JACKSONVILLE — For the third straight year, Yulee took home the 1A-District 3 IBT title Tuesday early afternoon at University Christian.
But with no champions prior to 138, the Hornets had to do some late-round cranking, sometimes literally, to push past solid threats from Bishop Kenny, Fernandina Beach and Episcopal to win that title.
When it ended, Yulee finished with 217 points. The Hornets qualified 12 wrestlers automatically for next week’s Region 1 tournament at Wakulla, with four champions, three runners-up, three 3rds and two 4ths.
Bishop Kenny wound up second, with 211. The Crusaders moved 10 through automatically, with three champs, four runners-up, one 3rd and two 4ths. That point total was enough to push past the third-place Pirates, who scored 203.5 points as a team, with two champs, four runners-up, three 3rds and one 4th.
Episcopal had a comfortable margin over West Nassau, 171-96, for fourth and fifth, respectively. The Eagles advanced 11 out to Wakulla, with two champs, one runnerup, three 3rds and five 4ths. As for the Warriors, they qualified five out, with one champion, three 3rds and one 4th.
Paxon held off Raines, 66-60, for sixth, with the host Christians eighth with 10 points. The Golden Eagles had two runners-up and two 4ths, while Raines won two individual titles, adding one 3rd-place finish.
Below follows a summary of the day —
106: Last year, Episcopal freshman Turner Glenn (30-6) was an additional region qualifier at a weight class up, as an 8th-grader. This year, Glenn left no doubt on his qualification status, pinning his way through the tournament on pins over Yulee sophomore Josh Harris (3:03, semis) and Fernandina Beach freshman Luke Gray (2:49, final). Gray (20-10) reached the title round with a semifinal pin (1:10) over Paxon sophomore Louis Eckels, punching his first region ticket. Harris (20-15, front-side major) also secured his first Wakulla space, with a bye into the third-place match and fall over Eckels (11-9), a first-time region qualifier who advanced to next week with a blood-round fall (5:38).
113: After successive 4ths as a freshman and sophomore in the district, West Nassau junior Jackson Holcomb (2-0 post-season) continued a strong recent run. In a three-person bracket, Holcomb falled Yulee junior Lewis Duhan (:31) in the semis, then pushed past Bishop Kenny sophomore Jacob Harless, 6-4, in the title round. Harless (22-9), who was fourth a year ago, had a bye into the final, while Duhan (21-10) returned to the region tournament after a year away, with his second 3rd-place finish after a bye in the medal round.
120: Raines senior De’Quon King (12-1) won his third district title and qualified for regions for the fourth time, going six minutes in both of his matches Tuesday, with a 7-5 decision over West Nassau junior Blayden Tharpe and a 13-5 major in the final over Fernandina Beach freshman Cael Kubatzke. Kubatzke (31-9) qualified for regions for the first time with a second-period TF (15-0 in 3:30) over Episcopal junior Cohen Chesser. Tharpe (3-1 post-season, front-side pin) pinned his way through the consis for a third consecutive region space, falling Chesser in 2:31 for third place. Chesser (20-13) picked up his second region qualification with an 18-9 major in the blood round.
126: Fernandina Beach junior Caden Kubatzke (27-5) won his second district title in back-to-back years, and qualified for regions for the third time (4th in 2020), bonus-pointing through the tournament with a 46-second fall over Bishop Kenny senior Allan Bustos in the semis and a 13-4 major over Episcopal junior Scott Busey in the finals round. Busey (26-17) had pins over West Nassau’s Landon Higginbotham (5:43, quarters) and Yulee sophomore Logan Pugh (5:17, semis) to reach his third district final and Wakulla space. Bustos (15-13) became a three-time region qualifier and finished 3rd for the second time, pinning his way back, including a fall over Pugh (2:06) in the medal round. Pugh secured his second region ticket with a fall (1:40) in the blood round.
132: In his first post-season competition with the Eagles, Episcopal sophomore Nicholas Pressley advanced out of the middle of the bracket with a 5-1 semifinal decision over Fernandina Beach junior Nik Saldana, then taking a first-period fall (1:35) over Paxon senior David Kang in the championship match. Kang (12-8), also a first-time post-season competitor, advanced to regions with a 5-point move in sudden victory with a 13-8 decision over Bishop Kenny sophomore Christopher Hampton in the semis. Saldana (22-4, front-side pin) bonus-pointed through the consis in wrestling back to third for his second region appearance after winning at 106 last year, with a 12-1 major over Hampton in the medal match. Hampton (14-9) punched his first Wakulla ticket with a blood-round fall (3:20).
138: Yulee junior Austin Adamson (25-11) advanced to regions for the second time (3rd last year) after a pair of decisions over Episcopal senior Christian Ryan (9-7) and Fernandina Beach senior Dietrich Woods (7-4), picking up the Hornets’ first title of the day. Woods (32-5) reached his second district final/secured second Wakulla space with a semifinal pin (:40) over Bishop Kenny junior Jack Raynor. After a bye into the third-place match to secure his third region appearance, Ryan (12-6) took his third straight third-place finish with a third-period fall over Raynor (16-11), who finished fourth for the second time in as many years. Raynor picked up his second qualification with a 48-second blood-round file.
145: Yulee junior Dylan Johns (35-2) earned his third Wakulla space and second district title, with three pins along the way over West Nassau’s Aiden Melson (2:17, quarters), over Episcopal junior Baylor Maurer (1:34, semis) and over Bishop Kenny senior Paul Barakat in 2:36 for the championship. Barakat (25-9) qualified for regions for the third time (4ths last year and 2020) with an 8-6 semifinal win over Fernandina Beach sophomore Cole Misciagna. Misciagna (29-7) won by pin twice to claim for third for the second straight year, pinning Maurer in 3:16 for the bronze; Maurer (22-18) secured a Wakulla space in his first post-season with the Eagles, with a blood-round fall in 2:21.
152: Bishop Kenny junior Roberto Cuartero (33-1) secured his return to the region level after a year away due to injury, pinning his way through the bracket with falls over West Nassau freshman Jackson Delinder (:17, quarters), over Yulee freshman Michael McNair (:51, semis) and over Paxon sophomore Brendan Lawson (1:50) in the championship round. The other three Wakulla qualifiers all will make their first trips, with Lawson (13-13) pinning Fernandina Beach’s Blake Harrington (1:52) in the semis. McNair (13-17) max-pointed through two consi-side rounds, with a pin in 2:08 in the third-place match over Delinder (1-2 post-season), who found a takedown in sudden victory to punch his region ticket.
160: Fernandina Beach sophomore Enzo Gamba (33-0) won his second district title, bonus-pointing through the day with a semifinal pin (1:38) over Yulee junior Samuel Sahrphillips and an 8-0 major in the title match over Bishop Kenny junior Collin Hearn. Hearn (27-6) took a 6-2 decision in the semis over Episcopal junior John Fernandez and will compete at regions for the second time. The same is true for Fernandez (24-14), who falled first-time region qualifier Sahrphillips in 1:50 for third place.
170: Yulee senior Jesse Johnson (28-10) joined Raines’ King as a four-time region qualifier/district finalist, winning his second district title with three pins, taking falls over West Nassau junior Jakob Turnage (3:39, quarters), over Episcopal junior Brennan Doherty (2:41, semis) and over Bishop Kenny junior Luke Ghannam (1:26) in the championship round. Ghannam (22-6) qualified out for regions for the first time with a semifinal pin over Fernandina Beach’s Henry McDuffy (1:26). Turnage (2-1 post-season) pinned his way back to third, his second straight district 3rd/region qualification, with a medal-round pin over Doherty (11-11), who’ll make his second region appearance after injury in last year’s district tournament.
182: Yulee freshman Alex Smith (35-5) pinned his way through the bracket for the championship, taking pins over the other region qualifiers, with falls over West Nassau sophomore Nolan McKelvy (2:29, quarters), over Episcopal freshman Christian McGarity (1:18, semis) and over Fernandina Beach junior Lucas Crawford (5:18) in a wild final. Crawford (29-5) picked up his second region appearance with a semifinal pin (1:31) over Bishop Kenny’s Max Thallemer, while McKelvy (3-1 postseason) won twice on the back by fall to secure his second region qualification, with a 6-5 third-place decision over McGarity. McGarity (24-9, front-side decision) punched his second region ticket with a blood-round fall in 2:42.
195: Bishop Kenny senior Michael Bagan (20-6) earned his third trip to regions and won his first district title, bonus-pointing through the field with pins over Episcopal’s Matt Salek (1:15, quarters) and University Christian’s Deriz Andrews (3:09, semis) before taking a 13-2 major in the final over Yulee sophomore Christopher Aud. Aud (15-12) punched his first Wakulla ticket with a semifinal pin over Fernandina Beach sophomore Gauge Housley (5:09). After a wild 23-19 loss to Housley in the quarters, after a consi bye, Paxon junior Matthew Brunelli (16-11) pinned his way back to third and made it to regions for the third time, taking a fall over first-time region-qualifier Housley (17-19) in 1:20 in the third-place match.
220: Raines senior Jamari Watson (12-1) joined teammate King and Yulee’s Johnson as the only four-time region qualifiers in the tournament, joining King as its only three-time district champions with pins in the semis over Fernandina Beach freshman Peyton White (:41) and, in a rematch of the 2021 District 3 195 final, over Yulee sophomore Braylen Ricks (1:27) for the championship. Ricks (30-4) picked up his second region qualification with a 55-second pin over Episcopal freshman Maddox Davidson, while Davidson (22-19, front-side pin) won by fall twice for his first Wakulla ticket, falling fellow first-time region qualifier White in 52 secdons. White (7-5, front-side pin) got through to the next round with a blood-round pin in 3:45.
285: Bishop Kenny senior Kevin Thallemer (26-6) won by fall three times, facing the other region qualifiers, for his second district title and third region appearance. Thallemer pinned Episcopal freshman Mark Rinaman (1:36, quarters), Raines sophomore D’Carl Wilson (1:30, semis) and Yulee junior Austin Hoyle in 2:54 for the championship. Hoyle (27-11) punched his first Wakulla ticket with a semifinal pin over Fernandina Beach’s Gabriel Martinez; after a consi-semi bye that secured his first region space, Wilson (5-8) needed 55 seconds to fall Rinaman (10-18), who earned his first region qualification with a blood-round fall in 3:56.
Complete brackets from the tournament can be found HERE.