By MATMEN, Wednesday, 11:30 p.m.
JACKSONVILLE — Don’t count out Yulee just quite yet this coming week.
The Hornets have had a lot of ups and downs in their season this year, but they weren’t ready to go gently into the FHSAA IBT post-season Saturday at Episcopal.
Behind five champions, two runnerups and two 3rd-place finishes to automatically qualify nine wrestlers to Friday’s 1A-Region 1 tournament at Wewahitchka, the Hornets finished ahead of an 11-team field that included some very solid groups indeed, scoring 220.5 points to win the District 3 team title.
Host Episcopal had just enough depth to overcome Fernandina Beach’s firepower; while the Eagles didn’t have a single champion, they did move 12 wrestlers through to region, more than any other team, on six runners-up, three 3rds and three 4ths. As for the Pirates, who finished four points back of Episcopal in the point standings (193.5-189.5) to place third, they had four champs, one runnerup, four 3rds and one 4th.
Bishop Kenny more than doubled up its nearest competition in taking fourth, with 165.5 points on eight region qualifiers. The Crusaders had two of each medal color, with two champs, two runners-up, two 3rds and two 4ths.
Wolfson was a distant fifth behind the Crusaders, with 88.5 points. The Wolfpack qualified two wrestlers for regions, with one champion and one 4th. Stanton pushed past West Nassau for sixth, with 69.5 points to the Warriors’ 66. Stanton qualified five wrestlers for regions, with one 3rd and four 4ths, while West Nassau advanced three, two of them as champions, along with one 3rd.
Raines edged Paxon, 47-41, for eighth and ninth places. The Vikings had three region qualifiers (two runners-up and one 4th), while Paxon moved through one runnerup and one 4th. Bolles was 10th, with 37.5 points and one 3rd-place region qualifier, while University Christian had three points for 11th.
A brief summary of each weight class follows.
Final: In a three-person bracket, Wolfson’s Taylor Martinez (17th) needed just one match win to win his first district title, and just 33 seconds of mat time, with one takedown required, as he falled Episcopal’s Thomas Coppedge for the weight-class win. Coppedge got to the finals with a semifinal tech fall over Stanton.
3rd: After his semifinal loss, Stanton’s James Leiby received a bye for third place.
Final: Fernandina Beach’s Crew Richter bonus-pointed his way to his first district championship, with preliminary major decisions over Episcopal (12-0, quarters) and Bishop Kenny (12-3, semis) before pinning Yulee’s Josh Harris in 2:48 for the title. Harris scored first takedown, but Richter had the advantage in the second period with a takedown that led to the fall. Harris reached the final behind pins over Stanton (quarters) and Paxon (semis).
3rd: After his loss to Richter, Bishop Kenny’s Dylan Lunsford (front-side pin over Wolfson) had two victories in the wrestlebacks for third place, pinning Bolles in the semis and then decisioning, in a rematch, Wolfson’s Tristian Martinez by a 10-6 count. Martinez also won twice in the consis, with pins over Episcopal (quarters) and Paxon (semis).
Final: Bishop Kenny’s Jacob Harless (16th) earned his first district title, with successive wins over Bolles (pin in 2:34, quarters), Episcopal (9-0 major, semis) and over Paxon’s Kyle Brown (17th), 7-1, in the championship match. Harless scored in each period, with a takedown (1st), reversal (2nd) and 3-point turn in the third period. Brown got to Harless after a major decision in the semis over Stanton.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Harless, Episcopal’s Turner Glenn (18th, front-side sudden victory decision over Yulee) turned up the points in the consis, with a tech fall over Wolfson in the semis and 16-4 major for third over Stanton’s Leonardo Torres. Torres (front-side pin over Wolfson) added a second pin over Yulee in the consis to secure his region space.
Final: West Nassau’s Blayden Tharpe (8th) won his second district championship, and first since 2020, pinning his way through the bracket with falls over Wolfson (:52, quarters), Stanton (2:20, semis) and over Fernandina Beach’s Caden Kubatzke (11th) in 1:25 for the bracket gold. Kubatzke, himself a two-time district champ, won by fall over Paxon in the quarters and took a decision victory in the semis over Episcopal.
3rd: After his semifinal loss, Episcopal’s Scott Busey (14th, front-side tech over Bishop Kenny) won twice in the consis for third, pinning Bolles in the semis and then surviving a 16-10 win over Stanton’s Elias Spurlin. Spurlin (20th, front-side pin over Bolles) had a tech fall over Bishop Kenny in the blood round.
Final: The Pirates’ Cael Kubatzke (10th) pinned his way through the day, with falls in the quarters over Bolles (:27), over Stanton (:47) in the semis, and over Yulee’s Logan Pugh (4:43) in the title round for Kubatzke’s first district title. Kubatzke didn’t allow a point in the final, with two takedowns, a reversal and a pair of nearfalls before the pin. Pugh (19th) qualified for the final after a one-point decision victory over Episcopal in the semis.
3rd: After his loss to Pugh, Episcopal’s Nicholas Pressley (front-side pin over Wolfson) added two more falls in the consis, pinning Bolles in the blood round and then falling Stanton’s Diego Torres in 3:37 in the medal round. Torres (front-side pin over Bishop Kenny) secured his region space with a major over Wolfson.
Final: Yulee’s Austin Adamson (11th) won his second district championship, bonus-pointing through the bracket with a 9-0 semifinal major over Bishop Kenny and fall in the finals over Episcopal’s Cohen Chesser (20th). Adamson had a sizable lead built up before getting the pin, with three takedowns and four nearfalls earned. Chesser reached the final behind a semifinal pin over Stanton.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Adamson, Bishop Kenny’s Christopher Hampton (front-side pin over Fernandina Beach) earned his region space with a bye, then won by tech fall (19-2 in 5:20) over Stanton’s Dean Holt. Holt earned his way into regions with a consi-semi pin over Fernandina.
Final: Fernandina Beach’s Cole Misciagna (13th) picked up his first district title in impressive fashion, with a semifinal tech (17-1 in 3:37) over Yulee and a third-period fall (5:35) over Bishop Kenny’s Jack Raynor (18th). Raynor had first takedown, but Misciagna would string together the next 10 points, with takedowns in each period and a quick turn in the first before taking the fall. Raynor got to the final behind decisions over West Nassau (quarters) and Episocopal (semis).
3rd: After his quarterfinal loss to Raynor, West Nassau’s Aiden Melson pinned his way back to third in the consis, with three falls over Wolfson (quarters), Yulee (semis) and over Episcopal’s Baylor Maurer in 3:03 for third. Maurer (front-side pin over Wolfson) punched his Wewahitchka ticket with a blood-round pin over Paxon.
Final: Bishop Kenny’s Roberto Cuartero (2nd) grabbed his second district championship behind three pins in 2 minutes even, taking falls over University Christian (:38, quarters), Bolles (:26, semis) and over Episcopal’s Chance Wolffe (20th) in 56 seconds for the title. Cuartero picked up a pair of takedowns in the finals win, with a 3-point nearfall before the pin. Wolffe had two front-side wins to make the final, with a quarterfinal pin over Stanton and a semifinal win over Paxon.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Cuartero, Bolles’ Thomas Holt (front-side decision over Yulee) had two bonus-point wins in the wrestlebacks, with a pin over Stanton in the semis, followed by a 15-6 major for third over Paxon’s Brendan Lawson. Lawson pinned Yulee in the blood round to advance out to regions.
Final: Fernandina Beach’s Enzo Gamba (2nd) won his third district title in just 1:49 of mat time, with pins over Yulee in the semis and over Episcopal’s John Fernandez (7th) in 49 seconds in the final round. Gamba needed just one takedown, using that to secure the pin from there. Fernandez bonus-pointed through two rounds to reach the final, with a quarterfinal pin over Stanton and major over Bishop Kenny in the semis.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Gamba, Yulee’s Michael McNair (front-side pin over West Nassau) added two bonus-point wins on the back, with a blood-round pin over Stanton and a 14-3 major in the third-place match over Bishop Kenny’s John Slade. Slade picked up his region qualification with a consi-semi pin over West Nassau.
Final: Yulee’s Dylan Johns (6th) pinned his way through the draw for his third district championship as well, falling Wolfson (1:22) in the semis and then pinning Episcopal’s Brennan Doherty (13th) in 2:42 for the bracket gold. Doherty had first takedown, but Johns reversed shortly after and had a takedown of his own in picking up the fall. Doherty got to the finals behind a one-point decision win over Bishop Kenny in the semi.
3rd: After losing in the quarters by fall to Bishop Kenny’s Luke Ghannam, Fernandina Beach’s Anthony Fancher won twice in the consis to take third, with a blood-round pin over Wolfson and a 13-6 win in the medal round over Ghannam. Ghannam pinned Bolles in the consi semis to secure his region spot.
Final: West Nassau’s Nolan McKelvy (6th) earned his first district title after a pair of decisions, defeating Yulee, 4-2, in the semis and then pushing past 7th-ranked Collin Hearn of Bishop Kenny, 8-4, for the bracket win. McKelvy had takedowns in each period, overcoming an early Hearn reversal to go on and secure the victory. Hearn advanced to the championship round with a semifinal pin over Fernandina Beach.
3rd: After his 4-2 semifinal loss to McKelvy, Yulee’s Christopher Aud (12th) rallied back to claim third place with a consi-semi pin over University Christian and a 5-3 medal-round win over Fernandina Beach’s Lucas Crawford. Crawford (front-side pin over University Christian) pinned Wolfson in the blood round to secure his Wewahitchka space.
Final: Yulee’s Alex Smith (2nd) kicked off a string of back-to-back-to-back Hornet weight-class wins, with preliminary pins over Bolles (2:35, quarters) and over Fernandina Beach (:47, semis) before powering past Episcopal’s Christian McGarity (8th), 9-2, in the final for Smith’s second district title. Smith had takedowns in each period, with a quick turn in the first, allowing only a late reversal. McGarity won twice to get to Smith, with a quarterfinal pin over Paxon and a decision in the semis over Wolfson.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Smith, Fernandina’s Gauge Housely (19th, front-side 7-6 decision over Raines’ Jhalill Richardson) had two wins on the back, winning by decision in the blood round over Bishop Kenny and then pinning Richardson in 1:40 for third. Richardson had two wins in the consis, with a win by DQ in the consi quarters and a consi-semi decision over Wolfson.
Final: The Hornets’ Cayden Ricks (18th) earned his first district championship, pinning his way through the draw with falls over Bishop Kenny (:57, quarters), Fernandina Beach (5:57, semis) and over Raines’ D’Cari Wilson (20th) in 2:26 for the title. Wilson had first takedown and first turn, going up 4-0 after one period, but Ricks rallied in the second, with a takedown that quickly turned into the pin. Wilson got to the championship match behind a semifinal pin over Episcopal.
3rd: After his semifinal loss to Ricks, Fernandina Beach’s Peyton White (front-side pin over Paxon) added two more wins in the consis, with a fall in the blood round over Wolfson and a 5-0 medal-round victory over Episcopal’s Matt Salek. Salek (front-side pin over Wolfson) won by fall in the consi semis over Bishop Kenny to qualify out.
Final: Yulee’s Braylen Ricks (4th) rolled through the bracket for his first district title, with a semifinal pin (:54) over Fernandina Beach and tech fall in the finals (16-0 in 3:18) over Raines’ Gregory Townsend (12th). Ricks needed just two takedowns, with three big turns to seal the tech. Townsend reached the championship match with a semifinal pin over Episcopal.
3rd: After his loss in the semis to Ricks, Fernandina Beach’s William Schuster won twice on the back to wrestle back to third, with a shutout decision over Bishop Kenny and pin (1:29) in the medal round over Episcopal’s Mark Rinaman. Rinaman (front-side pin over Bishop Kenny) punched his Wewahitchka ticket with a bye in the consi semis.
You can see results from this event and all other 1A districts HERE.