Northeast/Northwest Florida Matmen staff report
TALLAHASSEE — The reigning champion continued its rule, but the prime contenders for the throne of 1A-District 2 got plenty of positives from Saturday’s tournament, hosted by Rickards HS.
Reigning champion Wakulla pulled together six individual weight-class titles and qualified 12 for Friday’s Region 1 tournament at Florida High, outpointing the Seminoles, 197-182, with Northeast team honorable-mention Suwannee taking third with 162.
Florida High accomplished a first in school history, qualifying all 14 of its individuals into the region tournament, with five champions of its own.
Suwannee, like the War Eagles, moved through 12 wrestlers, with a pair of champions on the day.
Both North Florida Christian (62 points) and Godby (55) each qualified six for regions, but the Cougars did have one individual champ. Host Rickards had just one wrestler in the tournament, with that wrestler qualifying out, for seven points.
106 — In a three-person bracket, Suwannee junior Brandon Trask (Northeast Matmen #8, statewide 9th) needed just 70 seconds to win the district title, with a fall over Florida High’s Ikeon Myles. Myles reached the final with a quick fall of his own over North Florida Christian’s Landon Kelly, who had a walkover for third place.
113 — Like Trask, Wakulla junior Larry Smith (statewide 3rd) only had to wrestle once to win districts in a 3-man bracket, but his title took a little longer, as Smith pinned Suwannee’s Chase Clark in 2:48 for the victory. Clark got to the final with a first-period fall over Florida High’s Mike Cerio, who had a walkover for third.
120 — The War Eagles’ sophomore Rolin Malik made it back-to-back Wakulla championships with his victory here, with a fall in the semis and then a 7-5 decision over Max Metcalf (statewide 13th, 1 fall in semis) of Florida High in the final. Suwannee’s Michael Santangelo, who’d lost by fall to Malik in the semis, came back for third place with a third-period pin over Godby’s Marcus Lloyd.
126 — Florida High sophomore Bryan Metcalf (statewide 5th) had a 24-second fall in the semis and followed that up with a 12-7 decision in the final over Wakulla’s Jonathan Hunter (fall in the semis), picking up the Seminoles’ first title on the day. Godby’s Braxten Marshall, who’d lost to Hunter in the semis, decisioned Suwannee’s Tyler Ogles 9-2 for third.
132 — Wakulla junior Max Owen (statewide 13th) also needed only one match to win the district, but had to go a full six minutes against a determined Julian Borrell of Suwannee, winning 6-4. Borrell won by fall in the semis to reach the final, over Florida High’s Harrisen Lacayo, who had a walkover for third place.
138 — Florida High picked up its second title from junior Max Harris (statewide 9th), who only needed to wrestle once, pinning Suwannee’s Kenneth Foster (Northeast Matmen #8 at 132) in 2:31 for the title. Foster had a fall of his own in the semis, pinning Wakulla’s Ryan Houstan in 5:17. Houstan had a walkover for third.
145 — The Seminoles earned back-to-back district titles, as sophomore Jake Richardson won by fall in the semis and then, in the championship match, knocked off Wakulla’s Hunter Royce (statewide 7th, had a 30-second fall in the semis) by a 7-2 count. Suwannee’s Terrell Williams, who’d lost to Richardson in the semis, came back with a pin in 1:57 over Godby’s Zach Godwin for third.
152 — Suwannee junior Joey Borrell (Northeast Matmen #8, statewide 7th) pinned his way through the bracket, with a 41-second fall in the semis and fall in 5:16 over Godby’s Andrew Thaxton (advanced with 12-0 major in the semis) in the final round. Wakulla’s Colton McCulley, who’d lost to Thaxton in the semis, came back to edge Florida High’s Marcus Haigler, 8-6, for third place.
160 — In a bracket with three state-ranked wrestlers, it was senior Cornelius Brown of Godby (statewide 11th) that came out on top, winning by forfeit in the semis and then again in the final, a 4-3 decision over Suwannee’s Billy Jenkins (Northeast Matmen #3, statewide 7th). Jenkins had advanced with a fall in the semis over North Florida Christian’s Jack Marsh, who took a medical-forfeit victory over Florida High’s Drew Hostetter (statewide 9th).
170 — Another weight class that had statewide implications, as Florida High sophomore Will Haigler (statewide 6th) had a third-period fall in the semis, and came back to take a 13-6 decision over Wakulla’s Chris Surace (statewide 5th, had 55-second fall in semis) for the title. NFC’s Phil Gardner, who lost to Haigler in the semi, came back to edge Suwannee’s Logan Montemurro, 7-6, for third.
182 — Wakulla senior Josh Strickland (statewide 8th) won by fall in the semis and came back in the championship match to take a 7-2 decision over North Florida Christian’s David Lunn, who had a fall of his own in the semis. Florida High’s DeJay Robinson, who’d lost to Strickland in the semis, came back to take third, decisioning Rickards’ Jaden Merritt, 8-7.
195 — Florida High junior Cam Brown (statewide 3rd) needed just one match and 90 seconds to win districts in a 3-man bracket, pinning Wakulla’s Andrew Annand in the championship. Annand reached the final with a third-period fall over North Florida Christian’s Nolan Kelly, who took third place in a walkover.
220 — Wakulla senior Austin Beaulieu pinned his way through to the bracket title, with a fall in 2:30 in the semis and then a 28-second pin of Suwannee’s Marcus Mapp (Northeast Matmen HM) in the final. Mapp advanced to the final with an 8-7 decision over North Florida Christian’s Jonathan Wainwright, who came back with two pins for third, the second one over Florida High’s Brendunn Mills in 2:54.
285 — In a tightly-contested bracket that didn’t see a single bonus point scored in any match, Wakulla sophomore Jacob Marin (statewide 7th) turned back Suwannee’s Rossie Williams (Northeast Matmen #3, statewide 8th), 5-3, in the championship match after winning 2-1 in the semis. Williams advanced to the final with a 3-2 victory. In the third-place match, Florida High’s Christian Patterson had a double-overtime, 4-2 victory over Godby’s Devaughn Stephens.