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#Corps: Eagles Fend Off MTZ To Defend Team Title

Episcopal wrestlers and coaches are cool and collected after their fight to defend the Marine Corps Challenge title Saturday at Riverside (Photo submitted by Darren Glenn via Facebook).

JACKSONVILLE — Winning an inaugural title isn’t always easy, but often times can be much easier than defending it is.

Defending champion Episcopal and first-time Marine Corps Challenge competitor Matanzas slugged it out at Riverside on Saturday, and, in the battle between Region 1 duals-qualifying teams (Episcopal in 1A, Matanzas in 2A), the champs had just enough to defend, outpointing the Pirates, 184-178.5, for the team title.

Fernandina Beach, with 148 points, was third, followed by Mainland (125), Englewood (117), Keystone Heights (65), Paxon & Stanton (T-7th with 57 each), host Riverside (56) and Wolfson (42.5).

Below follows a summary of placers in each weight class:

106: Episcopal’s Turner Glenn took two pins after a bye into the semis, with falls over Stanton’s Mackenzie Mock (:24) and again in the championship over Wolfson’s Tristian Martinez (2:47). Martinez reached the final with a tech fall (17-0) over Mainland’s Abby Couillard; Couillard, in turn, pinned Mock in 59 seconds for third.

113: In a three-person bracket, Stanton’s Elias Spurlin won twice for his title, with a 10-1 major in the semis over Keystone Heights’ Jared Goetzman, and a fall (:26) in the title match over Mainland’s Aiden West, who had a bye into the final. Goetzman had a bye for third place.

120: After a bye into the quarters, Matanzas’ Carter Wilder took pins over Keystone Heights’ Baron Bryson (1:40, quarters) and Stanton’s Nathaniel Burns (:42, semis) before shutting out Fernandina’s Cael Kubatzke, 6-0, in the final. Prior to that loss, Kubatzke had bonus-point wins over Keystone Heights’ Phoenix Contes (fall in :26, quarters) and a 17-4 major over Episcopal’s Scott Busey in the semis. Busey (front-side pin) had two falls to wrestle back for third, over Englewood’s Christopher Moore (1:20) and over Matanzas’ Kyler Corley (2:18) in the medal round.

126: The Pirates’ Toryion Stallings made it back-to-back Matanzas titles, with a bye into the quarters, pins over Mainland’s Matthew Deakin (2:24, quarters) and Stanton’s Jose Toledo (4:42, semis), followed by an 18-3 tech fall over Episcopal’s Cohen Chesser in the final. Chesser also had a bye into the quarters, with an 11-8 win in that round over Matanzas’ Mason Obama and a semifinal pin (3:59) over Keystone Heights’ Jason Bowden. Deakin had four bonus-point wins in the consis, with a fall over Bowden (1:19) in the semis and 14-2 major over Toledo in the third-place match.

132: Matanzas made it 3 in a row behind Dylan Parkinson’s title run here. After a bye into the quarters, Parkinson falled Fernandina’s JB Sellers (3:58, quarters), then powered through to one-point wins over Mainland’s Kaden Golder (6-5, semis) and in the title round over Fernandina Beach’s Caden Kubatzke, 6-5, for the bracket win. Kubatzke, who also had a bye into the quarters, had pins over Paxon’s David Kang (3:36, quarters) and Stanton’s Dean Holt (:35, semis). Golder (front-side pin) added two more pins in the wrestlebacks for third, falling Kang (3:35) in the semis and Holt (2:36) to take third.

138: Fernandina Beach’s Dietrich Woods won the title behind three bonus-point wins. After a bye into the quarters, Woods pinned Episcopal’s Liam Gonzalez (1:52 in that round), and then majored Matanzas’ Braden Hawley, 14-3, in the semis. That set up a final with district rival Baylor Maurer of Episcopal, which Woods won by fall in 3:38. Maurer also had a bye and two wins to get to the final, with a pin over Paxon’s Naden Nile (:53, quarters) and a 13-9 semifinal win over Mainland’s Brian Harris. Harris (2 front-side wins) added two more in the consis, with an 8-3 semi win over Wolfson’s Max Lewallen and fall over Matanzas’ Henson White (4:44) in the third-place match.

145: Englewood picked up a championship effort from DiSean Hires at this weight; after a bye into the quarters, Hires had first-period pins over Mainland’s Luke Davidson (:20, quarters) and Episcopal’s William Jackson (1:22, semis), then had to power past Fernandina’s Cole Misciagna, 7-4, in the final. Misciagna had a bye and first-period pins over Mainland’s Isaiah White (:43, quarters) and Paxon’s Michael Gold (1:10, semis). White won three bonus-point victories in the consis, with a 10-2 major over Jackson in the consi semis and fall over Gold (2:30) in taking third.

152: The Pirates’ Tyson Mills gave Matanzas its fourth weight class win, as Mills pinned through the draw, with pins over Paxon’s Brendan Lawson (:38, rd of 16), Fernandina Beach’s Alex Pulwicz (:54, quarters), Wolfson’s Liam Strange (1:54, semis) and a second-period pin (2:38) in the final over Englewood’s Ke’Eric Merrell. Merrell had a bye into the quarters, with subsequent pins over Matanzas’ Jesse Henry (:46) and over Keystone’s Sheppard Wingate (2:49, semis). Wingate (2 front-side pins) added two more falls in the consis, pinning Episcopal’s Chance Wolffe (2:16) in the semi and Henry (2:21) for third place.

160: Episcopal’s John Fernandez won his first tournament title behind two first-period pins and byes into the quarters and final. Fernandez pinned Keystone’s Huntley Dennis (:24) in the quarters, then falled Matanzas’ Brandyn Cox (1:58) for the Eagles’ second title win. After a bye into the quarters, Cox needed just 42 seconds to reach the final, with falls over Episcopal’s Frank Owens (:19, quarters) and Keystone’s Alyx Nichols (:23, semis). Nichols (front-side win) had two pins on the back, falling Dennis (1:40) in the semi and Owens (2:44) to grab third.

170: Matanzas’ Jordan Mills made it five titles for the Pirates, with three max-point wins after a bye into the quarters. Mills had a pin over Wolfson’s Zach Molla (1:11), then won by injury default in the semi over Episcopal’s Hunter Luzar before pinning the Eagles’ Brennan Doherty in 1:12 for the title. Doherty reached the final behind pins over Mainland’s Jah’Mya Hill (quarters) and district rival Brooks Rohe of Fernandina Beach (5:27, semis). Rohe (front-side pin) had two more on the back, decking teammate Henry McDuffy (:40) in the consi semis and falling Wolfson’s Keegan Maclean (1:37) to take third.

182: Fernandina Beach’s Lucas Crawford gave his Pirates their second title with three pins to reach the final, plus a 5-0 win over Episcopal’s Christian McGarity to claim the bracket. Crawford had pins over Riverside’s Anthony Kearney (rd of 16), Wolfson’s Joseph Decunto (:54, quarters) and Matanzas’ Landon Wright (1:38, semis). McGarity, also, had three pins prior to final, falling Paxon’s Andrew Rodriguez (1:42, rd of 16), Stanton’s Jack Mullins (1:58, quarters) and Mainland’s Nico Rivera (2:58, semis). Rivera (2 front-side pins) added two more on the back, pinning Rodriguez (2:46) in the semi and Wright (1:28) for third.

195: Englewood’s Melvin Wiggins bookended a 7-4 semifinal win over Matanzas’ Adyn Cox with first-period pins over Stanton’s Carter Lemieux (:35, quarters) and over Paxon’s Matthew Brunelli (1:02) in the championship. Brunelli had a bye into the semis, where he pinned eventual 3rd Remington Housley of Fernandina Beach in 5:26. For his part, Cox won once to get third, with a bye into that match, where he decisioned Housley by an 11-6 count.

220: The hosts’ Thomas Jones pinned his way through the bracket; after a bye into the quarters, Jones took falls over Mainland’s Josh Newman (:54, quarters), Episcopal’s Maddox Davidson (5:51, semis) and again in the final over Englewood’s Billie Maynard (3:33). Maynard had three front-side pins prior to final, with falls over Paxon’s Lindsay Francis (1:34, rd of 16), Riverside’s Larry Davis (1:17, quarters) and Mainland’s Jeffery Turner (2:11, semis). Davidson (2 front-side pins) added two more falls on the back, with pins over Davis (:39) in the semi and over Turner (2:03) to claim third.

285: Riverside’s Kamari Perkins made it back-to-back titles for the hosts. After a bye into the quarters, Perkins pinned Englewood’s Jon Houghton (1:39, quarters), Keystone Heights’ Joshua Dowling (2:40, semis) and then powered past Englewood’s Keith Forbes with a third-period fall in 5:05 for the title. Forbes had front-side pins over Fernandina’s Gabriel Martinez (5:04, quarters) and Keystone’s Cody Saley (1:42, semis) prior to the final. For his part, Saley (front-side pin) won twice by pin in the consis, pinning Riverside’s An’Dreas Washington (2:30) in the semi and Martinez (2:29) for third.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.

MISSING: If you’re reading these recaps and you see that your team isn’t being written about as we go through the middle third of the regular season, it’s due to results gone missing. Go to our SCHEDULES page; if your team is listed as PENDING for a given event on a given day, I didn’t get results. I’ll still take them, at any time; coaches all have my work email.

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