By MATMEN, Monday, 2 p.m.
NICEVILLE — It’s not very often that a district IBT title can be decided by one point, on the final match of the day.
The teams in 2A-District 1 last Wednesday at Niceville HS learned, however, that “not very often” is not “never.”
And when Gulf Breeze heavyweight London Taylor secured the Dolphins’ fourth individual weight-class title, by fall, the advancement points and bonus from the pin, pushed Gulf Breeze past Ft Walton Beach for the team title, as the Dolphins scored 214.5 points to the Vikings’ 213.5.
Gulf Breeze automatically qualified 12 wrestlers to Friday’s Region 1 tournament at Chiles, with four champions, four runners-up, one 3rd and three 4ths. Ft Walton Beach moved 11 through to regions, on three champions, six runners-up, one 3rd and and one 4th.
Pace was very much in the mix in taking third, just five points back of the Vikings. The Patriots also moved 11 through to regions, with five champs, five 3rds and one 4th; that would be enough to put them 35 points clear of host Niceville, which was fourth with 173.5 points. The Eagles will take 10 to regions, with one champ, four runners-up, three 3rds and two 4ths.
Tate was fifth, with five qualifiers (one runnerup, four 4ths) for 75 points, a half-point ahead of Milton, which moved on one champion, two 3rds and one 4th to region. Crestview was seventh with 50 points on two 3rds, while Choctaw was eighth with 34 and one 4th-place region qualifier.
Below follows a brief summary of each weight class.
Final: Gulf Breeze’s Garrett Ferguson (9th statewide, as ranked by Matmen-endorsed KabraWrestling.com, all rankings as they were prior to district competitions) took two pins for his first district title, with a fall over Niceville’s Jordan Rayno before falling Ft Walton Beach’s Isaac Vosburgh in 2:45 during the finals round. Ferguson secured first takedown, then rode Vosburgh through the end of the first and up until securing the fall. Vosburgh advanced to the final with a decision victory over Pace’s Jessie Baker.
3rd: In a four-person bracket, Baker falled Rayno in 2:51 to claim third.
Final: In a three-person bracket, Gulf Breeze’s Aiden Macken (10th) needed just one match to win his first district title, falling Ft Walton Beach’s Santiago Mayic (15th) in 2:35 in the final. Macken gave up first takedown to Mayic, but then had a takedown of his own and controlled the match from there, with a turn for the eventual pin. Mayic reached the final with a decision victory over Pace’s Tristtahn Duran.
3rd: Duran received a bye in taking 3rd.
Final: The Dolphins’ Coby Shields (13th) completed the back-to-back-to-back run for his team in collecting his first district title, with two preliminary pins over Choctaw and Pace before pushing past #12 Zak Vosburgh of Ft Walton Beach, 9-7, in the title round. Shields had first takedown and led, 7-2, after two periods, but was able to hold off Vosburgh, who did collect three penalty points in the third. Vosburgh got to Shields with a semifinal pin over Niceville.
3rd: Niceville’s Collver Hipp (front-side pin over Tate) added two more in the consis, with falls over Choctaw and over Pace’s Joshua Waring (1:14) to take third. Waring punched his Chiles ticket with a consi-side pin over Tate.
Final: Pace’s Alexander Mendez won his first district title behind pins over Niceville and Milton before turning back Ft Walton Beach’s Landon Burbidge, 7-4, for the championship. Mendez had first takedown and hit a 5-point move in the second to go up, 7-2, through the first two periods, making the lead stand up for the decision. Burbidge got to Mendez after a pin over Choctaw and sudden-victory takedown for a 2-0 win over Gulf Breeze.
3rd: After the loss to Burbidge, Gulf Breeze’s Marshall Hobbs (front-side pin) had two bonus-point wins on the back, with a major over Niceville and fall (1:58) over Tate’s Zachary Rogers. Rogers needed to win twice to secure his region space, with a pin over Choctaw and major over Tate.
Final: The hosts’ Garrett Jarvis bonus-pointed to the final, with an 18-3 tech over Choctaw and fall over Pace before taking a 10-6 win over Gulf Breeze’s Nate Weber (19th) for his first district title. Weber scored three times in the first two periods, but Jarvis was able to stay in it; in the third, he was able to force three stall penalties, earning four penalty points for the decision. Weber had gotten to the final with preliminary wins over Tate (pin) and Ft Walton Beach (16-1 tech).
3rd: After the tech loss to Weber, Ft Walton Beach’s Layne Lutz (front-side pin over Crestview) took a pair of decisions in the consis for third, first over Choctaw before pushing past Tate’s Ethan Harper, 9-7, in the medal round. Harper, who’d lost by fall to Weber in the quarters, had pins over Crestview and Pace to secure his Chiles space.
Final: Pace’s Maeson Otwell (9th) won his second district title, with preliminary bonus-point wins over Choctaw (pin) and Crestview (15-0 tech) before pushing past Gulf Breeze’s Michael Mancuso, 5-4. Mancuso scored first, but Otwell opened the second with a reversal; after the wrestlers exchanged stall warning penalty points, Otwell got a takedown in the final seconds for the win. Mancuso reached the final with pins over Tate and Niceville, both in the first period.
3rd: After the loss to Mancuso, Niceville’s Ethan Pinto (16th, front-side pin over Ft Walton Beach’s George Selmeister) rallied back to third with two pins, first over Choctaw and then a second pin (1:25) over Selmeister, who had two consi-side wins over Tate (pin) and Crestview (decision) to punch his region ticket.
Final: Ft Walton Beach’s Steven Banfield (15th) won the Vikings’ first title of the day and his first district title, with preliminary bonus-point wins over Milton (pin) and Choctaw (21-6 tech) before downing Niceville’s JJ Martinez (13th) by a 6-3 count for the championship. Banfield forced three stall warnings to build a 3-0 lead early in the second, but it was a takedown halfway through that period that secured the victory. Martinez had pins over Pace and Crestview to get to the final.
3rd: Crestview’s Christian Brito (front-side pin over Gulf Breeze) bounced back after the semifinal loss to Martinez, with falls in the consis over Milton and then took a rematch pin (5:12) over the Dolphins’ JT Intile. Intile also had two pins, over Pace and Choctaw, in the consis to advance out.
Final: The Vikings’ Matthew Sinclair made it back-to-back FWB titles in earning his first district championship, with a fall over Choctaw before decisioning Tate’s Caiden Stone, 9-2. Sinclair had takedowns in both the first and second periods, with a quick nearfall turn in the third in picking up the victory. Stone, Tate’s only finalist, got there with pins over Milton and Pace to reach Sinclair.
3rd: After a loss by fall to Stone in the quarters, Milton’s Nolan Ellis pinned his way through the consis, taking falls over Gulf Breeze and Choctaw before pinning Niceville’s Andres Maldonado-Negron in 54 seconds for third. Maldonado-Negron reached the region round thanks to a consi-semi decision over Pace.
Final: Pace’s Jordan Baxter (16th) earned his first district title after a 7-0 semifinal win over Gulf Breeze, and fall in the final over Ft Walton Beach’s 8th-ranked Alexander Davidson; although the fall time was recorded at 1:46, the match notes showed Baxter with six takedowns (two in each period) and two nearfalls, making me think the fall time was actually 5:46. Davidson got to the final after a pin over Tate and decision over Niceville en route.
3rd: After his loss in the semis to Davidson, Niceville’s Braden Strohl came back for third after a bye to pin Gulf Breeze’s Brennden Nita. Nita punched his Chiles ticket with a fall over Tate in the consi semis.
Final: After preliminary pins over Gulf Breeze and Crestview, Pace’s Ty Morgan (7th) won his second district title in taking a 10-5 decision over the hosts’ Malachi Lewis (17th). Lewis scored first, but Morgan had takedowns in each period, with a nearfall turn late in the first and allowing Lewis only escapes the rest of the way. Lewis reached the final behind a pin over Choctaw and decision over Milton.
3rd: After a loss by fall in the semis to Morgan, Crestview’s Lance Sanders (20th) bounced back to third behind a pair of decisions, first over Ft Walton Beach, then a 5-0 medal-round win over Milton’s Julian Fuentes (front-side decision over Ft Walton Beach, consi-side pin over Gulf Breeze).
Final: The Patriots made it three in a row here, as Isaac Waters (7th) needed just 1:56 to pin his way into the final, with falls over Tate and Milton, before decisioning Ft Walton Beach’s Connor Roberts (17th), 18-11, to win the championship, his first. Waters bolted out to an 8-3 lead after one period, extending it to 15-6 behind three takedowns, a reversal and three nearfalls, but Roberts did close the gap behind a pair of reversals in the third. Roberts reached the final behind a bye and semifinal pin over Gulf Breeze.
3rd: After losing by fall in the semis to Waters, Milton’s Brock White won twice on the back end to come back for third, with a consi-semi decision and fall in the medals round (2:24) over Tate’s Kaden McDonald. McDonald also came back after a loss to Waters in the quarters behind a bye and blood-round fall over Gulf Breeze.
Final: Ft Walton Beach’s Darius Brundidge (15th) needed just 1:45 worth of mat time, with falls over Crestview and over Niceville’s James Opitz, in 1:25 to win his first district title. Brundidge needed just one takedown and one turn to secure the pin. Opitz also won once to get to the final, with a pin over Pace in the semis.
3rd: After the semifinal loss to Opitz, Pace’s Brandon Mohring (front-side pin over Gulf Breeze) added two more pins in the consis, with falls over Choctaw in the semis and then over Gulf Breeze’s Rock Merk for third, in a rematch of their quarterfinal. After the front-side loss to Mohring, Merk advanced out behind a decision over Crestview in the blood round.
Final: Milton’s Tyler Green was the Panthers’ lone champion and won his first district title; after a bye into the semis, Green had a fall over Pace in that round, going on to tech Gulf Breeze’s Nikolai Johnson, 19-3, in 4:34. Green did trail, 3-2, late in the first, but then ripped off 17 straight points, with two takedowns and four nearfalls during that stretch. Johnson got to the final behind a first-period pin over Tate’s Jayce Walker.
3rd: In a four-person bracket, Pace’s Bryson Houtch rallied from the early loss to take a fall over Walker, in 1:11.
Final: Taylor closed the door on the Dolphins’ team-title effort, with falls over Choctaw in the semis and over Niceville’s Asa Adams for the championship. Taylor held a 10-5 lead when taking the fall, thanks to four takedowns, giving up just one early reversal and escapes otherwise to earn his first district title. Adams got to the championship match behind falls over Ft Walton Beach and Pace, respectively.
3rd: After his third-period semifinal loss to Adams, Pace’s Franco Ravendo wrestled back third, with a bye into the medal round, where he falled Choctaw’s Roman Jackson in :39. Jackson punched his Chiles ticket with a consi-semi pin over Ft Walton Beach.
You can see results from this event and all other 2A districts HERE.
2 replies on “#Recap: Last Match Pushes Dolphins To Title”
Hello, I love your write ups, always amazing. My finals match with Davidson was quite interesting. I did in fact take him to his back and pin him in 1:46, but the other referee said something I did was potentially dangerous, so they reversed the pin and the first period ended 7-3. The match ended with me winning 18-7, it’s very strange but it’s what happened
Thanks for the clarification!