By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
JACKSONVILLE — Coaches take things like conference and districts as very, very serious business.
“I don’t sleep well the night before a tournament,” Fletcher coach David Harrison confessed. “Always nervous. It’s always important that our kids do their job, but sometimes other kids have to do their job, too.”
While Harrison’s Friday night might have been a iittle restless, his Senators made sure they did as much as they could to let him rest easy Saturday night, as Fletcher set the pace in taking the 2A-District 3 team title in the afternoon at Terry Parker, giving Harrison the set of district titles started with the duals title won last month, also at Parker.
“Lee’s a good team, and you can’t overlook them,” Harrison said of his Gateway Conference and district rival. “But 205 is a good total. We got 12 into regions, that’s the most I’ve had since I’ve been here. Five district champions, so that’s good.
“We talked about seeding (at regions next week at Chiles) and making that a goal. Had some freshmen and first-year wrestlers win matches here, so that’s good.”
In getting 12 out with five champs in Ana Bradshaw (106), Gabriel Daltro (126), Joel Rodriguez (152), Stone Rockhill (182) and Ethan Hollenbach (220), Fletcher had three runners-up and four thirds qualify out for Chiles as well.
Lee coach Ricky Hicks probably didn’t rest easy, either, but perhaps for different reasons. The team lost 132-pound Akira Roberson from the lineup Friday night when she was rushed to the hospital after suffering an allergic reaction to pain meds, which caused a brief cardiac arrest and — at this writing — paralysis to her left side Friday night.
The Generals persevered after losing their teammate, qualifying 10 wrestlers to regions and finishing second with 147 points, 15 ahead of third-place Ponte Vedra.
“We had some we let get away,” Hicks said after the tournament. “Thought we could have done better. Gotta capitalize on the small things. Hopefully we’ll be better off when we go to Tallahassee for regionals.”
Lee had one champion in Ahmahd Denmark (160). The Generals had four runners-up, two thirds and three fourths.
“Some of the kids have matured a bit (over the course of the season). Still a young team, and a lot of room for growth,” Hicks said. “Proud of them still, hopefully we’ll continue next week.
“At this point in time, there’s no do-overs. It’s do or die.”
Ponte Vedra held off First Coast, 132-117, for third place. The Sharks qualified nine wrestlers to regions, with two champions, two runners-up, four thirds and one one fourth.
Michael Stephens (120) and Alex De Almeida received first-place medals for Ponte Vedra.
First Coast had more champions than any other team but Fletcher, with three titlists in Ian Loschinskey (113), Josiah Mossor (145) and Hakeem Culberson (195). The Buccaneers had two additional runners-up and one third, qualifying six wrestlers out for regions.
Westside was fifth with 106.5 points and eight region qualifiers (two champs, one runnerup, one third, and four fourths). Angelo Philpot (170) and Ray Bolden (285) were the Wolverines’ champions.
Englewood outdistanced Stanton and host Terry Parker for sixth, with 79 points to the Blue Devils’ 36 and Braves’ 31.5. The Rams had six region qualifiers (one champion in Lynden North at 132), with one runnerup, one third and three fourths. Stanton qualified two fourth-place wrestlers for Chiles, while Terry Parker had one runnerup and one third.
Below follows a summary of the tournament:
106 — Bradshaw continued to make history after becoming the first female Gateway Conference champion last month and taking fifth at girls’ state last week, becoming — according to our best information — the first female wrestler anywhere in north Florida to win a district title going back at least seven years and perhaps ever. After a bye into the semis, Bradshaw pinned Westside’s Deshawn Reaves (1:35) in the semis, then falled Robert E. Lee’s Ricky Hicks Jr. in 4:31 for the title. Hicks got to the final with a fall over Ponte Vedra’s Aiden Taylor (2:14). Taylor won twice in the consis for third, with falls over Stanton’s Kenneth Caldeo (3:35) in the consi semis and over Reaves (:42) for third place.
113 — Loschinskey won his first district title with a fall in the semis over Ponte Vedra’s Julian Villegas (1:22), then downing Fletcher’s Ryden Ashmore, 11-5, in the final. Ashmore pushed past Englewood’s Raequan Staples, 14-10, in the semis, with Staples then edging Villegas, 5-4, in the third-place match.
120 — Stephens won twice with six-minute decisions for his first district title, taking down Fletcher’s Josh Daltro, 9-6, in the semis and then powering past Westside’s Olleon Hickmon, 11-7, for the title. Hickmon had a bye into the finals and Daltro correspondingly had a bye in the third-place match.
126 — After a bye into the semi, Gabriel Daltro won his first district title with a 55-second semifinal pin over Ponte Vedra’s Stephen Kowitski, then set the attack in the final with a 13-8 decision over Robert E Lee’s Jamal Burkes. Burkes, in his first Florida post-season after wrestling for Glynn Academy (GA) a year ago, also had a bye into the semi, where he falled Westside’s Nathan Williams (2:24). Kowitski won twice on the back to come back for third, with a 12-5 consi-semi decision over Stanton’s Artin Rezaei and 45-second fall over Williams, who’d punched his Chiles ticket with a fall in 3:20 over Englewood’s Hunter Padgett, for third place.
132 — North (14th statewide) won his first district title by pinning through the draw, with second-period falls over Fletcher’s Kaden Solomon (3:08) in the semis and Ponte Vedra’s Jackson Shewey (2:42) in the championship match. Shewey had falls over Terry Parker’s Eljani Abraham (1:23) and Westside’s Donovan White (3:33) to get to North. Solomon wrestled back to third with wins over Stanton’s Matthew Mock (fall in 2:38) and a 5-2 third-place decision over White, who secured his region space with a 5-1 consi-semi decision over First Coast’s Jace Austin.
138 — De Almeida pinned his way through the bracket for his first district title, with a semifinal pin over Stanton’s Gabriel Navarro (2:07) and then a fall over Fletcher’s Tyriek Caldwell in 5:07 for the championship. Caldwell won by fall over First Coast’s Myles Nicco (1:46) and pushed past Robert E Lee’s Ty’Juan Jones, 10-7, in the semi. Jones took two pins on the back for third, falling Westside’s Kristopher Fleming (1:31) in the consi semis and Navarro (3:59). Navarro punched his Chiles ticket with a fall in 5:38 over Nicco.
145 — Mossor won twice for his first district title, falling Stanton’s Liam Salem (5:11), after a bye, to reach the final, where he took down Fletcher’s Tyson Petrie by an 8-1 count. Petrie also had a bye into the semi, where he decisioned Robert E Lee’s Jeramiah Stevens, 7-2. Stevens pinned Westside’s Steven Millikin (2:07) and Salem (2:33) on the back side to claim third place, while Salem secured his region space with a fall in 3:51 over Ponte Vedra’s Luke Babin in the consi semis.
152 — Rodriguez (5th statewide) had three falls in all for his first district title, with falls over Ponte Vedra’s Cyrus Ferraro (1:17, quarter), Englewood’s Rasean Rayam (3:05, semis) and a third-period fall (5:25) in the title match over Robert E Lee’s Savion Johnson for the bracket win. Johnson had two pins of his own, falling Westside’s Emma Smith (:45) and Terry Parker’s Tijuan Boyance (3:06). Boyance picked up two consi-side pins over Stanton’s Jesse Liu (2:38) and Rayam (3:58) to claim third, while Rayam needed just 23 seconds to punch his Chiles ticket, falling First Coast’s Nicholas Smith in the consi semis.
160 — Denmark (8th statewide) pinned his way through the bracket after a bye into the semis, with falls over Englewood’s Sam Howard (3:01) and then over Terry Parker’s Ashley Saddler in 5:45 for his first district championship. Saddler (10th statewide) falled Ponte Vedra’s Ethan Baur (3:32) to get to Denmark; Baur would wrestle back to third with a consi-semi pin (1:41) over Fletcher’s Tyler Dalldorf, plus a 12-5 third-place win over Howard.
170 — Philpot (3rd statewide) dominated the bracket for his second district championship (first in 2A), with pins over Terry Parker’s Darius Farmer (1:06) and Robert E Lee’s Vincente Waugh (3:52) before teching First Coast’s DeVante Wyatt, 22-7, in the third period. Wyatt (6th statewide) got to the final behind pins over Stanton’s Avery Debelen (1:45) and Ponte Vedra’s Rett Maritato (1:11). Maritato (18th statewide) had two bonus-point wins in the consis, majoring Englewood’s Jordan Mitchell, 9-1, in the semis and falling Waugh (2:48) for third. Waugh secured his region space with a 9-2 consi-semi decision over Debelen.
182 — Rockhill (17th statewide) bookended a 4-1 semifinal win over Robert E Lee’s Keshawn Waters with pins over Terry Parker’s Andrew Hodges (:11, quarters) and over Englewood’s Darryl Sam (1:49, title match). Sam pinned Ponte Vedra’s Zachary Underwood (2:43) and downed Westside’s John Merritt, 12-8, in the semi. Merritt had two consi-side pins over First Coast’s Cleon Johnson (2:33) and Waters (2:09) to claim third, while Waters secured his region spot with a 55-second consi-semi pin over Stanton’s Timothy Sinclair.
195 — Culberson won his first district championship by bonus-pointing through the bracket, with a 9-0 major in the semis over Stanton’s Charles Woo, then falling Ponte Vedra’s Harlan Nikolov in 5:28 for the bracket victory. Nikolov reached the final behind pins over Westside’s Terrance Alexander (1:26) and Fletcher’s Michael Strong (1:59). Strong (19th statewide) rallied with pins in the consis over Robert E Lee’s Zachary Morton (1:50) and Alexander (:54) to place third. Alexander punched his Chiles ticket with a 14-6 major in the consi semis over Woo.
220 — Hollenbach (6th statewide) pinned his way to his first district title, with a fall in the semis over Englewood’s Melvin Wiggins (1:30) and a second pin in the final over Robert E Lee’s Craig Harper (3:32). Harper had two pins also, with falls over Ponte Vedra’s Xavier Agatep (1:16) and First Coast’s Grayson Peterson (5:53). Peterson wrestled back to third with consi-side pins over Westside’s Elijah Williams (2:33) and over Wiggins (4:25) for third; Wiggins secured his region space with a 53-second consi-semi fall over Agatep.
285 — Bolden (5th statewide) also pinned through the bracket en route to his first district title, with pins over Robert E Lee’s Edward Peterson (1:29) and, in the title match, over First Coast’s Dylan Lampkin (3:25). After a bye, Lampkin falled Fletcher’s Toby Matson in 1:14; Matson came back for third with pins over Terry Parker’s Andrew Bailes (3:16) and Peterson (2:21). Peterson punched his Chiles ticket with a consi-semi fall (3:59) over Ponte Vedra’s Christopher Stewart.
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.
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