PALM COAST — In a weekend full of crazy bounces in the Florida state wrestling scene — South Dade NOT winning highlighted among them — the song remains the same, even if it took on a different pitch, for Fleming Island in Region 1.
Saturday, at Flagler Palm Coast, the Golden Eagles racked up their sixth consecutive region title behind a cumulative 41-10 weekend and every wrestler brought reaching Saturday’s competition, as Fleming Island pulled away from the field, taking a decisive 51-point team victory over Hagerty, 189-138.
Fleming Island will send nine wrestlers to Friday’s 3A state tournament at Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, with three champions (equaling the rest of the coverage area in that regard), one runnerup, four 3rds and one 4th. Included in that group of individual champions were old heads and both expected and unexpected new faces that will be expected to carry forward the tradition of titles in 2021-22.
Buchholz held off the pushes of Flagler Palm Coast, Timber Creek and Lake Mary to secure third place with 127 points, to FPC’s 115.5, Timber Creek’s 114 and Lake Mary’s 110.5.
The Bobcats (two runners-up, two 3rds and two 4ths) and Bulldogs (one runnerup, one 3rd and four 4ths) will each send six to states.
Creekside was seventh (102 points, three qualifiers; one champ, one runnerup and one 4th) and Oakleaf ninth (91.5, four qualifiers; three 3rds and one 4th) rounded out teams in the coverage area that made the top 10 in the team table.
Mandarin (11th) had 84 points and advanced three to states (one runnerup, one 3rd and one 4th), the Mustangs’ first state qualifiers since 2010. Bartram Trail (12th, 48.5, one champ), University (Orange City) (13th, 43, one 4th) and Sandalwood (14th, 30, one champ) will send one qualifier each to represent the north.
Seminole was 20th with 18.5 points, while West Port was 25th (10), Forest and Nease T-26th (eight), Atlantic Coast T-28th (four) and DeLand 31st (three).
Brackets from the weekend can be found HERE. A summary of Saturday’s wrestling follows:
Championship: Bartram Trail sophomore Ethan Vugman (40-4, 3rd statewide) got District 1 off on the right foot, pinning or teching his way through the weekend. After two Friday falls, Vugman added a third with his pin over District 2 champ and Buchholz freshman Cavarius (CJ) Liddie in 3:15, qualifying for state for the second time (3rd in 2020). In the final, Vugman took a third-period tech fall over District 4 champ Trenton Dominguez (18-1 in 5:18) for his first region title. Dominguez reached the final behind two Friday pins and a Saturday semifinal major over Fleming Island freshman Joseph Forte, 11-3.
Third place: Liddie (31-18) bounced back with two wins on the back, punching his state ticket with a blood-round fall over Creekside’s Andrew Feeks in 1:51. Liddie then pushed past Forte, 4-2, in the bronze-medal match. Forte (32-12) qualified for states with a pin in the consi semis of his own, pinning Lyman’s Jackson Fredrickson in 1:53. Feeks falled Mandarin’s Logan Emanuel in :28 to reach the blood round, while Fredrickson advanced by walkover past University (Orange City)’s Grady Bryant.
Championship: Speaking of old heads, Fleming Island senior and District 1 champ Hunter Herrington (24-3, 6th) won his second region title Saturday behind a pair of Friday pins; in the semis on Saturday, Herrington edged District 4 champ and Timber Creek senior Nando Dominguez (9th), 3-2, in his toughest match of the weekend. In the final, Herrington unleashed some more of his offense in a 7-4 win over Apopka sophomore Tamarion Kendrick, the District 3 champ. Kendrick (33-7, 7th) got to the final behind three bonus-point wins, including a late third-period fall over District 2 champ and Flagler Palm Coast sophomore Kole Hannant (5:38) in the semis.
Third place: Dominguez came back for third behind two consi-side wins, falling Mandarin’s Nathan Bremer (2:59) in the blood round and then pushing past Hannant, 10-8, in the third-place match. Hannant (44-9) qualified out for his first state appearance with a 6-3 consi-semi win over West Orange’s DJ Perez. In getting to the bloodround, Bremer majored Lake Mary’s Jeremy Goldman, 13-3, while Perez also took a major decision, downing Creekside’s Conner Wright by a 15-4 count.
Championship: District 4 runnerup and Winter Park freshman James Gonzalez (16-3, 8th) avenged a district -final loss in taking the title, with Saturday decisions over Forest’s Jakob Zawosky (6-1) in the semifinal and a 5-4 win in the championship over Lake Mary senior Diego Solorzano, a match that Solorzano had won, 8-6, at districts last week. Solorzano (10th, unreported full record) got to the final behind three bonus-point wins, including a semifinal pin over District 2 champ Malique Hargett of University (Orange City) in 4:59.
Third place: Oakleaf senior Kevin Gilley (27-4), the District 1 champ, bounced back from a Friday quarterfinal loss to Gonzalez with four consi-side wins, including three Saturday victories over district rival Da’mon Teague of Mandarin (fall in 1:48), over Hargett in the blood round (7-5, in a matchup of seniors) to punch his first Kissimmee ticket, and survived a wild 13-10 win over Flagler Palm Coast sophomore John Hald in the bronze-plaque match. Hald (38-16), who’d lost 9-3 to Gonzalez in the opening round, roared back to states behind four consi-side wins, including Saturday victories over Timber Creek’s Bryse Balcom (fall in 3:53) and district rival Zawosky (7-4 consi-semi win), to make his first state appearance.
Championship: District 1 champ and Sandalwood senior Dante Rigal (14-0, 2nd) stayed undefeated with three max-point wins prior to the final, including a 39-second fall over Colonial’s Brandon Vargas in the semis for his first Florida state appearance. Rigal then shut down District 2 champion and Buchholz senior Venumadhava Mirel (8th) in a 4-0 decision for the region title. Mirel (36-12) qualified for states for the second time behind two Friday wins and a 2-0 win in the semis over area rival and Oakleaf senior Marcus McGee.
Third place: After falling 10-3 to Mirel in the quarters, Fleming Island senior Riley Holton (40-4, 9th) had four bonus-point wins in the consis to make his second state trip, including Saturday wins by injury default over District 3 champ Jalen Moliere of Apopka, plus a blood-round 17-0 tech fall (3 minutes even) over Vargas and a 15-2 major for third over McGee. McGee (26-11) also qualified out to Kissimmee for the second time, downing Lake Mary’s Dylan Cobb by a 7-5 count in the consi semi (he’d beaten Cobb, 9-4, in round 1 on Friday). Cobb reached the blood round with a fall (2:40) over District 4 champ Jacob McCrimmon of Timber Creek, avenging an 8-4 loss in the district final last week.
Championship: District 4 champ and second-ranked Timber Creek senior Jayden Tapia (41-6) had two Friday wins and a pair of bonus-point wins Saturday, with a second-period fall over Apopka junior Bonosky Fidel (2:49) in the semis. The title match saw Tapia secure a 14-6 major over District 1 champ and Mandarin junior Jameel Smith for the champion plaque. Smith (22-2) got to the finals behind two Friday wins and an 18-4 major in the semis over Lake Mary’s Dominic Rubino, for his first state appearance.
Third place: After a 9-6 quarterfinal loss to Tapia on Friday, Fleming Island junior Xavier Logan (28-9) won four matches on the bounce to bounce back for third, with Saturday wins over District 3 champ Joshua Raphael of Wekiva (fall in 2:56) and a 14-0 major over Rubino in the blood round to qualify out for states for the first time, followed by a 5-1 win over Fidel in the third-place match. Fidel (18-20) punched his ticket for Kissimmee with a 53-second fall over Oakleaf’s Logan Gilbert in the consi semis. Gilbert had gotten to that round with an 11-1 major over Hagerty’s David Mejia.
Championship: District 4 champ and fourth-ranked Hagerty sophomore Kamdon Harrison (41-6) needed just 2:32 of mat time to reach the final, with three pins, including a 57-second fall in the semis over District 3 champ Jagdesh Persaud of Evans. In a rematch of the District 4 final, Harrison again won with a bonus-point effort, majoring Lake Mary senior Brett Moses (9th) by a 13-4 count. Moses (no full record reported) had three 1-point victories to reach the final, the third of those a 5-4 win over District 1 champ and Oakleaf senior Trevor Owens (10th) in the semis.
Third place: Owens (39-14) came back with a pair of victories on the back side to place third, with a 5-2 win in the blood round over county and district rival Garrett Cole of Fleming Island, followed by a 10-1 major in the third-place match over area rival Timothy Bowen of Buchholz, the District 2 champ. After falling 6-5 to Moses in the quarters on Friday, Bowen (34-17) won three matches on the back, including wins on Saturday over Timber Creek’s Ethan Winters (fall in 3:45) and over Persaud, 4-1, in the consi semis. Cole got to that round with a fall (2:58) over Creekside’s Keanan Sexton.
Championship: District 4 champ and top-ranked Winter Park junior Joseph Gonzalez stayed undefeated (15-0) by teching his way into the final, including a 20-5 tech (4:10) over Apopka sophomore and District 3 champ Ransom Randolph (10th) in the semis. Gonzalez then reprised his 5-2 district-finals win over Oviedo senior Marcus Patrick (5th), with a 5-0 win in the championship match. Patrick (no full record reported) had three bonus-point wins to get to the final, including a semifinal pin over Evans’ Tyran Schanck (2:55).
Third place: After taking a loss by forfeit in the opening round, Buchholz junior Aiden Moore (35-5, 9th), the District 2 champ, didn’t lose again, with five pins in a row to place third, including Saturday falls over district rival Tyler Pinkowski (3:37) of West Port and Schanck (1:00) to punch his Kissimmee ticket for the second time. Moore then pinned Randolph in 2:48 in the bronze-plaque match. Randolph (36-8) pinned Timber Creek’s Malik Tyrell-Crittington in 3:21 in the consi semis; Tyrell-Crittington, in turn, reached the blood round with a 6-5 win in double overtime over Fleming Island’s Matthew Kotler.
Championship: District 4 champ and second-ranked Lake Mary senior Alex Vazquez (no full record reported) pinned or teched his way through the tournament, with Saturday pins in the semis over District 2 champ and Flagler Palm Coast junior Timothy King (3:08), then again in the championship match in a rematch of the District 4 final, with a fall over 10th-ranked Hagerty junior Blake Watts in 4 minutes. Watts (25-7) had three max-point wins to reach the final, winning by walkover/forfeit in the semis after two Friday pins.
Third place: King (38-8) took two pins on the back to place third and make his first appearance at states, falling District 1 champ Roman Polinsky of Oakleaf (3:21) in the blood round and then pinning Creekside junior Diego Rivera in 2 minutes for third. After being teched in the quarters by Vazquez, Rivera won three matches on the back to punch his first Kissimmee ticket, with Saturday victories by fall over Buchholz’s Liam Buchanan (1:09) and then by walkover forfeit in the consi semis. Polinsky reached that round with a medical forfeit over Winter Park’s Joey Parker.
Championship: District 4 champ and fourth-ranked Lake Mary senior Jared Purcell (no full record reported) pinned his way into the final, including a Saturday pin in the semis over District 1 champ and Fleming Island senior David Parkes (4:18), then taking a 7-3 win in the finals over the hosts’ fifth-ranked District 2 champ, Blane DeFord. DeFord (9-1) pinned or teched his way into the final for his second state appearance, with a semifinal first-period tech (17-0 in 1:55) over Bartram Trail’s John McNames.
Third place: Parkes (25-5, 6th) took a pair of decisions on the back to bounce back to third, shutting out Apopka’s Malik Nicholson, 6-0, in the blood round to make his second appearance at states. Parkes then downed Buchholz sophomore Kason Nichols, 6-1, in the third-place match, repeating the win he had over Nichols in the quarters. Nichols (47-10) had to win three consi-side matches to earn his first state trip, with Saturday wins over Windermere’s Kurt Vollenweider (9-0) and McNames (6-4) in the consi semis. Nicholson got to the blood round with a fall in the consi quarters over Oakleaf’s James McClintic (1:50).
Championship: District 1 champ and fourth-ranked Creekside senior Hunter Brown (31-6) had three pins in taking the title and qualifying for states for the first time, including a pair of Saturday falls in the semis over District 2 champ and Flagler Palm Coast junior Bryce Dodge (1:50) and again for the title, reprising his district finals win with a fall over Fleming Island sophomore Joshua Sandoval in 5:37. Sandoval (10-8) reached the final behind three pins of his own, including a semifinal pin over District 4 champ and Hagerty junior Ethan Gomez (3:14) to punch his Kissimmee ticket.
Third place: Gomez (34-8) came back for third with two consi-side wins, decisioning District 4 rival Zach Hanks, 6-2, in the blood round and then pinning Dodge in 53 seconds for the bronze plaque. Dodge (17-7) secured his state space (his first) with a second-period tech fall (17-2 in 2:49) over district rival William James of Seminole. James decisioned Nease’s Peter Simon, 9-4, in the consi quarters, while Hanks pinned district rival Tristen Carbonell in 2:54.
Championship: District 4 champ and top-ranked Hagerty senior Ethan Lopez bonus-pointed through the draw, including Saturday majors in the semis over Mandarin’s Tony Carter (14-4) and again in the championship match over District 1 champ and Creekside senior Bryan Fortay, 16-4. Fortay (22-5) advanced to the final behind two Friday pins and a 5-3 win in the semis over District 2 champ and Flagler Palm Coast junior Marcelo Gonzalez for his first state appearance.
Third place: Carter (18-3) won by fall twice in the consis, with a blood-round pin over Timber Creek’s Dennis Proulx (4:37) to qualify out for the first time, followed up by a fall in 1:35 for third place over Gonzalez. Gonzalez reprised his District 2 finals win in the consi semis, taking down University (Orange City)’s James Houck by a 7-3 count to make his first state tournament. Houck and Proulx both got to that round with pins in the consi quarters, with Houck falling West Orange’s Ayden Rieck (3:49) and Proulx pinning Lake Howell’s Maximus McMichael in 2:56.
Championship: District 1 champ and fifth-ranked Fleming Island junior Hunter Williams (27-3) pinned his way into the finals, with his third pin of the tournament coming in the semis over district rival Jaelen Simmons (2:16) of Mandarin, clinching his first state appearance. Williams then pushed past District 2 champ and Buchholz senior Jason Martin (7th) with a 6-3 decision in the final for his first region title. Martin (37-5) had two Friday pins, following those up with a 14-7 win in the semis over District 3 champ and Colonial senior Seth Suvak.
Third place: After a loss by fall in the quarters to Martin, Oakleaf junior Isaiah Shevchook (36-9, 8th) won four on the back to wrestle back to third, with Saturday pins over Lake Howell’s Danny Izquierdo (1:31) and Simmons (4:24) in the blood round for his first state appearance, plus an 8-3 win over Suvak in the bronze-plaque match. Suvak (24-3) pushed through to state with a 15-6 consi-semi win over the hosts’ Garrick Schwartz. Schwartz had advanced to that round with a fall in the consi quarters over Timber Creek’s Carlos Arciniegas.
Championship: District 4 champ and third-ranked Hagerty senior Bertilus Bornelus (30-3) max-pointed into Saturday, where he had a pair of decisions. First up was an 8-2 win in the semis over District 1 champ and Creekside junior Vincent Approbato, followed by a double-overtime 4-3 win in the championship match over District 3 champ and Apopka junior Ralph Sanchez. Sanchez (29-5, 4th) reached the finals behind two Friday pins and a 3-1 semifinal win over Fleming Island senior Grant Travis.
Third place: Travis (12-6) powered into the third-place spot behind two consi-side victories, falling Buchholz senior Drew Lewis (2:16) in the blood round for his first state appearance. Travis then downed District 2 champ and University (Orange City) senior Christian Kennick, 6-1, in the third-place match, barely 24 hours removed from his earlier 11-5 win over Kennick in the quarters. Kennick (18-4) responded to that quarterfinal loss with three wins in the consis, including Saturday wins over Timber Creek’s Peter Nesheiwat (fall in 3:17) and Approbato (8-4) in the consi semis, for his second state trip.
Championship: After a runnerup effort at districts, Fleming Island sophomore Ethan Hoffstetter (23-8, 6th) ran the table at Palm Coast, with a fall and three decisions. That set of wins included Saturday decisions over district rival Jordan Mitchell of Oakleaf in the semis, and an escape in the ultimate tiebreaker for a 3-2 win in the title match over District 3 champ and Ocoee junior Jordan Phillips. Phillips (22-3, 7th) got to the finals behind three max-point wins, including a Saturday fall in the semis over District 1 champ Ryan Piersza of Bartram Trail (4:58).
Third place: After losing by pin to Piersza in the Friday quarters, Winter Park senior Hayden Clem (23-5) had four falls on the back to rally back for third, with Saturday pins over Lyman’s James Fodor (4:10), Mitchell (1:45) in the blood round and in the third-place match over Mandarin’s Andres Rodriguez (:26). Rodriguez (18-5) lost by injury default to Phillips in the opening, but rallied back behind four falls in the consis, including Saturday pins over Flagler Palm Coast’s Skyler Blackburn (1:52) and over Piersza (3:45) in the consi semis.