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#BigBend: Wakulla Depth Carries Hosts To Title

Wakulla wrestlers and coaches with the team’s Big Bend Invitational won on the War Eagle home mats Saturday (Photo submitted by Stephanie Edenfield via Facebook).

CRAWFORDVILLE — No matter the format, the Big Bend Invitational — even with the number of teams in it this year — is one that Wakulla has controlled for the past several years.

This year, with the tournament back to an IBT format, two days, and more teams, the War Eagles still did everything needed to stay on top, outlasting Yulee, 232.5-209, to win this year’s event.

Chiles (186), Ft Walton Beach (179) and Gulf Breeze (141) rounded out the top-five tems in the field. Bishop Kenny, with 129.5 points, was sixth, while Florida High and Middleburg tied for seventh at 107.5.

South Walton was ninth with 96 points in the 18-team field, followed by North Bay Haven (84.5), Episcopal (84), Rutherford (63.5), Wewahitchka (59), Crestview (56.5), Liberty County (51), Leon (24), Marianna (17) and Gainesville (13).

Below follows a summary of the tournament:

106 — The War Eagles’ Conner Brown racked up a pin and three decisions for the title, with Friday wins over Bishop Kenny’s Jordan Hampton (pin in :28, rd of 16) and South Walton’s Brett Canut (8-1, quarters), coming back Saturday to push past Rutherford’s Dylan Malott, 9-4, in the semis, before defeating Episcopal’s Turner Glenn, 5-2, for the championship. Brown had a takedown and 3-point nearfall early, and made them stand up, as Glenn didn’t get on the board until the third. Glenn had three bonus-point wins, sandwiching a 10-1 quarterfinal major over FWB’s Landon Burbidge with pins over NBH’s Gavin Rocca (:54, rd of 16) and Liberty’s Keaton Ellis (5:04, semis). Wewahitchka’s Jake Parker won four times in the consis after losing by pin to Malott in the consis, with a 15-8 consi-semi win over Ellis and a 16-6 revenge win over Malott for third. Ellis downed Burbidge, 9-3, for fifth and sixth, respectively.

113 — Liberty County’s Jay Brown bonus-pointed into the final, where he held down Middleburg’s Grady Woodard by a 2-0 count. Brown’s takedown 41 seconds into the second period was all the points the match would see, as he rode out Woodard for the rest of the second period and all of the third. Brown had Friday pins over Crestview’s Logan Sims (:17, rd of 16) and Wakulla’s Brady WIlson (3:21, quarters), with a 16-3 major in the semis over Wakulla’s Anthony Fondo. Woodard also had two Friday pins (:57 over South Walton’s Bianca Nunez, :59 over NBH’s Caleb Fuster), reaching the final with a 5-3 win over FWB’s Zak Vosburgh. Vosburgh won twice in the consis, downing Bishop Kenny’s Jacob Harless, 6-2, in the semis and then pinning Yulee’s Lewis Duhan in 1:56 for third. Harless, who lost by fall in the quarters to Fondo on Friday, came back for fifth with a 5-2 win over Fondo.

120 — Like Brown at 113, South Walton’s Max Brewster bonus-pointed through each round before the finals, in which he also turned back a Middleburg wrestler, this time Wyatt Leduc, by a 6-2 count. Brewster opened with a takedown and brief turn in the first period, opening the third with a reversal to extend to a 6-1 lead at the time. Before the final, Brewster took Friday pins over Bishop Kenny’s Noah Ossi (3 minutes, rd of 16) and Rutherford’s Cyrus Nichols (1:47, quarters), opening Saturday with a 15-5 major over Chiles’ Sam Tolomeo in the semi. Leduc falled Liberty’s Hunter Brown (2 minutes) after a bye into the quarters, coming back to pitch a 5-0 shutout over Gulf Breeze’s Coby Shields in the semis. Tolomeo won twice in the consis for third, pinning Brown (1:49) in the semis, and edging region rival Shields, 8-7, for third. Wakulla’s Caleb Orr, who lost 4-2 to Tolomeo in the quarters, was fifth, edging Brown, 4-3.

126 — Middleburg’s Riley Girgis had two Friday pins and a pair of Saturday decisions, including a 2-1 finals win over region rival Garrett Marschka of Chiles. Girgis secured a takedown 42 seconds into the match and it held up, as Marschka’s only point came on a second stall warning in the third. Girgis took Friday pins over South Walton’s Jordan Skates (1:41, rd of 16) and Yulee’s Logan Pugh (1:10, quarters), with a 6-4 semifinal win over Wakulla’s Juan Jimenez. Marschka, in turn, had three pins over Florida High’s Hunter Stanley (:43, rd of 16), NBH’s Tristan Le’ (1:30, quarters) and Gulf Breeze’s Michael Mancuso (:26, semis) to get to Girgis. Jimenez rallied for two consi-side pins for third, falling Le’ in 1:56 in the semis, then pinning Mancuso (2:05) for third. Pugh decisioned Le’, 6-1, for fifth and sixth, respectively.

132 — Chiles’ Hunter Brown bonus-pointed her way into the final, where he overcame the hosts’ Isaiah Wilson, 4-2. Wilson scored first on a takedown with 47 seconds left n the first, but three stall warnings (two in the second) tied the match, and Brown was able to grab a takedown of his own with 35 seconds left, making it hold up. Brown had Friday pins over NBH’s Will Lundgren (1:09, rd of 16) and Marianna’s Josh Mercer (1:49, quarters), shutting out the War Eagles’ Nate Jacobs, 11-0, in the semis. Wilson also bonus-pointed to the final, with a quarterfinal pin (2:59) over Crestview’s Landon Brown sandwiched in between major-decision shutouts (8-0 over Bishop Kenny’s Christopher Hampton, 11-0 in semis over Middleburg’s Dylan Johns). Jacobs took a pair of decisions to come back to third, downing South Walton’s Logan Moore (7-1) in the semis and over Johns, 7-5, for third. Florida High’s Troy Carroll was fifth, decisioning Moore, 8-3, in that match.

Yulee wrestlers, coaches and managers with the Big Bend Invitational runnerup trophy won Saturday at Wakulla (Photo submitted by Brandon Crowder via Facebook).

138 — Yulee’s Austin Adamson emerged from an unseeded position to win the title, with Friday wins over Florida High’s Isaiah Ridlen (16-0 TF in 3:38, rd of 16) and Rutherford’s Romero Black (5-2, quarters), advancing with a forfeit in the semis and then powering past Wakulla’s Wyatt Welch, 4-3, for the title. After both wrestlers had scoring moves in the first period, Adamson’s third-period reversal with 42 seconds left was enough to secure the win. Welch had a bye into the quarters, majoring South Walton’s Ryan Kurfirst (10-2) there; he then decisioned Episcopal’s Baylor Maurer, 4-1, in the semis. After the loss to Adamson, Black won four times in the consis to claim third, with an 11-4 consi-semi win over Maurer and a 20-4 TF (5 minutes) over Chiles’ Jacob Johnston, who’d won three max-point victories in the consis to get there. Maurer won by walkover forfeit for fifth.

145 — The Hornets’ Dylan Johns pinned his way into the final, where he decisioned the hosts’ Hayden Reeves, 6-1, for the championship. Johns scored first takedown close to 45 seconds into the match, picking up two more in the third period to pull away for the title. Prior to the final, Johns had pins over Florida High’s Cole Stephens (2:16, rd of 16), South Walton’s Frank Bonjean (1:16, quarters) and Gulf Breeze’s Garret Rudick (5:31, semis). For his part, Reeves had Friday pins over Crestview’s Marc Beaurivage (1:12, rd of 16) and Bishop Kenny’s Paul Barakat (2:36, quarters), with a 10-2 semifinal major over Leon’s Nolan Zirgibel. Zirgibel won twice in the consis for third, with a 12-5 semifinal win over region rival Steven Banfield of Ft Walton Beach, followed by a pin (4:57) over another one in Rudick. Banfield decisioned Barakat, 3-1, for fifth.

152 — Bishop Kenny’s Roberto Cuartero bonus-pointed to the title, making the Crusaders the seventh different team to win brackets. On Friday, Cuartero falled Episcopal’s Chance Wolffe (1:47, rd of 16) and teched Florida High’s Nicholas Roeder (15-0 in 2:18, quarters). On Saturday, Cuartero pinned Florida High’s Dean Wright (1:24) before facing off with Wakulla’s Jae T Thaxton in the final. Cuartero scored in each period, with a 3-point nearfall in the third before giving up a reversal late in a 10-2 major decision victory. In reaching the final, Thaxton pinned Yulee’s Michael McNair (1:19, rd of 16) and teched South Walton’s Chase Maas (16-1 in 5:10), with a semifinal decision over FWB’s Alexander Davidson, 7-5. Chiles’ Andrew Mullins, who fell to Wright, 5-2, in the quarters, took four consi-side victories to rally back to third, with a 2-1 semis win over Davidson, followed by a medical forfeit over Wewahitchka’s Conner Roberts. Davidson downed Wright, 3-1, for fifth.

160 — Aside from a 12-8 semifinal win over Florida High’s Liam Hawkes, Bishop Kenny’s Collin Hearn max-pointed through the tournament, with Friday wins over Wakulla’s Hayden Fringer (1:03, rd of 16) and a forfeit in the quarters. In the finals, Hearn falled Yulee’s Jesse Johnson in 3:15 to win the title, in a match where he was up, 7-1, with three takedowns to his credit before securing the pin. Johnson got to the final behind pins over Wewahitchka’s Brody Speegle (:29, rd of 16) and Chiles’ Luke Pickels (1:39, quarters), followed by a wild 22-15 semifinal win over FWB’s Marquis Muniz. Hawkes won twice in the consis to claim third, majoring Episcopal’s John Fernandez (10-2) and then overcoming Muniz, 4-2, in the bronze-medal match. Fernandez decisioned Rutherford’s Keaton Schirmer, 3-1, to take fifth.

170 — Florida High became the eighth team to win a bracket, as Xander Hawkes won the title behind two pins and a 3-1 finals decision over Ft Walton Beach’s Darius Brundidge. Hawkes hit a big turn 29 seconds into the second period for three backpoints and made them hold up for the title win. Earlier, Hawkes had a bye into the quarters, with subsequent pins over Bishop Kenny’s Luke Ghannam (2:50, quarters) and over Rutherford’s Chad Allgood (3:40, semis). Brundidge reached the final, after a bye into the quarters, with a 6-4 win over Chiles’ Kadis Nafal and an 11-2 major over Crestview’s Layne Franks in the semi. Gulf Breeze’s Micah Barker, who lost by pin to Allgood in the quarters, won four times on the back for third, with an injury-default win over Franks in the semis and a 6-2 decision over Nafal for third; Franks won by forfeit in taking fifth.

182 — Gulf Breeze became the ninth team with a title, as Blake Fluck bonus-pointed through the event. After a bye, Fluck falled Yulee’s Rex Graff (1:37) in the quarters on Friday. His only six-minute match came in a 12-1 major over Chiles’ Cody Elliott in the semis, with a pin (3:11) in the final over Yulee’s Alex Smith. Smith scored first takedown, but it was Fluck who reversed from bottom to take a 3-2 lead, turning his ride into a turn and eventual fall. For his part, Smith won three times, teching Episcopal’s Hunter Luzar (17-2 in 2:35) and pinning Rutherford’s Bryson Schirmer (:32, quarters) on Friday. On Saturday, Smith added a second pin over the hosts’ Tyler Edenfield (5:11) in the semis. Edenfield ralied for third, pinning FWB’s Connor Roberts (4 minutes) in the consi semis, then shutting out Elliott, 1-0, in the place match. Roberts pinned Crestview’s Salvador Gallegos in 2:18 for fifth.

195 — Team #10 with a title came up here, as North Bay Haven’s David Mercado bonus-pointed through the tournament. Mercado had a forfeit win to get to the quarters, where he pinned Crestview’s Chris Greene in 1:27. On Saturday, Mercado teched FWB’s Carter Tobik in the third period (18-3 in 5:16) to reach Yulee’s Christopher Aud in the final. Mercado’s first takedown would be the only one he needed, as he falled Aud in 1:38 for the bracket win. Aud had three wins to get to the title round, with a round-of-16 pin over Gulf Breeze’s Isaac Land (4:46) and decisions over Chiles’ Dillon Elliott (5-4, quarters) and Gainesville’s Aiden Kittelson (7-0, semis). Tobik had a pair of wins to rally back for third, with decisions over Elliott (2-1, consi semis) and over Bishop Kenny’s Michael Bagan (9-2) for third (Tobik had pinned Bagan in the quarters). Kittelson took fifth with a 13-8 decision over Elliott.

220 — Ft Walton Beach’s Cedric Fairrow made it 11 different teams with titles, with three pins preceding a 6-0 title victory over Yulee’s Braylen Ricks. Fairrow scored takedowns in each period, riding Ricks out in each period for a little over a minute each time for the win. Earlier, Fairrow had Friday pins over Episcopal’s Maddox Davidson (:50, rd of 16) and Crestview’s Caleb Sims (:40, quarters), with a semifinal pin in 5:43 over Florida High’s Collin Bishop. Ricks, in turn, had pins over Wewahitchka’s James Hardy (:53) and Chiles’ Nicholas Groves (:38), finding a takedown in sudden victory for a 6-4 win over Wakulla’s Kohl Pippen. Bishop won twice for third, with an 11-2 major over North Bay Haven’s Logan McAlister in the consi semis and a 3-1 decision over Pippen for third. McAlister falled Sims in 1:55 for fifth.

285 — South Walton joined Yulee and Bishop Kenny as the only teams with more than one champion, as the Seahawks’ Nick Lee sandwiched a 5-1 semifinal win over Bishop Kenny’s Kevin Thallemer with pins over Yulee’s Marcel Reeves (1:24, quarters) and Gulf Breeze’s Phillip Dillard (1:22) in the final. Lee got two takedowns in the first period, with the second one the decisive one toward getting the fall. Dillard won three times by fall, with Friday pins over Yulee’s Austin Hoyle (1:06, rd of 16) and Wakulla’s Adleigh Caquimbo (:18, quarters), plus a semifinal pin over Ft Walton Beach’s Spencer Mackenzie in 5:23. Thallemer took third with a consi-semi pin (2:18) over NBH’s Kam D’Niroux and a 6-4 third-place win over Hoyle, while Mackenzie pinned D’Niroux in 4:17 for fifth.

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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