (0-5; 0-3 in Pool A): The Christians only brought three wrestlers to the state capital and didn’t win a single dual, but they combined for a 13-2 individual record as a trio. Egan Gustilo (113/120) was unbeaten, going 5-0 with a pin and three decisions, while Jayce Paridon (106/113, 3 pins) and Jackie Dinh (182, 4 pins) both were 4-1.
Complete dual results for this tournament can be found HERE.
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