LYNN HAVEN — The 2A-Region 1 tournament has been known in past years to be a dogfight among several teams, with a team score in the low 100s often enough to take home a trophy.
Saturday, after winning the 2A-Region 1 duals title a month earlier, New Smyrna Beach completed the double title, adding the IBT version behind two individual champions and two runners-up, scoring 117 points, 10 better than runnerup Chiles.
The Timberwolves, securing the first region runnerup trophy in program history, will take five wrestlers to the 2A state tournament Friday at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, with three champions, one runnerup and one 4th.
St Augustine also had its best region finish in some while, finishing third in the 30-team event with 104 points. The Yellow Jackets will have four state qualifiers (two runners-up, one 3rd and one 4th).
Columbia (103 points, two champs, one runnerup and one 3rd) took fourth, while Fletcher (one champ, one runnerup, one 3rd, one 4th) and Lincoln (two champs, one 3rd) tied for fifth, with 100.5.
Rounding out the top 10 were Gulf Breeze (7th, 93 points, one champ & two 3rds), Ft Walton Beach (8th, 91 points, one champ, one 3rd and two 4ths) and Pace (9th, 83.5, three 4ths), followed by host Mosley (10th, 78.5, one runnerup and two 4ths).
The second 10 teams, in order, were: Matanzas (73 points, two runners-up & one 3rd); Middleburg (66, one runnerup & one 3rd); Belleview & Orange Park (62 points each, with the Diamondbacks earning one runnerup and one 4th and Raiders taking two runners-up and one third); Niceville (49, one 3rd & two 4ths); Robert E Lee (42, one champ); Westside (36, one champ); Ponte Vedra (34, one 3rd); Deltona (32, one 3rd & one 4th) and Englewood (23 points).
Leon (24th, 16 points) was the only team in the bottom 10 of the table to have a state qualifier, with one 3rd. The remaining teams were Seabreeze (22 points in 21st place), followed by First Coast & Mainland (T-22nd, 18 points); Choctaw (25th, 14); Crestview (26th, 13); Gainesville (27th, six); Terry Parker (28th, three) and Stanton & Tate (29th, no points).
Brackets from the weekend can be found HERE. A summary of Saturday’s wrestling follows:
Championship: District 2 champ and fourth-ranked Columbia senior Brett Millard (36-8) made his second state appearance with four pins on the weekend, including Saturday falls over Middleburg’s Shane Jourdan (1:22) in the semis and then over Orange Park freshman Ryder Pimienta (2:50) in the championship match. Pimienta (21-8) had three wins to get to the final, including a walkover forfeit in the semi.
Third place: After falling, 8-2, in the quarters to Pimienta on Friday, District 4 champ and Matanzas sophomore Carter Wilder (20-9) qualified for states for the first time behind four wins on the back, including Saturday wins over district rival Gavin Barro of St Augustine (5-2 decision), Jourdan in blood round (fall in 3:42) and a 5-0 third-place victory over Chiles sophomore Sam Tolomeo. Tolomeo (24-7), who’d lost by fall to district rival Millard in the quarters, came back for three consi-side wins (he’d finished fifth at districts) to qualify out for the first time, with Saturday wins over fellow additional qualifier Vaniel Caceres of Lincoln (4-1 decision) and a walkover forfeit in the consi semis.
Championship: District 2 champ and fifth-ranked Lincoln senior Elijah Hendley (33-1) pinned his way into the finals, with a Saturday semifinal pin (2:40) over district rival and Middleburg freshman Grady Woodard. In the championship, Hendley reprised his district-finals matchup against Chiles sophomore Garrett Marschka, taking a 5-3 win. Marschka (25-3, 6th) max-pointed into the final with two Friday pins and a walkover forfeit in the semis for his second state appearance.
Third place: Woodard (23-14) had two wins in the consis to rally back for third place, majoring District 1 champ Zak Vosburgh of Ft Walton Beach, 16-5, in the blood round to punch his Kissimmee ticket for the first time, followed by a 9-4 third-place win over Belleview sophomore Zackery Young. Young (29-14) advanced to states for the first time behind three consi-side wins after losing by fall to Woodard in the quarters on Friday, with a 7-2 win over Matanzas’ Braden Hawley and a walkover forfeit in the consi semis on Saturday to get a rematch with Woodard. Vosburgh advanced to that round with a 15-4 major over District 4 champ Aidan Sutton of New Smyrna Beach.
Championship: District 2 champ and ninth-ranked Chiles junior Hunter Brown (26-3) qualified for states for the second time with two pins and two decisions, including one of each on both days. Brown falled Niceville sophomore Ethan Pinto in 1:22 in the semis, then came back to reprise his District 2 finals win in the championship match, with a 9-5 decision over Orange Park senior Davon Bailey. Bailey (24-2, 10th) broke through for his first state appearance after three prior tries at regions, with two wins on Friday and a third Saturday that saw him find a takedown for a 6-4 semifinal win over Deltona sophomore Kevin Kerns.
Third place: Kerns (33-7) qualified for states for the second time by avenging his District 4 finals loss in the blood round, taking a 6-4 win over St Augustine’s Wilson Nguyen there, then falling Pinto in 31 seconds for third. Pinto (21-8) secured his first Kissimmee appearance with a 9-3 win in the consi semis over Mainland’s Kaden Golder. Nguyen and Golder each advanced to that round behind pins, with Nguyen falling Fletcher’s Cole O’Brien (2:53) and Golder pinning District 1 champ Brandon Mallin of Ft Walton Beach (2:16).
Championship: District 4 champ and fifth-ranked New Smyrna Beach junior Jamey Bruner (34-3) reached the state tournament for the third time and first in 2A with the ‘Cudas, pinning his way into the final, with a Saturday semifinal fall over District 1 champ and Niceville senior Noah Tritz. Bruner then won his first region title with a 10-5 decision in the final over District 2 champ and Middleburg junior Riley Girgis. Girgis (24-9) had two Friday pins and then took a 10-4 semifinal win over Seabreeze’s Joseph Kent for his first state appearance.
Third place: Gulf Breeze junior Logan Merritt (25-8), after losing by fall to Kent in the first round, came back all the way to third and earned his first state appearance behind five consi-side victories, including Saturday wins over Belleview’s Gage Alberty (6-0 decision) and pins over Kent (:56) in the blood round and over Tritz (1:23) in the bronze-medal match. Tritz (22-6) secured his first state spot with a reprise of his district-finals victory, turning back Pace’s Haze Esary, 7-4, in the consi semis. Esary got to that round behind a 4-2 win over District 3 champ Ryden Ashmore of Fletcher in the consi quarters.
Championship: After coming up a takedown short of states as a freshman, District 1 champ and seventh-ranked Gulf Breeze sophomore Colson Elliott stayed unbeaten (33-0), teching or pinning his way to the final round. On Saturday in the semis, Elliott teched district rival Steven Banfield of Choctaw (17-2 in 5:31), then came back in the final to push past District 4 champ and New Smyrna Beach junior Jace Engberg (8th) with a 6-4 win. Engberg (33-4) got to states for the second time, pinning his way into the final, including a Saturday semifinal pin over district rival Brayden Lovingood of St Augustine (2:32).
Third place: After a loss by fall to Engberg in the Friday quarters, Ft Walton Beach senior Weston Burbidge (27-9) strung together four straight wins in the consis to rally back to third, including Saturday wins over Matanzas’ Logan Mayer (2-1 decision), district rival Banfield (9-3) in the blood round to secure his first Kissimmee ticket in four tries, then falling Lovingood in 3:42 for third. Lovingood (20-14), who’d finished fourth at District 4 last week, added a fourth at regions with a Saturday consi-semi pin over Belleview’s Morgan Cole. Cole had gotten to that round with a pin over Middleburg’s Dylan Johns (2:47) in the consi quarters.
Championship: District 2 champ and third-ranked Chiles senior Olufemi Egberongbe (26-2) took four wins over the weekend for his second state appearance and first region title. In the semis, Egberongbe pushed past District 1 champ and Pace senior Cam Friend, 6-3, then set more of the pace in the championship match against District 4 champ and Belleview sophomore Andrew Davis, with a 10-3 win in the final. Davis (35-6) won three times to qualify for states for the first time, with a Saturday 8-2 semifinal win over Leon junior Nolan Zirgibel.
Third place: Zirgibel (24-4) bounced back from the loss to Davis with two consi-side wins, pinning St Augustine’s Carlos Quintanal (2:40) in the blood round for his second state appearance. Zirgibel then went on to take down Friend, 8-2, in the third-place match. Friend (20-3) secured his first Kissimmee space with a 9-2 win in the consi semis over District 3 champ Lynden North of Englewood. North advanced to that round with a 7-2 win over Lincoln’s Connor Edwards, while Quintanal advanced with a walkover forfeit.
Championship: District 4 champ and third-ranked New Smyrna Beach junior Michael Shannon (36-2) qualified for states for the second time and won his second region title with two Friday pins and two six-minute wins Saturday, including a 6-0 semifinal win over District 3 champ and Fletcher senior Gabe Daltro, then a 12-4 win in the championship match over District 2 champ and sixth-ranked Mosley junior Nick Hejke in a matchup of 2020 2A region champs. Hejke (44-7) qualified for states for the fourth time with three wins, including a Saturday fall over District 1 champ Malachi Santiago (1:36) of Ft Walton Beach in the semis.
Third place: Daltro (31-4, 10th) bounced back from the loss to Shannon with a pair of decisions, pushing past St Augustine’s Gabe Galloza, 6-4, in the blood round for his first state appearance. Daltro then knocked off Pace junior Atticus Waters, 5-3, in the bronze-medal match. Waters (20-6), who’d lost 4-3 to Daltro in Friday’s quarters, had to win three matches on the back to get to states for the second time, with Saturday decisions over district rival Garret Rudick of Gulf Breeze (7-1) and over Santiago, 7-2, in a rematch of the District 1 final that Santiago had won last week, 8-6. Galloza had reached the consi semis with a fall over Robert E Lee’s Ty’Juan Jones in 3:39.
Championship: District 3 champ and seventh-ranked Fletcher senior Joel Rodriguez (31-1) pinned or teched his way into the final, with a Saturday semifinal tech over Orange Park’s Trevion Sermons (16-0 in six minutes) to qualify for state for the second time, then held off Matanzas junior and District 4 champ Tyson Mills, 7-4, for his second region title. Mills (23-5, 9th) reached the finals with three wins, including a 10-6 semifinal win over First Coast’s Josiah Mossor, to qualify for state for the first time.
Third place: After a loss by fall to Rodriguez in the quarters on Friday, Greene (41-6, 10th) won three matches on the bounce to qualify for his first state trip, including Saturday pins over District 1 champ Seth O’Gara (1:28) and Mossor (1:44) in the blood round. He then avenged a tech-fall loss at districts in the third-place match, turning back District 2 champ and Mosley senior Nick Kendrick, 2-1. Kendrick (27-12) qualified for state for the second time after a 7-1 loss to Mossor with three consi-side wins, including a 9-5 decision over Gulf Breeze’s Ian Daily and a consi-semi tech fall (17-1 in 5 minutes) over Sermons.
Championship: District 3 champ and second-ranked Robert E Lee senior Ahmahd Denmark (38-1) bonus-pointed through the tournament for his second state appearance and region title, falling Ft Walton Beach senior Caleb Tourgee (1:25) in the semis, then coming back to take a 13-4 major in the championship match over District 4 champ and Matanzas freshman Jordan Mills. Mills (20-6, 8th) advanced to the final behind a fall and two decisions, including a 12-7 semifinal win over Pace’s Joseph Cortez in the semis, to punch his Kissimmee ticket for the first time.
Third place: After a quarterfinal loss by fall to Denmark in the quarters, St Augustine junior Clint Griffin (38-11) won by fall four times in the consis, with Saturday pins over District 2 champ Alex Nayfack (2:28), Cortez (2:38) in the blood round for his first state appearance, and Tourgee (1:38) in the third-place match. Tourgee (31-6) secured his space in the 2A state field with a 10-2 major over District 1 rival Sean Jones of Gulf Breeze. Jones had gotten to that round with a fall over Gainesville’s Will Marshall (4:05).
Championship: After falling in the blood round a year ago, District 2 champ and fourth-ranked Columbia junior Joseph Rice (37-5) pinned his way into the final, with a semifinal pin (1:13) over District 1 champ and Niceville junior Martin Black that gave Rice his first state appearance. Rice then edged District 4 champ and St Augustine senior Connor Spossey, 6-5, in the finals. Spossey (42-4, 5th) bonus-pointed into the finals for his second state appearance, with a 9-1 major in the semis over District 3 champ and Ponte Vedra senior Rett Maritato.
Third place: Maritato (39-4) had two bonus-point wins in the consis to qualify for states for the second time, with an 8-0 major in the blood round over Pace’s Brody Andrews and a fall in the third-place match (2:45) over Black. Black (30-4) got to state for the first time with a 2-0 consi-semi win over Mosley’s Kaydon Lester. Lester and Andrews advanced to that round with pins, as Lester falled Middleburg’s Eliyah Cole (4:32, in a rematch of their meeting at Clay Rotary) while Andrews pinned Terry Parker’s Benny Lewis (2:07).
Championship: District 2 champ and fourth-ranked Lincoln junior Cayden Bevis stayed unbeaten for the season (24-0) with three bonus-point victories, including a fall in the semis (3:54) over District 1 champ and Gulf Breeze senior Hunter Dupont, giving Bevis his second ticket to the state field. In the title match, Bevis turned back District 4 champ and St Augustine senior Ryan Murphy by a 5-1 count. Murphy (30-3) also bonus-pointed his way into the final, with a 15-7 major to earn his first Kissimmee appearance over Fletcher sophomore and District 3 champ Ryan Klein in the semis.
Third place: Dupont (32-2) had two bonus-point wins to rally back for third after the loss to Bevis, pinning district rival Aidan Bryan of Pace (1:19) in the blood round to earn his first state qualification. Dupont then majored Klein, 12-2, in the bronze-medal match. Klein secured his first trip to states with a consi-semi fall over District 3 rival Darryl Sam of Englewood, in 4:15. Both Bryan and Sam got to that round with decisions, as Bryan downed Mosley’s Dalton Kovacs, 10-6, and Sam turned back Matanzas’ Quincy Cuthbert, 13-7.
Championship: District 2 champ and top-ranked Chiles senior Kyle McGill also stayed undefeated (26-0), qualifying for states for the third time by bonus-pointing through the tournament. McGill had Saturday majors over Seabreeze’s Caiden Patton (17-5) in the semifinals and again over District 4 champ and New Smyrna Beach senior Doug Dittmer, 12-2, in the championship match, winning his second region title. Dittmer (36-3, 4th) had two Friday pins and earned his second Kissimmee ticket with a 3-0 win in the semis over District 1 champ and Pace senior Wyatt Dillon.
Third place: After falling in sudden victory to Dillon, 6-4, in the quarters on Friday, Lincoln senior Wyatt Yown (28-7, 5th) won four on the bounce in the consis, with Saturday victories over Englewood’s Sam Howard (fall in 4:14) and Patton (tech fall, 15-0 in 3 minutes) in the blood round for his second state appearance. Yown then shut out Dillon, 5-0, in the third-place match. Dillon (26-4, 6th) secured his first Kissimmee ticket, after two prior losses in the blood round in 2019 and 2020, with a fall in the consi semis over District 3 champ Cleon Johnson of First Coast (1:43). Johnson reached that round with a 5-2 win in the consi quarters over Gulf Breeze’s Julian McCulley.
Championship: District 1 champ and fourth-ranked Ft Walton Beach junior Cedric Fairrow also stayed unbeaten (37-0), pinning his way into the finals, with a semifinal fall over District 4 champ and Deltona senior Ethan Chiu (3:26) for his first Florida state appearance. Fairrow then took down District 3 champ and Fletcher senior Ethan Hollenbach by a 7-2 count in the championship match. Hollenbach (29-4, 6th) got to the final behind three bonus-point wins, including a third-period fall over Niceville senior David Polaski (4:42) in the semis for his second trip to states.
Third place: Polaski (15-5) bounced back to take third behind a pair of consi-side decisions, opening by riding out Robert E Lee’s Craig Harper to secure a 1-1 ultimate-tiebreaker win in the blood round and earn his first trip to state in Florida. He then turned back Chiu, 12-5, in the third-place match. Chiu (33-5) reached states for the second time with a 4-3 win in the consi semis over District 2 champ Omarion LaRoach of Lincoln. LaRoach had pinned Seabreeze’s Nathan Boyd (5:00) in the consi quarters, while Harper shut out Crestview’s Desi McGueen, 7-0.
Championship: District 3 champ and third-ranked Westside senior Ray Bolden (20-1) pinned his way into the final, including a fall in the semis over Mainland’s Jordan Colubiale (5:21) to earn his third trip to states. Bolden then downed District 2 champ and Columbia junior Jaycob Jones, 8-2, for his first region title. Jones (24-6, 5th) max-pointed into the final with two pins and a walkover forfeit, falling Ft Walton Beach’s Spencer Mackenzie (1:52) in the semis for his second state appearance.
Third place: After losing by decision in the first round to Colubiale, Orange Park senior Gabriel Hecht (8-3) — a part-time starter for the Raiders during the 2020-21 season, but won the wrestleoff — won five matches on the bounce to wrestle all the way back to third and win his first state trip. Hecht had Saturday wins over Fletcher’s Toby Matson (fall in 1:50), a 6-4 sudden-victory decision over Colubiale in the blood round (in a matchup of seniors), then pinned Mosley junior Robert Wills in 1:35 for third place. Wills (28-16) also won four times on the back, including Saturday wins over Choctaw’s Chase Pelfrey (8-3) and over Mackenzie (pin in 4:02) in the consi semis.