#Paxon: Healthier Bobcats Hold Off Middleburg Charge

JACKSONVILLE — More pieces of the projected lineup Billy Pankey had planned for his Buchholz team in the preseason started to fit themselves into the Bobcat formula this past weekend.

And Buchholz needed all 11 pieces to run together to overcome Middleburg’s challenge for the title Saturday at the Paxon Invitational, as the Bobcats held off the Broncos, 164-152.5, for the team title.

Buchholz wrestlers and coaches celebrate a title win Saturday at the Paxon Invitational in Jacksonville (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

West Nassau had its best finish in a tournament this season under first-year coach Jim Hoskinson, as the Warriors were third with 120.5 points. The Treasure Coast area’s Vero Beach was fourth with 112.5, while Sandalwood pushed past Mandarin, 82-80, for fifth.

Wolfson was seventh in the 16-team tournament, with 73 points, followed by Pedro Menendez (58.5), Englewood (57), host Paxon (55), independent program Springs Academy (42), First Coast (37.5), Atlantic Coast (36), Stanton (29) and University Christian (seven).

Below follows a breakdown of each weight class —

106: In an all-Middleburg final, the Broncos’ Jackson Hornback had a bye into the semis, where he falled Wolfson’s Tristian Martinez (1:18), then teched teammate Adam McGarvey in the first period (17-1 in 1:55). McGarvey received a bye into the quarters, with subsequent pins over Menendez’s Emma Brackett (:07, quarters) and Paxon’s Louis Eckels (2:27, semis). Martinez (front-side pin) had two pins in the consis, first over Stanton’s Mackenzie Mack (1:16) in the consi semis and then over Paxon’s Louis Eckels (1:42) in the third-place match. Eckels (front-side pin) secured his place finish with a fall (2:55) over Vero Beach in the blood round.

Middleburg wrestlers with the team’s runnerup trophy won Saturday at the Paxon Invitational in Jacksonville (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

113: Middleburg’s Grady Woodard made it back-to-back titles, with two pins for the title after a bye into the semi. Woodard first falled West Nassau’s Jackson Holcomb (3:09) in the semis, then pinned Springs Academy’s Hunter Hare in 57 seconds in the finals match. Hare also had a bye into the semis, where he pinned Stanton’s Elias Spurlin in 4 minutes. In the consis, Holcomb (front-side pin) rallied for two more wins, first pinning Logan Geist of Menendez (1:29) and then majoring Spurlin, 9-1, for third. Spurlin (front-side pin) secured a place finish with a consi-semi pin (1:14) over Sandalwood’s Adam Goodman.

120: West Nassau’s Blayden Tharpe bonus-pointed through the day for his championship run, with a quarterfinal pin over Sandalwood’s Justin Robinson (1:31), a semifinal 16-1 tech (5:15) over Springs Academy’s Bryan Utgard and a 13-4 major over Buchholz’s Finn Buchanan in the final. Buchanan had a bye into the semis, where he falled Vero Beach (1:18). After the quarterfinal loss to Tharpe, Robinson pinned his way back to third, with three pins in all, including the semis over Vero (2:26) and third-place match over Utgard (3:05). Utgard (front-side pin) earned his place finish with a 10-8 blood-round win over Englewood’s Christopher Moore.

126: After dominating through the two early rounds, patience had to be the watchword for Middleburg’s Wyatt Leduc in the final, as he overcame Buchholz’s Jedidiah Brown, 7-3, for the championship. After a bye into the quarters, Leduc falled Riverside’s King Taylor (1:03) in that round and teched Springs Academy’s Chris Graham, 18-0 in 4 minutes. Brown also had a bye into the quarters, with pins over Vero Beach (1:06) in that round and over Wolfson’s Andrew Harbin (2:53, semis). Harbin (front-side pin) won twice on the back for third, pinning Taylor (4 minutes) in the blood round and decisioning West Nassau’s Landon Higginbotham, 3-1, for third. Higginbotham, who’d lost by fall to Harbin in the quarters, had to win twice to make podium, with an 8-2 consi-semi win over Graham.

132: After two runnerup finishes, the Bobcats bagged a title here, with Venumadhava Mirel pinning his way through the tournament, taking falls over First Coast’s Haley Gennette (1:20, quarters), Springs Academy’s Caleb Pope (2:39, semis) and over Middleburg’s Riley Girgis in 56 second to win in the finals. Girgis had a bye into the quarters, where he pinned Sandalwood’s Ricky Hicks (1:28) and then decisioned Vero Beach, 6-2, to get to Mirel. Sandalwood’s Ben Peterson, who fell 9-7 in the quarters to Vero, had three bonus-point wins on the back to take third, with pins over Pope (2:20) in consi-semis action and a 9-1 major in the medal round over Vero Beach.

138: After a bye into the quarters, Mandarin’s Jameel Smith pinned his way through the draw, falling Wolfson’s Max Lewallen (3:51, quarters), Middleburg’s Dylan Johns (1:59, semis) and a second 1st-period pin in the championship match over First Coast’s Jace Austin (1:06). Austin, too had a bye into the quarters, where he teched Atlantic Coast’s Corey Layfield (16-0 in 4:43) and then pinned Menendez’s Logan Meehan in 1:23 to become First Coast’s only finalist in the event. Meehan (front-side major) added two more bonus wins in the consis, teching Lewallen (16-0 in 5:37) in the blood round and then pinning Johns in 1:51 for third. Johns secured a place finish with a consi-semis TF over Buchholz’s Laine Slayton (17-1 in 4:13).

145: Englewood’s DiSean Hires became the third straight champ to pin his way through, with quarterfinal pins over West Nassau’s Aiden Melson (5:28, quarters), Paxon’s Michael Gold (1:31, semis) and then a second 3rd-period fall over Pedro Menendez’s Archer Bosick in 4:47 in the final. Bosick, for his part, had to win three times to make the final, with a pigtal pin over Vero (4:43), quarterfinal fall over Middleburg’s Christian Hutchens (3:04) and semifinal pin over teammate Bryson Farris (:26). Melson (front-side pin) racked up four falls in the consis to wrestle back to third, with pins in the consi semis over Farris (2:29) and over Buchholz’s Jack Buchanan (1:48) for third. Buchanan, who’d lost to Melson in a pigtail, had three bonus-point wins for his place finish, majoring Gold, 12-4, in the blood round.

152: The Bobcats’ Aiden Moore made it four champs in a row to pin through the field, needing just 3:27 for his title. Moore took pins over Stanton’s Zander Dyal (:25, quarters), Middleburg’s Aden Thornton (1:55, semis) and Atlantic Coast’s Joel Dudley (:23) for the title win. Dudley had two pins after a bye into the quarters, falling West Nassau’s Jackson Delindez (1:49) in that round and subsequently Wolfson’s Liam Strange (3:44) in the semis. Thornton (2 front-side pins) added two more to take third, falling Delinder (1:50) in the blood round and Strange (3:17) for third. Strange (2 front-side pins) pinned Vero Beach in 2 minutes in the consi semis to assure a place finish.

160: Buchholz’s Max Szabo was the top coverage area wrestler, reaching the final after pins in the quarters over Wolfson’s Bryce Frye (1:11) and in the semis over Mandarin’s Amari McKinnon (4:58) before falling to Vero Beach’s Cooper Patton, 7-0, in the championship match. McKinnon rallied with consi-side pins over Middleburg’s Chaz Meldrum (1:53, consi semis) and over Frye (5:54) in the medal round. Frye got two byes into the blood round, where he falled Englewood’s Rakin Dunbar in 1:32.

170: The Mustangs’ Adrian Rodriguez got his team their second title, bookending a 3-0 semifinal win over Buchholz’s Konstantine Kiousis with pins in the quarters over Wolfson’s Zach Molla (1:14) and in the finals over West Nassau’s Jakob Turnage (1:23). Turnage won three times to get to Rodriguez, with a pigtail fall over Sandalwood’s Malik Wilson (:54), a quarterfinal tech over Paxon’s Andrew Rodriguez (16-0 in 2:44) and a 9-7 semifinal win over Vero Beach. After a forfeit win in the blood round, Kiousis lost by fall to Vero (4:43) to place fourth.

182: Buchholz’s Kason Nichols made his return to the lineup, and wound up pinning his way through the weight class, with falls over Riverside’s Anthony Kearney (:36, quarters), Paxon’s Khoio Nguyen (1:50, semis) and again in the final over West Nassau’s Nolan McKelvy (3:20). McKelvy pinned his way to the semis, with falls over University Christian’s Kaydrick Robinson (:56, pigtail) and Middleburg’s Austin Cruce (3:14, quarters), finding a takedown in sudden victory for a 9-7 win over Vero Beach. In the consis, Nguyen took two max-point wins for third, with an injury-default win in the semis over Cruce and a pin in 3:15 over Sandalwood’s Malachi Mista, a rematch of their quarterfinal, which Nguyen also won by pin. Mista had three max-point wins to reach the top four, winning by forfeit over Vero in the blood round.

195: Mandarin’s Jaelen Simmons reached the final, where he lost by fall in a rush (15 seconds) by Vero Beach’s Keyshawn Campbell. Earlier, Simmons had an injury-default win over Wolfson’s Nathan Fandino in the quarters, taking a 4-1 win in the semi over Englewood’s Nathan Wiggins. Sandalwood’s Duffy Mista (front-side pin), who lost by pin to Wiggins in the quarters, came back with four wins to wrestle all the way back to third, with a fall in the blood round over Paxon’s Matthew Brunelli and a revenge 3-0 win over Wiggins in the third-place match. Wiggins secured his place finish by pinning Robinson in 4:21 in the consi semis.

220: After dominating the top half of the bracket, Middleburg’s Tucker Cody was pushed hard by Riverside’s Thomas Jones in the final, but piled up enough points late for a 13-6 win and the title. Earlier, Cody took a quarterfinal pin over Englewood’s Billie Maynard (1:29) and teched Atlantic Coast’s Hayden Brodehl (17-1 in 3:59) in the semis. For his own part, Jones reached the final behind pins over Sandalwood’s Sharrod Bobo (1:12, quarters) and Vero Beach (2:37, semis) to get to Cody. After securing his space in the top four, with a consi-semi pin over Bobo (3:54), Brodehl took fourth, losing by fall (2:49) to Vero.

285: In a bracket quirk, Riverside’s Kamari Perkins had three pins to win the title. That wasn’t the quirk, but the rounds in which he won them were, as Perkins had falls over two Englewood wrestlers to get to the semis, pinning Jon Houghton (3:01, pigtail) and Keith Forbes (5:07, quarters), then receiving a bye into the final, where he falled Pedro Menendez’s Zander Martin in 2:39 to take the victory. Martin took falls over Vero Beach (1 minute, quarters) and Sandalwood’s Thomas Graham (4:39, semis) to get to Perkins. In wrestling back to third, the Rams’ Forbes had two byes, followed by two pins over Graham (2:17) in the consi semis and over Houghton (1:37) in the medal round. Houghton had two pins and then a bye in the consi semis to move through to place, pinning First Coast’s Derric Jacobs in what effectively was the blood round in the bottom half of the consi.

Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.


MISSING: We have a lot of missing results, from several teams around the coverage area, and we need YOUR help to clean that up. Please check out our SCHEDULE PAGE; if your school is listed as pending, or an event in which you took part is pending, see if your coach can send in your team’s part of that event. We will post results at any time of year, no matter how late they are when they are sent.

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