#RoadToTheShow: FPC Ends 5-Yr Drought With 3A-2 Win

Flagler Palm Coast coaches and wrestlers celebrate a 3A-District 2 team championship won Friday afternoon at home (Photo submitted to Flagler team Facebook page).

North Florida Matmen staff report

PALM COAST — The three Flagler Palm Coast seniors that wrestled in Friday’s 3A-District 2 tournament last saw the Bulldogs win a district title in 2015, when they were 7th-graders, still deciding whether they’d wrestle.

Their patience began to be rewarded in January when FPC won the 3A-District 2 dual team tournament and again Friday, as the Bulldogs held off Buchholz, 220-195, and the rest of a seven-team field to win the team title.

“We accomplished all our team goals,” FPC coach Zach Sanford said via Facebook message to Matmen. “(It) just goes to prove what happens when you put your head down and go to work. Now for the individual goals!”

The Bulldogs advanced 13 wrestlers to next week’s Region 1 tournament at Fleming Island, with 10 of those reaching the finals and four winning titles. Flagler Palm Coast added two thirds and one fourth.

Leading the way for the hosts were middleweight champions Drew Dance (132), Kyle Peacock (138), Blane DeFord (145) and Timothy King (152).

Buchholz qualified 12 wrestlers out in taking second, with five champions, two runners-up, three thirds and two fourths.

Winning weight classes for the Bobcats were Venumadhava Mirel (113), Aiden Moore (120), Matthew Vann (170), Armando Acosta (182) and Jason Martin (195).

University (Orange City) outpaced Seminole, 145.5-118, for third place. The Titans advanced 10 wrestlers to the region tournament (two champs, three runners-up, two thirds and three fourths).

Seminole qualified seven wrestlers out, with two champs, one runnerup and four thirds.

Jonathan Justice (126) and Kellan Flanary (160) won titles for University (Orange City), while the Noles got championships from Jordan Smith (220) and Curtis Ruff (285).

West Port outpointed Ocala city rival Forest, 66.5-60, for fifth place, while DeLand was seventh with 53 points. The Wolfpack qualified five wrestlers to regions (one runnerup, two thirds and two fourths), while Forest also had five out, led by champion Jacob Zawosky (106), plus four fourths. DeLand qualified four wrestlers out, with one runnerup, one third and two fourths.

Champions from the 3A-District 2 tournament at Flagler Palm Coast Friday. Front row, from left: Forest’s Jacob Zawosky (106); Buchholz’s Venumadhava Mirel (113) and Aiden Moore (120); and FPC’s Drew Dance (132), Kyle Peacock (138) and Blane DeFord (145). Back row, from left: FPC’s Timothy King (152); Buchholz’s Matthew Vann (170), Armando Acosta (182) & Jason Martin (195); and Seminole’s Jordan Smith (220) and Curtis Ruff (285). Not pictured are University (Orange City) champions Jonathan Justice (126) and Kellan Flanary (160). (Photo submitted by Zach Sanford).

Below follows a summary of the tournament:

106 — Zawosky bonus-pointed his way through the day for his first district title, with falls over Buchholz’s Siddharth Bianchi (:46) and DeLand’s Kellen Chapman (1:54) before majoring FPC’s Kole Hannant, 10-2, in the championship match. Hannant got to the final behind pins over West Port’s Tristen Perez (:08) and UOC’s Grady Bryant (1:09). Bryant wrestled back for third behind an 11-2 consi-semi win over Bianchi and then fall in 2:45 over Chapman in the medal match. Chapman had punched his Fleming ticket with a consi-semi pin (1:34) over Seminole’s Noah Barbour.

113 — Mirel (20th statewide) also bonus-pointed through the tournament for his first district title, with pins over Forest’s Gabriele Mulford (:45) and West Port’s Frangello Baltodano (4:47) before shutting out the Bulldogs’ Joseph Rizzo, 12-0, in the title match. Rizzo reached the championship with two bonus-point wins over University’s Patrick King (3:54) and a wild 20-10 major over Seminole’s Corry Sanchez. Sanchez came back for third behind pins over DeLand’s Makenzy Garcia (:37) and in the third-place match over Baltodano (1:24). Baltodano secured his region space with a third-period fall (4:15) over King.

120 — Moore (17th statewide) had two first-period pins for his first district title; after a bye into the semis, he falled DeLand’s Rhett Roberts (1:09) and then Flagler’s John Hald (1:07) for the bracket win. Hald also had two pins in the tournament, falling Seminole’s Cesar Marquez (1:37) and University’s Malique Hargett (5:51) to reach the final. Marquez finished third, with bonus-point wins over Roberts (pin in 1:58) and Hargett (10-2) in the third-place match. Hargett falled Forest’s Nick Stua (2:17) in the consi semis to punch his Fleming ticket.

126 — Justice (20th statewide) also had two victories in collecting the weight-class win and his first district title, pinning Buchholz’s Jeffrey Lynch (:32) in the semi and taking down Seminole’s Ethan Gorospe, 12-6, in the championship match. Gorospe reached the final with a 9-4 semifinal win over FPC’s Brendan Buckles, after a quarterfinal bye. Buckles, who’d pinned Forest’s Chase Cook (1:28) in a pigtail, had a bye in the consi semis, then pinned Cook a second time in 52 seconds for third. Cook secured his region space with a 39-second fall over Lynch in the consi semis.

132 — Dance ran through three rounds for his first district title, with first-period pins over Forest’s Wesley Marren (1:32) and over West Port’s Colton McInturf (:20) before majoring Buchholz’s Kason Nichols, 13-5, in the title match. Nichols took pins over Seminole’s Ryan Culbertson (3:17) and DeLand’s Noah Falk (1:23) to reach the final. Culbertson pinned twice to wrestle back to third, with falls over McInturf (2:01) and Falk (4:20). Falk punched his Fleming ticket with a fall over Marren (3:41) in the consi semis.

138 — Peacock (10th statewide) had two pins in collecting his first district title, pinning West Port’s Tyler Pinkowski (4:48) in the semis, then falling Buchholz’s Cole Nixon in 2 minutes for the bracket win. After a bye, Nixon pinned University’s Cooper Braden in 3:10 to make the final. Pinkowski had two wins to come back and take third, with a consi-semi tech fall (17-1 in 5 minutes) over Seminole’s Anshuman Singh and fall in the third-place match over Braden (2:15). Braden earned his region space with an 18-7 major over DeLand’s Lane Wishart in the consi semis.

145 — DeFord (8th statewide) had to battle through two state-ranked wrestlers for his first district title, with a 13-8 semifinal win over West Port’s Bryce Dodge (13th statewide) and fall in the finals (3:29) over University’s Chase McDonough (11th statewide). McDonough had two wins in reaching the final, with bonus-point wins over DeLand’s Zane Canada (16-1 tech in 2:45) and Buchholz’s Timothy Bowen (pin in 4:38). Dodge wrestled back to third with a 13-5 consi-semi major over Seminole’s Isaac Epperson and pin over Bowen in 2:13 for third. Bowen punched his Fleming ticket with a 6-1 consi-semi win over Forest’s Tyler Miller.

152 — King also won three times in taking his first district title, with pins over DeLand’s Michael Brown (4:54) and University’s James Houck (3:53) to get to the final, where he pushed past West Port’s Theo Massilon, 8-4, for the title. Massilon had victories over Seminole’s Benjamin Bohring (pin in 1:15) and Buchholz’s Liam Buchanan, 10-5, to get to King. Houck won by fall twice for third, pinning Bohring (2:02) and Buchanan (3:50) in the place match. Buchanan falled Brown in 3:53 in the consi semis to secure his region place.

160 — Flanary max-pointed through the tournament for his first district title, with a forfeit in the quarters and pins over Buchholz’s Max Szabo (1:12) and FPC’s Marcelo Gonzalez (2:31) in the championship match. Gonzalez had a bye into the semis, where he pinned West Port’s Joseph Paci (1:28). Szabo pushed through two consi-side decisions to take third, with a 6-3 win over DeLand’s Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro in the semis; he then found a takedown in sudden victory for a 9-7 third-place win over Paci, who’d taken a forfeit to punch his Fleming ticket.

170 — Vann (18th statewide) won by fall three times for his first district title, pinning FPC’s Garrick Schwartz (1:37), University’s Aaron Liberti (3:10) and then falling DeLand’s Bryce Minsky in 1:02 for the championship. Minsky had a bye into the semis, where he pinned Forest’s Casey Carr (1:23). Schwartz came back to take third with a 7-2 consi-semi win over Carr and a 9-4 win over Liberti for third place. Liberti pinned Seminole’s Michael Frederick )(2:01) to clinch his region space.

182 — After placing three times prior (twice in the final), Acosta (5th statewide) finally broke through for his first district title, with two first-period falls over West Port’s Rowlin Richardson (1:34) and the Bulldogs’ Dalton Schell (1:07) in the championship. Schell falled Seminole’s William James (3:29) in the semi in order to get to Acosta. James, who’d majored Forest’s Alvont Graham (16-8) in a pigtail, had a bye into the third-place match, where he falled Graham in 2:59. Graham punched his Fleming ticket with a consi-semi pin over Richardson (3:26).

195 — Martin (12th statewide) won his first district title with two pins, falling Forest’s Jacob Pratt (:45) in the semis, then pinning University’s Ethan Lasher (4th statewide) in 5:46 for the title. Lasher had two wins to reach the final, with a 55-second pin over West Port’s Ethan Smith and 7-2 semifinal win over DeLand’s Aaron Morris (6th statewide). Morris won by fall twice in the consis, pinning Seminole’s Garrett Thornton (1:41) in the consi semis and then falling Pratt (1:44) for third. Pratt secured his region space with a 52-second pin in the consi semis over FPC’s Joseph Wronowski.

220 — Smith (2nd statewide) pinned his way through the draw for his first district title, with falls over West Port’s Nathan Bonczek (1:01), DeLand’s Gavin Hart (4:29, semis) and a third fall over University’s Christian Kennick (3rd statewide) in 4:53 for the championship. Kennick had two bonus-point wins to get to the final, pinning Forest’s Josshuel Martinez (2:26) and majoring Buchholz’s Nevan Burney (11th statewide), 12-4, in the semi. Burney wrestled back for third, pinning Bonczek (:51) and decisioning the Bulldogs’ Seth Davis, 2-0, in the medal match. Davis downed Hart, 2-1, in the consi semis to punch his Fleming ticket.

285 — Ruff (1st statewide) was the only multi-time district champion after Friday’s wrestling, with his fourth title and second for the Noles. Ruff pinned his way through the draw, with pins over DeLand’s Dalen Burns (2:19), University’s Keenan Diaz (:21) and then falled FPC’s AJ Cinelli (4th statewide) in 3:37 for his fourth title. Cinelli had two wins to get to Ruff, pinning Forest’s Kaleb Thompson (:37) and then downing Buchholz’s Jacob Robinson (14th statewide), 4-1, in the semi. Robinson had two pins to push back to third, falling Burns (4:29) and Thompson (1:23) in the medal match. Thompson secured his region space in the consi semis, with a 42-second pin over Diaz.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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