#TheRecap: War Eagles Dominate Home Mats

North Florida Matmen staff report

CRAWFORDVILLE — Just one word described the Wakulla performance last weekend at the War Eagles’ own two-day IBT.


The War Eagles nearly doubled up every other team in the 20-team field Friday and Saurday, with 480.5 points fueled by eight titles and 15 top-six finishes out of 18.

Ft Walton Beach held off Chiles, 245-242, for second, with the two teams taking very disparate paths to their top-three team finishes. The Vikings didn’t win any titles, but had nine top-six finishes on the weekend, while Chiles rolled up four weight-class wins en route to their point total.

Ft Walton Beach used its depth to generate a second-place team finish Saturday at the two-day Wakulla IBT (Photo submitted to Ft Walton Beach team Facebook page).

Palatka continued its push up the small-school ladder with a fourth-place team finish and 184.5 points, while Florida High held off West Nassau, 159.5-142, for fifth, with both the Seminoles and Wildcats claiming one champion each.

Niceville (127, 7th), Marianna (117, 8th), Middleburg (105, 9th) and Crestview (10th, 95) rounded out the top 10 teams in the tournament, followed by Arnold (86.5), Rutherford (78), Gainesville (65.5), South Walton (55), Rocky Bayou (50), Leon (49), Bishop Snyder (48), Godby (23), Bay (15) and Wewahitchka (13).

Below follows a summary of the tournament:

106: Chiles’ Garrett Marschka pinned his way through the bracket, with four pins in all. Marschka falled Wewa’s Justin Johnson (2:52, rd of 16), Bishop Snyder’s Ian Hall (:31, quarters), Wakulla’s Wyatt Welch (3:38, semis) and the War Eagles’ Conner Brown (1:22, championship match). Brown had wins over Rutherford’s Elijah Stillgess (2:51, rd of 16), West Nassau’s Blayden Tharpe (7-4, quarters) and Palatka’s Mikada Harvey (6-4 in sudden victory, semis). Tharpe had four wins on the back for third, pinning Harvey in 1:59 for third place, while Welch falled Stillgess for fifth. Ft Walton Beach’s Reid Gannon and Rutherford’s Zander Stillgess were each one match short of the top six.

113: Chiles’ Hunter Brown also pinned his way through the bracket; after a bye into the quarters, Brown pinned Marianna’s William Carrel and Middleburg’s Jeffrey Parker (1:20, semis), then falled the hosts’ George Hernandez in 3:11 for the title match. Hernandez reached the final behind pins over Rocky Bayou’s Owen Parry (1:43, rd of 16), Arnold’s Porter Beach (3:20, quarters) and Niceville’s Ethan Pinto (1:44, semis). Pinto came back for third with two pins, falling Parker in 3:13 in the medal match, while Arnold’s Lucas Biddle falled West Nassau’s Jackson Holcomb for fifth. Carrell and Beach were each one match short of the top six.

Wakulla wrestlers and coaches after a 480.5-point team performance to win their two-day IBT Saturday at home (Photo submitted by Billy Roberts via Facebook).

120: Wakulla’s Raymond Hatchman opened the tournament with a 4-0 round-of-16 decision over Crestview’s AJ Richardson, then pinned his way through the rest of the bracket, with falls over Rutherford’s Colin Dutton (:20, quarters), Middleburg’s Riley Girgis (4:15, semis) and then West Nassau’s Brendan Ferenchik in 3:02 in the championship match. Ferenchik bonus-pointed his way into the final with wins over Arnold’s Will Ashby (11-0, rd of 16), Wewahitchka’s Conner Roberts (18-2 tech fall, quarters) and a pin in the semis over Palatka’s Ontarriyus Reid (3:43). Reid won twice for third, with a 7-5 medal-round decision over Ft Walton Beach’s Brandon Mallin, while Christian Villanueva won by medical forfeit over Girgis for fifth. Dutton and Roberts were each one match short of the top six.

126: Florida High’s Tyler Reeve teched or pinned through each round of the bracket, with a quarterfinal pin over Gainesville’s Brennan Kade (:53) and tech falls over Crestview’s Tyler Mason (18-1, rd of 16), Palatka’s Drevon Wallace (16-0, semis) and Leon’s Nolan Zirgibel (17-1, championship match). Zirgibel got to the final with two pins and a forfeit, falling Middleburg’s Ryan Browning (3:23, rd of 16) and Rocky Bayou’s Luke Latham (:53, quarters), winning by forfeit in the semi over Florida High’s Emil Ganim. Wallace had a tech and pin on the back, falling Kade in 2:59 for third place, while Ft Walton Beach’s Weston Burbidge, who’d won three consi-side matches to make podium, took fifth with a win by forfeit. Wakulla’s Jae Thaxton and Latham were each one match short of the top six.

132: Wakulla’s Matthew Owen needed just 3:37 of mat time to win the championship; after a bye, Owen had three first-quarter falls, pinning Crestview’s Easton Flamand (:33, quarters), Palatka’s Brandon Lewis (1:35, semis) and Niceville’s Jayden Pinto (1:29) in the championship match. Pinto reached the final, after a bye, with a fall over Florida High’s Anthony Bedoya (1:45, quarters) and a 4-0 semifinal win over Chiles’ Alex Adkins. Lewis had a pin and a 7-0 win over Adkins for third, while Ft Walton Beach’s Canyon Dart majored Flamand, 13-5, for fifth. Bedoya and Marianna’s Dustin Arnold were each one match short of the top six.

138: West Nassau’s Bradley Hulett had falls in every round of the tournament, with pins over Crestview’s Jakob Allen (2:18, rd of 16), Chiles’ Preston Scoggins (3:02, quarters), the hosts’ Jackson Merrick (1:59, semis) and then Chiles’ Olufemi Egberongbe (5:15) in the final. Egberongbe got to the title round with pins over South Walton’s Shane Lane (:45) and Middleburg’s Ephraim Long (1:18) before turning back Palatka’s DJ Nealy, 7-3, in the semi. Nealy took two wins for third, pinning Merrick in 2:42 for the place match, while Long falled Florida High’s Dean Wright for fifth. Niceville’s Ty Hawkins and Allen were each one match short of the top six.

145: Wakulla’s Noah Wilson pinned or teched through each round of the tournament, with wins over Leon’s Ethan Eudy (pin in 3:30, rd of 16), Middleburg’s Dalton Falana (15-0 tech, quarters), Ft Walton Beach’s Malachi Santiago (pin in 4:21, semis) and a 15-0 tech in the final over Niceville’s Keane Creager. Creager got to the final with pins over Rocky Bayou’s Wyatt Kirkpatrick (1:42, rd of 16) and Palatka’s Adaris Medina (2:39, quarters), plus a 13-8 semifinal win over Florida High’s Dennis Ganim. Santiago had two pins on the back for third, falling Kirkpatrick in 29 seconds in the medal match, while Ganim decisioned Eudy (3 wins on the back to make podium), 10-5, for fifth. Medina and Marianna’s Ethan Heinemann were one match short of the top six.

152: The War Eagles’ Chase Roberts made it back-to-back titles, bonus-pointing through every round. Roberts teched Palatka’s Brady Weaver (19-3, rd of 16), pinned Bishop Snyder’s Jamil Johnson (:43, quarters) and Florida High’s Liam Hawkes (1:26, semis) before taking a 10-1 major in the final over Arnold’s Nick Kendrick. Kendrick got to the final with victories over Chiles’ Andrew Mullins (17-2 tech, rd of 16), Ft Walton Beach’s Jean Maldonaldo (5-4, quarters) and Gainesville’s Nicholas Hanson (pin in 2:38, semis). Maldonaldo had four pins on the back to take third, falling Hanson in 1:59, while Mullins pinned Hawkes for fifth. Middleburg’s Michael Higginbotham and South Walton’s John Lopez were one match short of the top six.

160: Cole Baggett made it three brackets in a row for Wakulla, with three pins over Niceville’s Jared Dieters (:28, rd of 16), Crestview’s Layne Franks (1:32, quarters) and Gainesville’s Logan Fernandez-Smith (2:52, semis) to get to the final, where he downed Marianna’s Chase Maddox, 4-1. Maddox also pinned his way there, with falls over South Walton’s Adrian Rogers (1:24, rd of 16), Ft Walton Beach’s Caleb Tourgee (3:51, quarters) and Florida High’s Micah Perdue (3:09, semis). Tourgee came back with four wins on the back to place third, with a 6-4 decision over Perdue in the place match, while Arnold’s Max Gaylord downed Fernandez-Smith, 7-2, for fifth. Franks and Chiles’ Will Wiggins were each one match short of the top six.

170: Chiles’ Kevonte Times won the Timberwolves’ third weight class with three max-point victories to get to the final, including pins over Rutherford’s Chad Allgood (2:47, rd of 16) and Middleburg’s Brayden Weaver (2:19, quarters), plus a medical-forfeit in the semis before a 5-2 win over Marianna’s John Maddox. Maddox, who recently recorded his 100th career pin, had two more on Friday, with falls over Gainesville’s William Marshall (2:18, rd of 16) and South Walton’s Dylan Garner (:27, quarters), plus a 4-3 win over Wakulla’s Jayvon Brown in the semi. Brown won twice on the back for third, with a pin in 4:12 over Allgood (four wins on the back) for third. Weaver won by medical forfeit over Niceville’s Bryce Travis, a semifinalist. Florida High’s Collin Bishop and Godby’s Seth Williamson were each one match short of the top six.

182: Chiles’ Kyle McGill made it four weight-class wins for the Timberwolves with his championship. McGill pinned Middleburg’s Ethan Larsen in 3:29 (rd of 16); after a 7-1 win over Ft Walton Beach’s Patrick Adams in the quarters, McGill pinned Wakulla’s Tyler Edenfield (1:21) in the semis and won by medical forfeit over Wakulla’s Jackson Osteen in the final. After a bye, Osteen had pins over Crestview’s Julio Fernandez (4:53, quarters) and Marianna’s Christian Cosson (1:52, semis) to make the final. Fernandez had four pins on the back to come back for third, pinning Adams in 2:06, while Cosson edged Edenfield, 1-0, for fifth. Chiles’ Kadis Nafal and Niceville’s Dante Barrett were each one match short of the top six.

195: The War Eagles’ John Trevor Hinsey brought in bracket #6 for Wakulla, with Friday pins oer Marianna’s Lawson Jackson (:29, rd of 16) and Arnold’s Tyler Lewis (1:24, quarters); after a 12-6 semifinal win over Florida High’s Marcus Haigler, Hinsey falled Rutherford’s Xavier Stillgess in 4:45 for the title. After a bye, Stillgess had pins over Crestview’s Mathew Sharp (2:16, quarters) and Godby’s Julian Green (1:38, semis) to reach the championship match. Haigler won twice for third, with a 5-2 medal-round decision over Ft Walton Beach’s Eddie Alexis, while Palatka’s Jack Tilton falled Green for fifth. Sharp and Chiles’ Austin Wheeler were each one match short of the top six.

220: Slade Watkins won the War Eagles’ seventh title, with three bonus-point wins prior to the final. Watkins majored Niceville’s Ramsey Kidder (9-1, rd of 16), pinned Marianna’s Roosevelt Williams (1:22, quarters) and teched South Walton’s Nick Lee (17-2) before having to go to sudden victory to turn back Ft Walton Beach’s Kaleb Williams, 10-8, for the weight-class win. Williams had pins over Rocky Bayou’s Jacob Parry (1:34, rd of 16), Palatka’s Lane Heuer (1:01, quarters) and Arnold’s Justin Harry (4:27, semis) to get to Watkins. West Nassau’s Jackson Rowell had a bye and three pins for third, falling Marianna’s Cutter Wiggins in 1:47 in the medal match, while Lee pinned Harry for fifth. Kidder and Parry were each one match short of the top six.

285: Wakulla’s Jayven Hearns closed the tournament out on a War Eagle note, with title #8 coming after three pins. After a bye, Hearns falled Arnold’s Tanner Lewis (3:51, quarters), Palatka’s Marlon Williams (3:00, semis) and Ft Walton Beach’s Spencer Mackenzie in 2:23 in the final. Mackenzie had pins over Godby’s Gabriel Richardson (1:03, quarters) and Rocky Bayou’s Kyle Burden (3:00, semis) to reach the title round. Williams won twice for third, pinning Crestview’s Rolando Hernandez in :37 in the place match. No match was held between Bishop Snyder’s Angel Lecointe and Burden for fifth, while Richardson and Lewis were each one match short of the top six.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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