YULEE — While trying to chase down a program with Camden’s pedigree was a bit beyond the capability of the tournament field last weekend at the Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border, the field certainly had experienced some upgrades over prior seasons.
Yulee emerged out as the tournament runnerup, with 153 points, enough to hold off Columbia (144.5) and Hernando (140), plus a second Camden group, for second place.
“I felt pretty good about it. We had some guys that could have done better, that usually do well at tournaments, and some guys came through and stepped up that’ve struggled,” Hornets coach Brandon Crowder said. “If we wrestle hard and do what we’re supposed to do, we can compete against good kids.”
The Hornets finished the tournament with six placers, including one champion and two runners-up.
Meanwhile, Columbia had three champions — all of the first-time IBT winners — and six placers (includinng one additional runnerup) as well.
“Extremely pleased. We’re still not at full strength yet,” Tigers coach Peter Whittington said. “I can tell you we were extremely disappointed after district duals, we went in there really short-handed. But it lit a fire in our juniors and seniors.
“I don’t think anyone will want to see us in the district IBT.”
Baker Cty was the next area team in the field with 100 points, placing sixth with four placers, including one champion and one runnerup. South Walton was eighth, with three placers and one champion for 70 points.
Bishop Kenny (51.5 points, one runnerup) held off First Coast (49, three placers) and Sandalwood (48, two placers and one champ) for 10th place. Terry Parker (13 points) and Atlantic Coast (four) were 15th and 16th, respectively; while West Nassau had a pair of fourths, the Warriors were 17th with no team score.
Brackets from Saturday’s tournament can be found HERE.
Team scores: 1. Camden A 270. 2. Yulee 153. 3. Columbia 144.5. 4. Hernando 140. 5. Camden B 121. 6. Baker Cty 100. 7. South Effingham GA 74.5. 8. South Walton 70. 9. Villages 54. 10. Bishop Kenny 51.5. 11. First Coast 49. 12. Sandalwood 48. 13. (tie) Cook GA & Pierce GA 46. 15. Terry Parker 13. 16. Atlantic Coast 4. 17. West Nassau 0.
Championship matches —
106: Brett Millard (Columbia) d. Stellhorn (South Effingham), 6-5.
113: Max Brewster (South Walton) d. Fredericks (Camden), 10-9.
120: Dahlgren (Camden) fft over Morton (Camden B).
126: Santos (Camden) d. Tristan Martinez (Yulee), 6-0.
132: Dante Rigal (Sandalwood) p. Weaver (Camden).
138: Clark (Camden) fft over Doyle (Camden B).
145: Hopper (Camden B) p. Roberto Cuartero (Bishop Kenny).
152: Thomas Greene (Columbia) d. Griffin (Camden), 7-6.
160: Aston Ricks (Yulee) p. Coon (Villages).
170: Joseph Rice (Columbia) d. Johnson (Camden), 9-8.
182: Conner South (Baker Cty) p. Keleb Reddish (Yulee).
195: Dozier (Camden) p. Shawn Raggins (Columbia).
220: Gaston (Camden) p. Garrett Cain (Baker Cty).
285: Yancey (Camden) p. Fleming (Hernando).
THE ACES OF THE DAY
Yulee: Senior Aston Ricks (160) was 4-0 on the weekend, with a very hard road en route to the title. After a first-round pin over Terry Parker, Ricks reached the semis with an ultimate-tiebreaker rideout win over Camden Friday night. Ricks then knocked off a multiple-time Hernando state qualifier, 7-5, in the semis, before a third-period win by fall over Villages for the Hornets’ lone individual title.
Columbia: Among three first-time IBT winners Saturday, senior Brett Millard (106) had waited the longest for his inaugural title. Millard bonus-pointed his way to the title with Friday wins over Baker Cty (21-4 tech) and Bishop Kenny (first-period fall), then added a Saturday semifinal pin over West Nassau to reach the final, where he edged a South Effingham wrestler by a 6-5 count.
Baker Cty: Senior Conner South (182) was the lone champion among the Wildcats’ four placers Saturday. South had a bye into the quarters, where he pinned a Columbia wrestler on Friday. After taking a 7-4 win in the semis over Camden, South then won by fall over Yulee in the finals to take his gold medal.
South Walton: Junior Max Brewster (113) picked up the Seahawks’ lone title, with a first-period fall over Yulee in the quarters on Friday. Brewster added a second pin in the semis over Camden on Saturday, pushing past a second Camden wrestler to survive for a 10-9 win and the title.
Bishop Kenny: Sophomore Roberto Cuartero (145) was the Crusaders’ lone placer, with a runnerup finish. Cuartero falled a First Coast wrestler in Friday’s quarters and took an 8-5 win over Camden to reach the championship match on Saturday, where he lost by fall to a second Camden wrestler.
First Coast: Senior Payton London (138) was one of the three 4th-place finishers for the Buccaneers, going 3-2 on the weekend, with losses only to the eventual runnerup and 3rd. London took a 5-3 win over Villages and an 8-0 major over Hernando to reach the semis, with a 16-4 major over South Effingham in the blood round.
Sandalwood: Senior Dante Rigal (132) pinned his way through the weight class for the Saints’ lone title, with a 20-second fall over Columbia in the quarters on Friday and Saturday pins in the semis and finals against wrestlers from South Walton and Camden to take the weight class.
Terry Parker: Senior Jesus Ramirez (285) won two matches in the consis and was 1 match from placing, with a 2-2 weekend. Ramirez had pins over Villages and South Walton, losing to the eventual third-place wrestler in the blood round.
Atlantic Coast: Junior Joel Dudley (152) was the only Stingray to win a match over the weekend, with a pin over Pierce in the consis. Dudley was 1-2 on the weekend.
West Nassau: Sophomore Blayden Tharpe (113) was 4-2 and placed fourth in the weight class, with both of his losses to a South Effingham wrestler. Tharpe had a 4-2 decision over Hernando on the front side and consi-side pins over wrestlers from Pierce, Villages and Camden B en route to the medal round.