GAINESVILLE — This year has been the kind of season that Flagler Palm Coast started building toward as far back as the fall of 2018.
While the Bulldogs had hoped for at least one if not two more seasons like this, a double-district title with a dual state appearance will suit Flagler just fine, as the Bulldogs returned to the top spot in 3A-District 2 Friday night at Buchholz, holding off the host Bobcats, 262-242, to win the team championship.
Flagler Palm Coast will host next weekend’s Region 1 tournament, with at least 12 automatic qualifiers set to compete. That number includes six champions and six runners-up, numbers that will help with the Bulldogs’ region placement when brackets are released sometime Sunday or Monday.
Buchholz can congratulate itself on moving its entire team on to regions, the only team competing Friday night that pulled off that accomplishment. The Bobcats grabbed three titles, with three runners-up, five 3rds and three 4ths as well.
DeLand finished in a comfortable third-place 191-point effort, well ahead of the rest of the group. The Volusia County Bulldogs also will take 12 wrestlers to Flagler Palm Coast, with two champions, one runnerup, seven 3rds and two 4ths.
Seminole held off Forest, 109.5-106.5, for fourth place in the team classification. The Noles advanced four wrestlers to regions, with one champion, two runners-up and one 4th, while the Wildcats will take two champions, one runnerup and one 3rd to Flagler Palm Coast.
West Port, with 95 points, was sixth, with five qualifiers (one runnerup, one 3rd and three 4ths). University (Orange City) held off Lake Mary, 62.5-40, for seventh. The Titans have three 4ths moving on to regions, while the Rams will take two 4th-place finishers onward.
Below follows a summary of the day —
106: Forest sophomore Ayden Ruano (33-7) qualified for regions for the first time, first time as a district champion, after bonus-pointing throught the day. After pins over West Port’s Ethan Crews (2:23, quarters) and Buchholz junior Jun Jie Zheng (5:01, semis), Ruano majored Flagler Palm Coast freshman Timothy McLean, 16-4, for the title. McLean (25-11) reached the final after a bye and semifinal pin (1:20) over DeLand freshman Victor Hopton (31-11), who pinned his way back to third place in the consis, with a medal-round fall (5:32) over Zheng. Zheng (15-17) had byes into the semis and third-place matches. McLean, Hopton and Zheng are all first-time Flagler qualifiers.
113: DeLand junior Grady Bryant (31-10) will make his third trip to Flagler for regions, first time as a district champion and first time as a Bulldog, also bonus-pointing through the field. Bryant had pins over Forest’s Jamon Stromwall (4:12, quarters) and Seminole’s Joseph Powell (1:10, semis) before majoring Flagler freshman Carson Baert, 11-2, in the final. Baert (17-14) got to the final after a quarterfinal pin (3:37) over West Port freshman Prince Valentine and after a 9-7 decision in the semis over Buchholz freshman Finn Buchanan. Buchanan (17-18) pinned his way through the consis, including a fall in 1:33 for third place over Valentine, who won in the blood round by fall (3:51) to qualify out. Baert, Buchanan and Valentine are all first-time Flagler qualifiers.
120: Flagler Palm Coast junior Kole Hannant (39-7) won his second district title, qualifying out for regions for the third time with a bonus-point trifecta through the weight class. Hannant teched Forest’s Brent Ryas (16-0 in 4:52), followed by a semifinal pin (1:27) over University junior Drake Alban and a 13-0 major in the title match over Buchholz sophomore Jedidiah Brown. Brown (29-16) won twice by pin for his second Flagler trip, falling West Port’s Justin Salazar (1:11, quarters) and DeLand junior Phoenix Krauth (2:39, semis) to get to Hannant. Krauth (33-19, front-side pin) took a pair of decisions in the wrestlebacks for his second region appearance, claiming third with a 5-1 win over Alban (17-12, front-side major), who qualified out to regions for the first time with a consi-semi pin (5:49).
126: FPC junior John Hald (34-10) also qualified for home regions for the third time, and first time as district champion, behind two pins in identical times of 5:33. Hald pinned DeLand junior Kellen Chapman in the semis, coming back to fall Buchholz sophomore Cavarius Liddie in the championship match. Liddie (26-3) also had two pins (though not with the same fall times) to earn his second Flagler appearance, falling Lake Mary’s Devean White (:33, quarters) and West Port freshman Caden Perez (1:25, semis). Chapman earned his third region trip with two pins in the consis, pinning Perez in 2:38 for third place. Perez (13-16) will be a first-time Flagler qualifier, with a bye in the consi semis.
132: Buchholz senior Venumadhava Mirel (46-8) won his third District 2 title and earned his fourth regions trip, bonus-pointing through the bracket. Mirel opened with pins over Flagler’s Mathew Shipp (1:13, quarters) and DeLand freshman Joshua Folsom (1:13, semis) before majoring a fellow defending champion in Seminole junior Ryan Culbertson, 10-2, in the final. Culbertson (28-9) will make his third Flagler trip after pins over West Port’s Tristan Perez (:39, quarters) and over former district champ and Forest senior Jakob Zawosky (3:24, semis). Zawosky (20-5) did pin his way back to third for his third trip to regions, falling Folsom in 2:38 place. Folsom (40-16) will make his first Flagler trip after a 36-second fall in the blood round.
138: Seminole senior Abdelkrin Salomon (27-7) won his team’s only title, making his first region trip after bonus-pointing through the field. After a 55-second quarterfinal pin over University’s Brock Kreimeier, Salomon took majors in the semis over West Port freshman Jhustino Miranda (10-2) and in the championship round over DeLand sophomore Mathias Franz, 9-0. Franz (32-15) punched his first Flagler ticket behind pins in the quarters over Flagler’s Danya Cherry (1:26) and in the semis over Buchholz freshman Laine Slayton (3:26, semis). Miranda (24-14, front-side pin) won two 6-minute decisions in the consis, with a 7-0 third-place decision over Slayton. Slayton (18-12, front-side pin) earned his first Flagler trip with a consi-semi pin in 5:10.
145: Buchholz senior Aiden Moore (48-6) made his fourth trip to a district final, winning his third title by three pins in a combined mat time of 3:50, falling West Port’s Jonathan Caimares (:53, quarters), Lake Mary junior Nick Ghezzi (1:16, semis) and Flagler Palm Coast senior Felipe Costa in 1:41 to win that third district championship. Costa (26-13) earned his first home Flagler trip behind a pair of decisions, downing Forest’s Jeffery Toribio (7-3, quarters) and DeLand senior Lane Wishart, 5-3, in the semis. Wishart (43-13) pinned his way back to third, with a fall in 5 minutes in the medal round over Ghezzi. Ghezzi (11-9, front-side pin) punched his Flagler ticket with a blood-round fall in 2:21.
152: Flagler Palm Coast senior Timothy King (19-13) also took his third district title and region qualification, with a bonus-point trifecta en route to the title. King pinned University’s Braden Cooper (3:53, quarters), with a 9-0 shutout major in the semis over Buchholz junior Max Szabo. In the final, against West Port senior Tyler Pinkowski, King won by second-period TF (17-0 in 4 minutes). Pinkowski (23-9) earned his fourth region trip behind a quarterfinal fall (2:46) over Lake Mary’s Aden Eliason and a 5-4 win in the semis over fellow senior Benjamin Buhring of Seminole. Szabo (35-18, front-side major) added a pair of pins in the consis, falling Buhring in 2:44 for third place. Buhring (38-7, front-side pin) won by fall in 3:49 in the consi semis to make his second Flagler trip.
160: Bulldogs senior Bryce Dodge (15-3) made it back-to-back Flagler district titles, qualifying for regions for the third time and winning his second title. After a bye into the semis, Dodge pinned Buchholz senior Konstantine Kiousis (1:37) in that round, then came back to tech Forest senior Antonio Brown in 3:33 (16-0) for his championship. Brown (22-7) also had a pin and tech for his first Flagler ticket, falling West Port’s Evan Lewis in 4 minutes in the quarters and teching University junior Bryan Persinger (16-1 in 5:30) in the semi. Kiousis (22-22) had two wins in the wrestlebacks, pinning Persinger in 4:53 for third place, while Persinger (12-12) secured his Flagler space with a blood-round fall in 5:31. Both Kiousis and Persinger are first-time Flagler qualifiers.
170: After bonus-pointing his way to a fourth district final, Flagler Palm Coast senior Blane DeFord (34-6) won his third District 2 title with a 10-3 decision in the finals over Seminole senior Wordner Edoward. Earlier, DeFord teched West Port’s Luis Sotomeyor (15-0 in 2:08) and falled Buchholz junior William Lancer in 1:38 in the top-half semifinal. As for Edoward (29-11), he opened with a quarterfinal pin (3:53) over Forest’s Andrew Lawrence, then shut out fellow 5 Star Conference rival and senior Paul Derosby of DeLand, 6-0, in the semis. Lancer (27-11, front-side pin) added two consi-side victories for his first Flagler trip, with a 10-7 win in the third-place match over Derosby (32-22) who won by fall in the consi semis (2:51) to earn his second region qualification.
182: Bobcat junior Kason Nichols (15-2) broke the FPC string of wins in winning his third region trip as a first-time district champ. After a bye into the semis, Nichols pinned Lake Mary’s Jake Jessee (3:35) in that round, then pushed past Flagler senior Marcelo Gonzalez, 7-2, for the district title. Gonzalez (38-9) will make his third home Flagler trip, after bonus-point wins in the quarters over University junior Slade High-Tompkins (pin in 2:39) and DeLand junior Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro (14-6 major) in the semis. Rodriguez-Cayro (39-13, front-side pin) will make a second trip to regions, adding two more pins in the wrestlebacks, with a medal-round fall in 5:37 over High-Tompkins. High-Tompkins (15-11) won twice in the consis as well, with a medical forfeit in the semis.
195: Flagler Palm Coast senior Garrick Schwartz (35-9) won his team’s sixth title and his first district championship, going to regions for the third time. After a bye into the semis, Schwartz falled West Port senior Rowlin Richardson (1:58) in that round, holding down Buchholz senior Jamari Chisolm, 4-0, in the finals. Chisolm (10-5) earned his second trip to regions, decisioning DeLand senior Andrew Knowles, 8-5 in the semis; Knowles (33-22) also is a two-time region qualifier, shutting out Richardson (20-8), a first-time Flagler competitor, by a 9-0 count for third place.
220: DeLand senior Marion Smokes (40-6) won the Volusia Bulldogs’ second title of the day, with pins in the quarters over University’s Rubens Joseph (1:35) and in the semis over Buchholz junior Bryan Diehl (1:37). In the final, Smokes pushed past Flagler junior Dalton Schell, 5-3, for his first district title and region appearance. Schell (19-9) advanced to regions for the third time after a quarterfinal bye and semifinal pin (3:02) over Lake Mary junior Dominic Kontogiannis. Diehl (17-16, front-side pin) took two more falls in earning his second Flagler trip, pinning Kontogiannis in 3:23 for third place. Kontogiannis (10-7, front-side pin) won by fall in the blood round (3:48) for his first region trip.
285: Forest junior Cane Fernandez (19-6) closed out the tournament with his team’s second bracket win of the day, his first district title and second region appearance. After preliminary pins over Buchholz sophomore Marquise Williams (1:02, quarters) and DeLand senior Marco Selph (:55, semis), Fernandez found a way out in the ultimate tiebreaker, escaping for a 3-2 decision over Flagler senior Seth Davis. Davis (29-11) will make his second home Flagler trip after a year away, advancing behind a quarterfinal bye and semifinal pin (1:38) over Seminole’s Jerome Johnson. Selph (41-17) won by fall twice in the consis, pinning Williams in 2:49 for third place, while Williams (8-20) won by pin in the consi semis to qualify out. Both Selph and Williams are first-time Flagler qualifiers.
You can see complete brackets from this tournament and other 3A contested brackets in Region 1 and throughout the state HERE.