PALM COAST — New Smyrna Beach hasn’t had to deal with a lot of adversity in the 2020-21 season, above and beyond the “usual” levels of adversity.
The Barracudas were tested, though, in Wednesday night’s 2A-District 4 tournament at Matanzas, short-handed by two starters missing at 106 and 170. Still, though, New Smyrna Beach qualified all the other 12 wrestlers it brought, outdistancing runnerup St Augustine, 186-158, for the title.
“The wrestling improved everywhere in the district,” ‘Cudas coach Kevin Kehoe said. “St Augustine, Matanzas, Belleview, all of them brought tough kids.
“Losing (106-pound) Simjay (Engberg, as well as a starter at 170) was tough on all of us, tough on his practice partner (113-lb Aidan Sutton). So for Sutton to win after all that, that was awesome.”
Sutton wouldn’t be New Smyrna Beach’s only champion. The ‘Cudas would roll up five weight-class wins on the night, going 5-0 in finals. NSB added five 3rds and two 4ths, going 10-2 in the medals round.
St Augustine, for its part, countered with 10 wrestlers advanced automatically to next week’s 2A-Region 1 tournament at Mosley, of the 11 that the Yellow Jackets brought.
“We beat some kids tonight that beat us earlier in the year. Our kids wrestled tough, wrestled hard,” St Augustine coach Will Rinchiusa said. “It’s nice to see that a team that hadn’t done anything for a while has done this (back-to-back runnerup status in the district). We’ve made a lot of progress.”
The Yellow Jackets finished with three champions, five runners-up, one third and one fourth.
Host Matanzas was third with 139 points, 15 ahead of fourth-place Belleview. The Pirates advanced nine automatically to regions, with four champions, two runners-up, two 3rds and one 4th.
As for the Diamondbacks, Belleview qualified nine of its 10 wrestlers to next week, with one champ, three runners-up, three 3rds and two 4ths.
Seabreeze outpointed Deltona and Mainland for fifth, with 88 points to the Wolves’ 56 and Buccaneers’ 30. The Sandcrabs qualified seven wrestlers to regions (three runners-up, one 3rd and three 4ths), while Deltona qualified five out (one champ, one runnerup, one 3rd and two 4ths. Mainland advanced three wrestlers to regions (one runnerup and two 4ths).
Brackets from Wednesday night’s wrestling can be found HERE.
New Smyrna Beach: Aidan Sutton (113-1st); Tristen Winfrey (120-3rd); Jamey Bruner (126-1st); Jace Engberg (132-1st); Justis Chandler (138-3rd); Michael Shannon (145-1st); Avante Chamble (152-3rd); Jackson Farmer (160-3rd); Thomas Connell (182-3rd); Doug Dittmer (195-1st); Austin Mitchum (220-4th); Noah Cortez (285-4th).
St Augustine: Gavin Barro (106-2nd); Wilson Nguyen (120-1st); Brayden Lovingood (132-4th); Carlos Quintanal (138-2nd); Gabriel Galloza (145-2nd); Hayden Yanni (152-2nd); Clint Griffin (160-2nd); Connor Spossey (170-1st); Ryan Murphy (182-1st); Justin Ballard (285-3rd).
Matanzas: Carter Wilder (106-1st); Braden Hawley (113-2nd); Toryion Stallings (126-4th); Logan Mayer (132-3rd); Tyson Mills (152-1st); Jordan Mills (160-1st); Brandyn Cox (170-3rd); Quincy Cuthbert (182-2nd); Robert Elder (285-1st).
Belleview: Zackery Young (113-2nd); Gage Alberty (126-3rd); Morgan Cole (132-2nd); Andrew Davis (138-1st); Zack McLaughlin (145-4th); Cornelius Bentley-Greene (160-4th); Eric McLaughlin (170-2nd); Nathan Halstead (195-3rd); Andrew Dunn (220-3rd).
Seabreeze: River Gray (106-4th); Joseph Kent (126-2nd); Hayden Herndon (138-4th); Tyler Herndon (145-3rd); Brock Roberts (152-4th); Caiden Patton (195-2nd); Nathan Boyd (220-2nd).
Deltona: Dianna Pineda (106-3rd); Conner Manning (113-4th); Kevin Kerns (120-2nd); Michael Boodram (170-4th); Ethan Chiu (220-1st).
Mainland: Kaden Golder (120-4th); Nico Rivera (195-4th); Jordan Colubiale (285-2nd).
THE DISTRICT CHAMPS
106: After finishing a match short of regions a year ago, sophomore Wilder (15-8) pinned his way through the 106 bracket this year for his first title, with a semifinal pin over fourth-place Gray (:35) and a fall in the finals over runnerup Barro (4:42).
113: Sutton (17-9), a freshman, also had two pins for his first district championship, falling fourth-place Manning (2:44) in the semis and runnerup Young in 48 seconds for the first-place plaque.
120: Junior Nguyen (25-7) took his first district title after fourths in both 2019 and 2020. After a quarterfinal pin over sixth-place Wyatt Sites (1:37), Nguyen took a pair of decisions over fifth-place Mark Willis of Belleview (13-6, semis) and over Kerns in the finals match by a 7-6 count.
126: Bruner (30-3), a junior, reached his third final and second title win, first with the ‘Cudas, behind first-period pins over fifth-place Brian Harris of Mainland (:57, quarters) and fourth-place Stallings (1:10, semis) before shutting out Kent, 5-0, in the final.
132: Junior Engberg (30-3) also qualified for regions for the third time (3rd in 2019, runnerup last year) with two second-period pins, falling third-place Mayer (2:57) in the semis and runnerup Cole (3:19) for the championship.
138: Davis (32-5), a sophomore, improved on his one-match-from-regions showing in 2020 with a 15-6 major in the semis over third-place Chandler, followed by an 8-4 win in the finals over runnerup Quintanal for his first district title.
145: Junior (brackets noted as senior) Shannon (32-2) bonus-pointed through the day for his second district title and third finals appearance (runnerup last year, won in 2019), with a first-period fall over fourth-place McLaughlin (1:30) in the semis and a 12-1 major in the title match over runnerup Galloza.
152: Mills (20-4), a junior in his first FHSAA tournament after prior seasons at FBC in nearby Bunnell, won his first district title with a semifinal pin over fourth-place Roberts (3:33), then pushing past Yanni, 9-3, in the championship match.
160: Freshman Mills (17-5) also won in his first FHSAA tournament, taking a semifinal pin over third-place Farmer (4:55), followed by an 8-2 win in the title round over Griffin.
170: Spossey (39-3), a senior, took his fourth district championship and first with the Yellow Jackets, needing 10 seconds to pin fourth-place Boodram in the semis, then teching McLaughlin, 21-2 in 4:20, for that fourth title.
182: Senior Murphy (27-2) reached the finals for the third time, taking his second district championship with a bye into the final, where he majored Cuthbert by a 13-3 count.
195: In a rematch of last year’s 2A-District 4 final, senior Dittmer (33-2) turned the tables with a second-period fall over Patton (3:27) for his first district title; earlier, Dittmer needed just 44 seconds to fall fourth-place Rivera in the semis. It was Dittmer’s first title after two runnerup showings (2nd also in 2019).
220: Chiu (30-3), a senior, qualified for regions for the third time (4th in 2018) and won his second title (won last year as well) behind a fall over third-place Dunn (2:00) in the semis and a 5-3 decision over Boyd for the championship plaque.
285: Senior Elder (17-3) also won his second district title in as many appearances, with a 2-0 decision over third-place Ballard in the semis, followed by a second-period fall over Colubiale in the finals.