By MATMEN, Monday, 6:20 p.m.
TALLAHASSEE — It’s often been a point-for-point fight between Lincoln and Yulee, or Lincoln and Florida High, or Lincoln and… and… for top honors at Florida High’s Cam Brown Classic two-day roundrobin tournament.
This year promised another fight between the Trojans and Hornets; this time, Lincoln’s ability to not only out-point, but out-title, the competition proved decisive on Saturday.
The Trojans took home six individual weight-class titles, with Vaniel Caceres (2A-6th at 113), Jashawn Washington (2A-9th at 126), Vincent Crump (2A-18th at 145), Connor Edwards (2A-8th at 160), Jakob Nowak (2A-7th at 195) and Ryder Luck (285) all collecting gold medals.
That gave Lincoln enough cushion for a 356-312 team win over Yulee, with host Florida High third (263), Columbia fifth (140.5), Liberty County sixth (133.5), Lincoln B seventh (117), Marianna eighth (100), Raines ninth (85) and Leon 10th (72).
The runnerup Hornets had first-place efforts from Austin Adamson (1A-8th at 145, winning at 138), Samuel Sahrphillips (152) and Dylan Johns (1A-6th at 170). Yulee had a passel of third-place efforts (seven in all), plus a runnerup and two 4ths.
The hidden MVP: With experience in most of the wins, Lincoln’s title run was fueled more by its second-line guys to forge weekends they needed to allow the team to achieve the goals it had.
Crump’s win at 145 was one such weekend that Lincoln needed to have in hand, and the sophomore did not disappoint; in fact, two Lincoln sophomores at 145 made sure there was no disappointment, as Crump and fellow sophomore Wesley Smitha combined for a 13-1 record, 11 pins and 13 max-point victories to go 1-2 in the weight class.
In their matchup in round 5, Crump had takedowns in both the first and second periods, with three turns in the first and the fourth proving the difference, as Crump won by fall in 2:32.
Win or learn: That’s the motto, leastways, and it was pretty hard cheese for Florida High junior Xander Hawkes (1A-6th at 182) to have to swallow in his home tournament after a wild match with fellow 2022 state qualifier Christopher Aud (1A-7th at 182) of Yulee.
In Friday’s Pool B competition, Hawkes led four times in the match with Aud, only to give up late points and fall, 12-11, to take second in the pool.
But Hawkes got a chance for redemption, first giving a Bainbridge (GA) senior his first loss of the season with a first-period fall in the semis, then racking up five takedowns and a pair of turns en route to a 16-6 major over Aud in the finals, leading to designation as the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Right back on the horse: A year ago, Liberty County freshman Jay Brown (1A-6th at 120) was undoubtedly the top small-school 113 in the north, rolling to district and region titles. A state medal, though, was not in the cards.
Undaunted, Brown engaged in solid off-season work on the mats, competing in several spring and summer tournaments, and the result was continued success atop the Cam Brown field, this time at 120.
Brown had four first-period victories (3 pins, 1 TF) to win Pool A, with a fourth 1st-period pin in the crossover semis. He did trail for most of the match in the finals against Lincoln’s Zakary Jurado, giving up takedowns in both the first and third periods, but reversed out and secured the fall just before time expired to get the title.
Solid at the end: Not competing at regions was probably not the way that Columbia senior Jayden Thomas wanted to complete his junior year. And, taking a loss in pool competition Friday wasn’t the way Thomas wanted to start his senior season, with three pins otherwise.
But, after falling 6-4 to a Bainbridge wrestler in the pool, and trailing for most of that match, Thomas did get a chance for revenge in the crossover final after a semifinal pin over Yulee.
In the final, Thomas pushed the pace from jump, with two takedowns and a turn for a 6-1 lead after one period. He did give up scores in both the second and third periods, but was able to secure one last takedown and used it to pick up the fall in 5:33 over Bainbridge for the Tigers’ lone title as their lone finalist.
Newbies shine: A trio of wrestlers that had been in depth roles for their teams in prior years got a chance to stand out this past weekend with titles of their own. First of those was up top, where Lincoln’s Luck took down six different opponents (3 pins, major & 2 decisions, including a 7-4 win over 1A-8th Austin Hoyle of Yulee) en route to the 285 title.
Florida High 8th-grader Jasper Croom also had the full-roundrobin treatment to get the full spotlight, going 6-0 to win at 106, with 3 pins and a pair of shutout TFs, plus a forfeit win. Croom gave up just one takedown to teammate DJ Richardson in round 5 of the tournament, and those were the only points he’d surrender all weekend in winning gold, falling Richardson in 5:40 for the effective title match.
Yulee’s Sahrphillips was a post-season starter last year, but had had some uneven results along the way. That wasn’t the case at 152 this weekend, as Sahrphillips rolled through the bracket with five pins and a max-point tournament, with just 6:48 in mat time. His round-5, 59-second fall over the hosts’ Anthony Bedoya was the effective championship match.
Girls results: Girls competition was staged on Saturday in callout format. Results have not yet been submitted from any participating team during the course of the weekend.
Results from the tournament can be found HERE.
Rankings courtesy of Matmen-endorsed Kabra Wrestling, https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-2A