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#RoadToTheShow: 1A-Region 2 Day 2 Recap

North Florida Matmen staff report

MELBOURNE — We wrote a lot about the blood round Saturday night.

Sometimes, the blood round doesn’t just devastate seniors. It can take out a lot of hopes for an entire district.

That is what happened to District 5 teams competing in the 1A-Region 2 tournament this past weekend at Palm Bay, as seven area kids found themselves just one match short of Friday’s state tournament in Kissimmee.

At the end of the weekend, District 5 will be represented by four wrestlers at states next week, with Atlantic’s Jamey Bruner (120) and Pedro Menendez’s Connor Spossey (170) taking runnerup medals and the Sharks’ Azizbek Rustamiy (132) and Palatka’s Drevon Wallace (126) both taking fourths.

In the team race, Atlantic tied for fifth place in the 31-team tournament, scoring 76 points, as did Merritt Island. Palatka was tied for 12th, with 46 points, while Pedro Menendez was 17th with 23 points. Keystone Heights was T-23rd with 14 points, while FSDB was 26th with six and Lake Weir T-28th with four.

As expected by everyone in Florida and most knowledgeable nationwide observers, Lake Highland Prep was the runaway region champ, with 340 points, qualifying 13 of 14 wrestlers for states (the blood round even got one Highlander). Twelve of those 13 qualifiers were region champs.

Palm Bay was second with 207.5 points, with Hernando third at 139 and Rockledge fourth at 77.5.

A summary of Saturday’s wrestling follows:

106
Championship: Lake Highland freshman Ethan Rivera (16-1, 1st), the District 7 champ, got the title train started, with three bonus-point wins prior to the final. On Saturday, Rivera falled Satellite freshman Alexander McMiller (33-15) in 2:18 in the semis, then came back with a 4-1 in the final over Palm Bay junior Tyler Perrow, the District 8 champ. Perrow (54-3, 2nd) had two pins prior to the final, including a fall in the semis over Hernando freshman Tyler Rodier (39-19) in 4:53.
Third place: Rodier (10th) rallied from the semis loss with two wins on the back, pushing past Weeki Wachee’s Keith Germain, the District 6 champ, 2-1, in the blood round, and then taking a 14-4 major in the medal round over McMiller, who’d punched his Kissimmee ticket with a 15-4 major of his own over Zephyrhills Christian’s Talon Maple. Maple falled Palatka’s Mikade Harvey, the District 5 champ, in 4:41 in the consi quarters, while Germain found a takedown in sudden victory in that round for a 6-4 win over Space Coast’s Raider Morelli.

113
Championship: Merritt Island junior Elijah Lusk (46-2, 1st), the District 8 champ, pinned his way through the tournament, with Saturday falls over Citrus’ Gage Persons (2:55) in the semifinals and over Palm Bay sophomore Shaver Jackson (44-13, 7th) in 3:07 for the title in what was a rematch of the District 8 final. Jackson bonus-pointed to the final with his second major of the weekend, a 13-3 semifinal win over district rival Anthony Edwards of Space Coast (42-10, 9th).
Third place: After falling, 5-2, to Edwards in the quarters, Lake Highland 8th-grader Josh Boykin (20-4), the District 7 champ, had four bonus-point wins on the back to claim third, with Saturday wins over Atlantic’s Bernie Alvarez (pin in 3:52), the District 5 champ; Persons (18-3 in 4:16) in the blood round, and an 11-3 major over Edwards in the third-place match. Edwards had secured his space with a consi-semi fall (4:48) over Hernando’s Heaven-Leigh Jackson, the District 6 champ. Jackson had reached the blood round with a 4-3 win over Villages’ Blaise Nelson.

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120
Championship: Lake Highland freshman David McClelland (20-4, 2nd), the District 7 champ, pinned or teched his way through the tournament, with Saturday victories over Cocoa Beach 8th-grader Billy Day (45-13, 10th), the District 8 champ, by an 18-3 (5:22) tech fall, followed by a second-period pin over Bruner (20-6, 8th) in 3:08 in the final. Bruner secured his space in the title match with a 7-6 semifinal win over Leesburg senior Keyshaun Taylor (39-8).
Third place: Day won twice by fall on the back side after two Friday bonus-point wins, falling Zephyrhills Christian’s Javier Lopez (1:53), the District 6 champ, in the blood round and then pinning Taylor in 4:15 for third. Taylor punched his Kissimmee ticket with a 56-second consi-semi fall over Palatka’s Ontarriyus Reid. Reid had decisioned Weeki Wachee’s Dominick Scaffedi, 10-3, in the top half of the consi quarters, while Lopez pushed past Citrus’ Jacob Reynolds, 8-4, in the bottom half.

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126
Championship: Lake Highland sophomore Danny Nini (31-7, 1st) pinned his way into the final, taking a fall in the semis over Palatka senior Wallace (39-14), the District 5 champ, in 4:54. Then, Nini turned back District 8 champ and Palm Bay junior Rocco Senia, 10-4, in the championship match. Senia (52-6, 5th) reached the final with a 3-1 semifinal win over Hernando’s Billy Gould, the District 6 champ.
Third place: Cocoa’s Ronald Theilacker (38-11), after losing by fall in 33 seconds to Wallace in the quarters on Friday, had four wins on the back to rally back for third, with Saturday wins over Weeki Wachee’s Lane Beck (pin in :58), Gould (9-3 in the blood round), then pinning Wallace in 5:07 for third. Wallace had reached the medal round with a consi-semi pin over Leesburg’s Seth Brown (1:41); Brown reached the blood round with a 26-second pin over Citrus’ Kobe Rosario.

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132
Championship: Lake Highland junior William Kennedy (10-5, 2nd), the District 7 champ, had pinned or teched his way into the semis; on Saturday, Kennedy powered through two decisions, with a 3-1 semifinal win over District 8 champ and Palm Bay senior Dominick Carter (49-14, 10th) and then an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 win in the final over Cocoa Beach junior Michael Watson (39-8). Watson reached the final with a 9-1 semifinal win over District 5 champ Brandon Lewis of Palatka.
Third place: Carter picked up a pair of majors in the consis to place third, with a 14-1 major over Hernando’s Michael Brown, the District 6 champ, in the semis, then a 10-1 major over Atlantic senior Rustamiy (14-5) in the medal match. Rustamiy, who’d lost by tech fall to Kennedy in the quarters, won three times on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday wins over Central, Brooksville’s Gabriel Daniels (pin in :33) in the consi quarters and over Lewis (5-1) in the blood round. Brown reached the blood round with an 11-0 consi-quarter win over FSDB’s Sean Meyers.

138
Championship: Lake Highland senior Chris Rivera (30-6, 2nd), the District 7 champ, had three pins and a quarterfinal decision to win the title, taking Saturday pins over Merritt Island’s Noah Dovin (3:06) in the semis and then falling District 8 champ and Space Coast senior Michael Squires (40-3, 5th) in 43 seconds in the final. Squires reached the title match with a fall (5:33) over District 5 champ Jeremiah Epps of Atlantic in the semis.
Third place: Dovin (39-10, 6th) came back for third with a pair of decisions, taking down Nature Coast’s Jaxson Morris, 7-4, in the blood round, and then overcoming district rival and Palm Bay junior Braden Baxter (49-11, 7th) with an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 win. Baxter won three matches in the consis to secure his state space, with Saturday wins over District 6 champ Jason Perez of Hernando (8-6) and over Epps (7-1) in the semis. Morris reached the blood round with a fall over Central, Brooksville’s Caleb Wood (1:32).

145
Championship: Lake Highland senior Justin Rivera (31-3, 1st), the District 7 champ, pinned or teched through the draw en route to the title, with pins on Saturday over Cocoa’s Jeremiah Funk (1:08) in the semis and over District 8 champ and Palm Bay junior Jack Dinberg (2:49) in the final. Dinberg (36-6, 5th) reached the final behind three pins of his own, including a Saturday pin (2:00) over District 5 champ Avante Chamble of Atlantic.
Third place: Cocoa Beach’s James Clark-Herndon (49-9, 6th), the only wrestler not to be pinned by Rivera, rallied back from the loss with four bonus-point wins, including Saturday majors over Citrus’ Logan Simpson (10-2), Chamble (14-2 in the blood round) and Bishop Moore senior Antonio Bundy (40-16) by a 10-0 count in the third-place match. Bundy had three decisions in the consis to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday wins over Hernando’s Justin Fabela (5-1), the District 6 champ, and Funk (6-3) in the consi semis.

152
Championship: Lake Highland senior Noah Castillo (22-4, 1st), the District 7 champ, pinned his way through the tournament, with Saturday first-period falls over District 8 champ and Palm Bay junior Cameron Komat (50-11) in 1 minute in the semis, then a fall in the championship in 1:37 to reprise the District 7 final against Bishop Moore junior Gavin Wheeler (43-10, 6th). Wheeler had two pins Friday, then came back with a 6-3 semifinal win over Hernando junior Billy Fetzner (38-13), the District 6 champ.
Third place: Fetzner teched district rival Cole Kanehl of Hudson (15-0 in 3:37) in the consi semis, then held off Komat, 3-2, in the third-place match. After two pins Friday, Komat added a third to his weekend with a blood-round fall over Villages’ Kevin Coon in 1:36. Kanehl (2:36 over Astronaut’s Hunter Galloway) and Coon (:46 over District 5 champ Dean Marquis of Lake Weir) both won by fall in the consi quarters.

160
Championship: Lake Highland senior Dominic Isola (31-4, 2nd), the District 7 champ, bonus-pointed through the tournament, with two pins Friday, a third fall in the semis over District 5 champ David Arcieri (2:56) of Atlantic, then a full-time technical fall, 19-3, in the championship match against District 6 champion and Hernando junior Josh Pritz (31-6, 3rd). Pritz reached the final behind three max-point wins, including a 16-second pin in the semis over District 8 champ and Palm Bay junior Anthony Holden (45-13).
Third place: Holden came back for third place, with a fall in the blood round over district rival Troy Sawyer of Cocoa (1:40), then a 4-0 decision in the third-place match over Weeki Wachee junior Aidan Mayberry (31-10). Mayberry won three times on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday wins over Keystone Heights’ Sheppard Wingate (pin in :47) in the consi quarters and a 6-1 decision in the semis over Arcieri. Sawyer reached the blood round with a 9-1 major over Nature Coast’s Jose Flores.

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170
Championship: Lake Highland junior Bailey Flanagan (33-5, 3rd), the District 7 champ, also bonus-pointed through the weekend, with a Saturday semifinal pin (3:52) over District 6 champ Austin McCombs of Hernando, then took a 14-5 major in the final over Spossey (44-5, 4th), the District 5 champ and Falcon junior. Spossey reached the final with two Friday pins and a 15-8 win in the semis over Villages senior Ethan Hatcher (55-4, 5th).
Third place: Hatcher had a pair of bonus-point wins to rally back for third, with a 13-2 major over Palm Bay’s Bryan Bartos in the consi semis and a fall in the third-place match over District 8 champ and Rockledge junior Khalil Mitchell (4:40) in a rematch of Friday’s quarterfinal, which Hatcher had won by a 12-4 count. Mitchell won three times on the back to secure his state space, with Saturday wins over Zephyrhills Christian’s Robert Keldie (pin in 3:53) and McCombs (5-3) in the blood round. Bartos got to that round with a fall over district rival Michael McCarthy (4:47) of Satellite.

182
Championship: Lake Highland senior Hunter Brinkman (27-7, 1st), the District 7 champ, had three pins and a decision in takng the title, with Saturday falls over District 6 champ Maddox Romain of Hernando (1:02) in the semis and his third pin of the weekend over District 8 champ and Palm Bay senior Matthew Lewis (54-10, 3rd) in 3:11 for the title. Lewis reached the final with a 9-4 semifinal win over Leesburg senior Delcory Allen (36-11).
Third place: Citrus junior Blake Coleman (38-4, 5th), who lost by fall to Lewis in the quarters, won four times on the back for third, including Saturday wins over Keystone Heights’ Eliyah Cole (pin in 3:56) and Romain (8-1) before falling Allen in 4:20 for third place. Allen secured his space at states with a 2-1 blood-round win over Merritt Island’s Colby Fisher, who’d gotten to that round with a fall over district rival Allen Wasmund of Space Coast (2:45).

195
Championship: Lake Highland senior Easton Tobia (20-7, 3rd), the District 7 champ, pinned his way to the final, with a Saturday fall in the semis over Palm Bay senior Jahree Holmes (50-9, 7th). Tobia then powered through a 2-1 win in the finals over District 8 champ and Merritt Island junior Daylyn Randolph (39-6, 5th). After two bonus-point wins Friday, Randolph reached the final with a 6-4 decision in the semis over District 6 champ Christopher Spellman of Hernando.
Third place: Holmes bounced back for third behind two pins, falling Villages’ Mason St John (4:23) in the blood round and then pinning District 8 rival and Rockledge junior Torianno Macklin (34-15) in the medal match. Macklin won four times on the back after losing by fall to Spellman in the first round, with Saturday wins by pin over Zephyrhills Christian’s Elijah Austin (1:18) and over Spellman (2:58) in the consi semis. St John reached the blood round by fall over Zephyrhills’ Brian Ashmore in 1:44.

220
Championship: Lake Highland senior Matt Kaplan (31-6, 1st), the District 7 champ, max-pointed through the tournament, with an injury-default win in the semis over Atlantic’s Micheal Sklare, the District 5 champ, and then a second-period fall over Rockledge senior and District 8 champ Devon Krajewski (61-3, 6th). After two Friday pins, Krajewski reached the final with a 4-3 semifinal win over District 6 champ and Hernando senior Qwenton Coney (36-7, 7th).
Third place: Coney came back on the back side with two wins for third place, with a 6-2 semifinal win over district rival Roderick Harris of Weeki Wachee, then a 43-second fall over First Academy senior Jacob Forbes (30-8, 8th) in the third-place match. Forbes had three bonus-point wins to punch his Kissimmee ticket, including Saturday wins over Palm Bay’s Ozkan Aydin (12-0) and Sklare (2:05 in the blood round). Harris reached the blood round with a fall over Hudson’s William Akossou-Harvey (1:34).

285
Championship: Zephyrhills Christian’s Malik Jones (30-0, 1st) pinned his way through the draw, with Saturday third-period falls over Atlantic’s Jared Jackson (5:49), the District 5 champ, in the semis and over District 8 champ and Rockledge junior Jordan Love (62-2, 3rd) in 5 minutes for the title. Love had three pins to reach the final, including a Saturday 24-second fall in the semis over District 7 champ Francisco Tobar of Lake Highland.
Third place: After losing by fall to Jones in the quarters Friday afternoon, Gerardino took four wins in the consis to finish third, with Saturday wins over district rival Hunter Gfell of Cocoa (pin in 3:21) and decisions over Tobar (2-1 in the blood round) and over Hernando junior Sam Fleming (41-16, 9th) in double-overtime for third, 5-2. Fleming had three consi-side wins to qualify out, with Saturday pins over Zephyrhills’ Dajuan McCullough (3:25) and Jackson (7:17 in double overtime) in the blood round.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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