MARYVILLE, TN — Every year for the past few, Yulee has embarked on a January out-of-state wrestling trip.
However, that tournament is usually a little closer to home and is usually scheduled after the holidays, not during.
On Saturday, the Hornets began 2022 with a third-place team finish at the Maryville Invitational, scoring 172.5 points as a team, 43 ahead of fourth-place Nashville (TN) Christian. Yulee was the only team from the south of Tennessee to compete in the 17-team event, with just one other team coming from outside the Volunteer State.
Host Maryville won the team title with 239 points, holding off Signal Mountain (229.5) to win it.
Three Hornets came back to Florida with bracket victories.
At 152, Dylan Johns won Pool A (tournament was grouped into multiple pools to determine placing flights) with two pins in 48 seconds over wrestlers from Signal Mountain and team 5th-place Anderson County. In the championship flight, Johns added a third pin in 54 seconds over Karns in the semis, then bookended a key 3-point nearfall in the second period with takedowns in the first and third to shut out Bradley Central’s Lane Hicks, 7-0, in the championship match.
In the 182 bracket, Alex Smith pinned three opponents to win Pool C, needing just 6:45 to do that. In the championship flight, Smith teched Jefferson County’s James Robinson (20-5) in the second period (3:49) and appeared to be on track to do the same in the final against Nashville Christian’s Peyton Woodard, building a 16-5 lead behind three takedowns and three back-points situations before falling Woodard in 4:38 for the weight-class title.
Finally, at 220, Braylen Ricks roared through Pool A with three pins in 2:30 to win that pool. In the championship flight, Ricks had his fourth first-period pin of the tournament in the semis, decking Nashville Christian’s Jaden Potts in 1 minute. It took a little more to push past Webb School’s Leonardo Bonifacio in the title, as Ricks bagged a first-period takedown but needed a second one late to secure a 6-2 decision for Yulee’s third title.
Two additional Hornets placed in the top four.
At 113, Lewis Duhan won Pool C with a 29-second pin, then reached the finals of the championship flight with a 46-second pin over Maryville’s Cameron Abbott, but then lost by fall (:53) in the championship to Signal Mountain’s Ethan Uihorchuk.
At 145, Austin Adamson was fourth, winning Pool D with a 33-second pin and 10-2 major, losing by fall to the eventual champion from Sevier County in the semis and then falling by 9-6 decision in the third-place match to Bradley Central’s Gunner Taylor.
Additionally, Jesse Johnson (170) and Brandon Hoyle (285) added fifth-place finishes, while Josh Harris (106) and Christopher Aud (195) both were sixth.
Yulee is now off until Wednesday night’s 1A-District 3 duals tournament at Episcopal and then will host the two-day Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border, starting on Friday.
You can see complete results from Saturday’s tournament HERE.