By MATMEN, Tuesday, 6:10 p.m.
CRAWFORDVILLE — We’ve seen very tight battles over the year between the elite teams in 1A-District 2, both in IBT and in duals formats.
Last Thursday’s IBT at Wakulla was no different, as the three consistently most-solid teams currently in Region 1 began the first step of battling it out with and against each other over the last three weeks of the season.
And 1A duals state semifinalist Suwannee was able emerge on top, though the Bulldogs’ victory margin was significantly closer than it had been during the duals portion of the season, as the Bulldogs held off Florida, 245-240.5 to win the District 2 event.
Suwannee will move 12 wrestlers through to Friday’s Region 1 tournament at Wewahitchka, with 11 of those 12 reaching the finals last Thursday (five champs, six runners-up). The Bulldogs added one 3rd-place finisher as well.
But Florida High put a full charge into the race in qualifying its entire team for Wewahitchka, with five champions, four runners-up, three 3rds and two 4ths. Likewise, host Wakulla, which was third with 201 points, also qualified its entire team, with three champs, three runners-up, seven 3rds and one 4th.
Liberty County was fourth last Thursday, moving six on to regions on 86 points, with one champ, one runnerup, one 3rd and three 4ths. Godby, with three 4ths, edged Marianna, 47-46, for fifth place in the standings. Marianna will also take three to regions, with two 3rds and one 4th.
A brief summary of each weight class follows.
Final: 1A’s top-ranked (as per sole Matmen-endorsed state rankings provider KabraWrestling.com) Jasper Croom of Florida High won his first district title, with a 40-second pin in the semis over Liberty, followed by an 8-5 decision over fifth-ranked Eli Jolicoeur of Suwannee. Jolicoeur struck first, with a takedown and quick turn, but Croom rallied back with a 4-point move of his own and didn’t trail again, taking the lead after an escape and takedown early in the 3rd. Jolicoeur reached the final after a semifinal win over Wakulla.
3rd: After falling by 7-5 count to Jolicoeur, in a four-person bracket, Wakulla’s Connor Brown (7th) took third by fall (2:35) over Liberty’s Thiago Finuff.
Final: In a three-person bracket, Suwannee’s Justin Contreras (5th) needed just one win to earn his first district title, pinning Wakulla’s Anthony Fondo (15th) in 3:52. Contreras scored first takedown late in the first period, with a late reversal in the second that he then used to secure the turn and fall. Fondo reached the final after pushing past Florida High in the semi.
3rd: After his 13-11 semifinal loss to Fondo, the Seminoles’ Dewan Richardson received a bye for third place.
Final: Liberty County’s Jay Brown (6th) grabbed his second district title behind a semifinal pin over Florida High (3:09), followed by a 6-4 title-match decision over Suwannee’s Topher Pearson (7th). Brown got first takedown, but Pearson rallied in the second period to take a 4-2 lead, briefly, before Brown’s reversal tied the match heading into the third, where Brown got an escape and forced a stalling point. Pearson reached the final after a semifinal win over Wakulla.
3rd: After falling, 8-2, to Pearson in the semis, in a four-person bracket, Wakulla’s Troy Thaxton pinned Florida High’s Reis Suskey in 5:19 for third.
Final: Suwannee’s Brody Boehm (3rd) won his second district title and reached his fourth district final, with pins in the semis over Wakulla (2:38) and in 4 minutes in the championship match over Florida High’s Hunter Stanley. Boehm built a 9-0 lead before taking the fall, with two nearfalls to go with a takedown and reversal. Stanley reached the final with a semifinal decision over Liberty.
3rd: After losing by fall in the semis to Boehm, Wakulla’s David Culley took third behind a 13-2 major over Liberty’s Hunter Brown.
Final: Florida High’s Troy Carroll (13th) picked up his first district championship after a semifinal tech (21-4 in 3:30) over Marianna, narrowly defeating Wakulla’s Caleb Orr (14th), 3-2, in the championship. All of the scoring happened in the match’s final minute, as Orr turned Carroll while riding, but was hit with a second stall warning 30 seconds later; Carroll then reversed out with three seconds left to take the win. Orr reached the final after a semifinal decision over Liberty.
3rd: After his 11-4 loss to Orr in the semis, Liberty’s Keaton Ellis pinned his way through the back, with falls over Suwannee and then in the medal round (2:00) over Marianna’s Trace Smith. Smith (front-side pin over Suwannee) secured his region spot with a bye in the consi semis.
Final: Wakulla’s Brady Jackson (9th) won his first district title in the first full bracket, with a semifinal pin (3:19) over Florida High and an 11-7 win in the championship round over Suwannee’s Ayden Kirby (16th). Kirby scored first takedown, but Jackson had a pair of them in the second period and opened things up behind three takedowns in the third. Kirby advanced to the final after a semifinal pin over Godby.
3rd: After his loss by fall in the semis to Jackson, Florida High’s Terence Hinson (front-side pin over Marianna) added two more in the consis, with falls over Liberty County in the semis and in 1:57 over Godby’s Mason Pittman for third. Pittman (front-side pin over Liberty) falled Marianna in the blood round to punch his Wewahitchka ticket.
Final: The War Eagles’ Jae T Thaxton (7th) took two victories in winning his first district title, with a semifinal pin (2:40) over Marianna, followed by a 2-0 decision in the final over Suwannee’s Marshall White (12th). Thaxton earned a penalty point in the first period and escaped from bottom in the second, making those two single points stand up for the win. White reached the semifinal behind a fall over Florida High.
3rd: In a four-person bracket, Marianna’s Josh Mercer took third, winning by fall (3:23) over Florida High’s Anthony Bedoya.
Final: Suwannee’s Austin McKinney (4th) bonus-pointed through the day without giving a point, with a semifinal pin over Godby (1:03), followed by a 14-0 championship win over Florida High’s Nicholas Roeder (18th) for McKinney’s second district title. McKinney scored in both the first and second periods, picking off four turns, including three from the ride in the third. Roeder advanced to the final with a pin over Wakulla in the semis.
3rd: After his loss by fall to Roeder in the semis, Wakulla’s Nate Jacobs came back with two consi-side pins, falling Marianna in the semis and then pinning Godby’s Tony Howie in 40 seconds for third. Howie (front-side pin over Marianna) advanced to the region round with a bye in the consi semis.
Final: In a three-person bracket, Suwannee’s Austin Howard (3rd) needed just one match to take his third district championship and reach his fourth final, pinning Florida High’s Dean Wright (10th) in 1:23. Howard needed just his first takedown to be his only takedown before securing the fall. Wright reached the final behind a semifinal pin over Wakulla.
3rd: With his loss in the semis to Wright, Wakulla’s Zabdiel Garcia-Esquilin claimed third place with a bye in the medal round.
Final: Like his classmate at 160, the Bulldogs’ Dustin Wood (13th) needed just one match win to win a district title, his first. After a bye into the final, Wood falled Florida High’s Jordan Haigler in 2:50 to claim the championship. It was a busy first period, with both wrestlers scoring, but Wood settled in during the second, establishing control to secure the pin. Haigler got to the finals after a semifinal pin over Wakulla.
3rd: With his loss in the semis to Haigler, Wakulla’s Wyatt Brown claimed third place with a bye in the medal round.
Final: Florida High’s Xander Hawkes (4th) picked up his second district championship with first-period pins over Wakulla (:52) in the semis and again in the championship match over Suwannee’s Benjamin Lewis, in 1:22. Lewis was awarded a penalty point early, but Hawkes was the only one to hit a scoring move, using it to collect the fall. Lewis advanced to the final after a semifinal pin over Marianna.
3rd: In a four-person bracket, Marianna’s Marquis Rhodes won by injury default early on in the match over Wakulla’s Blake Barodte.
Final: In a three-person bracket, Florida High’s Nias Dorsey needed one match win for his first district title, pinning Suwannee’s Torynn Johns in 5:03 in the final. Both wrestlers had takedowns in the first period, and both had reversals in the second, with both getting one nearfall along the way, before Dorsey’s third-period takedown locked in the control for the pin. Johns reached the title match with a semifinal pin over Wakulla.
3rd: With his loss in the semis to Johns, Wakulla’s Noah Vernon took third with a bye in the medal round.
Final: The Seminoles’ Collin Bishop (12th) max-pointed through the bracket for his second district championship, pinning Suwannee (2:43) in the semis and then winning by forfeit over Wakulla’s Kohl Pippin (13th) in the final. Pippin got to the final with a win by disqualification over Godby in the semis.
3rd: After his loss to Bishop in the semis, Suwannee’s Sam Ballard (front-side pin over Liberty County’s Mason Geiger) took two pins in the wrestlebacks, with falls over Marianna in the semis and then pinning Geiger a second time, this time in 1:35, for third place. Geiger punched his Chiles ticket with a consi-semi pin over Godby.
Final: Wakulla’s Adleigh Caquimbo pinned his way through the draw, with falls in the semis over Florida High (:28), then a second over Liberty’s Scout Harr in 5:01 for Caquimbo’s first district title. Caquimbo scored in each period and had nearfalls in both the first and second, building a 10-0 lead at the time of the fall. Harr advanced to the final with a semifinal pin over Suwannee.
3rd: After losing in the semis to Caquimbo, Florida High’s Christian Ajose-Adeogun (front-side pin over Godby) secured his region space in the semis, then pinned Godby’s Raheem Barge in 1:17 for third in a rematch from the quarterfinal. Barge punched his Chiles ticket with a blood-round pin over Suwannee.
You can see results from this event and all other 1A districts HERE.