Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
JACKSONVILLE — The upcoming weekend’s Gateway Conference IBT appears to be more wide-open than in recent memory.
Last weekend, Westside staked its claim as one of the Gateway favorites with a first-place showing at the 16-team Army Duals event, hosted by Terry Parker.
The Wolverines joined Englewood and West Nassau at the top of Pool A, with all three teams posting 6-1 records, with Westside advancing on to the title match via criteria.
There, the Wolverines downed Mandarin — which also was tied for the top in Pool B, but had a head-to-head advantage over Wolfson — by a 44-36 score.
In the final, five straight wins between 145 and 182 — falls from Jacob Boyd (145), Matthew Gathright (160), John Jones (170) and Calvin Altman (182), plus a key 14-8 win for the Wolverines’ Delmontae Davis (Northeast #3 at 152) over #6 Adam Spikes — gave Westside a 32-6 lead.
Mandarin would rally with falls from Gavin Miles (195) and Andrew Hudgins (220), but Tariq Hookfin (#4 at 285) slammed the door with a fall that, with a Wolverine forfeit in hand at 106, effectively clinched the dual and the title.
Below follows a recap of all 16 teams’ weekends:
1. Westside: The Wolverines picked up three wins on Friday over Robert E. Lee (63-12), First Coast (39-30) and Englewood (53-30), surviving an early loss to West Nassau on Saturday to rally with wins over FSDB (60-18), Stanton (49-15) and Paxon (66-12) before facing the Mustangs in the title match. Davis (3 pins, 2 techs & a decision), Jones (HM at 170, 3 pins & tech) and Hookfin (2 pins) were all 8-0 for Westside, with Angelo Philpot, Boyd (#7 at 145) and Altman (HM at 182) each going 7-1.
2. Mandarin: The Mustangs’ only loss came Friday night in criteria (most pins) against Baker County, with dual wins over Pedro Menendez (58-13) and Wolfson (42-31) on Friday, plus Saturday wins over Bradford (57-12), University Christian (63-15), Fernandina Beach (64-12) and Terry Parker (60-18). Mandarin had two wrestlers go undefeated on the weekend in Gunner Stier (HM at 126, 4 pins) and Miles (HM at 182, 4 pins & major). Chase Mattox (#10 at 120), Noah Colbert-Santana, Spikes and Andrew Hudgins were all 7-1 for Mandarin, with Jake Kamins adding a 6-1 weekend.
3-4. Englewood: Competed only in the pool rounds, with three wins on Friday over FSDB (53-12), Stanton (48-18) and Paxon (60-6), taking Saturday Ws against Robert E. Lee (48-12), First Coast (54-18) and West Nassau (48-35). No third-place match with Wolfson was wrestled due to a near-future dual between the two teams. Three Ram wrestlers were 7-0 on the weekend: Tavian Whitehead (#4 at 160, 7 pins), Michel Augustin (#8 at 182, 4 pins & tech) and Chase Hamilton (3 pins & major), with Hunter Padgett, Dairo Guerra and Christopher Lands all going 6-1.
3-4 Wolfson: The Wolfpack went 2-1 on Friday, with wins over Terry Parker (60-24) and Bradford (42-36), before rolling out four straight wins on Saturday against Fernandina Beach (54-6), Pedro Menendez (37-24), Baker County (48-36) and University Christian (42-14). Aries Fahnbulleh (2 pins) and Sai Hassalla (HM at 138, 2 pins & major) were both 7-0 for Wolfson, with Ronald Brunson (#6 at 285, 2 pins & major) going 6-0.
5. West Nassau: The Warriors’ only loss came on Friday, as they opened with a 63-18 win over Stanton, then came back from the loss with six straight wins over Paxon (72-6), Westside (36-32), Robert E. Lee (54-19), FSDB (60-12), First Coast (44-36) and a 42-36 fifth-place victory over Baker County. Bradly Kraai (5 pins) and Will Tharpe (#4 at 145, 6 pins & tech) were both 8-0, with Blake Hodges (HM at 220, 2 pins & major) was 4-0 in a Saturday-only appearance for West Nassau.
6. Baker County: Went 3-0 on Friday, with wins over Fernandina Beach (45-18), Pedro Menendez (44-36) and Mandarin (43-42, criteria as noted above), and won its first two duals on Saturday over University Christian (45-18) and Terry Parker (54-28) before taking losses in its final three duals of the weekend. Jordan Johnson (#7 at 132, 3 pins) was the only 8-0 Wildcat in the lineup, with Cole Cushman (#9 at 106) and Devon Cole both going 7-1.
7. First Coast: Buccaneers were 1-2 on Friday, with their lone win coming over FSDB (54-18), pulling together three straight wins in pool play against Stanton (39-15), Paxon (54-12) and Robert E. Lee (42-15), winning 39-27 over the hosts in the seventh-place match. Three First Coast wrestlers were unbeaten: Jason Schwartz (#9 at 113, 8-0 with 4 pins), Seanjohn Adams (7-0 with four pins and a win by injury-default) and Valois Ochoa (#6 at 182, 6-0 with 3 pins).
8. Terry Parker: Rallied from an opening-round loss Friday to post wins over Bradford (31-24) and Fernandina Beach (36-30), adding Saturday victories over Pedro Menendez (41-31) and University Christian (42-21). Landon Dains (HM at 170) led the Braves with a 7-1 record.
9. Bradford: Opened the tournament with a 27-18 win over University Christian, but then didn’t find another win until midday Saturday, closing out with four victories in succession over Fernandina Beach (33-4), Pedro Menendez (29-18), Baker County (36-30) and the ninth-place match over Robert E. Lee (33-18). Eddie McCormick (T-10 at 220) was 8-0 with six pins and a tech for the Tornadoes, while Trevor Jones (HM at 152) was 7-1 and Jacob Hake was 6-1.
10. Robert E. Lee: Generals were 2-1 on Friday, with wins over FSDB (52-24) and Stanton (36-29), adding a third win over Paxon (42-18) early on Saturday before falling in their final four duals of the weekend. Vincente Waugh (132) and Darius Wells (138) were both 7-1 for Lee.
11. Stanton: The 2A Blue Devils downed ‘Brain Bowl’ rival Paxon 48-24 on Friday, then lost four duals in order before rallying to take wins over FSDB (28-21) and the 11th-place match against Fernandina Beach (42-18). Mitchell Mika was 7-1 and Tymofiy Hryhorchuck 6-1 for Stanton, with Jenna Seo going 4-0 in a part-time starter role.
12. Fernandina Beach: Found one win on both days of the event, downing University Christian 30-24 on Friday and Pedro Menendez 27-24 on Saturday. Joseph Helm (#3 at 170) was 8-0 on the weekend, with six pins and a major decision, for the Pirates.
13. Pedro Menendez: The Falcons’ lone win in pool play came on Friday night in a 36-30 victory over University Christian, but they added one more in the 13th-place match, a 30-24 win over FSDB. Max Worthington (HM at 170) was 8-0 with four pins and a decision, while Austyn Holsomback (HM at 195) won in all three of the Falcons’ Friday appearances.
14. FSDB: The Dragons won their first dual of the weekend, a 28-27 victory in criteria over Paxon, but then — with just seven wrestlers in the lineup to start the event and six by its end — struggled to find wins. Reynaldo Suero-Perez was 8-0 with three pins for FSDB, while Christian Miranda (HM at 106) was 7-1.
15-16. University Christian & Paxon: Neither team was able to find a victory, although — as noted above — the Golden Eagles took a criteria loss to FSDB and UC’s three Friday losses were by a combined total of just 21 points, not bad considering the Christians had just five wrestlers in the lineup. Matthew Rodriquez (#3 at 106, 3 pins & tech) and Daniel Porter (T-3 at 113, 5 pins & decision) were both 7-0 for UC, with Cameron Wiley adding a 6-1 record.