#RoadToTheShow: FWB Wins 2A-District 1 Title

Ft Walton Beach wrestlers celebrate a 2A-District 1 team championship won Monday afternoon at Gulf Breeze (Photo submitted by Tobi Marez).

GULF BREEZE — The 2021 FHSAA traditional post-season kicked off statewide Monday afternoon with a thrilling three-way battle for the top of 2A-District 1.

In the end, it was Ft Walton Beach, with five titles and nine finalists, that had enough firepower to overcome both host Gulf Breeze’s extra depth and Pace’s nine finalists to win the district title, starting a six-days-long journey to determine the north’s qualifiers for next Region 1 and 2 tournaments.

The Vikings moved 11 of their 12 entered wrestlers through to the 2A-Region 1 tournament at Mosley on February 26-27, with one additional third and one additional fourth to go with the finalists. FWBHS outpointed Gulf Breeze, 198.5-185, for the team district championship, with Pace just a point behind in third at 184 points.

“I am proud of our team and the work they put in to get to this point,” Vikings coach Tobi Marez said via text to Matmen. “However, this is not the highest point of the post-season mountain. We know that next wee we will have to go back out there and prove it again.”

Gulf Breeze moved through the most region qualifiers (13 in all), with two champions, two runners-up, five thirds and four fourths. Like Ft Walton Beach, Pace qualified out 11 to regions, with four champions, five runners-up, and one third and one fourth, respectively.

Niceville finished fourth in the eight-team event, with 117 points. The Eagles moved seven wrestlers on to regions (two champs, two runners-up, two 3rds and one 4th). Crestview (92 points, one champ, one runnerup, two 3rds and two 4ths) was fifth.

Choctaw (60 points, two 3rds and three 4ths) was sixth, followed by Tate (15, one 4th) and Milton (three points, no automatic qualifiers).

The next district that will feed into the Mosley region kicks off Wednesday afternoon at Matanzas with District 4 competition, with subsequent competitions on Thursday and Saturday.

Brackets from Monday’s wrestling can be found HERE.

Ft Walton Beach: Santiago Mayic (106-1st); Zak Vosburgh (113-1st); Brandon Mallin (Ft Walton Beach (120-1st); Weston Burbidge (132-2nd); Alexander Davidson (138-2nd); Malachi Santiago (145-1st); Marquis Muniz (152-4th); Caleb Tourgee (160-2nd); Carter Tobik (170-3rd); Cedric Fairrow (220-1st); Spencer Mackenzie (285-2nd).
Gulf Breeze: Alec Poole (106-4th); Emily Vogel (113-4th); Coby Shields (120-3rd); Logan Merritt (126-3rd); Colson Elliott (132-1st); Brennden Nita (138-3rd); Garret Rudick (145-3rd); Ian Daily (152-2nd); Sean Jones (160-3rd); Trevor Dupont (170-4th); Hunter Dupont (182-1st); Julian McCulley (195-2nd); Micah Barker (220-4th).
Pace: Natalie Lugo (106-2nd); William Mitchell (113-3rd); Haze Esary (126-2nd); Cam Friend (138-1st); Atticus Waters (145-2nd); Seth O’Gara (152-1st); Joseph Cortez (160-1st); Brody Andrews (170-2nd); Aidan Bryan (182-2nd); Wyatt Dillon (195-1st); Kegan Oshel (285-4th).
Niceville: Ethan Pinto (120-2nd); Noah Tritz (126-1st); Chris DeGrella (132-3rd); JJ Martinez (145-4th); Martin Black (170-1st); Bryce Travis (182-3rd); David Polaski (220-2nd).
Crestview: Aiden Golden (106-3rd); Gary Gessendoff (113-2nd); Landon Brown (126-4th); Layne Franks (160-4th); Desi McGueen (220-3rd); Josh Green (285-1st).
Choctaw: Deagan Kilpatrick (120-4th); Steven Banfield (132-4th); Devonte Knox (152-3rd); Jesse Sarver (182-4th); Chase Pelfrey (285-3rd).
Tate: Caiden Stone (138-4th).

106: Sophomore Mayic (22-12) had two wins after a bye into the semis for his first title in first FHSAA appearance, with a fall (2:45) over third-place Golden in the semis and then a 10-7 win over Lugo in the championship match.
113: Vosburgh (19-11), a freshman, needed just 1:39 of mat time, with falls in the semis over fourth-place Vogel (:11) and over Gessendoff (1:26) in the title round.
120: Senior Mallin (31-2), after three previous runnerup efforts, earned his first district title behind a third-period semifinal tech fall (22-6 in 4:10) over fourth-place Kilpatrick, then pinned 2020 district champ Pinto in 3:45 in the finals.
126: Tritz (19-4), a senior, qualified for regions for the third time (3rd in 2019 and 2020) with a 34-second semifinal pin over Gannon, then finding a takedown in sudden victory for a 6-4 win over Esary for the championship.
132: Sophomore Elliott (29-0) won his second district title with two bonus-point wins, a fall (5:22) over Tate’s Marcus Virgin in the semis, followed by a 14-6 major in the final over Burbidge.
138: Friend (17-1), a senior, made his second region appearance (3rd last year) with a semifinal pin over Tate in the semis, followed by an 11-4 decision in the title match over Davidson.
145: In his fourth district appearance, senior Santiago (32-2) qualified for regions for the third time (runnerup last year, 4th in 2019 for Crestview) with a 13-4 major over Martinez in the semis, then pushed past Waters, 8-6, in the final.
152: A matchup of once-beaten finalists went O’Gara’s way in the final. O’Gara (17-1) qualified for regions for the fourth time (3rd in 2018 & 2019, runnerup last year), with pins over third-place Knox (1:08) in the semis and Daily (1:32) in the title round.
160: Senior Cortez (17-1) reached regions for the third time (3rd in 2019, runnerup last year), with a 47-second fall over fourth-place Franks in the semis and a 4-2 decision in the final over Tourgee for the championship.
170: Black (27-2), a senior, qualified out for the second time (4th in 2020) with two bonus-point wins, including a semifinal pin over third-place Tobik (1:40) and a 16-4 major over Andrews in the final.
182: Senior Dupont (28-1) won his second district title with two pins in 70 seconds. Dupont falled third-place Travis (:17) in the semis, then came back to pin Bryan in a rematch of last year’s 170 final, with a fall time of :53.
195: In a two-person bracket (take note, 195s in Region 1), Dillon qualified for regions for the fourth time (champion last year at 220, runnerup at 195 in 2019, fourth in 2018), with a fall over McCulley in 3:07.
220: In his first FHSAA traditional tournament since transferring from Ottawa (IL), Fairrow (33-0) pinned his way through the day, with a semifinal fall over third-place McGueen (2:38) in the semis, then pinning fellow first-time finalist Polaski in 5:57 in the final.
285: Senior and first-time finalist Green (10-2) had three first-period falls in a combined time of 3:52, with pins over Gulf Breeze’s Bryson Wick (1:23, quarters), Oshel (1:36, semis) and Mackenzie (:53) in the title round.

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