CRAWFORDVILLE — It’s been some while since Wakulla hosted duals in its annual larger late-January tournament.
But regardless of format or size of competition, the War Eagles still ruled the roost in Saturday’s 10-team MyHOUSE Big Bend Invitational, going 5-0 on the day to take the team title.
Wakulla (31-3 in duals for the season) compiled an average margin of victory of 56.2 points per dual, with pool victories over West Nassau (78-6), Marianna (84-0), Middleburg (65-12) and Mosley (55-21), then defeated Yulee, 56-18, in the championship match.
Meanwhile, the Hornets (12-6) had advanced to the final behind pool wins over Florida High (65-12), Wewahitchka (78-5), Rutherford (66-18) and Ft Walton Beach (48-30).
Yulee got out to leads of 9-0 and 15-6, but the War Eagles responded with a seven-match run in which Wakulla racked up six pins and a tech fall from Isaiah Wilson (126), with that tech securing the win and tournament title.
Ft Walton Beach (15-6) used a 15-0 late run to hold off their region rivals, Mosley (6-7), 36-30, in the third-place dual. The Vikings had pool wins over Wewa (58-9), Rutherford (69-12) and Florida High (72-0), while Mosley took its victories over Marianna (51-0), Middleburg (36-30) and West Nassau (42-9).
The fifth-place dual saw the Broncos (8-9) overcome a double-digit lead, 24-11, to turn back Rutherford (9-10), 35-30. Middleburg’s eight-man lineup had wins over West Nassau (48-6) and Marianna (47-0), while the Rams had pool victories over Florida High (60-6) and Wewahitchka (42-27).
With just five wrestlers, West Nassau (7-15) took seventh with a 27-18 crossover win over Wewahitchka (3-11). The Warriors also had a pool win over Marianna (30-6), while the Gators’ lone dual win of the day came against Florida High, 36-18, in pool play. Marianna (2-13) picked up its lone win of the day in the last round of the day, with a criteria 19-18 victory over the Seminoles (4-12).
Box scores for all 24 duals contested Saturday can be found HERE.
Standings: 1. Wakulla. 2. Yulee. 3. Ft Walton Beach. 4. Mosley. 5. Middleburg. 6. Rutherford. 7. West Nassau. 8. Wewahitchka. 9. Marianna. 10. Florida High.
THE ACES OF THE DAY
Wakulla: Jackson Merrick (132) was one of six War Eagles to go 6-0 and one of five Wakulla wrestlers that were max-pointers, scoring pins or forfeit wins in each dual that Wakulla wrestled. Merrick had pins in the victories over Middleburg in pool play and over Yulee in the championship dual.
Yulee: Braylen Ricks (195) had been out of the lineup at Joe Bees and at region duals, but returned on Saturday as one of four 5-0 wrestlers for the Hornets, and as one of two max-pointers. Ricks had three forfeit wins and pins over Rutherford (pool) and Wakulla (crossover).
Ft Walton Beach: Malachi Santiago (145) wasn’t a max-pointer for the Vikings, but was 5-0 with a fall over Wewahitchka early in pool play, and two key decisions over 2020 state qualifiers in wrestlers from Yulee in pool and Mosley in the third-place dual.
Mosley: Calvin Williams (113) was a 5-0 max-pointer, with four pins and a forfeit victory for the Dolphins. Williams had pins over wrestlers in pool play against Middleburg, West Nassau and Wakulla, with a fourth pin in crossover against Ft Walton Beach.
Middleburg: Eliyah Cole (170/182) was the only 5-0 wrestler on a team where everyone that started had at least three wins. Cole had three pins (Mosley, Wakulla and Marianna) and a tech fall in the crossover win against Rutherford.
Rutherford: Chad Allgood (182) was the Rams’ only unbeaten wrestler, with a 5-0 tournament. In addition to four forfeit victories, Allgood had a win by fall over Yulee in pool competition.
West Nassau: Jackson Rowell (220/285) opened the day with a loss to Wakulla, but bounced back with four max-point wins, including pins over wrestlers from Mosley and Wewahitchka.
Wewahitchka: Conner Roberts (132/138) had a 4-1 day for the Gators and was the only Wewa wrestler with more than three wins. Roberts took decisions over Ft Walton Beach and Rutherford wrestlers in pool play.
Florida High: Adam Stinson (285) was 4-1 on the day, with three pins in pool competition over wrestlers from Yulee, Rutherford and Wewahitchka.