Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
MIDDLEBURG — Before last weekend’s North Florida Championships were even contested, the team race for that event was highly-anticipated in northeast Florida middle-school circles.
That’s because just 7.5 points separated the top three teams at the Eagles Toughman tournament, held on January 21 at Middleburg High School.
Suwannee Middle held off the hosts, 236.5-235, for the team title, with Lake Asbury JHS in third with 229. Lakeside JHS was next, with 186, followed by Lake City Middle School (153), Wakulla Middle (139), Green Cove JHS (98), Oakleaf JHS (93.5) and Richardson Middle (60).
Here’s a quick breakdown on each weight class:
75: Wakulla’s Julian Harvey pinned his way through the bracket, with three falls, including in the finals over his teammate, Caleb Oar.
80: Wakulla’s Riley Girgis won the bracket with four pins, pinning Lakeside’s Aiden Canady in the final.
85: Leityn Blake of Lakeside needed just two wins for the title, with two falls, the second over Wakulla’s Jackson Merrick in the final.
90: Suwannee’s Colby Tedder pinned through the bracket, falling McGinnis of Lake Asbury (no first name provided on the bracket) in the title match.
95: The hosts’ Alex Velazquez won the bracket with three pins, falling Suwannee’s Bryson Greene in the championship.
100: Lakeside’s Hunter Williams took first place, with a pair of pins along the way, falling Wilkinson’s Gabriel Burch in the final.
106: Wilkinson’s Hunter Christie brought home the championship, with two pins followed by a 7-0 decision in the final over Lakeside’s Isaac Padgett.
113: James Benton made it back-to-back titles for the hosts, with three falls to the title, the last against Suwannee’s Jordan Ware.
120: Lake City’s Kaleb Davis picked up three pins to win first place, falling Hupp (no first name provided on the bracket) of Lake Asbury in the final.
126: David Parkes of Oakleaf pinned his through to the final, then decisioned Stiltner of Lake Asbury, 6-2, to take first place.
132: Lake City’s Alex Anderson pinned his way thorugh, with four falls, the last coming over Wakulla’s Hayden Reeves in the finals.
138: Wilkinson’s William Conkle was listed as a JV competitor, won his first-round match by a 23-20 score and then pinned through the rest of the bracket, falling Johnathan Sobczak of Lake City in the finals.
145: Suwannee’s Jacquez Moore had three pins to take first place, falling Wilkinson’s Lance Renckert in the finals.
152: Blaine Howard of Suwannee gave his team back-to-back titles, with four pins, the last coming against Lasage (no first name provided) of Lake Asbury in the final.
160: Green Cove Springs got its first title of the tournament here, as Gavin Smith had three pins, falling Sutton (no first name provided) of Lake Asbury for the bracket.
170: Wilkinson’s Christopher Conoway needed just two pins to take the bracket, with a fall over Lake City’s Carson Trzebuniak in the championship match.
182: Lakeside’s Grant Travis had two pins to take first, pinning Oakleaf’s Gabe Hecht in the finals to take the championship.
195: In what might have been the most competitive finals match of the tournament, Lake Asbury’s Longmire had a fall in the semis and then held off Richardson’s Jaycob Jones, 8-7, to take the title.
220: Wakulla’s Ricky Godines had two pins and a decision in the semis, falling Suwannee’s Maury Roberts for first place.
285: Green Cove Springs’ Evan Sheets won twice by fall to take the title, pinning Suwannee’s Jeff Jones in the championship match.
Brackets are linked at the top of this story.