By SHANNON HEATON & OLIVIA CERIO
Northeast Florida Matmen
(Editor’s Note: Olivia Cerio is a reporter for the Tomahawk Talk, Florida High’s student newspaper. Olivia provided us with quotes from the winning and runnerup coaches and took 13 photos of weight-class champions. Olivia’s effort is Matmen’s first in encouraging student journalism and its publication in an ongoing media platform. It should be noted that all of Olivia’s work was submitted on Saturday evening, and the detail and effort was exceptional. She has set the bar high for future student work.)
TALLAHASSEE — It didn’t take long for the Northwest Matmen area’s top two teams to collide in 2016-17.
In the season-opening event for both, #1 Florida High and #2 Lincoln were the top teams on display at FSUS’ Seminole Wrestling Classic this past weekend. When the smoke cleared Saturday afternoon, it was the Trojans who held top honors, outpointing the hosts 344-299.5.
“I think starting off with a big win like this is good for us. All you want to avoid is it makes you think you’re better than you are, because we have higher goals that we have to attain,” Lincoln coach Mike Crowder said. “We did a good job; we still have a lot of work to do (and) there’s a lot of places where we can prove (ourselves). There’s a lot of positives, but there’s also some things that I see that have to change for us to get to where our goals are.”
Lincoln picked up titles from Mark Munroe (113), Justin Grant (160), Jared Newhall (170) and Thomas Moss (285).
“I’m proud of my kids. They’re working really, really hard, and we’re just trying to get that level at the end of the year,” Crowder said.
Host Florida High had several weight-class champions as well, with Brooks Dyer (106), Bryan Metcalf (132), Duncan Weaver (138), Max Harris (145) and Cam Brown (220) all winning.
“I think we’ve got a bunch of young guys that showed up and competed well today; the older returning guys wrestled well, so it shows we’re in a good spot,” Seminoles coach Clay Allen said. “It’s just a work in progress. (The tournament) gives you a baseline of where you are early on in the season. A lot of our guys weren’t too happy about getting a second-place team trophy, so it’s certainly a motivator next week, since we’ll see (the same teams) again next week at Capital City Classic.”
Northeast HM-listed Yulee was third with 183.5 points and two champions in Stevie Chopek (120) and Dylan Youmans (126). Leon was fourth at 124.5 with champions JT Grant (182) and Henry Segura (195), while Raines was fifth with one champion in Alonzo Davis (152). Bozeman was sixth at 85 points, while Bainbridge GA rounded out the field at 55 points.
An individual weight-class breakdown follows (results will be posted to both Northeast and Northwest sites, when an integration of team scores and PDF individual results can be combined together, on Monday):
106 — Dyer went 3-0 on the day, picking up what was the key win in the round-robin in the first round over runnerup Kyle Davis of Yulee, adding a pin and forfeit win in subsequent rounds.
113 — Munroe likewise was 3-0, with two first-period falls and then a forfeit victory over Florida High runnerup Delon Franklin in the third match.
120 — Chopek sandwiched wins in the first and third rounds with a key 6-2 decision in round 2 over runnerup DJ Hanson of Bozeman in order to secure the title.
126 — Youmans went 4-0 in a solid class to take the win, with a 4-2 win over runnerup Max Metcalf of Florida High in round 3 and 3-2 win over third-place Joseph Haynes of Raines.
132 — In one of the fuller brackets of the weekend, Metcalf went 6-0, with the key win coming in Round 7, when he decisioned Raines runnerup Jaquan English, 15-9, in a battle for the title.
138 — Weaver needed to win seven matches to pick up his bracket in this weight class, taking a win in round 8 (result not available for that round) over Lincoln’s Eli Crum to take first.
145 — Harris dominated the bracket, with three pins and a technical fall in his fourth match of the weekend, a 21-4 tech over runnerup Grant Stanish of Yulee.
152 — In another eight-man bracket, Davis swept the field to take the weight class, with an 8-5 decision in the first round over Lincoln’s Jeremy Burke, the eventual runnerup, proving decisive.
160 — Grant had two falls, a major and decision en route to the title. His major, a 14-5 win over Yulee’s John Parker, the eventual runnerup, was decisive in taking the bracket.
170 — Newhall also ran through an eight-person bracket perfectly, with six pins and a win by DQ. He pinned Trojan teammate and runnerup Selah Craft in 3:47 in round 2.
182 — Every wrestler in the bracket, including Grant, took at least one loss, but Grant was the only one to sustain just the one, collecting three pins and a tech fall along the way. Florida High’s Will Haigler, who was 3-0 through the first three rounds (including a 14-7 win over Grant), was the runnerup after forfeiting his final two rounds.
195 — Segura had three first-period falls to win the weight class, pinning runnerup Tanner Washburn of Lincoln in 51 seconds in round 3 for the bracket.
220 — Brown was 4-0 on the day, with three pins and a technical fall to dominate the bracket. His Round 2 pin over Bainbridge’s Tre Storey, the eventual runnerup, in 2:57, was the decisive victory en route to the title.
285 — Moss won five times to take the bracket, with four pins and then a Round 6 forfeit over Trojans teammate Jonquille Rivers, who had clinched at least runnerup with his own performance.