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#TheShowIsHERE: 2A State Day 1 Recap

By SHANNON HEATON
North Florida Matmen

KISSIMMEE — Only Pace had more than one semifinalist after the first day of competition at the FHSAA 2A state meet at Silver Spurs Arena Friday.

The Patriots will have two, and they’re the top team in the north in the team standings, with 21.5 points.

Three area teams are in the top 20 overall, as Matanzas stands 15th, Orange Park 17th and Robert E. Lee is tied for 19th. All three also have one semifinalist, as does Chiles (T-21st).

Team-wise, Lake Gibson holds a 23-point lead over Tampa Jesuit, 111-88, with Palmetto Ridge third (60), Charlotte fourth (56) and Brandon fifth (37.5).

Below follows a summary of the tournament:

106
Semis: Tyson Lane (Brandon, 65-1) v Hayden Whidden (Lake Gibson, 29-4); Kai Owen (Jesuit, 53-1) v Dominic Nardini (Springstead, 44-10).
Blood round: Nicholas Kapsos (Suncoast, 43-15) v Patrick Nolan (Charlotte, 44-9); Tyler Washburn (Palmetto Ridge, 49-10) v Elijah Hendley (Lincoln, 40-11).
Local summary: Hendley was 2-1 on the day, with a 12-3 major in round 1 over Braden River’s Cedric Rentz. After falling in overtime to Lane, 2-0, Hendley bounced back with a 2-0 win in WB round 2 over Chiles’ Garrett Marschka. Marschka was 1-2 with a first-round loss by fall to Dixie Hollins’ Lowden Ward (2:48) and 4-1 win in the consis over Hialeah-Mater Lakes’ Jasmine Godinez in WB round 1. Columbia’s Brett Millard lost by fall on the front to Nolan (1:26); after a forfeit in WB round 1, Millard took a second loss by pin to Washburn (1:52). Gulf Breeze’s Nate Weber was also 1-2; after losing by fall to Washburn (1:08), Weber majored Belen Jesuit’s Henry Amador, 11-2, before falling to Nolan, 13-4, in round 2.

113
Semis: Cullen Guerrero (Palmetto Ridge, 59-6) v Connor Hueck (Southridge, 54-9); Jesse Gehr (Lake Gibson, 38-6) v Andrew Austin (Charlotte, 51-1).
Blood round: Aiden Poe (Harmony, 42-4) v Jose Berdecia (Brandon, 61-6); Christopher Minto (Mariner, 39-5) v Daniel Vargas (Jesuit, 29-15).
Local summary: Region 1 had a rough day, going 0-8 as a group. Champ Jimmy Martin (Lincoln) had losses on the front to Sebastian River’s Devin Rhoades (fall in 4:39) and on the back to Harmony’s Aiden Poe (8-2), while runnerup Hunter Brown (Chiles) lost to Melbourne’s Connor Bechtol (pin in 3:50) and to Ft Myers’ Caleb Massari (15-0 tech in 4:30). Deltona’s Kevin Kerns lost to Heritage’s Austin Jones (:18) on the front, and to Vargas (6-4) on the back, while Orange Park’s Wesley Carlisle took losses against Hueck (15-0 tech fall in 3:11) and Berdecia (fall in 2:20).

120
Semis: Derrick Lancero (Pace, 53-4) v Braden Basile (Tampa Jesuit, 54-1); Brennan Van Hoecke (Palmetto Ridge, 50-4) v Alex Walker (Lake Gibson, 33-11).
Blood round: Jonathan Dominguez (Springstead, 41-12) v Zayveon Mitchell (Poinciana, 37-9); John Vadyak (Ft Myers, 52-12) v Kobe Beart (Seabreeze).
Local summary: Lancero punched his podium ticket with two front-side wins, majoring Springstead’s Jonathan Dominguez, 14-5, and then taking down Archbishop McCarthy’s Jaden Villalobos, 7-4, in the quarters. Baert was 2-1, rallying after a front-side loss to Walker (pin in 3:08) in round 1. Baert came back with falls over Cape Coral’s Edward Irizarry (:56) and Villalobos (3:31) to advance to Saturday. Ft Walton Beach’s Brandon Mallin and New Smyrna Beach’s Jace Engberg were both 1-2. Mallin fell to Mitchell, 12-5, in the first round, but then came back with a 20-6 major over Miami Killian’s Sean Inwasty before falling to Vadyak, 9-6. Engberg lost by fall to Basile, but then pinned Okeechobee’s Charlie Armstrong (2:32) before losing by fall to Mitchell in :49.
They said it: “What I wanted was to accomplish what I have worked for so far. I knew I had to prove that the hard work meant something on the mat. Still think I can wrestle better, can always improve.” — Lancero.

126
Semis: Connor Williams (Lake Gibson, 30-6) v Favian Aldana (Mater Academy, 33-5); Tom Crook (Tampa Jesuit, 60-0) v Isaac Church (Charlotte, 38-8).
Blood round: Woolf Francois (Immokalee, 43-8) v John McNichols (Harmony, 42-11); Roy Chiong (Barron Collier, 46-6) v Michael Shannon (New Smyrna Beach, 47-6).
Local summary: Shannon started the day with a fall over Suncoast’s Lorenzo Falcon, but then ran into the buzzsaw of a defending champion against Williams in the quarter, taking a third-period loss by tech fall (16-0 in 5:08). Shannon then bounced back with a 9-1 major in WB round 2 over Winter Springs’ Davis Deal. Matanzas’ Shaun Culbreth was 1-2. After a 7-5 loss on the front to St Thomas Aquinas’ Michael Sarron, Culbreth came back to fall Southeast’s Fernando Bonilla (4:10), but then took a 14-1 loss to Chiong in WB round 2. Leon’s Nolan Zirgibel was 0-2, with losses to Aldana (9-1 major) on the front and McNichols (pin in :38) on the back. Pace’s Ethan Billhimer forfeited from competition.

132
Semis: Roman Garcia (Palmetto Ridge, 31-5) v Christian Moder (Golden Gate, 47-9); Donovan Cataldi (Charlotte, 38-3) v Alejandro Rosario (Lake Gibson, 32-7).
Blood round: Francois Ba (Heritage, 55-6) v Ian McGuigan (Columbia, 51-10); Jack Crook (Jesuit, 57-2) Nick Hejke (Mosley, 57-6).
Local summary: Hejke edged Pasco’s Travis Knowlton, 3-2, in the opening round, but then took a 10-1 loss by major to Garcia in the quarters. Hejke then rallied to to stop Niceville’s Jayden Pinto, 5-2, in WB round 2. McGuigan also had a 1-point win on the front, with an 8-7 win over Harmony’s Dylan Jones in the opening round, falling in the quarters to Cataldi, 17-6. McGuigan bounced back with a 7-0 WB round 2 win over Gulf Breeze’s Ian Daily. Pinto and Daily were both 1-2 on the day. Pinto lost by fall on the front to Rosario (pin in 1:54), but came back with a 3-1 win in WB round 1 over Pinellas Park’s Miguel Martinez. Daily lost by fall to Crook (:55) on the front, but rallied for a 2-0 win in WB round 1 over Viera’s Braden Urso.

138
Semis: Alfonso Vargas (Tampa Jesuit, 46-15) v Stevie Chopek (Countryside, 52-3); Brendon Abdon (Lake Gibson, 40-3) v Adrian Ayala (Palmetto Ridge, 44-4).
Blood round: Alex McGuigan (Columbia, 54-12) v Orande Smith (Estero, 38-6); Ryan Bennett (Tampa Freedom, 46-9) v Zachary Cook (Heritage, 62-11).
Local summary: McGuigan fell on the front to Barron Collier’s Josiah Fernandez (3-2), but rallied for two tight decisions, finding a takedown in sudden victory over St Thomas Aquinas’ Frank Messina (5-3) and then escaping from down for a 3-2 ultimate-tiebreaker win in WB round 2 over Kathleen’s Christopher Barthelemy. Ponte Vedra’s Alex De Almeida was 1-2 in the tournament; after a loss by fall to Smith (1:14), De Almeida majored Okeechobee’s Cody Deloney, 14-4, and then lost by a 9-2 count. Chiles’ Olufemi Egberongbe (loss on the front by 15-0 tech fall in 4:18 to Chopek, 5-1 loss to Archbishop McCarthy’s Rhys Willenborg) and Mosley’s Jaylan Griffin (loss by fall to Ayala in 1:09, loss by an 11-1 major to Cook in WB round 1) were both 0-2 in the tournament.

Creager
Niceville’s Keane Creager (top) looks to find leverage in his 2A 145-lb match against Barron Collier’s Justin Ugarte at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee (Photo by Shannon Heaton).
Gall
Mosley’s Logan Gall looks for an opening against Mariner’s Mack Koselke in 2A 145-pound first-round competition at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee (Photo by Shannon Heaton)

145
Semis: Evan Butler (Lake Gibson, 38-6) v Mack Koselke (Mariner, 42-6); Ethan Basile (Tampa Jesuit, 54-1) v Cyrus Williams (Southridge, 49-6).
Blood round: Luis Herrera (Naples, 46-10) v Justin Ugarte (Barron Collier, 56-9); Jake Koener (Sunlake, 26-5) v Cameron Broughton (Orange Park, 47-2).
Local summary: Broughton opened solidly, with a first-period fall (1:58) over Charlotte’s Matthew Andou on the front, but then fell to Butler, 17-4, in the quarters. Broughton came back with a 13-4 major over Matanzas’ Griffin Wilder in WB round 2. Wilder and Mosley’s Logan Gall were both 1-2 on the day. Wilder fell to Herrera, 8-6, on the front, but then pinned Winter Springs’ Harlan McCandless (3:45) in the consis. Gall was shut out on the front by Koselke, 4-0, but then pinned Suncoast’s Omar Davis (4:37) before falling to Ugarte, 8-0. Niceville’s Keane Creager was 0-2, with losses on the front to Ugarte (15-1 major) and Melbourne’s Richard Skidmore (17-13 in WB round 1).

Wilder
Matanzas’ Griffin Wilder (left) has an early cradle for back points against Naples’ Luis Herrera in 145-lb 2A first-round action at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee (Photo by Shannon Heaton).
Jrod
Fletcher’s Joel Rodriguez (right) attempts to stay in control against Brandon’s Alijah Bliss in 2A 152-lb first-round action Friday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

152
Semis: Alijah Bliss (Brandon, 36-5) v JJ Contreras (Winter Springs, 49-6); Lucas Willis (Charlotte, 45-1) v Sergio Desiante (Tampa Jeasuit), 5:30.
Blood round: Quiton Johnson (Southridge, 47-16) v Frank Solorzano (Lake Gibson, 26-11); Anthony Valdivia (Golden Gate, 30-9) v Jacob Holland (Braden River, 45-15).
Local summary: Columbia’s Obie Smith and Pace’s Joseph Cortez were both 1-2 in the tournament. Smith fell to Solorzano, 17-6, on the front, coming back with a 54-second pin over Ft Pierce Westwood’s Latravious Mills before a second loss by major (11-2) to Valdivia. Cortez lost by tech fall (17-1 in 4:11) to Contreras, but came back to pinn Sebastian River’s Dylan Roy-Labbe in 1:35. Cortez then took a 6-0 loss to Solorzano. Fletcher’s Joel Rodriguez (11-2 to Bliss on the front, 7-2 to Suncoast’s Jeffery Federick on the back) was 0-2 in the tournament, as was Matanzas’ Noel Alicea (loss by fall on the front to Desiante in 3:37, loss by pin in 2:21 to St Petersburg’s Ian Witbreuk.

160
Semis: Ahmahd Denmark (Robert E Lee, 39-3) v Dominic Pappalardo (Barron Collier, 49-8); Raul Soto (Lake Gibson, 32-6) v Andy Martinez (Golden Gate, 57-0).
Blood round: Sean Taft (Charlotte, 27-10) v Victor Lipsey (Seabreeze, 52-10); Blake Minard (Estero, 33-13) v Aidan Gingell (Tampa Jesuit, 25-16).
Local summary: Denmark roared out to a 42-second fall in the first round over Port St Lucie’s Elijah Yuhas, then found a takedown in overtime over Brandon’s Frank Diaz, 7-5, in the quarters. Lipsey edged Miami Norland’s Lance Fields in double-overtime, 6-5, but then fell to Soto, 11-2, in the quarters. Lipsey came back with a 7-5 WB round 2 win over Sebastian River’s Micah Welsh. Lincoln’s Cayden Bevis was 1-2, with a front-side win over Welsh (9-8), with subsequent losses to Pappalardo (6-3) in the quarters and to Estero’s Blake Menard by fall (2:34) in WB round 2. Ponte Vedra’s Ethan Baur was 0-2, with a 6-0 loss to Heritage’s Jacob Boyd on the front and loss by disqualification to Gingell on the back.
They said it: “It’s everything. All the hard work, all the late nights…everything been working for me. Only been wrestling three years and going up against kids wrestling since they were five years old. It means a lot to bring this (medal) back to my school, everyone’s counting on me.” — Denmark.

170
Semis: Quenteen Robinson (Matanzas, 40-3) v Cody Rice (Charlotte, 48-5); Onid Olavarria (Brandon, 64-0) v Riley Hackworth (Ft Myers, 52-8).
Blood round: Joe Burgess (Winter Springs, 42-16) v DeVante Wyatt (First Coast, 42-6); Maurice Blackmon (Kathleen, 46-10) v Angelo Philpot (Westside, 48-6).
Local summary: Robinson needed just 95 seconds to punch his podium ticket, with falls over Sarasota’s Carlos Sosa (:38) in round 1 and Harmony’s Will Jacobson (:57) in the quarters. Philpot fell to Hackworth, 9-0, in the first round, but then came back with a 6-4 win over Eau Gallie’s Julian Stoneman in the first round of consis, and pinned Jacobson (4:41) in round 2. Wyatt edged Barron Collier’s Cory Cannan, 8-7, in the front, but then fell to Olavarria, 8-1, in the quarters. Wyatt came back with a fall (4:27) over Okechobee’s Travis McKenna in WB round 2.

182
Semis: Kyle McGill (Chiles, 46-3) v Aryeh Mehl (Cypress Lake, 55-3); Ashton Habeil (Lake Gibson, 33-1) v Jacob Moore (Orange Park, 38-3).
Blood round: Zach Spicer (Sunlake, 37-7) v Trevor Shook (Ida Baker, 48-7); Marcus Sims (Spoto, 51-13) v Dillon Housel (Springstead, 44-11).
Local summary: McGill and Moore both ensured podium spots with two front-side wins. McGill pinned his way through, with falls over Charlotte’s Cael Newton (3:37) in the first round and Housel (1:15) in the quarters), while Moore had a 42-second fall over Countryside’s Desmon Marshall in the opening round, and a 5-1 win over Spicer. Lincoln’s Wyatt Yown was 1-2 in the tournament; after losing by fall to Shook (:51) on the front, Yown shut out Suncoast’s Sebastian Macaulay, 3-0, in WB round 1. Yown then fell to Sims, 4-2, in WB round 2. Ft Walton Beach’s Patrick Adams was 0-2 in the tournament, with a loss on the front to Mehl (pin in 3:27) and an 8-7 WB round 1 loss to Heritage’s Chance Gorman.
They said it: “Between the losses and my brother (losing eligibility), I just worked harder. Went to the wrestling room and worked ten times harder. My coaches have always pushed me and that’s why I got there. Everything’s starting to click. It’s like in math class, when it’s explained a different way and you get it finally.” — Moore.

195
Semis: Gabe Jacobs (Pace, 56-0) v Dedric Marshall (Southridge, 57-0); Caden Cunningham (Lake Gibson, 29-4) v Gregory Dennard (Ft Myers, 50-5).
Blood round: Noah Lusk (St Thomas Aquinas, 34-8) v Angel Alverio (Ida Baker, 49-7); Ryan Voor (Brandon, 65-5) v Andre Mortensen (Tampa Jesuit, 51-6).
Local summary: Jacobs dominated in both rounds, with a first-period fall in the first round over Port St Lucie’s Gervaris Desire (1:11) and then a tech fall (15-0 in 5:02) over Mortensen in the quarters. Lincoln’s Tanner Washburn was 1-2, with a front-side fall over Hialeah-Mater Lakes’ Zideen Ruiz (2:51) before losses to Cunningham (fall in 5:11) and an 8-7 loss to Alverio in WB round 2. Ft Walton Beach’s Eddie Alexis (6-1 loss on the front to Lusk, loss by fall to Harmony’s Juan Gomez in 1:38 on the back) and Mainland’s Doug Dittmer (losses by fall to Marshall in 2:43 and Alverio in 2:00) were both 0-2 in the tournament.

220
Semis: Tristan Middlebrook (Lake Gibson, 32-9) v Nick Clayton (Barron Collier, 46-7); Marvin Collins (Winter Springs, 47-7) v Trillyon Fils-Aime (Palmetto Ridge, 52-4).
Blood round: Ethan Carr (Ft Myers, 53-7) v Ethan Hollenbach (Fletcher, 22-3); Jose Monrroy (Okeechobee, 39-7) v Kaleb Williams (Ft Walton Beach, 37-11).
Local summary: Williams pinned Bayside’s Zandy Lanier (2:39) in the round of 16, but then fell to Middlebrook, 9-2, in the quarters. He rallied with an escape from bottom in the ultimate tiebreaker, turning back Gaither’s Sammie Lee, 9-8. Hollenbach decisioned Monrroy, 3-1, in the opening round, but then lost to Collins, 11-0, in the quarters, coming back to decision Harmony’s Nelson Toro, 7-1. Robert E Lee’s Craig Harper was 1-2, with a front-side fall over Miami Killian’s Alexys Rodriguez (1:43) followed by losses by pin to Fils-Aime (2:45) and Carr (4:01). Deltona’s Ethan Chiu was 0-2, with losses to St Thomas Aquinas’ Anthony Mingarelli (fall in 3:25) and Toro (5-1).

285
Semis: Jacquez Shird (Dunbar, 30-4) v Willie Lampkin (Lakeland, 45-0); Jeremiah Jackson (Kathleen, 50-9) v Mason Arnold (Tampa Jesuit, 47-2).
Blood round: Antwon Singleton (Hialeah-Mater Lakes, 37-8) v Christopher Campbell (Mariner, 37-8); Nicholas Syms (Pinellas Park, 48-5) v Kyjuan Allen (Gateway, 37-17).
Local summary: Westside’s Ray Bolden had the only win on the day. After losing by fall (1:42) to Jackson on the front, Bolden pinned Okeechobee’s Jayme Scurry in 2:20 in WB round 1, before losing by fall to Sims (4:23). Lincoln’s Tyler Moss (losses by fall to Allen in 2:18 and Singleton in 1:47), Matanzas’ Robert Elder (7-0 loss to Lampkin, 3-2 loss to Suncoast’s Teo Richards) and Columbia’s Jaycob Jones (losses by fall to Arnold in :47 and to Cypress Lake’s Lucas Dennison in 4:01) were all 0-2 on Friday.

Complete brackets can be found HERE.

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