Tournament of Champions Recap

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

LAKE MARY — Northeast #2 Fleming Island crowned two weight-class champions, with six other Golden Eagle wrestlers earning medals at the 2017 Ron Peters Tournament of Champions two-day IBT tournament, which concluded Saturday.

Fleming finished the tournament with 213 points to take fourth out of 28 teams in the field. Northeast #4 Buchholz was eighth with 103.5, with Sandalwood taking 16th on 69 points.

Nationally-ranked Lake Highland Prep won the event with 326.5 points, with Winter Springs second at 242 and Southwest Miami third at 237.5.

Champions on the weekend from the coverage area were Fleming Island sophomore Briar Jackson (106 pounds) and junior Ryan Smenda (195).

Jackson had two pins on Friday to get to the semis, where he added a 16-2 major over Apopka’s Noah Petit-Frere. That set up a finals match against Hagerty’s Ryan Rowland, whom Jackson was able to survive with an 8-7 decision for the title.

Smenda dominated the bracket at 195, with two first-period falls on both days. He pinned Winter Springs’ Jessiah Contreras in 1:46 in the semis and then virtually duplicated the feat in the final against Apopka’s Zach Gallon, with a fall in 1:34.

Fleming had three additional wrestlers reach the finals in Jacob Sandoval (126), Paul Detwiler (152) and Jason Davis (182), where all three ran into Lake Highland aces in the final.

Sandoval had two techs and a fall to get to the semis, where he downed 3A-Region 1 potential rival Will Mitchell of Edgewater by a 9-5 score. That set him up against 1A’s top-ranked Noah Castillo of the Highlanders in the final, with Castillo taking a 20-8 major decision to win the bracket.

Detwiler won three matches to reach the semis, where he turned back Winter Springs rival Dimitri Alicea, 7-5. He was the only 152 to force champion Jake Brindley to go beyond a minute, but Brindley had the upper hand in a 15-6 major decision.

Davis had two falls, then an 11-2 major over Apopka’s Logan Celella, but then fell to the Highlanders’ Bryce Rogers 5-2 in the title match.

Two wrestlers from the coverage area took thirds. At 138, Buchholz’s Gant Moore fell 8-4 to eventual champ Franco Valdes of Southwest Miami in the semis but rallied for third. Moore was the only 138 competitor to go a full six with Valdes. At 220, Fleming’s Brandyne Mackey was third after a 3-2 loss in the semis to eventual runnerup Montana Lewis of Winter Springs.

Additional placers from the area included Buchholz’s Bryan Perkins (5th at 106) and William Green-Church (7th at 120), Fleming’s Vince Hauser (6th at 138), Sandalwood’s Cameron Bell (4th at 145) and Dillon Morency (6th at 170), 182s Cole Friend of Sandalwood and Armando Acosta of Buchholz (7th & 8th, respectively), Buchholz’s Jose Romero (8th) and 285s Jose Concepcion (4th) of Fleming and Aaron Menden (8th) of Buchholz.

Full brackets will be posted to the IBT Local page on Monday.

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in 2011. But as I thought I had in 1992, I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. New initiative this year is to create a space on my sites where ALL Florida results can be stored, searched, reviewed and used by my readers, with NO COST TO THEM.

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