#JoeBees: Wakulla Takes 3 Individual Titles, Team Win

Wakulla wrestlers and coaches take a team photo after winning the Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border title Saturday at Yulee (Photo submitted by Stephanie Edenfield via Facebook).

YULEE — Teams from northwest Florida don’t often come over to the northeast side of the state, at least not often before February.

Perhaps the example Wakulla and Gulf Breeze set this past weekend might serve as an indicator for the future.

The War Eagles and Dolphins finished 1-2, respectively, in this weekend’s Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border, with newly-minted 1A-District 2 duals champ Wakulla scoring 198 points and 2A-Region 1 duals qualifier Gulf Breeze second with 178.

Host Yulee was third with 171.5 points, followed by Villages at 127 and Florida High at 111.5. Creekside was sixth with 109.5 points, while Mandarin was eighth with 105, Union County ninth at 68 and Belleview 10th at 65.

Forest finished 11th, with 36 points, while Tocoi Creek was 13th with 22.

Below follows a summary of Region 1 competitors who placed this weekend (NOTE: Almost no scores or fall times were posted on the brackets):

106: An all-Wakulla final was staged, with Julian Harvey winning by points over teammate Conner Brown. Prior to the final, Harvey had a bye into the quarters, where he majored Yulee’s Josh Harris (20-8), then had a semifinal pin on Saturday over Forest’s Ayden Ruano. Mewnahile, Brown had pins over Camden B (rd of 16) and Cocoa (quarters) before winning by points over Creekside’s Andrew Feeks in the semi. Ruano took third with a 12-3 major over Villages and pin over Feeks (pin over Harris in consi semis).

113: Yulee’s Lewis Duhan pinned his way through the bracket; after a bye into the quarters, Duhan pinned Wakulla’s Anthony Fondo (quarters) on Friday, and followed that up with pins over Creekside’s Alexavier Panganiban (semis) and over Belleview’s Caleb Mullinix in the championship match. Mullinix also had a bye into the quarters, with pins over Gulf Breeze’s Mashall Hobbs (quarters) and Cocoa in the semis. Fondo won four times in the consis to wrestle back to third, with a major, two overtime decisions and a win by points for third over Union’s Kale Waters, who had two consi-side pins to make podium after losing in the quarters.

120: Gulf Breeze’s Coby Shields had a pin and decision on both days of the tournament to win the weight class, with Friday victories over Forest’s Leeana Vazquez (pin, rd of 16) and Wakulla’s David Culley (overtime decision, quarters) and Saturday wins over Creekside’s Conner Wright (pin, semis) and by points over Booker’s Isaac Cedeno in the final. Wright (2 front-side pins) added two more wins for third, with a pin and points victory over Culley in the medal match.

126: Wakulla’s Juan Jimenez earned the War Eagles’ second title, pinning his way through the draw. After a bye into the quarters, Jimenez had pins over Mandarin’s Devin Foster (quarters), Belleview’s Christian Lewis (semis) and over Camden B’s Waylon Rozier in the championship round. Gulf Breeze’s Michael Mancuso, who lost by fall in the quarters to Villages, won three matches in the consis to make podium and then won by points over Villages to place third.

132: Gulf Breeze’s Colson Elliott gave the Dolphins their second title, bonus-pointing into the final, where he won by points over Wakulla’s Isaiah Wilson. After a bye into the quarters, Elliott pinned Forest’s Owen Moody in that round, coming back in the semis with a 12-4 major over Forest’s Jakob Zawosky. For his part, Wilson won three times to get to the final, with a pin in the round of 16, a quarterfinal major over Union’s Ian Halfacre (11-2) and a semifinal win on points over Belleview’s Mark Willis. Zawosky (2 front-side wins) won twice in the consis, with points victories over Halfacre in the consi semis and over Willis for third.

138: After a bye into the quarters, Mandarin’s Jameel Smith pinned his way through the bracket for the championship, with falls over Wildcats’ Roderick Zow (quarters), Wakulla’s Wyatt Welch (semis) and over Gulf Breeze’s Logan Merritt in the final. Merritt, for his part, had a bye into the quarters and then falled Union County’s Rodney Barnett (quarters) and Creekside’s Keanan Sexton (semis). Sexton (front-side win by points) added two more wins in the consis, with victories over Villages and over Welch in the third-place match.

145: Dylan Johns secured Yulee’s first bracket title behind four victories, including Friday pins over Union County’s Dante’ Johnson (rd of 16) and Florida High’s Isaiah Ridlen (quarters). On Saturday, Johns won by points over Wakulla’s Hayden Reeves in the semis, coming back in the title match with a fall over Gulf Breeze’s Garret Rudick. For his own part, after a bye into the quarters, Rudick had pins over Tocoi Creek’s Jeremiah Malarkey (quarters) and Belleview’s Zach McLaughlin (semis). Reeves (front-side pin) had two bonus-point wins in the consis, with a fall over Creekside’s Colton Leavell in the semis and an 8-0 major over McLaughlin to take third.

152: Wakulla’s Jae T Thaxton brought home the team’s third title by pinning his way into the final, where he won by points over District 2 rival Caleb Keigans of Florida High. Earlier, Thaxton had pins over Mandarin’s Isaiah Diltz (rd of 16), Creekside’s Xavier Grimm (quarters) and Forest’s Antonio Brown (semis). Keigans, for his part, had points wins over Camden B (rd of 16) and Creekside’s Lee Leavell (quarters), plus a semifinal pin over Gulf Breeze’s Brennden Nita. Leavell (front-side pin) came back with four victories in the consis to rally back to third, with a pin, two points wins and a 10-0 major for third over Nita.

160: Yulee’s Jesse Johnson had a bye into the quarters, with pins over Wakulla’s Zabdiel Garcia-Esquilin (quarters) and Union County’s Caleb Crawford (semis) to reach the final, where he lost by points to Villages’ Kevin Coon. Florida High’s Liam Hawkes (semifinalist, front-side pin) had two falls in the consis to take third, with pins over Wakulla’s Aiden Fetterhoff (consi semis) and over Crawford to claim third.

170: Florida High’s Xander Hawkes gave the Seminoles their first title, pinning his way through the bracket. Hawkes had Friday pins over Yulee’s Samuel Sahrphillips (rd of 16) and Tocoi Creek’s Lawton Case (quarters), coming back on Saturday to take pins over Gulf Breeze’s Micah Barker (semis) and over district rival Daniel Brattain of Wakulla in the championship round. Brttain had Friday pins over Union County’s Alexander Cortese (rd of 16) and over Mandarin’s Adrian Rodriguez (quarters), with a points win in the semis over Creekside’s Eddie Craig. Barker (2 front-side pins) made podium with a consi-semi pin over Florida High’s Matthew Tucker, but then lost by points to Villages to finish fourth.

182: After a bye into the quarters, Mandarin’s Antonio Carter bonus-pointed through the tournament, with tech falls over Creekside’s Oraldo Visha (23-8, quarters) and Belleview’s Eric McLaughlin (17-2, semis), with a 17-6 major in the finals over Gulf Breeze’s Blake Fluck. Fluck, who also had a bye into the quarters, took pins over Villages (quarters) and Yulee’s Alex Smith (semis). Smith (front-side pin) added two more pins to wrestle back to third, with falls over Camden B and over McLaughlin in the third-place match.

195: Mandarin’s Jaelen Simmons reached the final, where he lost in overtime on points to Villages’ Izaiah Jauma. Prior to the final, Simmons had a bye into the quarters, with pins over Union County’s Danny Thornton (quarters) and Florida High’s Diego Duprey (semis) to get to Jauma. Duprey (front-side pin) won twice by points in the consis, with a consi-semi win over Yulee’s Christopher Aud and a third-place win over Gulf Breeze’s Isaac Land.

220: The Hornets’ Braylen Ricks gave Yulee its second title; after a bye into the quarters, Ricks had pins over Mandarin’s De’Shawn Wise-Minor (quarters) and Villages (semis) before winning by points over Camden B’s Dustin Edenfield. Florida High’s Collin Bishop (semifinalist; 2 front-side pins) rallied back for third behind two points wins over Wise-Minor (consi semis) and over Villages to take third.

285: Yulee’s Austin Hoyle closed out the day by making it back-to-back bracket win for the hosts. After a bye into the quarters, Hoyle had a Friday quarterfinal pin over Creekside’s Dominic Deverteuil, then came back Saturday with a points win over Camden B in the semis before falling Forest’s Cane Fernandez in the title match. For his part, Fernandez also had a bye into the quarters, where he won in overtime over Wildcats, and then had a forfeit walkover into the final. Yulee’s Jared Elley, who lost by fall in the round of 16, wrestled all the way back to third, with four consi-side pins and a walkover in the consi semis, pinning Camden B for third.

Complete brackets from the weekend’s wrestling 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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