By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen
CRAWFORDVILLE — Defending and winning a region title isn’t all sunshine and rainbows.
Even in Wakulla’s dominant second-day showing to defend the 1A-Region 1 title Saturday afternoon at home, there were missed opportunities, injuries and some bad luck along the way.
“No,” said War Eagle coach William Pafford, asked if he was happy with the weekend and title defense.
“We wanted to take all 14 kids (to Kissimmee). That was the goal. I’m happy for 10, because it’s regionals, it’s the post-season and the cruelest stuff just happens out there.
“The guys went out and competed throughout the weekend and did a great job. This weekend’s tough; it’s a rollercoaster ride. The seniors gave me their heart and soul.”
Wakulla instead has to content itself with 10 state qualifiers and its 239-point effort, which included four weight-class champs in Matthew Owen (132), Noah Wilson (145), Jackson Osteen (182) and John Trevor Hinsey (195), plus three runners-up, two thirds and one fourth.
Clay was just three points back of Wakulla after Friday’s round, but the morning/first session was brutal on the Blue Devils, which held second comfortably enough in the team race, with 187 points.
“It’s fairly disturbing that we lost as many as we did. That same round got us last year,” Clay coach Hunter Hill said. “We only had three out of 10 make it in the semis, but we regrouped and we made it to 50% over the second session. We had some bad matchups, but once we put our heads together, we were able to finish. That blood round man…carnage.”
Clay will take seven wrestlers to state, led by region champs Maverick Rainwater (106), Cale Hoskinson (152) and Garrett Tyre (220).
Bolles held off — just barely — Suwannee and Raines for third. The Jacksonville Bulldogs finished with 114.5 points and will send four qualifiers (three runners-up and one third) to state.
“I feel proud,” Bolles coach Matt Morris said of his team’s standing. “I think we had 43 bonus points with pins and techs today, and yesterday we had 39 on the first day. So we were doubling with every win. But as the day wore on we started slipping up toward the end.”
Suwannee qualified six out behind a big Saturday effort, with 138-lb champ Tyson Musgrove leading the way, with three thirds and two fourths for the Live Oak Bulldogs.
“Extremely proud of Tyson. For the longest time, he just couldn’t find his shot, but now he’s wrestled really well,” Suwannee coach John Wainwright said. “The rest of the kids, they knew that to get through that they had to fight through some tough matches, and I’m proud of them.”
Raines qualified out five of its six-wrestler contingent, with three title efforts from Kyle Hopkins (120), Raynarde Thomas (170) and Jamon Goodwine (285), plus one runnerup and one fourth.
“Came in with six and we got five placers, three champs, I couldn’t be more proud,” Vikings coach Aaron Mason said. “Only two graduating seniors in the group. It’s a great showing, a testament to hard work, to kids believing in the system, and a little help from above (referring to former Raines coach Brian Gilbert, who passed away before the start of the 2018-19 season).”
Florida High was sixth (92 points, four runners-up) and Yulee seventh (88 points, two thirds and one fourth). Marianna, behind 160-pound champ Chase Maddox, was eighth (71 points, one runnerup and one fourth additionally). Bishop Kenny (ninth, 68 points, one runnerup and two fourths) and West Nassau (10th, 63 points, one third and two fourths) rounded out the top 10.
Ridgeview (11th, 59 points) one qualifier) and University Christian (13th, 41.5, two qualifiers) each had one champion in Matthew Rodriquez (126) for the Clay County Panthers and Egan Gustilo (113) for the Christians, respectively.
Arnold (12th, 43 points, one fourth), Godby (15th, 34 points, one runnerup), South Walton (16th, 27 points, one fourth), Fernandina Beach (18th, 24 points, one fourth) and Rutherford (19th, 20 points, one third) rounded out the list of teams with qualifiers.
Episcopal (14th, 35.5 points), Baker Cty (17th, 25), Bay (T-20th, 17) and Bozeman (T-20th, 17) were among the top 20 teams in the 30-team field, but didn’t advance anyone on.
Below follows a summary of the tournament’s second day:
Championship: Clay sophomore Rainwater (21-9, 6th) had a pin and decision on Friday, with two wins Saturday for his first state appearance and region title. After having to go double-overtime to turn back University Christian’s Jayce Paridon, 6-4, in the semis, Rainwater had a rematch of his District 4 semi against Bolles sophomore Jacob Witt, the eventual champ. This time, it was all Rainwater in the final, as he took a 15-7 major. Witt (36-9, 7th) had three bonus-point wins in the tournament in getting to the finals, with a Saturday major (19-9) over Suwannee freshman Brody Boehm.
Third place: Paridon (46-10, 8th) bounced back in the consis with a pair of decisions, knocking off district rival Blake Pu of Ridgeview, 5-0, in the blood round, and decisioning Boehm, 4-2, in the medal match. Boehm reached the medals with a 3-1 consi-semi win over Wakulla’s Julian Harvey, the District 2 champ, in a rematch of that district final. Pu (4:18 over Episcopal’s Scott Busey) and Harvey (3 minutes over District 1 champ Porter Beach of Arnold) each had pins in the consi quarters to get to the blood round.
Championship: Gustilo (51-6, 3rd), a freshman for the Christians and the District 4 champ, won twice on Saturday, with a 16-4 major in the semis over Wakulla junior and District 2 champ George Hernandez, then followed that up with a 3-2 win in the final over Raines sophomore and District 3 champ DaQuan King for his first region title and state appearance. King (52-4, 4th) pinned or teched his way to the final, with a semifinal tech over Clay’s Dalton Huckelberry (22-7 in 4:02) on Saturday.
Third place: Hernandez (54-8, 5th) had two bonus-point wins in the consis to bounce back for third, with a fall in the blood round over West Nassau’s Jackson Holcomb (1:56), then shut out Bishop Kenny junior Ryan Mayer (33-13), 8-0, in the third-place match. Mayer won three matches on the back after falling, 4-3, to Hernandez in the quarters, with Saturday wins over Episcopal’s Christian Ryan (7-3) and Huckelberry (7-5) in the consi semis to punch his Kissimmee ticket. Holcomb reached the blood round by pinning Suwannee’s Foster Swain in 1:59.
Championship: Hopkins (41-5, 4th), a senior and District 3 champ, qualified for states for the third time (2nd in 2017) and won his second region title (also won in 2019). After two Friday pins, Hopkins took two decisions on Saturday, shutting out Clay senior Luke Davis (7-0), the District 4 champ, in the semis, and then taking a 5-2 win over Wakulla junior and District 2 champ Raymond Hatchman in the final. Hatchman (48-12, 6th) pinned his way to the final, with a Saturday fall over Episcopal’s Joe Jackson (2:37) in the semis.
Third place: Davis (34-14, 5th) max-pointed in the consis, with a 38-second fall over Bishop Snyder’s Christian Villanueva in the consi semis, then winning by medical forfeit for third over Suwannee junior Xander Kirkland (36-14, 7th). Kirkland won three times on the back to secure his state space, with Saturday wins over Bay’s Jaime Balmeceda (pin in :24) and a 9-4 blood-round win over Jackson. Villanueva reached the blood round with a 9-2 win in the consi quarters over District 1 champ Will Ashby of Arnold.
Championship: Rodriquez, a junior and District 4 champ, ran his record to 63-0 (2nd) for the season, quailfying for states for the fourth time and winning his third region title (3rd in 2017 for University Christian, with 2A-Region 1 titles with the Panthers in 2018 and 2019). Rodriquez bonus-pointed through the tournament, with a 16-3 major over Suwannee junior and District 2 champ Timothy Jolicoeur (56-9, 10th) in the semis. Rodriquez then won by medical forfeit in the final over Florida High senior Tyler Reeve (31-5, 3rd). Reeve had two Friday pins, then downed district rival Jae T Thaxton, 13-7, in the semifinal.
Third place: Jolicoeur picked up a pair of decisions on the back side to rally back to third, with an 8-5 blood-round win over District 3 champ Jeremy Mahoney of Fernandina Beach, and then a 7-1 decision over Bishop Kenny junior Sebastian Deara (31-15) in the bronze-medal match. Deara had three decisions in the consis to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday wins over Clay’s Josh Kumpf (5-4) and Thaxton (9-2) in the consi semis. Mahoney reached the blood round with a 7-4 consi-quarter win over Baker County’s David Jackson.
Championship: Owen (52-3, 1st), the District 2 champ, qualified for states for the fourth time (4th in 2017, 3rd in 2018, 2nd last year), max-pointing through the weekend for his first region title. On Saturday, Owen needed 50 seconds to fall District 1 champ and South Walton sophomore Canyon Dart in the semis, then won by medical forfeit in the final over Florida High senior Brooks Dyer (16-6, 3rd). Dyer, who had two techs on Friday, added an 11-1 major on Saturday, with a semifinal win over district rival and Suwannee senior Jaxon Sansouci.
Third place: Sansouci (40-12, 9th) bagged two majors on the back to rally back for third, with a 13-3 major over Episcopal’s Noah Meyer in the blood round and then a 9-1 third-place major over Dart (30-23). Dart secured his state space with a 7-4 consi-semis win over Bolles’ Dalton Posick, the District 4 champ. Posick (2:54 over Ridgeview’s Shawn Tahir) and Meyer (4:01 over Ed White’s Sebastian Gonzalez both won by fall in the consi quarters.
Championship: Musgrove (39-18, 9th), a sophomore and District 2 champ, picked up more points in each successive round; after a bye and simple decision on Friday, Musgrove majored Bolles sophomore Tyson Riley (34-10), 15-6, in the semis. Musgrove then pinned Bishop Kenny freshman Roberto Cuartero (32-12) in 5:12 for his first state appearance and region title. Cuartero bookended a quarterfinal pin with two decisions, including an 11-6 Saturday win over Yulee’s Dylan Johns in the semis.
Third place: Riley won twice on the back with a 5-3 blood-round win over District 4 champ Luke Boree of Clay, avenging his sudden-victory loss to Boree in the district final. Riley then pinned District 3 champ and West Nassau senior Bradley Hulett (40-4) in 2:43 in the medal match, repeating the win he had over Hulett in the Friday quarters. Hulett rebounded from that loss with three consi-side pins, including Saturday falls over Florida High’s Emil Ganim (3:50) and county/district rival Johns (1:52) in the consi semis. Boree reached the blood round with a consi-quarter pin (1:42) over District 1 champ Michael Esquivias of North Bay Haven.
Championship: Wilson (52-3, 4th), a senior and District 2 champ, racked up his second state appearance and region title (won last year), pinning through the draw (4 pins in 4:27). On Saturday, Wilson had falls in the semis over Clay’s Dominic Martin (1:14), then came back with a second Saturday pin in a rematch of the District 2 final over Florida High’s Dennis Ganim (1:25). Ganim (20-10), who’d gotten to Saturday in each of the past three years and lost in the blood round in both 2018 and 2019, avoided a third blood-round match with a wild 13-12 semifinal win over District 1 champ Wyatt Kirkpatrick of Rocky Bayou Christian.
Third place: Martin (29-15) came back for third with two wins, first avenging his District 4 finals loss with a 4-2 decision in the consi semis over Ridgeview’s Gabe Guzman, then cranked up the offense for a 14-4 third-place major over Marianna sophomore Ethan Heinemann, doubling the score of his 7-2 quarterfinal win over Heinemann on Friday. Heinemann (20-12) won three times on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday decisions over Bishop Kenny’s Daniel Maher (4-2) and Kirkpatrick (8-2) in the blood round. Guzman got to the blood round with a 6-2 consi-quarter win over Suwannee’s Caleb Parsons.
Championship: Hoskinson (46-6, 3rd), a junior and District 4 champ, qualified out for Kissimmee for the third time and second time as region champ (2nd in 2018, won last year). Hoskinson max-pointed through the tournament, with his third first-period fall in the semis Saturday over District 3 champ Reid Hampton of Episcopal (1:53). Hoskinson then had a lead in the championship match over District 2 champ and Wakulla senior Chase Roberts (45-5, 9th) before Roberts sustained a knock and injury-defaulted in the second period. Before that, Roberts had also pinned his way through the draw, with a Saturday fall in the semis over Yulee junior Aston Ricks (3:22).
Third place: Ricks (45-8) won twice on the back for third, falling Bolles’ Skylar Malone (1:20) in the blood round, and then decisioning Arnold senior Nick Kendrick (44-16), the District 1 champ, by an 8-2 count in the medal match after pinning Kendrick in the quarters on Friday. Kendrick came back with three consi-side wins, including Saturday victories over Wolfson’s Cameron Frison (pin in 2:31) and a 9-7 consi-semi decision over Hampton. Malone had gotten to the blood round with a late fall (4:57) over Florida High’s Liam Hawkes.
Championship: Maddox (39-10, 7th), a junior and District 2 champion, had a Friday pin and decision, then added two more decisions on Saturday, with a 9-4 semifinal win over District 4 champ Tucker Reape of Clay. Maddox then came back in the final, reprising his District 2 finals match with Wakulla junior Cole Baggett (55-8, 8th), this time taking an 8-1 decision for his second state appearance (4th in 2019) and first region title. Baggett had a pin and two decisions in reaching the final, with a 4-3 win in the semis over district rival Micah Perdue of Florida High.
Third place: After falling, 6-5, to Baggett in the quarters, West Nassau senior and District 3 champ Requan Works (23-2, 10th) won four matches on the back to wrestle back to third, including three Saturday wins over Baker Cty’s Clayton Dennison (pin in 1:50), Reape (11-5 in the blood round) and a 16-5 major in the medal match over county/district rival and Yulee junior Isaiah Shook (29-14). Shook also won three matches on the back to punch his Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday wins over Bishop Kenny’s Carter Wood (8-4) and Perdue (3-2 in the consi semis).
Championship: Raines junior Thomas (45-5, 6th), the District 3 champ, had two Friday pins and Saturday decisions in the semis over District 2 champ and Wakulla sophomore Jayvon Brown, 8-3, coming back with a 10-6 win in the final over Marianna senior John Maddox (43-7, 7th) for his second state appearance (2nd last year) and first region title. Maddox had pinned his way through the bracket to get to the final, with a semifinal pin over Fernandina Beach senior Jeremiah Giedrys (1:07) for his third of the tournament.
Third place: Brown (39-9, 9th) won twice on the back to rally back for third, first pinning District 4 champ Isaiah Clifford (1:27) of Clay in the consi semis, then taking a 7-3 win in a matchup of district runnerups over Giedrys (39-12) for third. Giedrys secured his state space with a blood-round win (5-2) over county/district rival Collin Sewell of Yulee. Sewell reached the blood round with a 44-second pin over Suwannee’s Dustin Wood, while Clifford won by forfeit in the consi quarters.
Championship: Wakulla junior Osteen (41-8, 8th) pinned his way into the final with 2:21 of mat time on Friday, but had to go a full six to knock off District 4 champ and Clay senior Jordan Bell, 7-4, in the semis. In the final, Osteen set the pace from jump, taking a fall in 1:54 over Bolles junior Ethan Asbury (21-9, 9th) for his first state appearance and region title. Asbury reached the final behind two Friday pins and a 12-3 major in the semis over Suwannee junior and District 2 champ Blaine Howard (28-6, 10th).
Third place: Howard bounced back from the semifinal loss with his third pin of the tournament in the blood round over Marianna’s Christian Cosson (:54), then turned back Bell (28-13), 8-3, in the medal match. Bell punched his Kissimmee ticket with a fall over Fernandina Beach’s Kolby Kidd in 3:52. In the consi quarters, Kidd shut out District 1 champ Dylan Garner of South Walton, 4-0, while Cosson falled Baker Cty’s Toby Kinghorn in 4:47.
Championship: Wakulla senior Hinsey (52-3, 4th), the District 2 champ, qualified for states for the third time, and won his second region title (3rd in 2018, won last year). Hinsey had a 52-second pin after an opening-round bye; on Saturday, he edged District 4 champ Joe Grelli of Clay, 2-1, in the semis. In the final, against long-time district rival and Florida High senior Marcus Haigler (16-8, 6th), Hinsey worked a pair of turns to secure a 9-1 major. Haigler, who went into sudden victory for his one contested Friday win, took down Rutherford junior and District 1 champ Xavier Stillgess, 7-5, in the semis.
Third place: Stillgess (37-10, 8th) pinned his way back to third, with falls in the blood round over district rival Tyler Lewis of Arnold (1:17), then again in the third-place match over District 3 champ and Raines sophomore Jamari Watson (2:22). Watson (25-7) had three bonus-point wins on the back after extending Haigler to overtime, with a win by forfeit in the consi quarters, then majoring Grelli, 12-3, in the consi semis. Lewis got to the blood round with a 60-second pin over Yulee’s Joseph Michel.
Championship: Clay sophomore and District 4 champ Tyre (44-14, 4th) pinned his way into the final, with two Friday pins and a third fall in the semis on Saturday over Yulee senior Bradley Durrance (3:19). Tyre then had a rematch of his District 4 final with Bolles sophomore Jack Pyburn (42-8, 5th), a match Tyre won 7-3. This one, Tyre trailed early, but rallied for an 8-7 decision for his first state appearance and region title. Pyburn had three first-period falls in reaching the final, with a Saturday fall over West Nassau junior and District 3 champ Jackson Rowell (1:09).
Third place: After two Friday falls, Durrance (40-11) added two more on the back, with a 40-second pin in the blood round over Bay’s Dexter Anderson, then, in a rematch of the District 3 final, gained some vengeance with a pin in 1:30 over Rowell (30-13). Rowell punched his Kissimmee ticket with a 59-second fall over Bishop Snyder’s Angel Lecointe. In the consi quarters, Lecointe shut out Arnold’s Justin Harry, 6-0, while Anderson pinned Bishop Kenny’s Kevin Thallemer in 4:47.
Championship: Raines senior Goodwine (46-2, 2nd) qualified for states for the second time, earning his second region title with a forfeit and three decisions. On Saturday, Goodwine didn’t give up a point, with a 3-0 semifinal win over District 4 champ and Clay sophomore Derrek Mosley, followed by a a 6-0 shutout in the championship match over Godby senior Joshua Yarbrough (19-3, 7th), the District 2 champ. Yarbrough reached the final with a semis pin (2:38) over District 1 champ Cole Galbreath of Bozeman.
Third place: Mosley (40-4, 5th) came back to take third with a blood-round pin over Ed White’s Salvador Rodriguez (1:59), then pushed past Wakulla junior Jayven Hearns, 4-1, in the third-place match. Hearns, who fell in double-overtime (2-1) to Goodwine in the quarters, came back with three consi-side victories, including Saturday wins over Bishop Kenny’s Curtis Leggett (2-1) and Galbreath (pin in 2:52) in the consi semis). Rodriguez reached the blood round with a 40-secdond fall over Yulee’s Darquill Brown.
Complete brackets from the tournament and the other 1A regions can be found HERE.
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