By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen
When we last checked in with 2016 Flagler Palm Coast graduate Anthony “Kaz” Maia, injury had derailed his dreams of a Florida Class 3A state championship.
But that day in March was not the last day for Maia’s title hopes. On Saturday, in his first collegiate competition for Iowa Lakes Community College (located in the tiny northwest Iowa town of Estherville), Maia brought home top honors in the 149-pound freshman division weight class of the Grand View (Iowa) Open tournament, contested at Southeast Polk HS in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.
Maia won three matches to bring home the bracket, starting with a 12-7 decision over Calumet College of Indiana’s Bryan Dominguez in the quarterfinals. That set him up with a semifinal battle against Iowa Lakes teammate Dejonte Horne, which Maia won with a 19-4 technical fall.
In the finals, Maia matched up with Grand View’s Bill Adusei in the final. Adusei had won two Virginia state titles and had reached the state finals in his first three years of high school, then moved to Nebraska and won a third state title there in his senior season. After trailing, 3-2, going into the third period, Maia rallied for a 8-4 decision and the bracket.
The below paragraphs include a rundown of what we were able to track down from Saturday’s wrestling. There are a few Northeast-area Matmen kids that will begin their seasons on Sunday, and we hopefully will have a second story on them, either tomorrow or Monday.
Xaiver Sampsel (Limestone, Fleming Island ’16): Competed at the UNC-Pembroke Open in Pembroke, NC, going 4-1 on the day and placing third at 133. Sampsel opened with a 9-2 decision over Spartanburg Methodist’s Christian Coppola, then knocked off UNC-Pembroke’s Dustin Smith, 5-3, in the quarters. Sampsel fell by just a point in the semis to eventual runnerup Justus Griffith of Central Florida, 6-5, but came back in the wrestlebacks, with a third-period fall in 6:51 over Coppola and then a 3-2 decision over Smith for third.
Robert Parland (Coker, University Christian ’13): Competed at the UNC-Pembroke Open, going 4-1 and finishing third at 285. Parland falled Limestone’s Andrew Wade in 4:32 in his first match, then majored Spartanburg Methodist’s Jordan Billings, 16-5, before falling to eventual bracket champion and former Hernando state champion Jesse Gaudin of Central Florida, 4-2, in the semis. Parland then decisioned Limestone’s Daniel Bland, 6-3, in the consi semis, and edged unattached wrestler Luttere Eglaus, 3-2, for third place.
Zac Branning (Southeastern, Flagler Palm Coast ’15): Competed at the UNC-Pembroke Open at 125, winning four matches and taking fifth place in the tournament. He lost his opening-rounder to Pembroke’s Jayquon McEntyre, 5-1, but then had three wins on the back to make podium, with a forfeit, decision and major, the major coming over former Osceola wrestler and 3A state champ Ariel Dominguez, by a 12-4 score. Branning lost to Coker’s Frank Velez, 6-3, in the consi semis, but rallied for fifth with a 20-5 technical fall over Limestone’s Majid Corbit.
Zach Ford (Rhode Island College, Flagler Palm Coast ’13): Competed at the Ithaca College (NY) Invitational at 157, going 2-2 on the weekend. Ford lost his first match to Stevens Institute of Technology’s Thomas Poklikuha in 1:48, but then won twice on the back side, with a fall in 6:21 over Stevens’ Austin Kruger and then another in 59 seconds over Springfield College’s Nick Almonte. Ford then lost in his third wrestleback, 17-7, to Norwich’s Brandon Defosses.
Eric Vigo (Iowa Lakes CC, Flagler Palm Coast ’16): Competed at the Grand View Open, freshman division, at 165, going 1-2 on the weekend. Vigo won his first collegiate match with a 10-0 major over Midland University’s Enrique Jacinto, but then lost by fall in the quarters to eventual bracket champ Kaleb Young of Iowa, in 55 seconds. Vigo then lost by tech fall, 17-0, to Iowa Western CC’s Josha Pillow in the consi 2nd round.
Josh Fox (Ohio State, University Christian ’12): Competed at the Eastern Michigan University Open tournament in Ypsilanti, MI, today, going 0-2 after bumping up from his wrestle-off weight of 197 up to 285. Fox lost to the 285 bracket’s eventual champion, Tiffin University’s Garrett Gray, by a 10-1 major, and then fell in his first wrestleback match to Purdue’s Shawn Streck, 13-3. OSU had three bracket champions on the day.
Dylan Rossetti (St. Andrews, Middleburg ’16): Competed at the UNC-Pembroke Open at 133, going 0-2. Rossetti was scored as losing by forfeit to UNC-Pembroke’s Smith in the first round, but then completed his first wrestleback, where he took an 11-0 loss to Spartanburg Methodist’s Coppola.
Justin Trinh (Central Florida, Ridgeview ’16): Competed at the UNC-Pembroke Open at 133, going 0-2. Trinh lost by fall to eventual bracket champion Jonathan Miller of UNC-Pembroke in 2:00, and then lost in his first wrestleback by fall in 4:43 to Limestone’s Jacob Romano in 4:43.
Nadine Fiege (Life University, Sandalwood ’15): Fiege, a national champion at 170 for Life in 2016, needed just 12 seconds to deck Emmanuel College’s Sara Kouba, as Life won the dual at home against Emmanuel, 28-19, on Wednesday.