#Scuffle: J. Brown 4th For Fledgling Liberty Group

GULF SHORES, AL — Finding footing for a fledgling program can be a difficult task.

Getting a full schedule is difficult. Getting kids out and keeping them out, even more so.

So when a first-year program like Liberty County’s makes a two-day trip well away from home, it’s kind of a big deal for the program as a whole.

Wednesday and Thursday, the Bulldogs competed in the Gulf Shores Scuffle. Team scores were a bit difficult to track, as the tournament host grouped varsity boys, varsity girls, and JH competitors into one large list for team-score purposes. Counting down from the list, it appears Liberty County finished ninth in varsity boys, with 27 points. North Bay Haven also competed in the event, taking sixth with 49 points.

Alabama’s Mortimer Jordan HS won the event with 245.5 points, with host Gulf Shores second at 208.

Liberty County had one top-four place finish in the tournament, as Jay Brown was fourth at 113. Brown took a 10-8 win in sudden victory in the quarters over a Gulf Shores competitor, but then fell to the eventual runnerup from Mortimer Jordan, 8-3, in the semis. Brown decisioned a second Gulf Shores comeptitor, 5-1, in the consi semis, before falling, 7-5, to McAdory (AL) in the third-place match.

Additionally, Hunter Brown (5th at 120) and Scout Harr (6th at 285) were placers for Liberty County.

NOTE: A full varsity individual recap of North Bay Haven’s tournament could not be shared in this story, due to missing results from the Buccaneers; if received on or before Monday night (6 p.m. ET), we will update this story.

Liberty County is next on the mats Thursday with the 1A-District 2 duals tournament at Wakulla; North Bay Haven will be at Mosley’s Panhandle Championships on January 7-8.

Complete varsity brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

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#PrepSlam14: Eagles’ McGarity Takes 6th At 182

ATLANTA — This week wasn’t the first time that Episcopal paid a visit to the two-day Prep Slam, hosted by Holy Innocents Episcopal Wednesday and Thursday.

Under the current coaching regime, though, it was the Eagles’ first major trip taken outside of Florida, and gave Episcopal a chance to scrap with some of the South’s and East’s top private programs in the two-day IBT, the 14th so held.

Episcopal finished with a mid-pack team finish, taking 16th out of 31 teams with 41 points, just one back of Berkeley Prep for second among Florida teams in the field (Lake Highland Prep, with 136 points, was 4th).

Just one Eagle took a place finish in the event, with Christian McGarity finishing sixth at 182. McGarity lost to the eventual 3rd by fall in the quarters, needing two wins (pin and 7-3 decision) in the consis to rally back for a podium spot.

Turner Glenn (106), Baylor Maurer (138), Maddox Davidson (220) and Mark Rinaman (285) each reached the blood round in their weight classes.

Baylor School (TN) won the event going away with 289 points, with St Anthony’s (NY) second at 191.5 and Lovett School of Georgia third with 148.5. Two other Florida teams, Cardinal Newman (T-27th) and St Petersburg Catholic (31st) joined Episcopal, LHP and Berkeley in the 31-team field.

Summary results from the tournament, including all Florida team scores, a full list of placing wrestlers from all teams, and full Episcopal results, can be found HERE.

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#KnockoutDay2: Trio of 3rds Lead Area at Osceola

KISSIMMEE — The paths that Bartram Trail junior Ethan Vugman and seniors Cayden Bevis (Lincoln 195) and Garrett Tyre (Clay 220) took, as each placed third in their respective weight classes at the Knockout Christmas Classic, somewhat different paths.

Vugman, wrestling at 120 for the Bears, was Region 1’s only semifinalist in the tournament, while Bevis had to fight his way deeper out of the 195 consis for the Trojans, but ultimately got the satisfaction of beating the only wrestler to beat him, in the two-day IBT hosted by Osceola.

Vugman dominated his Monday opponents, with three pins and a tech, but learned how those opponents felt in the semis against multiple-time Georgia state champ Cole Hunt of Cass, the eventual Knockout champ, who handled things without much incident in a 15-2 major over Vugman.

But Vugman bounced back, as he so often does, opening with an 8-2 consi-semi win over a highly-regarded Buford (GA) freshman, then, after a scoreless first period against Jensen Beach’s Ryan Mooney, rolled up two reversals and a 3-point turn, which helped build a 9-4 decision win.

Bevis, who’d fallen by a 6-3 count in the quarters to Hewitt-Trussville’s Hunter Jones Monday night, had to win twice just to make podium, with a pin (2:50) over Ft Myers’ Coleman and 8-1 decision over Thompson AL.

But Bevis was not done yet. He hammered Woodland, Cartersville’s Charles Higdon, 15-7 in the consi semis, and that got him a rematch with Jones in the third-place match. That rematch at first looked like how the quarter finished, with Jones securing first takedown. But that takedown would be all he would get, as Bevis escaped twice (once in the second period and again in the third), and picked up a takedown of his own with 48 seconds left, using it to hold on for a 4-2 revenge win.

Tyre, like Bevis, fell in the quarters Monday night, but he would not get a revenge match, as his quarterfinal opponent, from Jefferson (GA), reached the final. But he also made podium out of consi round 6, with a pin (1:56) and 5-2 blood-round win over SW Miami’s Jonathan Fraga.

After that, Tyre overcame two more wrestlers with decisions, taking down Paducah Tilghman (KY)’s Uriah Virzi, 5-2, in the consi semis. That set up a third-place match with Ft Myers’ Morvens Saint Jean, and a very tight match ensued — for the most part — as it was 1-1 with less than 30 seconds to go until Tyre hit a 5-point move to push out to a 6-1 win and third.

The trio of third-placers weren’t the only Region 1 placers in the tournament, as Hagerty’s Ethan Gomez (170) and Clay’s Dominic Martin (182) both took 6ths.

After a 13-3 quarterfinal loss to eventual champ Frank Solorzano of Lake Gibson on Monday, Gomez secured his podium space with two consi-side wins, including a fall over Osceola’s George Duncan (1:35), but then fell in the consi semis and again by a 5-1 count to Winter Springs’ Davis Deal in the fifth-place match.

Martin, who’d lost by fall in the quarters Monday to the eventual 3rd from North Hall (GA), battled through to two wins in the consis, including a 4-2 blood-round win over Barron Collier’s Jeremy Urena, to secure his medal, but then took a hard-fought 3-1 loss to AH-Delray’s Joseph Nicolosi in the consi semis and lost by fall in the fifth-place match to Jesuit’s Josiah Jenkins.

Here’s a thumbnail look at the top second-day performer in the coverage area at each weight (not otherwise represented by a placer listed above), where applicable, and how they fared Tuesday:

132: Buchholz’s Venumadhava Mirel reached the blood round, where he took a 5-1 loss to the eventual 3rd.

145: Buchholz’s Aiden Moore, like Mirel, was 1-1 Tuesday, with a 2-0 loss in round 6 to a fellow non-placer.

152: Hagerty’s Blake Watts lost his only match of the day in round 5, 4-0, to a fellow non-placer.

285: Lincoln’s Nic Weaver lost his only match of the day in round 5, 4-2, to a fellow non-placer.

Team-wise, Clay was 24th as the top team in the coverage area, with 67.5 points. Flagler Palm Coast (41st) and Hagerty (T-42nd) were a half-point apart, with 37.5 and 37 points, respectively. Lincoln was 45th, with 35 points, while Bartram Trail was 49th (27.5), Buchholz T-50th (27) and New Smyrna Beach T-54th (23). Tampa Jesuit won the title with 208.5 points, with Florida teams Lake Gibson (3rd, 138.5), Palmetto Ridge (4th, 136.5), South Dade (5th, 126.5) and Charlotte (7th, 116) all in the top seven.

Complete team scores and brackets can be found HERE.

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#KnockoutDay1: BT’s Vugman Lone Region 1 Semifinalist

KISSIMMEE — A thumbnail recap from Monday’s first day of the Knockout Christmas Classic…

Top 5 teams: Tampa Jesuit 121.5, Cass GA 96.5, Woodland (Cartersville) GA 95.5, South Dade 89.5, Palmetto Ridge 87.

North Florida team standings: 26. Clay 48.5; 37. Flagler Palm Coast 36.5; 44. Hagerty 30; T-47. Buchholz 24; 49. New Smyrna Beach 23; 55. Bartram Trail 20.5. 56. Lincoln 20.

Semis & locals alive at each weight:

106 — Sebastian DiGennaro (Jensen Beach) v Gabriel Tellez (SW Miami); Patrick Jones (Wellington) v Dylan Ibold (Buford GA). No locals in consis.

113 — Tyler Washburn (Palmetto Ridge) v Nathaniel Williams (South Dade); Roman Lermer (Tampa Jesuit) v Ty Tice (Eastside SC). No locals in consis.

120 — Cole Hunt (Cass GA) v Ethan Vugman (Bartram Trail); Ryan Mooney (Jensen Beach) v Drew Gorman (Buford).
Vugman’s path to semi: TF over Heritage TN (24-8 in 2:39); F Woodward Academy GA (1:29); F Walton GA (3:44); F Oglethorpe County GA (:43). Will earn a medal regardless of outcomes Tuesday.
Consis: Kole Hannant (Flagler Palm Coast); Maverick Rainwater (Clay) (face each other in round 5).

126 — Jake Crapps (Cass GA) v George Maholtz (Eastside SC); Yanni Vines (Thompson AL) v Andrew Austin (Charlotte). No locals in consis.

132 — Braden Basile (Tampa Jesuit) v Josh Domino (Skyline VA); Ryan Duguay (Jensen Beach) v Logan Paradice (Colquitt County GA).
Consis: Venumadhava Mirel (Buchholz; in round 6).

138 — Tom Crook (Tampa Jesuit) v Bryce Kresho (Cass GA); David Panone (Lassiter GA) v Cooper Haase (Osceola). No locals in consis.

145 — Brennan Van Hoecke (Palmetto Ridge) v Tyler Nelson (Mt Pisgah Christian GA); James Latona (Thompson AL) v Jack Crook (Tampa Jesuit).
Consis: Aiden Moore (Buchholz; in round 5).

152 — Caleb Henson (Woodland, Cartersville GA) v Dominic Bambinelli (Mill Creek GA); Kendrick Hodge (Somerset Academy) v Michael Kilic (Woodward Academy GA).
Consis: Blake Watts (Hagerty; in round 5).

160 — Cole Cochran (Woodland, Cartersville GA) v Roman Garcia (Palmetto Ridge); Colby Dalon (Lakeside Christian TN) v Brendon Abdon (Lake Gibson). No locals in consis.

170 — Cory Cannan (Barron Collier) v Conor McCloskey (Buford GA); Davis Deal (Winter Springs) v Frank Solorzano (Lake Gibson).
Consis: Ethan Gomez (Hagerty; in round 6).

182 — Matthew Singleton (Woodward Academy GA) v Joseph Nicolosi (AH-Delray Beach); Hunter Adams (North Hall GA) v Brian Burburija (Countryside).
Consis: Marcelo Gonzalez (Flagler Palm Coast; in round 5); Dominic Martin (Clay; in round 6, could face Gonzalez).

195 — Luke Cochran (Jefferson GA) v Charles Higdon (Woodland, Cartersville GA); Sergio Desiante (Tampa Jesuit) v Hunter Jones (Hewitt-Trussville AL).
Consis: Garrick Schwartz (Flagler Palm Coast; in round 5); Cayden Bevis (Lincoln; in round 6 — could meet Schwartz in blood round).

220 — Sawyer Bartelt (South Dade) v Uriah Virzi (Paducah Tilghman KY); Sammy Brown (Jefferson GA) v Chris Hawkins (Hewitt-Trussville AL).
Consis: Garrett Tyre (Clay; in round 6); Landon Revis (Hagerty; in round 5).

285 — Chase Horne (West Laurens GA) v Gabriel Jacas (Ft Pierce Central); Matthew Jimenez (Somerset Academy) v Ethan Vergara (Mater Lakes Academy).
Consis: Nic Weaver (Lincoln; in round 5).

Full brackets for the tournament can be found HERE.

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#KnockoutGirls: 4 Area Champs Bring Back Brackets

KISSIMMEE — Four wrestlers in the FHSAA boys’ Region 1 coverage area won titles Monday in the 2021 Girls Knockout Christmas Classic, the inaugural event under the name and second girls’ tournament connected with the Knockout, at Osceola.

Dr Phillips’ Juliana Diaz (115) Tocoi Creek’s Brielle Bibla (120), Clay’s Madisyn Blackburn (130) and Timber Creek’s Madison Waltz (140) all were victorious in their respective weight classes.

Diaz didn’t give up a single point all tournament, opening with a 19-second quarterfinal pin over Beebe Trained, followed by a 7-0 win over Miami in the semis. That got her to a familiar rival in Freedom’s Cameron Galvin for the title round.

There, Diaz broke open a scoreless tie 13 seconds into the third period; another 12 seconds later, Diaz scored the match’s only takedown, and made that stand up for a 3-0 decision over Galvin for the title.

Bibla, the top seed at 120, began her day with a second-period fall over Patriots WC (AL) (2:55), then falled Oakleaf Knights’ Kailani Barrientos (1:16) to get to the final, where she took on Columbus (GA)’s Jasmine Jenkins-Bey.

Bibla scored the first takedown in the first period, bagging a 3-point nearfall a minute later before a late reversal put her up, 5-2. After a penalty point was assessed in the second period, Bibla — who rode in both the second and third periods, riding out Jenkins-Bey in both — secured another 3-point turn to put the match away with an 8-3 win.

At 130, Blackburn, the top seed, had a bye into the quarters, where she grabbed a second-period fall (3:27) over Ft Myers, taking a 2nd second-period fall (3:01) in the semis over Tocoi Creek’s Kendall Bibla. That brought on Creekview (GA)’s Grace Botts in the final; Botts was one match short of placing in the GHSA state tournament at 132 in 2021.

Blackburn scored a first point when Botts was hit for a second stall warning midway through the second period, then grabbed a quick turn near the end of that period to go up 3-0. From bottom to start the third, Blackburn needed only 10 seconds to get out before grabbing the first takedown on the match to pull away for a 6-0 decision and the Knockout title.

Waltz, the top seed, also had two pins to reach the final as Bibla and Blackburn had, with falls over Mater Lakes’ (3:39) and Patriots WC (:53) to get to the title match against Osceola’s Brianna Espinosa.

But Waltz put herself in position from the first, needing only a takedown 12 seconds in that turned into a fall nearly a minute later, as she pinned Espinosa in 1:22 for the championship.

Below follows a summary of the rest of the top-four performances from wrestlers within the coverage area:

100 — Middleburg’s Gracie Bradshaw, wrestling this tournament with RPA Riot, bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to Freedom’s Maite Coutinho (6-4) with three victories in the consis to wrestle back for third, sandwiching a consi-semi pin over South Sade with decisions over Milton’s Maya Alvarado (7-3) and Coutinho, 6-5, in the medal round.

120 — Barrientos, who had a front-side pin (:13) over Ft Myers to get to Bibla in the semis, took consi-side pins over a second Ft Myers wrestler (1:24) and over Patriots WC in 1:31 to secure a third-place medal.

125 — After a quarterfinal loss (front-side pin over Lincoln’s Kierra Cooper in a pigtail) to the eventual runnerup from Osceola, Clay’s Aubrianna Apple fought all the way back to third, with four wins in the consis, including a pin over Boca Ciega (:42), decision over Hagerty’s Megan Kaplan (6-0), and pins over Riverview (3:27) and Freedom (1:34) in the third-place match.

130 — Timber Creek’s Bailey Waltz fought back to third after a front-side bye and 2-1 quarterfinal loss to Botts, taking pins over South Dade (:59) and Gulf (2:32) plus an injury-default win over Kendall Bibla in the consi semis. After that, Waltz shut out Freedom, 5-0, for third place.

135 — Hagerty’s Lauren McLeod fought her way to the podium after a bye into the quarters and loss by fall to Wildcat Nation in that round. McLeod took three pins over Lincoln’s Holly Sanders (:23), Immokalee (4:47) and South Dade (3:12) before a loss by fall to Charlotte (:34) in the medal match.

140 — Clay’s Alexis Buck, after losing by fall in the quarters to Espinosa, took two pins in 90 seconds to earn a podium space, with falls over Boca Ciega (:41) and Patriots WC (:45) before losing by fall in the third-place match to Mater Lakes (1:45).

155 — Dr Phillips’ Amy Etienne was a semifinalist (bye and quarterfinal pin), falling in that round by fall to Colquitt County (GA), the eventual runnerup. In the consis, Etienne added a pair of pins to take third, with falls over Gateway (2:05) and Boca Ciega (2:33) to claim the bronze.

170 — RPA’s Jayla Harrison also was third, with a pin over Palm Harbor and 13-1 major over Ft Myers before losing by fall to the eventual champion from South Dade in the semi. In the consis, Harrison added two more bonus-point wins, both by pin over Freedom (1:41) and a second Ft Myers wrestler (:58), in taking third.

190 — Lincoln’s Maggie Moss was third and Middleburg’s Cheyenne Cruce, wrestling for RPA, took fourth. In the third-place match, Moss won by fall in 30 seconds. Prior to that, Moss had a quarterfinal pin (1:08) over Miami before losing by fall to the eventual champ from Palmetto Ridge. Cruce fell, 10-8, to Palmetto Ridge in the quarters, with consi-side pins over Miami (1:33) and Ft Myers (2:25).

Full brackets for the tournament can be found HERE.


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Personal Note

Merry Christmas From Matmen!

“So this is Christmas, and what have you done…Another year over and a new one just begun…”

Sometimes I do wonder what I’ve done and what I’m doing with this site. I had a 75-minute phone call just this morning with my third son in Illinois, who’s excited that the peak of his year is concluding and glad for things to get back to normal. I could have that conversation every day there. Conversations with my two older sons, one who is engaged and another who is beginning home life with a live-in girlfriend. Happier than both have been in a long time, perhaps ever. I want to be a part of that happiness with and for them. What am I doing, what have I done?

“And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun, the near and the dear one, the old and the young…”

I feel this Christmas attacking me to some extent. After the mishap with the car this week (and I was really serious as I noted on my FB page, if anybody has an extra car they’re not needing for a few weeks, it would really help me out, and it will be brought back in same if not better condition), I lost the motivation to wrap up decorations. The season doesn’t give me much time to start and I started too late (next year, I have to get things going mid-November).

“A very merry Christmas, and a happy new year, let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear…”

You guys do better than me on this part. I applaud your courage in the face of the pandemic to go out and do battle, and I’ve gone out as much as I can, but it’s been much harder. Much harder. All the time. I am always behind, ALL THE DAMN TIME. I can’t tell you how many stories, pieces of results, content you want to see just sits in a text file on my laptop for minutes to hours just because the work work keeps pouring in.

Even now, I’m only “caught up” because nothing new has come in on Georgia side that’s been wrestled this week (EDITOR’S NOTE: Not entirely true, Matmen guy, check yer email), and there are several big things that haven’t come in yet. (We’re not talking about #NextLevel just yet, I have my significant fears about that one).

Had I known my work work pace was going to double over the past three months, I would not have expanded to Orlando. But the decision was made, the work work pace doubled, and here we are. Behind.

“And so this is Christmas for weak and for strong, for the rich and the poor ones, the road is so long…”

While I’m not really down with the celebrating this go-round, I am going to try to not worry about what’s coming. About how far behind I feel. I am going to acknowledge the gratitude I have for the blessings I do have from this community. Several Orlando coaches, in particular, have expressed their thanks for my writing about them.

And then of course, there’s been new donations to acknowledge. Thank you very much for these!

  • Johan Olarte
  • Drew Lindsey
  • Mike DiTomasso
  • William Lamb
  • Kenneth DeFord
  • InspectzJax
  • Jason Weslager
  • William Pyburn
  • Nichole Smith
  • Steve Howard
  • Jonathan Smith
  • An anonymous coach donation

If you would like to donate to us, Venmo is the best way (shannon-heaton-6). I also have PayPal, which is functional too.

Page views are up substantially, on both sites, this year. Donations went fallow there for several months, but more recently have made many things possible and comfortable for me. Were it not for them — and a timely work work bonus paid out because we have worked, frankly, our asses off this year, I would be even more screwed with the car thing than I have been already.

So all the thanks go out to the donors and the readers, the recent and former ones, the old and the young.

2022 is coming whether we’re ready or not, and there will have to be some decisions to be made. None will be easy.

But until they have to be made, I want to thank you with trusting me with your coverage for nine seasons. I plan on a 10th. I hope there’ll be an 11th. Beyond that, who knows. I’m not going to worry about that now. Or at least try not to.

Because as John said, war is over if you want it. Even if the war is with your decisions.

Have a merry, merry Christmas, and a happy new year. (And reach out to me about the car thing; I can’t guarantee on-site coverage in 2022 as things stand right now).

Let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear.


#Beast: Wakulla Leads N Fla With Runnerup Finish

FT WALTON BEACH — No matter who’s suited up in War Eagle blue, red and white, a Wakulla team has been a fixture at or near the very top of the heap in deciding the Beast of the Beach duals champion.

That was true once again this year, as the War Eagles reached the championship dual final in their dual-season kickoff event Monday and Tuesday, winning their first seven duals before falling to Alabama’s Smiths Station, 42-37, in the championship.

On Monday, Wakulla (7-1) had five dominant double-digit wins, taking down Crestview B (84-0), Ft Walton Beach B (83-0), Crestview (66-15), Niceville (51-27) and Choctaw (69-12) to go 5-0 in pool.

In the championship bracket Tuesday, the War Eagles added two more double-digit wins, defeating the host Vikings (51-28) in the quarterfinals and Catholic Brothers (LA), 51-22, in the semis.

But Smiths Station’s strength is up top, and it was too much for a revamped Wakulla upper-weight group still looking to find its form.

The War Eagles had three wrestlers go 8-0 on the weekend, with Julian Harvey (106, 3 pins & major) and Isaiah Wilson (132, 4 pins, tech & major) both bonus-pointing through all rounds of the event.

Joining them with an 8-0 tournament was Hayden Reeves (145, 5 pins, 2 majors & decision), while Wyatt Welch (138, 3 pins & injury-default) was 6-0 in a regular role.

Jae T Thaxton (152, 2 pins, 3 TFs, 2 majors) was 7-1 for the War Eagles, while Juan Jimenez (126, 4 pins) and Jacob Cardoza (285, 4 pins & tech) were both 6-1, with Kohl Pippen (220, 3 pins) adding a 5-1 record in a regular role.

Tyler Edenfield (182, 5 pins) and Sultan Ellington (195, 2 pins) were both 6-2 for Wakulla, as Conner Brown (113, pin) and Caleb Orr (120, 2 pins) added 5-2 records. Aiden Fetterhoff (160, 2 pins) chipped in a 4-3 tournament, with Daniel Brattain (170, 2 pins & decision) going 3-3 in a regular role.

Here’s how the rest of north Florida teams fared in this tournament:

Chiles (6-2 for season & event, 6th overall): The Timberwolves were 5-0 in Monday’s wrestling, with victories over WS Neal AL (60-18), Crestview (66-18), Ft Walton Beach B (84-0), Niceville (54-27) and Niceville B (72-5). After a bye into the championship bracket quarters on Tuesday, Chiles fell to Smiths Station (61-18), rallied in the consi semis after a bye for a 41-38 win over Suwannee (41-38), and then fell to Carrollton GA, 39-30, in the fifth-place match.

Garrett Marschka (126) was Chiles’ only 8-0 unbeaten wrestler, bonus-pointing through the tournament with six pins and a major. In a regular role, Jacob Johnston (138/145, 3 pins) was 5-0.

Chase Brown (106, 2 pins), Everett Stewart (120, 2 pins & 2 decisions) and Andrew Mullins (152, 5 pins & decision) were each 7-1 for the Timberwolves, with Scott Greenwald (145) providing three first day pins in a 3-1 regular-time role.

Sam Tolomeo (113, 2 pins & decision) was 6-2 for Chiles, with Preston Scoggins (138, 4 pins) and Dillon Elliott (195/220, 3 pins & tech) both putting in 5-2 work. Cody Elliott (182/195, pin) was 4-3, with both Ethan Jackson (132, 2 pins) and Cooper Hill (160, pin & decision) adding 3-3 tournaments for the Timberwolves.

Suwannee (23-6 for the season, 5-3 in event, 7th overall): Barely 36 hours removed from a grueling fourth-place stretch at Yulee, the Bulldogs were 4-1 on Monday in pools, with wins over Ft Walton Beach (42-30), Pope John Paul II TN (64-12), Brusly LA (49-22) and Tate (64-6), falling only to Carrollton, 49-25. On Tuesday, Suwannee dropped a 44-29 pigtail to Smiths Station, but came back for a closer win over Ft Walton Beach (40-39) in the consis before falling to Chiles, taking seventh with a walkover bye.

Four Suwannee lowers were 8-0 on the weekend, as Austin McKinney (132, 5 pins, 2 techs) and Marshall White (138, 5 pins, tech & major) both bonus-pointed through the tournament.

Additionally, Eli Jolicoeur (106, 3 pins, major & 3 decisions) and Topher Pearson (113, 3 pins & 4 decisions) were 8-0, with Brody Boehm (126, 5 pins) adding a 5-0 first-day mark.

Austin Howard (160/170, 7 pins) was 7-1 for the two days, while Dustin Wood (182, 3 pins) was 4-3 and Christian Harrell (220/285, pin) contributed a 4-4 tournament.

Ft Walton Beach (4-4 for season & event, T-9th overall): The hosts were 3-2 on Monday, with wins over Brusly (43-24), Tate (69-6) and Pope John Paul II (42-36), with a loss to Carrollton (57-18) as well as to Suwannee. Tuesday, the Vikings took down district rival Crestview, 47-30, before subsequent losses to Wakulla and Suwannee.

No FWB wrestler survived both days going unbeaten, but three wrestlers — Alexander Davidson (152, 6 pins & decision), Darius Brundidge (170, 4 pins, major & 2 decisions) and Spencer Mackenzie (285, 3 pins) — all were 7-1.

Steven Banfield (145, 3 pins & 3 decisions) contributed a 6-2 tournament, while Landon Burbidge (106, pin & decision), Zak Vosburgh (113, 3 pins & major), Santiago Mayic (120, 2 pins) and Carter Tobik (182, pin/ID/tech & decision) each were 5-3 for Ft Walton Beach.

Crestview (3-5 for season, 3-4 in event, T-9th overall): The Bulldogs were 3-2 in Monday’s pool competition, with wins over Niceville B (54-24), Choctaw (48-30) and Ft Walton Beach B (66-3) with losses to Chiles and Wakulla. On Tuesday, after the pigtail loss to Ft Walton Beach, Crestview fell in the wrestlebacks to Carrollton, 72-12.

Layne Franks (170, 6 pins) had a 6-0 tournament to lead the Crestview charge individually.

Landon Brown (132, 5 pins) and Caleb Sims (220, pin & decision) both were 6-1 for the Bulldogs, with Gary Gessendoff (126, 3 pins) chipping in a 4-3 tournament.

Niceville (8-4 for season, 5-3 in event, 11th overall, 1st at BOTR): The Eagles struggled to a 2-3 day on Monday, with wins over Choctaw (50-15) and WS Neal (48-30) and losses as noted above and also to Archbishop Shaw LA (54-24). Tuesday, however, was a different story, as Niceville took wins over Daviess County KY (40-36), Pope John Paul II (51-18) and Brusly (48-36) to win the Best of the Rest bracket.

Martin Black (170, 7 pins & tech) led the Niceville effort with a bonus-point tournament, while Bryce Travis (160, 7 pins) and Harrisen Wall (182/195, 7 pins) were both 7-1 over the two days.

Asa Adams (285, 2 pins & major) was 6-2 for the Eagles, with Garrett Jarvis (120, 4 pins) and Ethan Pinto (126, 4 pins) both going 5-3 and Noah Jarvis (132, 3 pins), Andres Maldanado-Negron (138, pin) and Tim Dwyer (145, 2 pins & decision) each chipping 4-4 tournaments.

Middleburg (9-7 for season, 5-4 in event, 13th overall, 3rd at BOTR): The Broncos, making their tournament debut, lost their first three duals (52-23 to Smiths Station, 56-18 to Catholic Brothers and 47-30 to Gulf Breeze), but just once thereafter, with wins in pool over Daviess County (58-24) and Collierville TN (42-39), plus bracketed wins over Tate (66-12) and Choctaw (54-27) before falling to Brusly, 39-33, in the BOTR semis. In the third-place dual, Middleburg hammered Pope John Paul II, 59-18.

Middleburg’s Wyatt Leduc (126) was the only north Florida competitor to pin his way through the tournament, going 9-0 with nine falls in a combined total time of 15:40, with just one going into the third period.

Riley Girgis (132/138, 2 pins, tech & 2 decisions) was 6-0 in a regular role, while Jackson Hornback (106, 3 pins, tech & 2 decisions) and Grady Woodard (113, 3 pins & decision) both were 8-1.

Tucker Cody (220/285, 6 pins after an 0-2 start) finished 7-2 in the tournament, while Dylan Johns (138/145, 2 pins & major) was 5-3 and Austin Cruce (182/195, 5 pins) turned in a 5-4 effort.

Gulf Breeze (11-4 for season, 6-4 in event, 15th overall, 5th BOTR): The Dolphins were the only north Florida team to get 10 duals in over the two days, with a 2-3 record in pool competition that included wins over Daviess County (42-36) and Middleburg, along with losses to Catholic Brothers (42-24), Collierville (45-32) and Smiths Station (46-33). Gulf Breeze was 4-1 on Tuesday, with a quarterfinal loss (42-35) to Brusly and wins otherwise over Crestview B (48-24), Wewahitchka (42-24), Choctaw (42-30) and WS Neal (42-36).

Colson Elliott (132, 4 pins & 4 TF) was north Florida’s only double-digit winner, going 10-0 over the two-day period.

Coby Shields (120, 5 pins) was 9-1 for the Dolphins, with Michael Mancuso (126, 4 pins & major), Logan Merritt (138/145, 6 pins) and Micah Barker (170/182, 7 pins) each adding 8-2 tournament efforts. Brennden Nita (152, 7 pins) chipped in a 7-3 record over the two days.

Choctaw (7-8 for season, 3-6 in event, 18th overall, 8th BOTR): The Indians struggled to find footing on Monday, going 1-4 with only a win over Wewahitchka (54-18), with losses as noted above and to Archbishop Shaw (63-15). On Tuesday, they were 2-2 in the BOTR bracket, with wins over Ft Walton Beach B (48-12) and Niceville B (39-15) and losses as noted above.

Deagan Kilpatrick (113/120, 5 pins & 2 decisions) was a bright light for Choctaw, going 9-0 on the weekend. Eli Devoid (160, 3 pins & decision) was 7-1 and Jesse King (285, pin) was 5-1 in a regular role.

Samuel Santos (170/182, 4 pins & decision) and Chris Bularon (195) both put in 6-3 records over the two days, while Caden McKinney (220, 3 pins) was 5-4.

Wewahitchka (2-6 for season, 2-5 in event, T-19th overall, T-9th BOTR): The Gators had two wins in pools Monday afternoon, taking down Crestview B (48-18) and Ft Walton Beach B (42-12), with losses as noted above and to Archbishop Shaw (69-12) and WS Neal (51-19). Tuesday, Wewahitchka was 0-2, falling to Daviess County (42-30) and to Gulf Breeze.

Jake Parker (106/113, 4 pins & tech) led the charge with a 7-0 bonus-point effort throughout the tournament.

Justin Johnson (138, 3 pins) was 6-1 and both Tyler Johnson (113/120, major) and Jarrett Spencer (145, 2 pins & major) were both 4-3 for Wewahitchka.

Tate (1-7 for season & event, T-19th overall, T-9th BOTR): After an 0-5 Monday start with losses as noted above and to Brusly (66-12), Carrollton (82-0) and Pope John Paul II (42-34), the Aggies got on the plus side in the consis of the BOTR bracket (after opening with the Middleburg loss as noted), with a 48-12 win over Ft Walton Beach B before falling to Daviess County, 48-30.

Three Tate wrestlers — Julian Agosto (113, 2 pins), Caiden Stone (145, 2 pins & major) and Landen George (220, 2 pins) — all were 4-4 in the tournament.

Crestview B (1-6 in event, T-19th overall, T-9th BOTR): The Bulldogs’ second group picked up its lone win on Monday, taking down Ft Walton Beach B, 48-18, with pool losses as noted above and also against Archbishop Shaw (77-6). After falling to Gulf Breeze in a BOTR pigtail, WS Neal ended the tournament with a 64-5 win over the Bs.

Just one wrestler made it over the .500 hump for the Bulldogs’ second group, as Andrew Russ (195) was 4-3. The Bs had five wrestlers with three wins.

Niceville B (1-5 in event, T-19th overall, T-9th BOTR): The Eagles’ second group had just seven wrestlers in it, but they did pick up a 36-30 win over Crestview B in pool duals Monday, with losses as noted above and against WS Neal (60-16). In the BOTR pigtails, the second group fell to Pope John Paul II (54-6), followed by a loss to Choctaw.

Ty Hawkins (160, 3 pins & tech) was 5-1 for the Eagle second group, while JJ Martinez (152, 2 pins, major & decision) added a 4-1 tournament.

Ft Walton Beach B (0-7 in event, 23rd overall, 13th BOTR): Like Niceville’s second group, the Viking Bs were outmanned, with no more than six weights covered, wrestling all local teams noted above.

After two losses against Wakulla & Chiles, the Viking Bs’ Mathew Sinclaire (152) found surer footing, finishing with a 4-3 tournament that included three pins and a decision.

Complete dual results for the two-day tournament, for all teams, can be found HERE.

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#Throwdown: Golden Eagles End December With 4-0 Day

PALM COAST — Last weekend, Fleming Island cleared the dual hurdle of getting wins over South Dade and Southwest Miami in the same weekend.

Wednesday, at the Matanzas Holiday Throwdown, the Golden Eagles did something no Georgia team has been able to do in the month of December, and that was defeat Brunswick.

Fleming Island’s 42-31 win over the visiting Pirates was the effective championship dual in the five-team roundrobin-dual format, as the Golden Eagles were 4-0, Brunswick 3-1 and host Matanzas third at 2-2.

Freedom was 1-3 and Bishop Moore 0-4 to round out the list of teams.

The Golden Eagles took down Bishop Moore (66-9), Freedom (68-12) and Matanzas (64-12) before a bye in round 4 to get ready for the Georgia side.

Six Fleming Island wrestlers were 4-0 on the day. Leading the charge as the Golden Eagles’ only max-pointer was Shane Duhaylungsod (106, 2 pins), who scored 6 team dual points in each dual the team wrestled.

Jayce Paridon (113, 3 pins & major) and Kaden Schaefer (138, 2 pins & tech) both bonus-pointed their way to 4-0 days, while Laird Duhaylungsod (120, 3 pins & decision), Joshua Sandoval (170, 2 pins & decision) and Ethan Hoffstetter (285, 2 pins & decision) also all were 4-0.

Matthew Kotler (145/152, 2 pins), Ronan Bozeman (160, 2 pins), Jhoel Robinson (182/195, 2 pins) and Walter Poe (182/195, 2 pins) all were 3-1 for Fleming Island, with Ethan Myers (126/132, pin), Joshua Mukaddam (126/132, 2 pins), and Ladarius Jackson (220) each getting their hands raised twice.

The host Pirates (8-8 for the season) opened with a 45-31 win over Freedom, with a bye in round 2, followed by losses to Fleming and to Brunswick (47-30) before ending on a winning note with a 59-12 victory over Bishop Moore.

Tyson Mills (152, pin & tech) was the only 4-0 unbeaten wrestler for Matanzas on the day, with Toryion Stallings (120, tech & 2 majors) and Jordan Mills (170, 2 pins) both going 3-1.

Carter Wilder (113, 2 pins), Henson White (138, pin), Rubin Rodriguez (145, decision) and Giovanni Mesete (182, pin) each won twice for the Pirates.

Both teams are now off through the rest of the holidays. Matanzas will return to action first, hosting Ponte Vedra in a dual on January 5, while Fleming Island will host the 2A-District 2 duals tournament and the Keystone Memorial tournament on the 7th.

Full box scores for the day’s action can be found HERE.

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#Hammer: Eight Titles Power Fleming To Inaugural Win

ORANGE PARK — Fleming Island might be in Class 2A for this year at least, but no matter the classifcation, there are still county rivalries to master for the Golden Eagles.

Tuesday at Oakleaf, they achieved that feat over three of those rivals, winning the inaugural Hammer Invitational by a substantial margin over the host Clay County Knights, 325-236 — and by extension fellow county teams Keystone Heights and Orange Park.

Apopka was third in the 12-team tournament, with 211 points, nearly doubling up fourth-place Palatka at 107.

Keystone Heights rounded out the top five with 77 points, followed by Englewood (67), West Nassau (63), Orange Park (50.5), independent team Springs Academy (53, and another program located in Clay County), Riverside (38), Mainland (31) and Sandalwood (23).

Below follows a summary for each weight class’s top 4 wrestlers:

106 — Fleming’s Shane Duhaylungsod had a bye into the semis, with a 25-second pin in that round over Oakleaf’s Adrianna Barrientos and a 10-second pin in the final over Oakleaf’s Angel Rodriguez, his first loss of the year. Rodriguez pinned Palatka’s Samuel Doran (1:32) in the semis; Barrientos (bye into the semis) pinned Doran in 50 seconds for third.

113 — The Golden Eagles’ Matthew Newman won three times, with a 4-2 win over West Nassau’s Jackson Holcomb (quarters) and first-period pins in the semis and final over, respectively, Oakleaf’s Ion Hortinela (1:13) and Springs Academy’s Hunter Hare (:45). Hare had a bye into the semis, where he falled Apopka’s Shelby Sherman (pin in quarters) in 3:07 to get to Newman. Hortinela (front-side forfeit) majored Sherman, 16-2, for third.

120 — Apopka’s Tamarion Kendrick pinned his way into the final, where he took a 6-3 win over Fleming’s Laird Duhaylungsod. Prior to the final, Kendrick had pins over Palatka’s Evan Williamson (2:48, quarters) and Springs’ Bryan Utgard (1:22, semis). Duhaylungsod reached the final with a forfeit in the quarters and first-period fall over Oakleaf’s Lincoln Moralesd (1:22, semis). Morales (front-side pin) rallied for third with a 25-second fall over Utgard.

126 — Palatka’s Mikade Harvey bonus-pointed through the day, sandwiching a 10-1 semifinal win over Fleming’s Ethan Myers with pins over Apopka’s Sebastian Olivencia-Grafals (4:22, quarters) and over the Golden Eagles’ Joshua Mukaddam (2:35) in the championship. Mukaddam pinned his way into that matchup, with falls over Apopka’s Samantha Sherman (:46, rd of 16), West Nassau’s Landon Higginbotham (4:13, quarters) and Mainland’s Kaden Golder (1:02, semis). Golder (front-side pin) needed double-overtime to push past Myers, 6-5, for third.

132 — Apopka’s Jalen Moliere needed just 3:11 to pin his way through the tournament, with falls over Orange Park’s Dionne Hall (1:30, quarters), Palatka’s Alexander McCrystal (:28, semis) and Oakleaf’s Keon Barrientos (1:13) to win the title. Barrientos had pins of his own over Orange Park’s Braden Owenby (1:01, quarters) and Mainland’s Brian Harris (5 minutes, semis) to reach the final. In the third-place match, Harris (front-side major) pinned McCrystal in 43 seconds.

138 — Fleming Island’s Kaden Schaefer wasn’t scored upon all day, with a forfeit victory in the quarters, a 9-0 major over Palatka’s Brandon Lewis in the semis, and a 3-0 win over Apopka’s Rocco Vargas in the championship round. Vargas won by fall over Fleming’s Eli Erby (1:30, quarters) and found a takedown in sudden victory for a 4-2 win over Oakleaf’s Marcus McGee in the semi. Lewis (front-side pin) then pushed past McGee, 4-1, to claim third.

145 — The Golden Eagles’ Matthew Kotler pinned his way through the draw, with three pins in 7:07, including falls over Keystone’s Saige Dennis (:22, quarters), Englewood’s DiSean Hires (1:56, semis) and in the championship match against Apopka’s Bonosky Fidel (4:49). Fidel had two first-period pins to get to Kotler, falling Keystone’s Jason Gray (:38, quarters) and Talon Lybarger (1:32, semis). Hires (front-side pin) took third with a second-period pin (3:09) over Lybarger.

152 — Fleming Island’s Christopher Chop made it three brackets in a row, with falls in the quarters over Apopka’s Sean Javier (3:12), in the semis over Orange Park’s Jasmine Hecht (:29) and again in the final over Englewood’s Ke’Eric Merrell (4:36). Merrell took pins over Palatka’s Hayden Edwards (3:13, quarters) and Oakleaf’s Jacob McClintic (:39, semis) to get to the final, with McClintic (fft into the semis) winning by fall over Hecht (:29) to take third.

160 — The Golden Eagles’ Ronan Bozeman extended the streak to four weight classes, with three pins in 1:42 before edging past Apopka’s Ransom Randolph, 5-4, to win the title. Bozeman falled a second Blue Darter, Dylan Johnson in :23 (rd of 16), then took falls over Oakleaf’s Jacob Dewald (:20, quarters) and Keystone’s Sheppard Wingate (:59, semis). Randolph reached the final with a forfeit into the semis, where he majored Orange Park’s Trevion Sermons, 10-2. Sermons (front-side pin) teched Wingate, 19-4, to claim third.

170 — Fleming’s Joshua Sandoval made it five brackets in a row, pinning his way through the weight class with falls over Sandalwood’s Malik Wilson (1:14, quarters), Palatka’s Gaitlin Carreras (5:42, semis) and then again in the final over West Nassau’s Jakob Turnage (1:21). Turnage had first-period pins over Apopka’s Berlens Pericles (1:23, quarters) and Oakleaf’s Jeremiah Baker (1:21, semis) to reach a shot at Sandoval, with Carreras (front-side fft) turning back Baker, 9-3, to take third.

182 — Jhoel Robinson took the Golden Eagles’ sixth weight-class win in succession, with first-period pins over Oakleaf’s Gabriel Castro (1:31, quarters) and West Nassau’s Nolan McKelvy (1 minute, semis) before majoring the Knights’ Onjel Caraballo, 16-3, in the final. Caraballo took pins over Orange Park’s Donald Young (1:57, quarters) and Apopka’s Donovan Massie (3:12, semis) to get to the title round, with McKelvy (front-side pin) falling Massie in 27 seconds for third.

195 — Oakleaf’s Isaiah Shevchook was able to break the Fleming streak, taking the title behind a forfeit win in the quarters, a 6-0 shutout over Englewood’s Melvin Wiggins in the semis, and third-period fall over Fleming’s Walter Poe (5:02) for the title. Poe had two first-period pins over Palatka’s Christian Brannen (1:32, rd of 16) and Apopka’s David Bowerman (1:19, quarters) before winning by DQ over Orange Park’s Geoffrey Jules-Delice in the semi. Wiggins (front-side pin) edged Jules-Delice, 6-5, for third.

220 — Apopka’s Ralph Sanchez collected three pins in 4:54 for his team’s third title, taking falls over Riverside’s Thomas Jones (3:14, quarters), Fleming’s Ladarius Jackson (1:09, semis) and over Oakleaf’s Ben Gaddis (:31) in the title match. Gaddis had a forfeit win in the quarters and pinned Keystone’s Matthew Delano (1:24) to get to the final. Jackson (front-side pin) came back for third, falling Delano (2:19) in the medal match.

285 — Oakleaf’s Jordan Mitchell took two pins in 1:47 to reach the final, where he needed all six minutes to turn back Fleming’s Ethan Hoffsetter, 10-3, to win the championship. Prior to the final, Mitchell falled Riverside’s Larry Davis (:27, quarters) and Kamari Perkins (1:20, semis). Hoffstetter also had two pins in reaching the title round, with falls over Riverside’s An’Dreas Washington (3:52, quarters) and Englewood’s Keith Forbes (:37, semis). In an all-Gateway Conference match for third, Riverside’s Perkins (front-side pin) pinned Forbes in 4:04 to win bronze.

Complete team scores and brackets from this tournament can be found HERE.

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#Rumble: Gulf Breeze Takes Inaugural Title

NICEVILLE — After two weeks of roundrobin/IBT work, Gulf Breeze tried its hand at duals last Saturday at the inaugural Rocky Rumble, hosted by Rocky Bayou Christian.

And even employing a mix-and-match approach that saw 18 different Dolphin wrestlers go out at least once — with all 18 getting their hands raised in victory at least once — Gulf Breeze ran the gauntlet to go 5-0 and take the title.

In Pool 2, the Dolphins took wins over Choctaw (50-30), Rocky Bayou (63-18), Rutherford (65-18) and Arnold (66-18). The championship dual, against repeating 1A-District 1 duals champion South Walton, was far closer, but Gulf Breeze survived a 41-40 victory that went to criteria to determine a winner.

Three Dolphin wrestlers were 5-0; two of those max-pointed through the day, scoring 6 team dual points in each dual the team contested. Blake Fluck (182, 3 pins) and Isaac Land (195, 4 pins) were Gulf Breeze’s max-pointers, while Michael Mancuso (126/132, 2 pins & major) bonus-pointed his way to a 5-0 day.

Brennden Nita (152, 3 pins) didn’t compete in the first pool dual, but otherwise had a perfect 4-0 day. At 4-1 for the Dolphins were Lily Powell (113, 2 pins), Coby Shields (120, pin/tech/major) and Micah Barker (170, 2 pins & decision).

As well, Charlie White (138/145, pin & major) and Nikolai Johnson (220, pin) were 3-2 for Gulf Breeze.

Here’s a recap on the rest of the teams* in the field:

South Walton (6-1 for season, 3-1 in event, 2nd overall): The Seahawks won Pool 1 with dual wins over North Bay Haven (58-24), Mosley (54-30) and Niceville (47-36).

Niceville (3-1 for season & event, 3rd overall): The Eagles were second in Pool 1, with victories over Mosley (51-27) and North Bay Haven (48-30), with a loss to South Walton as noted. In the third-place crossover, Niceville took down Choctaw, 48-30.

Three Niceville wrestlers were 4-0 on the day, led by max-pointer Bryce Travis (160, 3 pins). Aidan Kyllonen (152, 3 pins & major) and Martin Black (170/182, 2 pins & major) also were 4-0.

Garrett Jarvis (120, 2 pins & major), Ethan Pinto (126, 2 pins), Colt Dannenmueller (138, 2 pins & decision) and Harrisen Wall (182/195, 3 pins) all were 3-1 for the Eagles.

Choctaw (4-2 for season, 3-2 in event, 4th overall): The Indians were second in Pool 2. After opening with a pool loss to Gulf Breeze as noted above, Choctaw had wins over Rocky Bayou (41-40), Arnold (51-24) and Rutherford (66-12), falling to Niceville in the crossover.

Roman Jackson (285, pin) was a 5-0 max-pointer for Choctaw, while three Indian wrestlers were 4-1, with Bradack Carroll (152, 2 pins), Jesse Sarver (182, decision) and Caden McKinney (220, 3 pins) each accomplishing that tournament mark.

Eli Devoid (160, 3 pins) was 3-1 for Choctaw, while Olivia Culpepper (106, 3 pins), Mia Wise (113), Deagan Kilpatrick (120, 2 pins) and Jacob Johns (132, tech) each were 3-2.

Mosley (2-2 for season & event, 5th overall): The Dolphins were third in Pool 1, with a 51-30 win over North Bay Haven in pool as well as the losses noted above, but rallied for a 48-36 crossover win over Rocky Bayou to claim fifth.

Derrick Williams (106/113, 4 pins) pinned his way to a max-point day, and was joined as a max-pointer by Valarie Solorio (106/113, 3 pins).

Calvin Williams (126, pin & decision), Kaymen Hart (220, pin) and Robert Wills (285, pin & decision) were all 3-1 for Mosley, with Lucas Biddle (132, 2 pins) John Mengel (182/195, pin) and Andre Trice (182/195, pin) each winning twice.

Rocky Bayou Christian (4-4 for season, 2-3 in event, 6th overall): The hosts were third in Pool 2, with wins over Arnold (66-12) and Rutherford (42-20), along with the losses as noted above in pool and crossover.

North Bay Haven (2-4 for season, 1-3 in event, 7th overall): The Buccaneers didn’t find a win in Pool 1, but bounced back for a 69-12 victory over Rutherford to claim seventh.

Rutherford (unknown record for season, 1-4 in event, 8th overall): The Rams’ lone victory came in pool, as a short-handed group pushed past Arnold, 30-24.

Arnold (unknown record for season, 0-4 in event, 9th overall): The Marlins could not pick up a dual win in Pool 2 and had no crossover partner to wrestle for ninth place.

Complete box scores for all teams can be found HERE.

* — Individual performances for wrestlers on several area teams that competed in this tournament could not be reviewed in this story, due to missing results from those teams. Team performances for each area team were noted above.

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