GREEN COVE SPRINGS — The path to 23 titles, combined let alone won consecutively, is never easy, even when it looks easy.
The work still needs to be done. The commitment still needs to be constant. The give-back to the program has to be strong.
And Clay did the work in taking its 23rd consecutive district IBT championship Wednesday at home, qualifying its entire team for next weekend’s 1A-Region 1 tournament at Wakulla by doubling up runnerup Palatka to win the District 4 title.
The Blue Devils bagged 10 titles, with three runners-up and one 3rd in scoring 325 points as a team.
Even entering the tournament short-handed, with a couple of starters out due to concussion protocols, the Panthers still emerged second, with 160.5 points. Palatka will advance seven wrestlers — two champions, two runners-up and three 3rds — to regions.
Baker County held off Union County for third, 157.5-149. The Wildcats moved nine wrestlers to the region round, with one champion, two runners-up, two 3rds and four 4ths. The Tigers will take eight to Wakulla, with two runners-up, four 3rds and two 4ths.
Bishop Snyder, with 102 points, rounded out the top half of the team standings, with six wrestlers qualified (one runnerup, one 3rd and four 4ths). Keystone Heights (two 4ths) and Tocoi Creek (one 3rd and one 4th) both had 81 points to tie for sixth.
Bolles had one champion, one runnerup and one 3rd to finish eighth with 65 points, while Wolfson, with three runners-up, was nineth with 57.5. Florida Deaf & Blind (FSDB), with one 3rd and one 4th, was 10th with 28 points.
Below follows a summary of the day —
106: In a weight class with four first-time region qualifiers, Clay freshman Jacob Bucci (20-6) kicked off a string of four Blue Devil titles by pinning his way through the draw for his first district bracket, with a semifinal fall over Union County freshman Alec French (1:49) and a second pin in the championship over Wolfson freshman Tristian Martinez in 3:11. Martinez (18-8) reached the final with a semifinal pin (1:29) over FSDB 7th grader Ivan Lihay. French (2-4) falled Lihay (3-9) in 1:53 for third place.
113: Clay freshman Braden Glavin (23-7) teched through to the final for his first title, with TFs in the quarters over Bishop Snyder’s George Preston (17-1 in 2:39) and in the semis over Keystone Heights’ Jared Goetzman (15-0 in 3:59), completing his day with a fall in the final (2:39) over Palatka sophomore Damaris Carr. Carr (6-13) won twice en route to his first-time region qualification with an 8-5 quarterfinal win over Baker County sophomore Brock Duncan and a third-period fall (5:09) of Union County sophomore Kale Waters. Waters (7-5) bounced back in the consis with two pins in 74 seconds to qualify out for the second time, with a 27-second pin over Duncan (18-9) for third. Duncan also punched his second region ticket with a blood-round fall, in 5:28.
120: Clay senior Maverick Rainwater (24-6) won his second district title and qualified for regions for the third time, bonus-pointing through the day with pins over Tocoi Creek’s Adrian Sandoval (2:34, quarters) and over Bolles senior Jacob Witt (5:31, championship) sandwiching a semifinal TF (15-0 in 4:22) over Baker County freshman Jonathon Walker. Witt qualified for regions for the fifth time with pins over FSDB’s Khayree Lofton (1:20, quarters) and over Palatka sophomore Ishmael Foster (5:04), semis). Foster (16-6) would rally with two bonus-point wins for his second region appearance, including a 20-5 TF in 5 minutes for third over Walker (17-11), who secured his first Wakulla space with a consi-semi fall (1:53).
126: Clay freshman Rylan Herrera (11-3) pinned his way into the final; there, he would take his first district championship with a 16-0 second-period TF (3:25) over Wolfson senior Andrew Harbin. Earlier, Herrera pinned Union County’s Braden Adams (1:19) and Baker County’s Gavin Sparkman (1 minute). Harbin (21-8) earned his third trip to regions with pins over Bishop Snyder’s Jose Fuerte (:48, quarters) and over Palatka sophomore Alexander McCrystal (1:32, semis). McCrystal (11-6) would pin his way out of the consis for his second region trip, with a fall over Keystone Heights junior Jason Bowden in 1:29 in the medal round (McCrystal pinned Bowden in 2:29 in the quarters). Bowden (7-5) will return to regions after two years away, thanks to a pair of consi-side pins.
132: Palatka junior Mikade Harvey (22-2) max-pointed through the draw en route to his third district champion & region appearance, but first in Region 1. After pins in the quarters over Keystone Heights’ Ethan Cosby (3:34) and in the semis over Union County junior Ian Halfacre (1:52), Harvey won by forfeit in the final over Clay senior Xavier Logan. Logan (15-10) also earned his third region trip by dint of falls over FSDB’s Brady Simmer (:16, quarters) and Baker County junior Joshua Carter (1:30, semis). Halfacre (9-6, front-side tech & pin) added two more wins in the consis, with a 13-6 third-place win over Carter in qualifying out for regions for the second time. Carter (17-11, front-side pin) added a second pin in the blood round (4:25) for his second region trip.
138: Palatka senior Brandon Lewis (28-5) became the district’s only four-time district champ, pinning his way into the final, where he took a 3-2 decision over Clay senior Josh Kumpf, also a four-time region qualifier. Earlier in the day, Lewis had falls over Tocoi Creek’s Lucas Haraway (1:43, quarters) and Union County sophomore Rodney Barnett (4:25, semis). For his part, Kumpf (21-9) advanced to Wakulla behind a quarterfinal pin over Baker County’s Thomas Torres (1:07) and an 11-9 semifinal win over Bolles senior Denny Vohs. Vohs (26-10, front-side pin) joined the finalists in the 4x region-qualifier club behind a pair of consi-side bonus-point wins, pinning Barnett in 1:34 for third place. Barnett (8-7, front-side pin) got to regions for the second time, with a consi-semi TF (17-2 in 3:48) to secure that space.
145: Clay senior Luke Boree (21-5) earned his third district title and region trip, beginning a string of five straight Blue Devil bracket wins by pinning his way through the tournament with falls over Bishop Snyder freshman Amari Akel (2:41, semis) and over Palatka senior Johnson Session (3:51) for the championship. Session (9-7) bagged a pair of falls for his first region appearance, pinning Tocoi Creek’s Rylan McGinley (1:07, quarters) and Union County junior Ethan Shea (5:11, semis) in his first district tournament. Akel (15-13, front-side pin) also became a first-time region qualifier after two pins in the consis, falling Shea in 1:28 for third place, while Shea (6-5, front-side pin) got to regions for the second time with a blood-round fall (3:40).
152: Clay sophomore Hayden Meszaros (13-8) had three victories in winning his first district title and qualifying to regions for the first time, with a pin over Bishop Snyder freshman Dylan Carter (1:52, quarters), a 6-1 semifinal win over Keystone Heights’ Sheppard Wingate and a 10-2 major in the title match with Wolfson junior Liam Strange. Strange (20-15) earned his second trip to Wakulla after a year away with injury, with a 14-8 quarterfinal win over Baker County junior Rasean Rayam and a semifinal TF (16-0 in 3:19) over Palatka’s Hayden Edwards. Rayam (22-6) qualified for the region level for third time behind three consi-side pins, falling Carter in 2:49 for third place; Carter (11-16), in turn, had three max-point consi-side wins, qualifying out for the first time with an injury-default in the semis.
160: Clay senior Luca Fiannca (17-7) became a first-time district champion and region qualifier, bonus-pointing through the tournament with falls over over Tocoi Creek’s Josh Gambill (3:46, quarters) and Keystone Heights freshman Alyx Nichols (:50, semis), followed by a 10-0 shutout in the final over Union County senior Caleb Crawford. Crawford (8-8) earned his second trip to the post-season second round with pins over Bishop Snyder’s Joseph Miranda (:33, quarters) and over Baker County’s Cannon Wimpey (1:06, semis). Wimpey (14-9) punched his first ticket to Wakulla with two bonus-point wins in the consis, pinning Nichols in 1:40 for third place, while Nichols (13-11) needed a blood-round fall (3:45) for his second region appearance.
170: Clay senior Ethan Larsen (38-5) won his second district title for the Blue Devils, earning his third region-round trip by pinning his way through the bracket on falls over Union County’s Colin Hadlock (1:41, quarters), over Palatka sophomore Gaitlin Carreras (3:38, semis) and in the finals over Baker County senior Clayton Dennison in 1:32 for the title. Dennison (15-5) earned his third trip to regions as well, after a bye into the semis, where he took an 8-4 win over Tocoi Creek junior Lawton Case. Carreras (8-5) qualified out for regions for the second time with two consi-side wins, including a 6-2 win for third over Case (16-8), who won by third-period fall (5:36) in the consi semis to secure his first Wakulla trip.
182: After pinning his way into the final for his third region trip, Clay junior Dominic Martin (27-5) won his second district title with a third-period tech fall (18-3 in 4:41) over Union County sophomore Alexander Cortese. Earlier, Martin had pins over Palatka’s Christian Brennan (1:18, quarters) and over Baker County’s Brian Sparkman (:34, semis). As for Cortese (7-5), he’ll compete at regions for the second time after pins over Bishop Snyder freshman Nicholas Pereira (1:04, quarters) and over Tocoi Creek junior Ethan Anderson (2 minutes, semis). Anderson (13-7) earned the Toros’ top finish and his first region trip with two consi-side pins, falling Pereira in 10 seconds; Pereira (8-21) qualified out for the first time with a blood-round fall (4:30).
195: Baker County senior Toby Kinghorn (28-2) became a first-time champion and 3x region qualifier after pins in the quarters (1:39) over Tocoi Creek’s Michael Soffian and in the semis (:56) over Bishop Snyder junior Matthew Carmona. In the final, Kinghorn edged Clay junior Kedtric Wilbon, 6-5, to win the bracket. Wilbon (14-6) became a two-time region qualifier after a bye into the semis, where he pinned Union County junior Danny Thornton in 1:30. Thornton (8-5, front-side pin) also earned his second trip to the second round with two consi-side pins, falling Carmona in 50 seconds for third; Carmona (18-12, front-side pin) earned his first Wakulla trip with a 29-second fall in the consi semis.
220: Clay senior Garrett Tyre (41-2) won his second district title and earned his second region appearance after a year away, needing 22 seconds to fall Bishop Snyder sophomore Daniel Brandenburg (:13, quarters) and Palatka’s Benjerman Alicea (:09, semis) before a third-period TF in the championship match (15-0 in 5:04) over Baker County senior Ian Doyle. Doyle (16-7) earned his first trip to regions with two quick pins of his own over FSDB junior Leonardo Tellez (:46, quarters) and Keystone Heights’ Matthew Delano (:16, semis). Tellez (6-7) earned his team’s highest podium finish with two consi-side pins, including a 55-second fall over Brandenburg (5-13), who had secured his first Wakulla trip with a blood-round fall in 5:05.
285: Bolles senior Jack Pyburn (27-0) needed just 1:56 of combined mat time to fall three opponents for his second district title and fourth region appearance, with pins over Keystone Heights’ Cody Saley (:23, quarters), over Clay sophomore Ethan Daniels (:38, semis) and over Bishop Snyder senior Angel Lecointe in 55 seconds for the title. Lecointe (22-8) earned his third region trip behind third-period falls over Tocoi Creek’s Jason Callahan (4:22, quarters) and over Baker County senior Chase Crews (4:48, semis). Daniels (16-6) bounced back from the semifinal loss with two consi-side pins, falling Crews in 2:10 for third, while Crews (18-6) punched his first Wakulla ticket in his first district tournament with a consi-semi pin in 2:21.
You can see complete brackets from this tournament and other 1A contested brackets in Region 1 and throughout the state HERE.