Northeast Florida Matmen staff report
CRYSTAL RIVER — A total of 16 Northeast Matmen-area wrestlers will advance to the 1A-Region 2 meet hosted by Astronaut on February 24 and 25.
After competition Thursday night at the 1A-District 5 tournament, Palatka finished second, Eastside fourth and Interlachen seventh.
The Panthers had eight region qualifiers, including two champions, to score 120.5 points, finishing only behind the host Pirates, who had 174 points and 12 qualifiers. Eastside moved six wrestlers on to regions, scoring 55 points to take fourth, while Interlachen scored 22 and advanced two.
Both champions for Palatka knocked off state-ranked wrestlers to win their titles. Panther junior Bryan Smith (195) had just one match, but it was enough for a championship, as he decisioned fellow Matmen-area competitor Corey Adkins, a junior from Interlachen, 5-1, in the final.
At 220, the Panthers’ Ira Dixon, also a junior, also only wrestled once, but that once was enough, as he pinned Crystal River sophomore Brian Henderson in 3:07.
The only other area title was the result of an earlier injury to an out-of-area opponent, but also resulted in a local competitor advancing past an ranked opponent. At 152, Eastside senior Shaun Adams won the title without having to wrestle, as Crystal River senior CJ Lawson injury-defaulted.
Below follows a quick summary of the other 11 weight classes, with local placers noted:
106: Leesburg freshman Keyshaun Taylor wrestled just once, winning by major decision, 11-0, over Palatka freshman Drevon Wallace in the final. Wallace majored Crystal River freshman Sebastian Dwyer, 17-8, to reach the final.
113: Crystal River senior Chase Bunts won by injury-default just 19 seconds into the final against Palatka freshman Trevor Davis. No other wrestlers were in the bracket.
120: Crystal River sophomore Rhoderick Bruce had two pins for the title, with a fall in 17 seconds over Eastside senior Shekinah Grant in the semis. Grant finished fourth, losing by fall in the third-place match to Dunnellon freshman Arden Ellis.
126: Trinity Catholic senior Collin Smith needed just one fall to take the title. Eastside junior Derrick Wallcott, who’d lost by fall in the semis in 36 seconds to Crystal River’s Hudson Silverstone, got a walkover for third in the three-person bracket.
132: Crystal River senior Josh Thonen needed just one fall to take the title. Eastside’s Chacity Battles, who’d lost by fall in 5:44 in the semis to Trinity Catholic’s Brenden Herbst, got a walkover for third in the three-person bracket.
138: Dunnellon senior Kyle Shaw won the bracket with a pin and tech fall, the tech coming in 5:48 over Palatka junior Jerich Givens, who’d reached the final with a 15-7 major over Interlachen junior Cade Mason in the semis. Mason rallied for third with two pins on the backside, falling Eastside freshman Brent Clark in 4:28 in the consi semis and then pinning Crystal River freshman Ashton Bosley in 3:10 for third place.
145: Leesburg freshman Navon Lawerence had just one match, winning that with a 19-4 tech fall over Palatka junior Dale Green, who advanced to the final with a pin in 1:24 in the semis over Eastside freshman Dylan Shea. Shea got a walkover for third in the three-person bracket.
160: Trinity Catholic senior Anthony Riggins had just one match, falling Palatka senior Jamar Danzler in 2:59 to win the championship. Danzler reached the final with a fall in 4:44 over Crystal River’s Collin Miller.
170: In a two-person bracket, Crystal River sophomore Tyler Godfrey won the title with a 23-second pin over Palatka senior Jason Gullett.
182: In a two-person bracket, former Gainesville wrestler and current Crystal River senior Carlos Wilson pinned Eastside junior O’meun Johnson in 24 seconds.
285: Crystal River senior Jason Graham was the only wrestler in the bracket, taking first place with his weigh-in.