North Florida Matmen staff report
TALLAHASSEE — Never, ever, count Lincoln out.
The Trojans had to claw back 12 points after Friday’s first round of competition. They did better than that, with just eight wrestlers available to start the weekend and seven on Saturday, to successfully defend their 2A-Region 1 title.
As it turned out, Lincoln not only made up the 12-point gap, but built a 21-point margin of victory, with more state qualifiers than any other team in the 32-team field (six), more champions (three; only one other team even had two).
The title had as much to do with the titlist bookends (Elijah Hendley at 106 and Jimmy Martin at 113, plus Tyler Moss at 285) as it did with fourth-place Cayden Bevis (160) winning three on the back (two by pins), and the bonus points on the back picked up by senior non-qualifier Adam Barnes, plus the bonus points generally from the group as a whole. In all, 19 of the Trojans’ individuals’ wins came with bonus points attached, with Lincoln securing one runnerup and one third in addition to the champs and Bevis.
In a repeat of last year’s region tournament, Matanzas finished second and Pace third. The Pirates had five state qualifiers (one champion in Quenteen Robinson at 170, two runners-up, one third and one fourth), with 116 points to the Patriots’ 114. Pace sent four wrestlers to Kissimmee, with one third and one fourth along with champions Derrick Lancero (120) and Gabe Jacobs (195).
Columbia matched Matanzas’ total of five state qualifiers in placing fourth with 110 points, led by 138-lb champion Alex McGuigan, with two runners-up and two thirds. Ft Walton Beach had four qualifiers (one of each variety, with Kaleb Williams claiming golf at 220) in placing fifth with 98.5 points.
Chiles led the next five teams, with four qualifiers (with champion Kyle McGill at 182) for sixth place at 94, while Orange Park (three qualifiers, including champion Cameron Broughton at 145) was seventh at 78. Mosley (three qualifiers, including champion Nick Hejke at 132) was eighth with 75, while Fletcher was ninth (two qualifiers, including champion Joel Rodriguez at 152) with 63. Robert E Lee, with two qualifiers (including champion Ahmahd Denmark at 160), was 10th at 60.
Westside (11th, 58 points, two qualifiers), Gulf Breeze (12th, 51.5, two qualifiers), First Coast (T-13th, 49, one qualifier), Ponte Vedra (T-13th, 49, three qualifiers) and Seabreeze (15th, 48, two qualifiers) were the next five teams, with Niceville (16th, 47.5, two qualifiers), St Augustine (17th, 46 points), New Smyrna Beach (18th, 43.5, two qualifiers, including champion Michael Shannon at 126), Deltona (19th, 37.5, two qualifiers) and Pine Ridge (20th, 20) rounding out the top 20. Just two teams had qualifiers that finished outside the top 20 overall (Mainland, 23rd with 13 points; Leon, T-26th with nine).
Below follows a summary of the second day:
Championship: Fifth-ranked junior Hendley (38-10), the District 2 champ, earned his second state appearance and first region title for the Trojans, pinning or teching his way to the final. On Saturday, he falled Mosley’s Cole Bell in 1:01 in the semis, then came back to shut out crosstown rival and Chiles freshman Garrett Marschka (45-7), 6-0, in the final. Marschka qualified for the final with a 7-4 win over Columbia junior Brett Millard in the semis.
Third place: Millard (46-16) bounced back from the semifinal loss with an 8-0 shutout over Pine Ridge’s Devon Heil in the consi semis, then took down Gulf Breeze freshman Nate Weber (38-13), the District 1 champ, by a 6-1 count in the third-place match. Weber had Saturday wins over District 4 champ Zackery Young of Belleview (4-2) in the consi quarters and over Bell, 10-7, in the blood round. Heil got to the blood round with a 2-0 win in the consi quarter top half over Seabreeze’s Kayla Nguyen in a matchup of district rivals.
Championship: Martin (35-12), a senior, enters states unranked, but bonus-pointed through this weekend’s tournament for his first state appearance, with Saturday wins over Deltona freshman Kevin Kerns (pin in 2:45 in the semis) and then a 12-4 major over Chiles sophomore Hunter Brown (43-8, 10th), the District 2 champ, in the championship match. Brown got to the final with his third pin of the tournament, pinning Orange Park junior Wesley Carlisle in 2:34 in the semis.
Third place: Kerns (29-17) scored big points in both consi rounds for the Wolves, with a blood-round tech over Middleburg’s Jeffrey Parker (16-1 in 4:56) and a fall in the medal round over Carlisle in 3:12. Carlisle (19-25) punched his Kissimmee ticket with a consi-semi pin over Niceville’s Ethan Pinto, the District 1 champ, in 2:16. In the consi quarters, Parker edged Belleview’s Mark Willis, 5-4, while Pinto majored District 3 champ Ian Loschinskey of First Coast, 13-1.
Championship: Lancero (51-4, 3rd), a senior and District 1 champ, made his second state appearance and won his first region title. After bonus-pointing through Friday’s rounds, Lancero took decisions in the semis over New Smyrna Beach sophomore Jace Engberg (8-5), then again in the title, a rematch of the District 1 final, with a 5-3 win over Ft Walton Beach junior Brandon Mallin. Mallin (39-15, 6th) got to the semis with a 5-4 win over District 4 champ Ethan Goodman of Matanzas.
Third place: Seabreeze senior Kobe Baert (47-12, 8th) won four times on the back after falling to Lancero in the quarters Friday afternoon, with three Saturday wins over District 3 champ Davon Bailey of Orange Park (5-1), Goodman (6-0) in the consi semis, and a fall over Engberg (1:54) in the third-place match (in a rematch of the District 4 semis, avenging the loss there). Engberg (42-14, 9th) secured his Kissimmee space with a blood-round fall (4:44) over Lincoln’s Adam Barnes, who’d reached that round with a fall (2:18) over St Augustine’s Wilson Nguyen.
Championship: Sophomore Shannon (45-5, 3rd) won his first region title and made his first state appearance, with a Saturday tech in the semis over Ft Walton Beach’s Weston Burbidge (15-0 in 5:15), then avenging his District 4 title loss in the final with a 9-5 win over Matanzas senior Shaun Culbreth (49-5, 4th). Culbreth reached the finals with an 8-7 semifinal win over Leon sophomore Nolan Zirgibel, the District 2 champ.
Third place: After falling to Culbreth in the quarters on Friday afternoon, Pace senior Ethan Billhimer (54-4) bonus-pointed his way back into the medal round, with Saturday wins over District 3 champ Gabriel Daltro of Fletcher (pin in 2:05) in the consi quarters and over Burbidge (12-1) in the blood round before taking down Zirgibel (23-4), 8-2, in the third-place match. Zirgibel secured his Kissimmee space with a 9-8 consi-semi win over District 1 champ Colson Elliott, who got there with a 10-2 major over Robert E Lee’s Jamal Burkes.
Championship: Hejke (55-7, 8th), a junior and District 2 champ, qualified for states for the third time (3rd in 2018, 2nd in 2019, both in 1A for Arnold), with two Friday pins and Saturday decisions in the semis over Gulf Breeze junior Ian Daily (7-2), the District 1 champ, and then pushing past Columbia senior Ian McGuigan (49-9, 9th), 5-4, for the title in a rematch of the District 2 final. McGuigan reached the final with a 4-3 semifinal win over Niceville senior Jayden Pinto (39-14).
Third place: Pinto came back for third with a pair of decisions, with a 4-2 blood-round win over district rival Atticus Waters of Pace, then a 2-1 win in the medal-round match over Daily (16-3) in a rematch of the District 1 final. Daily punched his Kissimmee ticket with a fall (2:37) in the consi semis over Matanzas’ George Joanos. Joanos and Waters reached the blood round with decisions, respectively, over New Smyrna Beach’s Justis Chandler (4-1) and Chiles’ Alex Adkins (7-0).
Championship: McGuigan (52-11, 8th), a senior and District 2 champ, secured his second Kissimmee appearance (3rd in 2019), with Saturday decisions in the semis over St Augustine’s Carlos Quintanal (5-3) and in the championship match over Mosley senior Jaylan Griffin (36-8), 3-1, in a rematch of the District 2 final. Griffin had three decisions in reaching the final, with a Saturday semifinal win over district rival and Chiles junior Olufemi Egberongbe (40-12), 5-2.
Third place: Ponte Vedra senior Alex De Almeida (31-5), the District 3 champ, bounced back from an opening-round loss by fall with five wins on the back side, including three Saturday pins over Milton’s Brandon Nicholson (2:09), Quintanal (3:09) in the blood round and then a 42-second fall over Egberongbe in the medal match. Egbergonbe (40-12) secured his state space with an 8-6 sudden-victory decision over District 4 champ Sam Russo of Matanzas. Russo got to the blood round with a 4-0 shutout over Robert E Lee’s Ty’juan Jones.
Championship: Broughton (45-1, 4th), a senior and District 2 champ, pinned his way through the draw — all first-period pins — for his second state appearance (2nd in 2019) and first region title. On Saturday, Broughton falled District 3 champ Josiah Mossor of First Coast (:29) in the semis, then came back for a pin in 1:52 over District 4 champ and Matanzas senior Griffin Wilder (25-7, 8th). Wilder reached the final with a 4-2 win in the semis over Mosley’s Logan Gall.
Third place: Niceville senior Keane Creager (43-16, 9th), the District 1 champ, bounced back from a double-overtime loss to Mosley senior Logan Gall (50-9) on Friday afternoon with four consi-side wins, including Saturday decisions over Fletcher’s Tyson Petrie (8-2), Mossor (9-5) in the consi semis and a 4-1 third-place win over Gall. Gall pushed past St Augustine’s Gabe Galloza, 3-2, in the blood round; Galloza decisioned Ft Walton Beach’s Malachi Santiago, 7-4, in the consi quarters.
Championship: Rodriguez (27-4, 6th), a junior and District 3 champ, bookended two decisions with pins, with a 6-4 semifinal win over Matanzas senior Noel Alicea (27-13), the District 4 champ. Rodriguez then pinned District 2 champ and Columbia junior Obie Smith (45-10, 7th) in 5:14 for his first region title and first state appearance. Smith reached the final with a 5-3 semifinal win over St Augustine’s Hayden Yanni.
Third place: Alicea bounced back for third with a consi-semi fall over Ft Walton Beach’s Jean Maldonaldo (2:23), the District 1 champ, and then pushed past Pace’s Joseph Cortez, 11-8, in the medal match. Cortez won three times on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday decisions over Mosley’s Jonathan Griffin (7-6) and Yanni (2-1) in the blood round. Maldonaldo had reached that round with a 17-0 tech fall over Belleview’s Eric McLaughlin (3:52).
Championship: Denmark (37-3, 5th), a junior and District 3 champ, bonus-pointed through each round prior to the final, with a 15-5 major in the semis over District 1 champ Daniel McDonal of Milton. Denmark then decisioned District 4 champ and Seabreeze senior Victor Lipsey (50-9) by a 10-4 count in the final. Lipsey reached the final with a 4-1 semifinal win over Terry Parker’s Ashley Saddler.
Third place: After a decision loss in the first round, Ponte Vedra senior Ethan Baur (24-5) won five times on the back to rally back for third, with Saturday decisions over Pace’s Brody Andrews (6-3), Saddler (7-5 in sudden victory) in the blood round and a 3-1 win over Lincoln’s Bevis for third. Bevis won three times on the back to secure his Kissimmee space, with Saturday wins over St Augustine’s Clint Griffin (fall in 3 minutes) and McDonal (fall in 4:42).
(Editor’s Note: On March 4, it was reported to me — confirmed same day by the winning coach — that Robinson won the championship match by injury default, with a sizable lead in hand, and not by pin as it is listed in the bracket).
Championship: Matanzas senior and District 4 champ Robinson (38-3, 4th), aside from a quarterfinal decision over an eventual placer, pinned his way through the draw, with Saturday pins over Ponte Vedra junior Rett Maritato (:36) in the semis and again in the final over Westside senior Angelo Philpot (46-5), the District 3 champ, in 2:23 for his second state appearance and second region title. Philpot (5th) reached the final with a 17-6 semifinal win over Columbia’s Joseph Rice, the District 2 champ.
Third place: First Coast senior DeVante Wyatt (40-5, 8th), who dropped into the consis after falling to Robinson by a 10-5 count, had four bonus-point wins on the back, with Saturday wins over District 1 champ Hunter DuPont (fall in 1:54), Rice (fall in 2:25) in the blood round, and a 10-1 major in the third-place match over Maritato, who’d punched his Kissimmee ticket with a 7-2 win over Chiles’ Kevonte Times. Times reached the blood round with a fall in the consi quarters over Mosley’s Noe Pena (4:54).
Championship: Chiles junior and District 2 champ McGill (44-3, 5th) made his second state appearance (2nd in 2019), pinning his way into the final. On Saturday, McGill falled Pine Ridge’s Jonathan Waugh (2:49) in the semis, then overcame Orange Park senior Jacob Moore (36-3, 6th) in a rematch of the District 2 final, surviving a wild match for a 15-11 decision. Moore reached the final with a 12-6 semifinal win over district rival and Lincoln junior Wyatt Yown.
Third place: Yown (27-16) bounced back with two consi-side wins, pinning Westside’s John Merritt (2:57) in the semis and then downing Ft Walton Beach senior Patrick Adams (37-18), the District 1 champ, 7-2, for third. Adams won three times in the consis to secure his state space, with Saturday wins over District 4 champ Ryan Murphy of St Augustine (3-2 in the ultimate tiebreaker) and Waugh (6-2). Merritt had gotten to the blood round with a fall over conference and district rival Darryl Sam (3:44) of Englewood.
Championship: Pace senior Jacobs (6th), the District 1 champ, was the only unbeaten wrestler at the end of the tournament, running his season record to 54-0 with his second state appearance (last one in 2017 at Gulf Breeze, where he was 2nd at 106) and his first region title. Jacobs bonus-pointed through the tournament, with a pin in the semis over Chiles’ Austin Wheeler (5:56) and a 9-0 championship victory over Lincoln senior Tanner Washburn, the District 2 champ. Washburn (8th) reached the final with an 8-0 semifinal major over Niceville’s Sean Ripley.
Third place: Ft Walton Beach senior Eddie Alexis (38-16), who’d lost 8-7 in the quarters to Washburn, rallied back with four wins to take third, including Saturday decisions over Seabreeze’s District 4 champ Caiden Patton (10-7), Wheeler (7-6) in the consi semis) and a 7-2 win over Mainland junior Doug Dittmer (31-11). Dittmer had three wins of his own to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with decisions Saturday over Gulf Breeze’s Julian McCully (8-4) and Ripley (5-4) in the blood round.
Championship: FWB’s Williams (35-10, 6th), a junior, had duplicate days on both Friday and Saturday, with a fall followed by a sudden-victory decision for his first state appearance. Oh the second day, Williams pinned Robert E Lee junior Craig Harper (:22) in the semis, then found a takedown in sudden victory for the championship against Fletcher junior and District 3 champ Ethan Hollenbach (20-2, 7th), 4-2. Hollenbach got to the final with a 5-4 semifinal win over Pace’s Wyatt Dillon, the District 1 champ.
Third place: Harper (35-10) had two pins in the consis to battle back for third, falling conference and district rival Grayson Peterson of First Coast in 1:52 in the consi semis, then pinning District 4 champ and Deltona junior Ethan Chiu (30-15) in 5:24 in the medal match. Chiu had three decisions in the consis to secure his state space, with Saturday wins over intracity, conference and district rival D’angelo Baker of Pine Ridge (4-2) and a 3-2 blood-round win over Dillon. Peterson reached the blood round with a 6-3 win over Crestview’s Kennard Madden.
Championship: Lincoln senior and District 2 champ Moss (39-4, 6th) made his first state appearance with two Saturday decisions after two Friday falls. Moss took down District 1 champ Cam Goodenow of Pace, 2-0, in the semis, and then powered past District 3 champ and Westside junior Ray Bolden (38-3, 8th), 8-2, in the finals. Bolden max-pointed through the tournament to reach the final, with a Saturday pin in the semis over Columbia sophomore Jaycob Jones (5:10).
Third place: Jones (36-10) came back in the consis with two wins for third, with a blood-round fall over First Coast’s Dylan Lampkin (3:32) and a 3-1 decision in the medal match over Matanzas junior Robert Elder, the District 4 champ, in a rematch of their quarterfinal matchup, which Jones won by pin. Elder won three times on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday decisions over Milton’s Alec Cavazos (3-2 in double-overtime) and Goodenow (2-1). Lampkin got to the blood round with a consi-quarter pin over Orange Park’s Reese Sheehan (1:30).
Complete brackets from the tournament and all four 2A regions can be found HERE.
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