WEWAHITCHKA — There is not the superstar star power, nor a long-running boys program at the highest levels to attract attention to wrestling, at Wewahitchka.
There is, however, hard work and a bit of a never-quit sort of grit in the Lady Gators, and they needed every bit of it Wednesday afternoon to turn back the rest of a 17-team field and win the inaugural FHSAA girls’ District 1 IBT tournament.
Wewahitchka outpointed Mosley, 109-97, for the team championship, with Crestview third (83), Lincoln fourth (67) and Choctaw edging crosstown rival Ft Walton Beach for fifth and sixth, respectively, 48-47.
Chiles was seventh, with 42 points, followed by Pace (40), Bozeman (33), Milton (28), Florida High (24), Tate (22), Gulf Breeze (18), Rutherford & South Walton (both with 16), North Bay Haven (14) and Arnold (12).
Below follows a summary of the tournament —
100: Mosley’s Valarie Solorio (24-4) needed just 1:16 to take two pins, falling Crescent’s Alexis Brown (:35) in the semis and Wewa’s Kameron Easter (:41) in the championship round. Easter (7-13) reached the final with a 51-second pin in the semis over North Bay Haven’s Hayden Hauck. After a bye in the consi semis, Brown (2-1 as reported) took a pin over Bozeman’s Elisabeth Vonkeyserling in 3:23 for third, duplicating her pigtail fall over Vonkeyserling earlier (3:42). Vonkeyserling (5-10) punched her region ticket with a pin (2:30) over Hauck in the blood round.
105: Crestview’s Sigrun Metzger (2-0 as reported) also won by fall twice for her title, with a semifinal pin over Mosley’s Amanda Adams (:24) and a championship fall over Pace’s Natalie Lugo in 4:42. Lugo (11-21) reached the final with a 47-second fall over Wewahitchka’s Zoey Sapp (4-11), who rallied for third with a third-period pin (4:18) over Adams (1-5).
110: Crestview’s Frehdis Metzger (2-0 as reported) made it back-to-back for the Bulldogs and family, with pins in the semis over Wewa’s Taylor Angelino (:13) and in the finals over Gulf Breeze’s Lily Powell (4:54). Powell (6-3) falled Choctaw’s Mia Wise (:15) in the semis to get to Metzger. After a bye into the third-place match, Wise (2-1 as reported, front-side pin) falled Angelino in 42 seconds; Angelino (4-12), in turn, secured at least fourth with a fall (1:33) in the blood round over Lincoln’s Sydney Merrill.
115: Season-long boys’ team starter Lahela Grady of Tate (11-7) used that experience to good advantage, with a bye into the final, where she pinned Wewa’s Angel Williams in 25 seconds. Williams (4-12) pinned South Walton’s Bianca Nunez in 1:37 in the semis, with Nunez (0-1 as reported) receiving a bye for thir.
120: In a three-person bracket, Chiles’ Ashley Shaw (2-0 as reported) won twice by fall, pinning NBH’s India Junlunkan (:53) in the semifinal and Pace’s Lyla Underwood (2:34) in the title match. Underwood (6-11) had a bye into the final, while Junlunkan (10-13) had a bye for third.
125: In a two-person bracket, Bozeman two-year boys’ starter Morgan Duvall (8-10) won by pin in the championship over Crestview’s Savannah Joleman (0-1 as reported) in 2:51.
130: While simultaneously prepping for state weightlifting this week, Wewa’s Kaylee Easter (20-14) tuned up for that with two falls to win the championship, pinning South Walton’s Jordan Skates (:22) in the semis, then falling Mosley’s Allison Boyer in 1:39 to grab the gold medal. Boyer (6-13), an oft-times boys starter for the Dolphins, reached the final with a pin in 5:02 over Milton’s Kaylyn Sons. Sons (11-11), who also was a boys starter for the Panthers falled Skates (0-2 as reported) in 1:31 for third.
135: Lincoln’s Holly Sanders (6-2), in a three-person bracket, won the only match to go a full six minutes Wednesday after a bye into the final, turning back Choctaw’s Alexea Lawson, 8-2, for the title. Lawson (1-1 as reported), a regular starter for the Indian boys throughout the year, falled Wewahitchka’s Keeleyr Roberts in 44 seconds in the semis; Roberts (0-11) had a bye for third.
140: Florida High’s Jaylyn Middleton (10-2) took two pins in repping the Seminoles atop the podium, with falls over Arnold’s Madelynn Nichols (3:11) in the semis and over Wewahitchka’s McKenzie Hatcher (1:43) for the title. Hatcher (4-19) pinned Ft Walton Beach’s Francheska Babauta in 1:35 during the semis in order to get a shot at Middleton. Nichols (1-4) came back to pin Babauta (2-10) in 1:37 for third.
145: Mosley’s Savannah Pitts (5-17), a regular if not full-time boys’ starter for the Dolphins, won by fall twice in a three-person bracket, with pins over Choctaw’s Katelynn Kane (3:16) in the semifinals and over Ft Walton Beach’s Trinity Washebeck in :51 for the title. Washebeck (0-9) had a bye into the final and Kane (0-1 as reported) had a bye for third place.
155: Ft Walton Beach’s Caelyn Solomon (1-8) was the only wrestler in her weight class, winning the title when she weighed in.
170: Mosley’s Henlee Haynes (8-0) won the Dolphins’ third title of the day, with two pins in 2:22. Haynes falled Ft Walton Beach’s Remi Martin (1:13) in the semis, and then falled Lincoln’s Ciera Stennett in 1:09 for the championship. Stennett (3-4) reached the final with a semifinal pin over Crestview’s Reyannah Derosia in 1:09. Martin (1-7) then pinned Derosia (0-2 as reported) in 28 seconds for third.
190: Lincoln 2021 state placer Maggie Moss (8-1) had two pins for a title here, with falls in the semis over Milton’s Shyann Donaldson (3:58) and again in the title round over Chiles’ Cadee Lyons (:46). Lyons (1-1 as reported) reached the final against her in-town rival with a semifinal pin over Pace’s Ryleigh Perkins in 3:27. Donaldson (2-13; front-side pin), after a bye into the third-place match, pinned Perkins in 43 seconds to take bronze. Perkins (6-7) secured her region space with a fall (1:48) over Choctaw’s Lundy Phillips in the blood round.
235: Like Solomon at 155, Bozeman’s Alisa Miller (2-7) was the only entrant in her weight class, taking the title after successfully making weight.
Complete brackets from this tournament and the other district tournaments staged and completed thus far can be found HERE.