#Blacktop: DeLand Powers Up Runnerup Finish

OVIEDO — Last year, DeLand’s season ended finishing 31st at 3A-Region 1. That’s out of 31.

Don’t look now, but after the weekend’s performance at The Master’s Academy, there’s another contender not only for district but also region honors, if the Bulldogs’ runnerup effort at the Battle for the Blacktop is any indicator.

DeLand wrestlers and coaches with the team’s runnerup trophy won Saturday at The Master’s Academy’s Battle for the Blacktop two-day IBT in Oviedo (Photo submitted by Christian Lohsen via Facebook).

DeLand wrestlers and coaches with the team’s runnerup trophy won Saturday at The Master’s Academy’s Battle for the Blacktop two-day IBT in Oviedo (Photo submitted by Christian Lohsen via Facebook).

Only multiple-time 3A state champion South Dade was able to outpoint DeLand’s 221.5, as the Buccaneers had 280.5. Space Coast (153), host Master’s Academy (100.5) and Satellite (99) rounded out the top five teams.

Ocoee was the next-highest team in the coverage area, as the Knights were seventh with 88 points, followed closely by Lake Howell in ninth with 85. Palatka tied for 11th with 79, with Winter Park 13th (72.5), Lake Mary 14th (57) and Lyman 17th (37) in the 18-team tournament, which served as the competitive season kickoff for all of the teams save Lake Mary (which had a Wednesday night dual) in the Matmen coverage area.

Below follows a rundown of top performances at the tournament:

106 — DeLand’s Victor Hopton came back to place fourth after a 13-4 loss on the front in the quarters to Space Coast’s Ernie Covert, the eventual runnerup. Hopton had pins over Winter Park’s Brendon Powers and First Academy’s Zach Ward to reach the medal match, where he fell in sudden victory to Master’s Academy Hunter Jessee, 4-2.

113 — DeLand’s Grady Bryant — making his first appearance in a Bulldog singlet — was third and Lyman’s Jackson Fredrickson was fourth. Both made the semis, with Bryant taking two pins on the front before a 7-6 semifinal loss to eventual runnerup Raider Morelli of Space Coast. Fredrickson had two byes into the quarters, with a pin in that round before losing by fall (3:44) to eventual champ Luis Acevedo of South Dade. Fredrickson pinned a Lyman teammate and Bryant falled a second Space Coast wrestler to get to the medal round, where Bryant won by 8-3 decision.

120 — Ocoee’s Nathan Ramirez reached the final, behind pins over Cocoa Beach, Lake Howell’s Colin Walsh (:26, quarters) and Bishop Moore before running into Satellite’s Alex McMiller in the title match, where he lost by fall (1:50). DeLand’s Phoenix Krauth, the only wrestler in the bracket not to be pinned by McMiller (lost by TF), came back with two pins in :53, over wrestlers from Tohopekaliga and Bishop Moore, to wrestle back to third.

126 — Palatka’s Mikade Harvey also was a finalist with a pin over Poinciana and techs over Tohopekaliga and DeLand’s Kellen Chapman (15-0 in 4:13, semis) to get to the championship match against Bishop Moore’s Mason Medina, who rallied from a 6-2 deficit behind a third-period reversal and two turns to take a 9-8 win over Harvey. Chapman, who had two pins on the front before falling to Harvey in the top-half semi, bounced back for third behind pins over Satellite and South Dade in the consis.

132 — DeLand’s Joshua Folsom came from an unseeded position to reach the final; after a bye into the round of 16, he edged Tohopekaliga’s Jayson Ortiz, 7-6, followed by pins over Edgewater in the quarters and South Lake in the semis (that one in 37 seconds) before losing by fall to South Dade’s KingJames Perry in :38.

138 — No local placers.

145 — DeLand’s Lane Wishart was a semifinalist and placed third. After pins on the front over Lake Mary’s Aden Eliason (3:59, rd of 16) and Winter Park’s Jonathan Ittera (1:12, quarters), Wishart lost by a single point, 6-5, to eventual runnerup Matthew Abreu of South Dade in the bottom-half semi. On the back, Wishart had two bonus-point wins, with a pin over Tohopekaliga and a 16-7 major for third over Space Coast.

152 — Winter Park’s Joey Parker was a semifinalist and placed fourth. Parker had pins on the front over Bishop Moore and Poinciana before losing by fall (1:28) in the semis to eventual runnerup and 2021 state runnerup Alex Couto of South Dade. After a tech fall in the consi semis over South Lake (16-1 in 3:47), Parker fell to Satellite’s Ryan Beirne, 1-0, in the third-place match.

160 — Palatka’s Samuel Lafferty reached the final, where he lost by fall (2:42) to former 3A state champion Cordell White of South Dade. Before that, though, Lafferty had a bye into the round of 16, followed by pins over Bishop Moore, Lake Mary’s Brock Binford (1:34, quarters) and a walkover forfeit in the semis.

170 — Winter Park’s Tristan Carbonell was second and DeLand’s Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro third; the pair of locals met in the semis, where Carbonell won by fall in 1:10. Earlier, Carbonell had pins over Poinciana and Tohopekaliga, and he would go on to score first against South Dade’s Chris Sanchez before Sanchez would score eight unanswered en route to a 10-6 decision in the title match. As for Rodriguez-Cayro, he had front-side pins over Ocoee’s Andy Delva and Lake Mary’s Chase Treska; in the consis, Rodriguez-Cayro pinned wrestlers from Tohopekaliga and Space Coast to wrestle back to third.

182 — Lake Mary’s Jake Jessee was 1-1 on the front, with an 8-7 decision over Edgewater and 9-1 loss to Lyman’s Haiden Williams-Marchetti in the quarters, but then won three times by decision (20-13 over Master’s Academy, 10-5 over Space Coast and 6-5 over South Dade) to reach the medal round, where he lost by fall to Edgewater’s Cooper Wallace, who’d lost to Jessee in the round of 16.

195 — DeLand’s Andrew Knowles reached the final, where he lost by fall (:41) to South Dade’s Ansel Cervantes, who pinned his way through the tournament (4 pins in 2:17). Prior to that, though, Knowles had a bye into the quarters; from there, he won by fall over Ocoee’s Grover White (4:42, quarters) and Winter Park’s Lawens Joachim (1:04, semis).

220 — DeLand’s MJ Smokes pinned his way through the bracket to win the first of two area titles. After two byes into the quarters, Smokes falled South Dade’s Kris Reyes (:28) and Lake Howell’s Jayden Velazquez (:17) to get to the final against Space Coast’s Mason Martinez. While he had to go past the first few moments, Smokes was in control throughout, going up 9-4 on three takedowns and a turn after one period, getting the fall in 2:22 over Martinez. Ocoee’s Keniel Carrasquille was third and Velazquez was fourth. Carrasquille reached the semis behind pins over Lake Howell’s Cooper Bishop (1:08) and Tohopekaliga before losing by fall (1:14) to Martinez; in the consis, he pinned South Dade before edging Velazquez, 3-2, in the third-place match. Velazquez, for his part, had a forfeit and pin over Bishop Moore before facing Smokes on the front, and pinned Tohopekaliga in the consi semis to earn a place finish.

285 — Lake Howell’s Josh Maldonado pinned his way through the field, with four falls on the front, the last of those over Ocoee’s Deandre Scott in the title match. Maldonado had pins in earlier rounds over Bishop Moore, Edgewater and Poinciana prior to his pin over Scott (3:45), while Scott’s run to the final included pins over Poinciana and South Lake, plus a 15-14 semifinal win over DeLand’s Marco Selph. Selph, who had pins over South Dade and Cocoa Beach on the front, picked up falls over two Poinciana wrestlers on the back to wrestle back to third.

Full brackets and team scores from the tournament can be found HERE.

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