Beast of the Beach
When & where: Thursday & Friday at Ft Walton Beach.
Area teams in the field: Bay; Choctaw; Crestview; Ft Walton Beach (2 teams); Gulf Breeze; Middleburg; Mosley; Niceville; North Bay Haven; Suwannee; Tate; Wakulla; Wewahitchka.
Remainder of the field: Archbishop Shaw (LA); Collierville (TN); Harris County (GA); Huntsville (AL); Pell City (AL); Smiths Station (AL).
Returning team champion: Smiths Station.
Synopsis: Beast has become one of the stronger dual tournaments in the north, if not the best northern duals-based event of the regular season. There’s several upgrades to the tournament field this year; locally, Suwannee has been added on. Along with the Bulldogs and 2021 runnerup Wakulla, I expect solid tournament runs from Bay, Gulf Breeze, Middleburg, North Bay Haven and perhaps also Niceville. Collierville was a pretty tough out last year, but don’t sleep on the add-ons of Huntsville and Harris County. Those teams are very, very solid.
Area state-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order)* —
106: Eli Jolicoeur (Suwannee, 1A-1st); Connor Brown (Wakulla, 1A-3rd); Garrett Ferguson (Gulf Breeze, 2A-10th); Alec Poole (Gulf Breeze, 2A-16th).
113: Derrick Williams (Bay, 1A-1st); Justin Contreras (Suwannee, 1A-13th); Anthony Fondo (Wakulla, 1A-20th).
120: Topher Pearson (Suwannee, 1A-3rd); Grady Woodard (Middleburg, 2A-11th); Zak Vosburgh (Ft Walton Beach, 2A-13th); Jake Parker (Wewahitchka, 1A-13th); Troy Thaxton (Wakulla, 1A-17th); Leonardo Sanchez (Bay, 1A-18th); Coby Shields (Gulf Breeze, 2A-19th).
126: David Drake (Bay, 1A-17th).
132: Wyatt Leduc (Middleburg, 2A-5th); Brody Boehm (Suwannee, 1A-9th); Nate Weber (Gulf Breeze, 2A-12th); Ethan Pinto (Niceville, 2A-20th).
138: Brady Jackson (Wakulla, 1A-15th); Michael Mancuso (Gulf Breeze, 2A-20th).
145: Jae T Thaxton (Wakulla, 1A-8th); Steven Banfield (Ft Walton Beach, 2A-11th); Marshall White (Suwannee, 1A-14th); Logan Moore (Middleburg, 2A-15th).
152: Colson Elliott (Gulf Breeze, 2A-6th); Alexander Davidson (Ft Walton Beach, 2A-7th); Austin McKinney (Suwannee, 1A-7th).
160: Austin Howard (Suwannee, 1A-3rd); Conner Roberts (Wewahitchka, 1A-14th).
170: Dustin Wood (Suwannee, 1A-11th).
182: Daruis Brundidge (Ft Walton Beach, 2A-20th).
195: David Mercado (North Bay Haven, 1A-3rd); Carter Tobik (Ft Walton Beach, 2A-6th).
220: Kohl Pippin (Wakulla, 1A-11th).
285: Logan McAlister (North Bay Haven, 1A-5th).
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings