YULEE — After a resounding 24-point dual win in the championship pool Saturday over Hernando, a team that host Yulee had finished two spots below at their place in the Hernando Kiwanis Invitational the weekend prior, the Hornets had to like their chances in the final dual of the weekend.
But Georgia’s South Effingham had other plans and the Mustangs had a pretty good run of momentum itself, having not lost a dual meet in six weeks. And the Mustangs kept that momentum, breaking open what had been a close dual through the first 10 weight classes, going on a 24-0 run to close out the Hornets, 55-24, and take the Yulee Duals title.
“Championship dual was probably our worst of the day and that’s something we have to deal with, but overall it was a good tournament. We didn’t bring enough intensity (in the final),” Yulee coach Brandon Crowder said. “Some guys that have struggled in the past have been learning some things that we pushed in the practice room, and that helped us.”
Yulee (6-1 in duals and in the event) took Pool A to reach the championship pool, with pool wins over First Coast (66-18), Glynn Academy GA (48-23), Ware County GA (57-24) on Friday, with Saturday pool wins over Coral Gables (60-24) and Ed White (66-18).
The Hornets then hammered Hernando, a multiple-time 1A-Region 2 duals runnerup, 54-30, leading Crowder’s opposite number in the South Effingham coaches’ chair to comment that Yulee looked like a truly formidable opponent in the final.
Yulee had three wrestlers go 7-0 on the weekend. Lewis Duhan (113, 5 pins) and Braylen Ricks (220, 6 pins & injury-default win) were both max-pointers, scoring 6 team dual points in each dual wrestled.
Freshman Alex Smith (182) did that accomplishment slightly one better, pinning his way through the weekend. Smith had seven falls in 3:14, never going past the first minute in any match.
Dylan Johns (145/152, 3 pins & decision), Austin Adamson (145/152, 4 pins) and Jesse Johnson (160, 5 pins) all were 6-1, with Christopher Aud (195, 3 pins) adding three pins in a 3-1 regular role.
Brian Harris (106, 3 pins) and Austin Hoyle (285, 3 pins & injury-default) both were 5-2 for Yulee, while Declan Sewell (120, pin) and Logan Pugh (126, 4 pins) both put in 4-3 efforts for the Hornets.
Here’s a look at the rest of the north Florida teams in the tournament:
Suwannee (18-3 for the season, 6-1 in event, 4th overall): The Bulldogs were second in Pool B, with only a loss to the champion Mustangs (42-21) in opening the tournament. Otherwise, Suwannee ran the table, with wins over Mandarin (52-19), Bolles (72-12), Florida High (45-29) and Steinbrenner (44-33) in pool. In the 4th place crossover, the Bulldogs hammered both Glynn Academy (54-18) and Episcopal (54-21).
Like Yulee, Suwannee had three 7-0 unbeatens, led by max-pointer James Prentice (170, 5 pins). Topher Pearson (113, pin, 2 majors & decision) and Austin Howard (160, pin, major & 3 decisions) also were 7-0 on the weekend for the Bulldogs.
Eli Jolicoeur (106, 2 pins & major), Austin McKinney (132, 2 majors) and Tyson Musgrove (145, 4 pins, tech & decision) each were 6-1, while Eleteurio Meria (285, 3 pins) compiled a 5-1 weekend.
Brody Boehm (126, 2 pins & decision) and Clay Starling (152, pin, major & 2 decisions) were both 5-2 for Suwannee, while Ayden Kirby (138, 3 pins) contributed a 3-3 weekend for the Bulldogs.
Episcopal (6-8 for the season, 4-3 in event, 5th overall): The Eagles were in a three-way tie in Pool C, taking the second position, with pool wins over Fletcher (34-33, criteria), University Christian (72-0) and Terry Parker (54-18), with losses to Camden B (45-36) and Hernando (49-30).
In the 4th-place crossover pool, Episcopal took a second criteria win, this time over Glynn Academy (40-39) before falling to Suwannee.
Every Eagles starter had at least one loss, with Turner Glenn (113, 4 pins) compiling a 5-1 mark and Cohen Chesser (120/126, 2 pins) going 4-1 for Episcopal.
John Fernandez (160/170, 4 pins), Hunter Luzar (170/182, 3 pins), Christian McGarity (182/195, 2 pins & 2 decisions) and Maddox Davidson (220, 3 pins) all were 5-2 for the Eagles, while Baylor Maurer (145/152, 3 pins) and Matt Salek (195, 2 pins) were each 4-2 for Episcopal.
Fletcher (15-5 for the season, 4-3 in event, 8th overall): The Senators were third in Pool C, also at 2-3, with pool wins over University Christian (66-12), Terry Parker (63-6) and Camden B (57-24), with losses to Episcopal and Hernando (42-36). In the 7th-place pool, Fletcher fell to Steinbrenner, 46-30, but edged Ware, 40-39, to nab eighth.
The Senators had four unbeaten wrestlers, more than any other area team in the field. Cole O’Brien (126, 3 pins & decision), Josh Daltro (160/170, 5 pins & decision) and Joseph Kohlhaas (170/182, 5 pins & 2 decisions) all were 7-0, while Toby Matson (285, 4 pins & decision) was 6-0 on the weekend.
Christopher Strong (152/160, 5 pins) was 6-1, while Jimi Baur (113, pin) was 3-1 in a solid second-day effort.
Logan Locantora (106/113, 2 pins) and Ryden Ashmore (120, 3 pins & decision) were each 5-2, while Andre Alejo (138/145, 2 pins & decision) turned in a 4-3 tournament for the Senators.
Florida High (4-3 for the season & event, 10th overall): The Seminoles were fourth in Pool C, with wins over Mandarin (39-36) and Bolles (66-12) on Friday, with losses to South Effingham (66-12), Steinbrenner (56-22) and Suwannee. In the 10th-place crossover, Florida High turned back Ed White (42-36) and hammered Camden B (57-24).
Sterling Hollinsworth (113/120) took a 5-0 tournament record as Florida High’s lone unbeaten, while Nicholas Roeder (152/160, 5 pins) and Collin Bishop (220, 3 pins & 2 decisions) both were 6-1 as full-time starters. In regular roles, Diego Duprey (195, 2 pins) was 4-1 and Dewan Richardson (106, 2 pins & major) was 3-1 as well.
Liam Hawkes (160/170, 2 pins & decision) had a 4-2 weekend for the Noles, with Delandre Leconte (126, pin) and Troy Carroll (138, 3 pins & decision) both going 4-3 for Florida High.
Ed White (4-9 for season, 2-5 in event, 12th overall): The Commanders were fourth in Pool A, with wins over First Coast (66-3) and Coral Gables (48-30) and pool losses to Ware County (45-29), Glynn Academy (59-18) as well as the hosts. In the 10th-place crossover, Ed White fell to Camden B by a 42-27 score.
Bennyl Lewis (160, 5 pins & tech) bonus-pointed through the weekend for the Commanders, going 7-0, while Demarkus Roysor (220, 5 pins) was 6-1.
Jahyem Brutus (285, 3 pins) was 4-1 before medical-forfeiting out of the tournament, while Tiera Collins (106, pin & decision) and Malakhi Lewis (170, 3 pins & injury-default) added 4-3 records for Ed White.
Mandarin (11-5 for season, 3-4 at event, T-13th overall): The Mustangs were 1-4 in Pool B for fifth, with a 42-15 win over Bolles and losses to to Steinbrenner (46-24) and South Effingham (63-17) as well as those noted earlier. In the 13th-place crossover, the Mustangs joined forces with Bolles, taking wins over Terry Parker (54=18) and Coral Gables (45-28).
Tony Carter (182, 4 pins) and Jaelen Simmons (195, 4 pins) both were 7-0 max-pointers for Mandarin, while Jameel Smith (138/145, 4 pins, tech & major) was 6-0, bonus-pointing through all rounds wrestled.
Finn Durkin (113, 3 pins & major) was 5-2, while Xavier Plumey (160/170, 3 pins) and De’Shawn Wise-Minor (220, 2 pins & decision) were both 4-3 for Mandarin.
Bolles (0-5 for season & event, T-13th overall): By themselves, the Bulldogs weren’t in position to win a dual with just four wrestlers, with Pool B losses to Steinbrenner (78-6) and South Effingham (75-6), as well as those noted above.
But combined with Mandarin, the Bulldogs got two more duals in, going 5-1 individually in those two duals.
Jack Pyburn (285, 3 pins) was a 7-0 max-pointer, while Jacob Witt (120, pin) coontributed a 4-2 weekend for Bolles.
Terry Parker (3-11 for season, 1-6 in event, 15th overall): The Braves were 1-4 for fifth in Pool C, with an opening-round win over University Christian (36-18), plus pool losses to Hernando (66-12), Camden B (60-15) along with those noted earlier. In the 13th-place crossover, Parker also fell to Coral Gables, 48-33.
Jeff Brown (152/160, 3 pins & 2 decisions) put in a 6-1 weekend for the Braves, while Chris Wright (126/132, 3 pins) added a 4-3 effort.
First Coast (3-5 for season, 0-5 in duals, did not crossover): The Buccaneers had a Friday loss to Glynn Academy (69-12) as well as those noted earlier. Saturday, in combination with University Christian wrestlers, First Coast fell to Ware County (60-6) and Coral Gables (66-12) to place sixth in Pool A.
Jace Austin (138, 3 pins & decision) led the team individually, going 5-2 on the weekend.
University Christian (0-5 for season & event, did not crossover): The Christians wrestled two duals in combination with Ribault on Friday and two in combination with First Coast in Pool C on Saturday, with Saturday losses to Camden B (48-18) and Hernando (66-6), in addition to the ones noted earlier.
Complete dual box scores for the tournament can be found HERE.