By MATMEN, Saturday, 2:25 a.m.
KISSIMMEE — There will not be an FHSAA 1A state team IBT trophy coming back to Region 1.
But as many as four individual gold medals could make their way north after tonight’s finals session of the 1A state tournament at Silver Spurs Arena, as Palatka senior Mikade Harvey (138), juniors Derrick Williams (113) of Bay and David Mercado (220) of North Bay Haven, along with sophomore Alex Smith (195) of Yulee, all are in the state-championship matches at their respective weights.
Today’s wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m. — just a few hours after this recap went live — with the consi semifinals, followed by the medal round at approximately 11:15 a.m.
Teamwise, Somerset Academy holds an 11.5-point lead over Jensen Beach, 148-136.5, with First Baptist-Naples standing third at 123.5 and Mater Lakes Academy within shouting distance in fourth at 106.5.
Locally, several teams are in the top 20 after two days of competition, led by Region 1 champ Suwannee in ninth place with 49 points. Yulee is 10th with 44, while Florida High is 12th (31.5), Bishop Kenny 15th (23), North Bay Haven 16th (22), Bay 17th (21.5), and Palatka T-19th (20 points), with both Fernandina Beach & Wewahitchka at T-21st.
A brief summary of each weight class follows. Look for the photo albums of Friday’s action on the North Florida Matmen Facebook page (photos will be posted to Instagram later in the weekend or early next week).
Medals secured: Florida High’s Jasper Croom (44-3) will have two matches and will medal anywhere from third through sixth today, while Wakulla’s Connor Brown (51-10) will wrestle for 7th. Croom began the day with a quarterfinal pin (3:28) over Chamberlain, but then took a loss by fall (4:56) to Somerset Academy). Croom will wrestle Jensen Beach’s Ben Norris in the top-half consi semi, and will get another match after that. As for Brown, he earned his medal with a pin (4:53) in consi round 2 over Cocoa Beach’s Adrian Day, but then fell by a 10-9 count to Chamberlain in the bottom consi quarter. Brown will face Weeki Wachee’s Nick Guy for 7th place, in a rematch of their round-1 encounter on Thursday, which Guy won by third-period fall.
Heading home: Suwannee’s Eli Jolicoeur did not compete on Day 2 after reaching the quarters Thursday.
Going for gold: Bay’s Derrick Williams (64-1) will kick things off in the finals for the north, after two victories Friday. Williams opened with a 7-3 quarterfinal win over Mater Lakes Academy, but roared through the semis with a third-period tech fall (18-3 in 5:24) over Crystal River. Williams will face Somerset Academy 7th-grader Jovani Solis (45-3) for the state championship.
Medals secured: Suwannee’s Justin Contreras (50-7) will wrestle for 7th place. Contreras was 1-1 on Friday, with a 7-0 decision over Mater Lakes Academy to secure his podium space, but then lost by fall (:59) to Jensen Beach in the bottom consi quarter. Contreras will wrestle Gibbs’ Al’Zaveon Harris for 7th place; that match is also a rematch from Thursday’s first round, which Harris won by a 3-2 count via the ultimate tiebreaker. St Johns resident Mario Del Vecchio (40-6), wrestling for Cocoa Beach, will get two matches Saturday and finish no lower than 6th after two consi-side pins following a sudden-victory loss to Sarasota Military in the quarters.
Medals secured: Three area wrestlers — Liberty County’s Jay Brown (8-1 post-season record), Wewahitchka’s Jake Parker (59-10) and Suwannee’s Topher Pearson (49-14) — will all medal and get two matches today, with Parker and Pearson meeting in the bottom-half consi semi. Parker won twice in the consis, with a fall (2:41) over Robinson in round 2 and 13-6 decision over Lemon Bay in the bottom quarter, while Pearson was a front-side semifinalist behind a quarterfinal pin (4:21) over Palm Bay before falling, 5-4, to First Baptist-Naples in the semis. As for Brown, he also made the semis with a quarterfinal pin (5:00) over Robinson, but then lost by tech fall (15-0 in 1:47) to Jensen Beach. Brown will face Hernando’s Jordyn Valle in the top consi semi.
Medals secured: Suwannee’s Brody Boehm (58-7) will be the area’s only medalist in the weight class and will get two matches today. After pinning Berkeley Prep (3:21) in the quarters, Boehm took a 12-3 loss to Jensen Beach in the semis. He’ll face First Baptist-Naples’ Asher Bacon, the Region 3 champ, in the top half consi-semi.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Florida High’s Hunter Stanley lost by fall (1:47) to Bishop Moore and was 1-2 in the tournament.
Medals secured: Fernandina Beach’s Cael Kubatzke (49-6) will wrestle for 7th. After taking a quarterfinal loss by tech (16-0 in 4 minutes) to Clearwater Central Catholic, Kubatzke punched his podium ticket with a fall (1:09) in consi round 2 over Palatka’s Ishmael Foster before losing by 14-6 major in the bottom consi quarter to Palm Bay. Kubatzke will face Jensen Beach’s Charlie Armstrong for 7th place.
Heading home: Foster, in his only match of the day going up against Kubatzke, and South Walton’s Gibson Moore were both 1-2 in the tournament. Moore took two losses Friday, with a 7-2 decision against Mater Lakes Academy in the front-side quarters and a loss by tech (22-6 in 5:59) to Armstrong in consi round 2.
Going for gold: Palatka’s Mikade Harvey (32-2) became the area’s second finalist behind a pair of decisions on Friday, with a 10-8 win in the quarters over Mater Lakes Academy and a 9-3 semifinal win over Zephyrhills Christian. Harvey will wrestle Cardinal Gibbons’ Nicholas Yancey (45-1) for the state championship.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Yulee’s Austin Adamson took a 9-2 loss to Mater Lakes Academy and was 1-2 in the tournament.
Medals secured: Wakulla’s Jae T Thaxton (59-3) was the area’s only medalist in the weight class and will wrestle for 7th today. After a 9-0 loss to Jensen Beach in the quarters, Thaxton made sure of his medal with a fall (3:56) over Hudson in consi round 2, but then lost by fall (3:41) to Cardinal Gibbons in the bottom consi quarter. Thaxton will face Zephyrhills Christian’s Aiden Hutchins for 7th place.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Fernandina Beach’s Cole Misciagna took a 6-4 loss to Hutchins, and was 1-2 in the tournament.
Medals secured: Bishop Kenny’s Roberto Cuartero (48-2) and Suwannee’s Austin McKinney (67-4) both will have two matches today. Cuartero took a 9-5 front-side quarterfinal loss to Palm Bay, but rallied for two pins in the consis, with falls over McKeel Academy (3:20) in the blood round and over Bayshore (1:32) in the top consi quarter. Cuartero will wrestle Somerset Academy’s Luis Bellon in the top consi semi. As for McKinney, after a 4-1 loss to Mater Lakes Academy in the quarters, he came back behind two bonus-point wins, falling First Academy in 4:27 in consi round 2, and then majoring Cardinal Gibbons, 11-2, in the bottom consi quarter. McKinney will face Palm Bay’s Nathan Furman in the bottom consi semi.
Medals secured: Three area wrestlers — Fernandina Beach’s Enzo Gamba (46-2), Suwannee’s Austin Howard (56-8) and Wewahitchka’s Conner Roberts (54-5) — will all get two matches and medal today, with Gamba and Howard meeting in the top half consi-semi. After opening with a 6-0 win over Lemon Bay in the front-side quarters, Gamba fell by an 8-2 count to Somerset Academy in the semis, while Howard lost by a 1-0 decision to First Baptist-Naples in the quarters, coming back with an 11-2 major over Cardinal Gibbons in consi round 2 and a 7-5 decision over Avon Park in the top consi quarter. Roberts pinned his way into the semi, falling Avon Park in 2:53, but then rode out First Baptist-Naples for four minutes to no avail in a 2-0 loss in the semis. Roberts will face Lemon Bay’s Nick Sheets in the bottom consi semi.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Rutherford’s Keaton Schirmer fell by a 7-5 count in consi round 2 to Avon Park, as Schirmer was 1-2 in the tournament.
Medals secured: Yulee’s Dylan Johns (48-3) is the area’s only medalist in the weight class, and will have two matches today. After finding a takedown in sudden victory for a 7-5 decision over Palm Bay in the quarters, Johns never could get untracked in a 13-6 semifinal loss to Lincoln Park Academy. Johns will face Cardinal Gibbons’ Richard Tauriello in the top consi semi.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Suwannee’s Dustin Wood took a 5-0 loss to Villages in consi round 2, going 1-2 in the tournament.
Medals secured: Three area wrestlers — West Nassau’s Nolan McKelvy (34-4), Florida High’s Xander Hawkes (50-6) and Bishop Kenny’s Collin Hearn (41-10) — will all medal after two matches today, with McKelvy and Hawkes meeting in the top-half consi semi. McKelvy had a quarterfinal pin (3:27) over Somerset Academy, but couldn’t get through First Baptist-Naples in the semis, taking a 13-5 loss by major. Hawkes won twice by fall in the consis on Friday, with first-period pins over Crystal River (:49) in round 2 and over Cardinal Gibbons (1:43) in the top consi quarter. Hearn, meanwhile, also won twice by max points in the wrestlebacks Friday, with a fall (4:51) in round 2 over Somerset, then winning by injury default over Jensen Beach in the bottom quarter. Hearn will face Clearwater Central Catholic’s Carson Schiavello in the bottom consi semi, a rematch from round 1, which Schiavello won by first-period fall.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Rutherford’s Bryson Schirmer took a 15-9 loss to Jensen Beach in consi round 2, going 1-2 in the tournament.
Going for gold: Yulee’s Alex Smith (38-0) continued to bring the hammer, with two Friday falls to reach the final. Smith had second-period pins over Jensen Beach (3:15, against a 60-match winner) in the quarters, then handed Palm Bay his first loss of the season in a semifinal fall (3:16). Smith will face Cardinal Gibbons’ Michael Mocco (43-1) in the state championship.
Medals secured: Episcopal’s Christian McGarity (34-11) will wrestle for 7th. After a 6-5 quarterfinal loss to Berkeley Prep, McGarity locked up his medal with a fall in consi round 2 (3:13) over Somerset Academy, then took a second one-point loss in the top consi quarter, this time by a 5-4 count to Hernando. McGarity will wrestle Sarasota Military’s Caleb Dickerson for 7th place.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, Union County’s Danny Thornton took a loss by fall (3:34) to Jensen Beach in consi round 2, going 1-2 in the tournament.
Going for gold: North Bay Haven’s David Mercado (60-3) won twice on Friday to get to his first state final; after a quarterfinal pin (4:25) over Palm Bay, Mercado shut out Key West, 6-0, in the semis. Mercado will wrestle Mater Lakes Academy’s Damian Soto (38-5), the Region 4 champ, for the state title.
Medals secured: Florida High’s Collin Bishop (35-7) will have two matches today and finish no lower than 6th, while Wakulla’s Kohl Pippin (36-10) will wrestle for 7th. Bishop won twice in the consis Friday, with an injury-default win over Zephyrhills Christian to secure his medal spot, then shut out Pippin in a physical District 2 scrap in the bottom consi quarter, 4-0. Bishop will wrestle Lemon Bay’s Ben Arnett in the bottom consi semi in a rematch of their round-1 battle on Thursday, which Arnett won by a 6-0 count. Pippin guaranteed himself a medal with a 3-2 consi-round 2 victory over Palm Bay before facing Bishop, and will face Pinecrest Prep’s Nathan Chen for 7th place.
Medals secured: Yulee’s Braylen Ricks (35-2) will have two matches today, while Raines’ Gregory Townsend (23-9) will wrestle for 7th. After a 24-second pin in the quarters over Bishop Verot, Ricks struggled in the semis, taking a 6-1 loss to Hernando. Ricks will wrestle Palm Bay’s Leonard Christian in the top-half consi semi. As for Townsend, he lost by fall (:39) in the front-side quarters to Key West, but rallied in the consis, pinning Villages in 34 seconds to earn his podium spot before a loss by pin (1:13) to Christian. Townsend will wrestle Jefferson’s Carmine Morton for 7th place.
Heading home: In his only match of the day, South Walton’s Carlos Sanchez lost by fall (1:10) to Booker in consi round 2, going 1-2 in the tournament.
Second-day brackets can be found HERE.