North Florida Matmen staff report
WEWAHITCHKA — After a two-year absence, the 1A-District 1 traditional tournament title is returning to Arnold.
The Marlins racked up 11 qualifiers to next weekend’s Region 1 tournament at Wakulla, six of those as district champions, in scoring 213 points Friday night at Wewahitchka.
Arnold picked up titles from Porter Beach (106), Lucas Biddle (113), Will Ashby (120), Spencer Korol (126), Nick Kendrick (152) and Max Gaylord (160).
The Marlins also had three runners-up, one third and fourth-place finish.
South Walton bagged a school record 12 region qualifiers in placing second with 169.5 points.
Led by three champions in Canyon Dart (132), Dylan Garner (182), and Nick Lee (220), the Seahawks will also send two runners-up, three thirds and four fourths to Wakulla.
Rocky Bayou qualified out seven wrestlers as the Knights overcame Rutherford, 107-101.5, for third place. Wyatt Kirkpatrick (145) was a district champion for the Knights, who quaified out two runners-up, three thirds and one fourth.
As for the Rams, they had two champions in Chad Allgood (170) and Xavier Stillgess (195). Rutherford had six region qualifiers, with two runners-up, one third and one fourth. Bay, in fifth with 92.5 points, also qualified six out, with four runners-up, one third and one fourth.
Bozeman outpointed North Bay Haven and Wewahitchka with 67.5 points to the Buccaneers’ 55 and Gators’ 48.5 for sixth through eighth, respectively.
The Bucks were paced by 285-pound champion Cole Galbreath, advancing five wrestlers (two thirds and two fourths). North Bay Haven’s Michael Esquivias (138) was the Buccaneers’ first district champion since 2017, headlining a list of five qualifiers (one third and three fourths).
Wewahitchka will take three wrestlers to Wakulla, with one runnerup and two thirds.
Below follows a summary of the tournament:
106 — Beach won three times for his first district title, with a tech fall over Bozeman’s Joshua vonKeyserling (15-0 in 3:02), 6-3 semifinal win over Wewa’s Justin Johnson and a first-period fall (1:45) in the final over Rutherford’s Elijah Stillgess. Stillgess had a bye into the semis, where he decisioned South Walton’s Brett Canut, 8-3. Johnson had two wins on the back for third, with a fall over Rocky Bayou’s Thomas Pluhar (3:48) in the consi semis, then survived a 12-11 decision over Canut for third. Canut punched his Wakulla ticket with a 20-8 major over vonKeyserling in the consi semis.
113 — Biddle (19th statewide) pinned his way through the draw for his first district title, with falls over Bozeman’s Logan Jamison (1:53, quarters), Rocky Bayou’s Owen Parry (1:30, semis) and South Walton’s CJ Inman (:41) in the final. Inman knocked off North Bay Haven’s Tristen Le, 16-14, in the semis to get to Biddle. Jamison then had two pins on the back side to wrestle back for third, with falls over Le (3:40) in the consi semis and Parry (3:31) for third.
120 — After a bye into the semis, Ashby had two decisions for his first district title, with a shutout over Wewa’s Conner Roberts (7-0) in the semis and then a 9-3 win over Rutherford’s Colin Dutton for the title. Dutton had pins over Bozeman’s Nicholas Simental (1:28) and Bay’s Jamie Balmeceda (4:28) to get to the final. Roberts would pin his way back to third on the back, with falls over Simental (2:46) and Balmeceda (4:29), who punched his Wakulla ticket with a consi-semi pin over North Bay Haven’s Katherine Lundgren (2:33).
126 — After a bye into the semis, Korol pinned his way through the bracket for his first district title, falling South Walton’s Randall Yates (3:30) in the semi and Bay’s Corban Cherry in 1:35 in the championship match. Cherry falled Bozeman’s Mason Shuller (1:49) and shut out Rocky Bayou’s Luke Latham, 6-0, to get to Korol. Latham had two pins on the back to take third, with falls over Wewahitchka’s Kaylee Easter (3:45) in the consi semis and over Yates (3:16) for third. Yates secured his region space with a consi-semi pin over Shuller (4:58).
132 — Dart had two victories for his first district title, with a semifinal pin over North Bay Haven’s Helmut vonKnoblauch (3:04). In the final, Dart pushed past Wewa’s Jaden Moseley, 6-5, for his championship. Moseley had prior pins over Rutherford’s Elijah Galloway (2:36) and Arnold’s Joseph Beggs (:17). vonKnoblauch won twice for third, falling Galloway in 1:46 in the consi semis and then turning back Beggs, who had a bye in the consi-semi round, by a 7-4 count for third place.
138 — Esquivias had a pair of first-period falls, pinning Rocky Bayou’s Aden Hudson (1:20) and Bozeman’s Kincade Lassiter (1:24) before surviving a wild final over Bay’s Kyle Roper, taking a 13-11 for his first district title. Roper also had two pins, in 3:48 over Arnold’s Trevyn Slik and then over South Walton’s Ryan Kurfirst (1:47). Lassiter had a pair of bonus-point wins for third, falling Slik (3:57) and then majoring Kurfirst, 10-1, in the medal match. Kurfirst punched his Wakulla ticket with a 51-second fall over Hudson in the consi semis.
145 — Kirkpatrick (19th statewide) picked up two pins for his first district title, with a semifinal pin over Arnold’s John Starling (1:33) and a second-period pin over Bay’s Trenton Wood (3:11) for the championship. Wood falled North Bay Haven’s Jonathan Yates (5:19) and South Walton’s Ashton Nunes (1:46) to get to Kirkpatrick. Nunes, after the semifinal loss, won by fall twice, pinning Bozeman’s Kaleb Daigle (2:01) in the consi semis and then falling Yates (3:59) for third. Yates secured his region space with a consi-semi pin over Starling in 4:04.
152 — Kendrick (11th statewide) teched or pinned his way to his first district title, with a quarterfinal tech over NBH’s Cali Keeny (30-15 in 2:40), a semifinal pin over Bozeman’s Bradley Garner (2:58) and a tech in the final over South Walton’s John Lopez (20-4 in 5 minutes). Lopez falled Rocky Bayou’s Calvin Wells in 1:55 in the semis to reach the final. Wells then had pins over Keeny (:42) and Garner (:30) for third; Garner falled Rutherspoon’s Christopher Weatherspoon to punch his Wakulla ticket.
160 — Gaylord sandwiched a semifinal pin over Rutherford’s Zach Duncan (3:39) with decisions over South Walton’s Seth Marshall (6-0, quarters) and Bay’s Caleb Pippin, 11-9, in the championship match for his first championship title. Pippin had pins over North Bay Haven’s Lyandro Leon (1:10) and Rocky Bayou’s Sam Brewer (4:55) to get to the final; Brewer, in turn, had pins over Marshall (1:35) and Duncan (2:34) to wrestle back to third. Duncan secured his region space with a fall in 1:47 in the consi semis over Leon.
170 — Allgood max-pointed through the draw for his first district title; after a forfeit in the quarters, Allgood pinned Bozeman’s Walter Anderson (:36) in the semis and Rocky Bayou’s Jaden Scruggs (2:23) for the title. Scruggs had two bonus-point wins in reaching the final, with a fall over North Bay Haven’s Stevens Roberson (1:07) and 11-0 major over South Walton’s Chase Maas in the semis. Maas had a forfeit and then pinned Anderson in 4:14 for third place, while Anderson had punched his Wakulla ticket with a 12-4 consi-semi major over Roberson.
182 — Garner had a pair of first-period pins for his first district title, falling Rutherford’s Marco Mejia (1:27) and Arnold’s Henlee Haynes, the recently crowned girls’ state champ last weekend, in 1:05 for first place. Haynes had pins over Bozeman’s Dylan Swearington (1:37) and North Bay Haven’s Jackson Savell (3 minutes) to reach the final. Mejia won by fall twice to take third, pinning Swearington (:37) and Savell (1 minute) in the medal match.
195 — Stillgess (9th statewide), the highest-ranked wrestler in the district, won his second district title after a bye into the final, pinning Arnold’s Tyler Lewis in 2:34 for the championship. Lewis falled South Walton’s Noah Gabbard in 1:13 in the semis; Gabbard would receive a bye for third place.
220 — Lee bonus-pointed his way to his first district title, falling North Bay Haven’s Jonathan Serbest (1:45) in the semis, then needing a flurry of offense for a 21-11 major over Arnold’s Justin Harry in the final. Harry reached the final with a pin over Rocky Bayou’s Jacob Parry (2:19). Bay’s Dexter Anderson, who’d lost by fall to Serbest (1:47) in a pigtail, got that win back, with pins over Parry (2:19) in the consi semis and Serbest (3:23) for third.
285 — Galbreath had two pins in 2:06 for his first district title, with falls over Arnold’s Tanner Lewis (1:23) in the semis and Rocky Bayou’s Kyle Burden (:43) in the title match. Burden reached the final with a 47-second fall over South Walton’s Andrew Thompson. Lewis had a bye into the third-place match, where he pinned Thompson in 1:50. Thompson punched his Wakulla ticket with a fall in 2:35 over North Bay Haven’s Layton Simmons (prior loss by fall in a pigtail to Lewis in :45).
Complete brackets from this tournament can be found HERE.
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