Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
JACKSONVILLE — Individual success within the St. Augustine wrestling program has been found, usually one wrestler or so at a time, over the last three or four seasons.
Team success has been extraordinarily difficult to find, and impossible to sustain, during that same timeperiod.
But there’s something to be said about hardware that can get the ball rolling, slowly perhaps at first, but surely.
Ten years from now, the first-place trophy the Yellow Jackets won at the Westside Duals could be the start of something dramatically different for the program as a whole. With just seven wrestlers in the lineup, St. Augustine was able to capture four weight-class titles and the overall team lead, outpointing the host Wolverines, 107-106, in the six-team round robin event Saturday.
The victory gave St. Augustine some vindication after the Wolverines had driven to St Johns County and came away with a road dual meet victory in the previous week, 30-27.
Westside and third-place Lee (97 points) each had three champions, while fourth-place White (74) had two and fifth-place Bradford (60) had one. Stanton rounded out the tournament field, with 12 points.
Below follows the highlight from each weight class:
106 — With just two wrestlers in the weight class, St. Augustine’s Kristopher Smith rolled to a pair of falls over Lee’s Jacob Anderson, including a fall in 3:20 in their first meeting.
120 (no wrestlers competed at 113) — Lee’s Jaren Jefferson had a pair of falls and a decision in taking that victory, with his 9-2 win over Bradford’s Antonio Urolia enough for the title.
126 — Jason Griffis of Bradford had two pins to win the day, with a fall in 3:45 over Westside’s Malik Hardison for first in the weight class.
132 — Lee’s Darius Wells won all of his matches with bonus points, collecting two pins and a major over the Wolverines’ Keyvonta Broadwater, 15-6, for the title.
138 — For the Yellow Jackets’ Nick Thomson, the first match of the day was the toughest, when he edged Lee’s Christopher Champine by a 4-3 score. Thomson then added two falls for the title.
145 — Westside’s Delmontae Davis brought the Wolverines’ first title home, with two pins, a win by forfeit and a decision over Stanton’s Mitchell Mika for the weight-class victory.
152 — Tracey Beshara of St. Augustine dominated the bracket, with three pins and a tech fall. His 1:09 pin over Westside’s Matthew Gathright was the one to win him the title.
160 — The Wolverines got four first-period falls from Caleb Gibbs, who won the title. Gibbs pinned St. Augustine’s Jacob Linden in 1:08 in the first round in what was the effective title match.
170 — Lee’s Isaiah Mervin was 4-0 on the day, with three first-period falls and a 3-0 decision over Westside’s John Jones for the championship.
182 — Westside’s Christian Wilkerson had two first-period pins, including a pin for the title in 1:15 over St. Augustine’s Bryce Bannister.
195 — Robert Zuzu of St. Augustine had two pins early in the day, even took a loss at one point, but won the weight class with a victory by forfeit in the final round. Ed White’s Atyrus McDonald had three pins, but his forfeit to Zuzu proved to be the difference.
220 — Ed White’s Avery Wilds had two pins over Bradford’s Eddie McCormick, the first a 30-second fall for the weight-class win.
285 — Kelton Johnson of Ed White had three first-period falls for the title, pinning Lee’s Demetris Harris in 1:22 for the effective title.
For all of the scheduled teams in the event, Saturday’s duals event was the regular-season finale — at least based on the known schedules. Complete results from the event are found on the 15-16 IBTs page.