PANAMA CITY — Only one Florida team has won the George Mulligan Memorial team championship trophy.
Largely as it did in 2021, when it rolled up a 44.5-point margin of victory to win the tournament’s 2nd annual iteration, Ft Walton Beach enjoyed a comfortable margin of victory, this time a 46-point gap between it and runnerup Niceville, with 287.5 points to the Eagles’ 241.5.
South Walton was the top 1A team in the field, made up — with one exception — entirely of Panhandle teams this year, with 212.5 points, six ahead of fourth-place Mosley, with North Bay Haven rounding out the top five with 148.5 points.
That one exception, Tallahassee’s Florida High, was sixth with 143.5 points, followed by Rutherford (141), Rocky Bayou Christian (135), Choctaw (133) and Crestview (107) to complete the top 10. Wewahitchka, in 11th place, had 89.5 points, followed by host Bay (83.5), Liberty County (73), Marianna (51), Arnold (42), Bozeman (35) and Destin (31.5).
Below follows a breakdown of the tournament —
106: Mosley’s Derrick Williams racked up five pins in a scosh under 11 combined minutes to win the title, with Friday falls over Niceville’s Isabella Wall (:39, rd of 32), Wewa’s Kameron Easter (1:43, rd of 16) and Rutherford’s Dylan Malott (3:41, quarters). On Saturday, Williams falled Florida High’s DJ Richardson (1:12) in the semis, and picked up pin #5 in the final, sticking Wewa’s Jake Parker in 3:43 to win the championship. Parker had three bonus-point wins to get to Williams, with an 11-1 major over Liberty’s Keaton Ellis (rd of 16), a quarterfinal pin over Florida High’s Jasper Croom (3:52) and semifinal tech over FSUS’ Cash Ganim in 3:57 (15-0). Malott racked up four pins in 2:42 to wrestle back to third, where he pinned Richardson in 44 seconds, while Croom pinned teammate Ganim in 1:24 for fifth.
113: Liberty’s Jay Brown gave his team its first Memorial title, bonus-pointing into the final behind Friday wins over NBH’s Ben Leach (1:35, rd of 16) and Crestview’s James Metcalf (19-4 TF in 4:25), with a second tech in the Saturday semis over the hosts’ Leonardo Sanchez (22-7 in 4:21), followed by an 11-6 win in the final over Ft Walton’s Zak Vosburgh. Vosburgh took Friday pins over Bozeman’s Charles Kern (:15, rd of 16) and Rocky Bayou’s Thomas Pluhar (3 minutes, quarters), then powered past district rival Deagan Kilpatrick of Choctaw, 5-4, in the semis. In the consis, Sanchez won twice to collect third, with a TF over district rival Pluhar (19-3 in 4:37) in the consi semis, followed by a 10-6 win over Kilpatrick for third. Florida High’s Reis Suskey, who won three times in the consis to reach the top six, shut out Pluhar, 9-0, for fifth.
120: South Walton’s Max Brewster also pinned his way through the bracket, with four pins in 7:23 for the title. Brewster had Friday pins over Bozeman’s Morgan Duvall (:11, rd of 16) and Mosley’s Cade Creamer (1:58, quarters), coming back Saturday with falls over Ft Walton’s Santiago Mayic (1:42, semis) and again in the championship match over Mosley’s Calvin Williams (3:32). Williams had three pins to reach the final, decking Rutherford’s Cyrus Nichols (1:34, rd of 16), NBH’s India Junlunkan (:37, quarters) and Liberty’s Hunter Brown (2:44, semis). Brown bounced back with two bonus wins in the consis for third, falling NBH’s Zander Stillgess (2:35) in the consi semis and then majoring Niceville’s Garrett Jarvis (3 consi-side pins to get to top four), 10-1, for third. Stillgess would go on to pin Mayic in 4:27 for fifth.
126: The Seahawks’ Isaac Brinson gave his team back-to-back bracket wins, with four pins in just 4:17, never going past the first period. Brinson had Friday falls over Florida High’s Hunter Stanley (:43, rd of 16) and NBH’s Xavier Rios (:37, quarters), coming back on Saturday with pins over Wewa’s Justin Johnson (1:09, semis) and then Niceville’s Ethan Pinto (1:48) in the championship round. Pinto max-pointed into the final, with a quarterfinal forfeit advancement sandwiched by pins over NBH’s Bodie Barlup (:34, rd of 16) and the hosts’ Elijah Stillgess (3:12, semis). Stillgess joined teammate Sanchez in taking third with pins over Mosley’s Isaac Biddle (1:33) in the consi semis and over Johnson for third. Crestview’s Gary Gessendoff won three consi-side matches by pin to reach the top six, taking fifth with a 45-second pin over Biddle.
132: Rocky Bayou Christian’s Luke Latham bonus-pointed through the tournament to take the weight class, with Friday pins over Marianna’s Josh Mercer (3:24, rd of 32) and Rutherford’s Giovanni Vinczan (:35, rd of 16), plus a second-period TF in the quarters over Choctaw’s Antonio Daquep (21-4 in 2:30). On Saturday, Latham had a third fall over Wewahitchka’s Kaylee Easter (2:27) in the semis, then came back to take a 10-2 major over South Walton’s Gibson Moore in the finals. Moore got to that round with a 7-2 win over Mosley’s Sebastian Schultz (rd of 16), a 12-3 quarterfinal major over Florida High’s Troy Carroll and a semifinal pin (5:15) over Niceville’s Noah Jarvis. Carroll bounced back from the loss with four consi-side wins, majoring Easter, 14-1, in the semis and powering past Jarvis, 8-5, for third. Easter took fifth, pinning Schultz in 4:53.
138: After a bye into the quarters, Rutherford’s Romero Black needed just three pins in 7:06 to collect his gold, with a Friday fall in the quarters over Choctaw’s Bohdin Fernandez (1:16). On Saturday, Black added a second 1st-period fall over RBC’s Ethan Heathershaw (1:51), then pinned distrct rival Ryan Kurfirst of South Walton in 3:59 for the title. Kurfirst also had three falls in getting to Black, with pins over Wewa’s Keeley Roberts (1:25, rd of 16), Choctaw’s Gavin Henegar (2:49, quarters) and NBH’s Bryan Hurtado (2:44, semis). After his loss to Black in the semis, Heathershaw took pins over Henegar (:55) in the consi semis and over Niceville’s Colt Dannenmueller (who’d won four times in the wrestlebacks to get to the top 4) in 2:06 for third. Henegar pinned Hurtado in 44 seconds for fifth.
145: South Walton’s Dylan Billingsley collected his team’s third weight-class win of the tournament, bonus-pointing through each round with Friday pins over NBH’s Elijah Galloway (:53, rd of 16) and Florida High’s Cole Stephens (1:46, quarters). In the semi, Billingsley had to go a full six before majoring Niceville’s JJ Martinez, 13-2, but got back to his first-period pinning habit in the final against the hosts’ Corban Cherry, with a 75-second pin. Cherry reached the final with a 16-4 major in the round of 16 over FWB’s Matthew Sinclair, plus pins over Crestview’s Marc Beaurivage (:43, quarters) and Niceville’s Tim Dwyer (3:07, semis). Martinez won twice on the back for third, pinning Destin’s Zachary Thomas (3:41) in the semis, then turning back FWB’s Steven Banfield (3 consi-side wins to reach top 4), 5-3, in the bronze match. Dwyer then pinned Thomas in 59 seconds for fifth.
152: Mosley’s second title of the weekend came from Nick Hejke, who never had to go past the first period in collecting four falls in 5:29. Hejke took Friday wins over Niceville’s Tristen Lionberger (1:26, rd of 16) and Florida High’s Nicholas Roeder (:55, quarters), with a semifinal pin over the Seminoles’ Dean Wright (1:59) before falling Ft Walton Beach’s Alexander Davidson in 1:09 for the title. Davidson pinned Mosley’s Andrew Yeats (1:10, rd of 16) and South Walton’s Chase Maas (5:23, quarters), but had to dig deep for a 2-1 semifinal win over district rival Aidan Kyllonen of Niceville. In the consis, Kyllonen won twice for third, pinning NBH’s Bear Siegal in 2:04 (semis) and edging Wright, 4-3, in the third-place match. Siegal shut out Choctaw’s Bradack Carroll (3 consi-side wins to make top six), 6-0, for fifth.
160: Ft Walton Beach was able to pick up its first title here, as Marquis Muniz bounced back from a tough weekend at Suwannee the weekend before with four Memorial wins and the title. Muniz pinned Rutherford’s Jacob Peace (1:08, rd of 16) and teched South Walton’s John Lopez (16-1 in 5:41, quarters) on Friday, coming back Saturday with a semifinal pin over Mosley’s Peyton LaFountain (3:38) before edging Niceville’s Bryce Travis, 5-4, in the championship match. Travis reached the final by sandwiching an 11-2 quarterfinal major over teammate Ty Hawkins with pins over Bozeman’s William Groves (2:30, rd of 16) and Rutherford’s Keaton Schirmer (3:47, semis). Hawkins battled through two 6-minute rounds for third, majoring LaFountain, 9-0, in the semis and turning back Schirmer, 6-2, for third. LaFountain then pinned Lopez in 2:20 for fifth.
170: Like FWB at 160, Niceville got on the title board at this weight, with Martin Black winning four times over the weekend. Black had Friday pins over Marianna’s Zeb Saunders (:44, rd of 16) and Choctaw’s Samuel Santos (2:49, quarters). In the semi, against FWB’s Darius Brundidge, Black had to go a full six to secure a 7-2 decision, but that wasn’t the case in the final against Rutherford’s Chad Allgood, as Black won that title by pin in 3:08. After a 10-second pin over South Walton’s Shane Lane in the round of 16, Allgood went six in taking a 9-2 win over district rival Peyton Andersen of Rocky Bayou in the quarters. On Saturday, Allgood reached the final with a third-period fall (5:04) over region rival Xander Hawkes of Florida High. Brundidge had a pair of decisions in the consis, downing Andersen, 3-2, in the semi and then Crestview’s Layne Franks (3 consi-side wins to reach top 4), 6-1, in claiming third. Hawkes pinned Andersen in 4:47 for fifth.
182: Harrisen Wall made it back-to-back bracket wins for the Eagles, pinning his way through the tournament with three pins in 9:28 after a bye into the quarters. On Friday, Wall decked Rutherford’s Bryson Schirmer (2:56), coming back the following day with pins in the semis over Crestview’s Salvador Gallegos (1:37) and in the final round over Ft Walton Beach’s Connor Roberts, in 4:55. Roberts also had a bye into the quarters, with pins over NBH’s Peyton Saluto (:21) in that round and over Marianna’s Marquis Patterson-Rhodes (5:12) in the semis. Schirmer got off the mat after the loss to Wall with three consi-side falls to rally back to third, pinning Patterson-Rhodes (2:24) in the semis and Gallegos (2:25) in the bronze match. Patterson-Rhodes falled Choctaw’s Jesse Sarver in 49 seconds for fifth.
195: North Bay Haven’s David Mercado didn’t have to compete until Saturday, after a bye into the semis, but he was on form from go, with two first-period pins to claim the bracket, falling South Walton’s Elijah Ramirez (1:37) in the semi and pinning Ft Walton Beach’s Carter Tobik in 1:39 for the championship. Tobik opened competition with an 11-0 quarterfinal win Friday over Mosley’s Andre Trice, coming back the next day in one of the wilder semis, rallying from a 4-0 deficit to edge Choctaw’s Caden McKinney, 11-10. Rocky Bayou’s Jeremiah O’Sullivan, one of just three wrestlers not to make the semis, didn’t let that slow him in the consis, with a pin over McKinney (4:22) in the semis and a 22-5 TF (4:51) over Trice for third. McKinney falled Ramirez in 38 seconds for fifth.
220: The Vikings made their final push up top, as Cedric Fairrow collected the team’s third bracket, with three pins in 5:08. After a bye into the quarters, Fairrow falled Crestview’s Caleb Sims (:33) on Friday, coming back in the semis for his longest match of the weekend, a second-period fall over NBH’s Logan McAlister (3:34). Fairrow then needed just 61 seconds to fall Arnold’s Eimantas Skirius for the title. Skirius had two pins of his own to get a shot at Fairrow, falling Bozeman’s Asher Burris (2:00) in the quarters and Florida High’s Collin Bishop (:57) in the semis. Bishop rallied for two consi-side wins and third, majoring Sims, 14-3, in the semis and then powering past McAlister, 5-3, for third. Sims claimed fifth with an injury-default win over Burris.
285: Ft Walton Beach made it back-to-back titles and four overall, as Spencer Mackenzie had three pins in 3:39, plus a 10-2 major in the finals over Mosley’s Robert Wills. Earlier, Mackenzie took Friday pins over Liberty’s Scout Harr (:59, rd of 16) and Choctaw’s Roman Jackson (:49, quarters), coming back with a third 1st-period pin in the semis over South Walton’s Nick Lee (1:51). Wills had three pins of his own, falling Wewahitchka’s Briceson Davis (:41, rd of 16), NBH’s Kam D’Niroux (2:51, quarters) and Choctaw’s Chase Pelfrey (3:29, semis). Lee bounced back for third, with a 6-1 consi-semi win over Niceville’s Asa Adams, followed by a 17-1 TF (5 minutes) for third over Pelfrey. Adams then pinned Marianna’s Neimiah Guilford (3 consi-side pins to make the top 6) in 1:44 to claim fifth.
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.
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