#RoadToTheShow: 1A-District 2 Recap

By SHANNON HEATON
Northeast Florida Matmen

CRAWFORDVILLE — They’ve eyed each other for a couple of years already, knowing the other stands in their way.

Nearly equal teams in every way — in fact tied in the latest team state rankings — Wakulla and Florida High battled for top team honors Friday night in the 1A-District 2 tournament at Riversprings Middle School.

The Seminoles finished the night with more individual titles, taking seven to the War Eagles’ four, but when the points were tallied, it was Wakulla’s night to celebrate as a team.

Wakulla qualified all 14 wrestlers for next weekend’s Region 1 tournament at Clay, outpointing the Seminoles, 212-202, in the process. Florida High secured 13 qualifiers for regions.

Suwannee was a distant third, with 137 points and 10 qualifiers, including three champions. Godby was fourth with 53 points, qualifying six out for regions, while North Florida Christian had 48.5 points and five qualifiers. Rickards scored 20 points and will advance two to regions.

Below follows a summary of each weight class:

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Brandon Trask, Suwannee (106) / All photos for this story submitted by Clay Allen.

106: Suwannee senior top seed Brandon Trask won twice to take first place in the bracket, falling NFC 7th-grader Harrison Green in 15 seconds in the semis. The second match was much harder, as Trask overcame Florida High freshman Brooks Dyer, 2-1, in the title match. Wakulla freshman Matthew Owen, who fell 4-2 in overtime to Dyer in the semis, pinned Green in 56 seconds for third place.

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Larry Smith, Wakulla (113).

113: In a three-man bracket, Wakulla senior and top seed Larry Smith won his fourth district title with just one fall, pinning Suwannee sophomore Tyler Ogles in 1:05 for the title. Florida High senior Mike Cerio, who lost by fall to Ogles (1:19) in the semis, had a walkover in the third-place match.

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Rolin Malik, Wakulla (120).

120: Also in a three-man bracket, Wakulla second-seeded junior Rolin Malik won twice for the championship, falling Florida High freshman Dennis Ganim in 2:30 in the semi, then decisioning Suwannee junior Chase Clark, 15-8, in the final. Ganim had a walkover in the third-place match.

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Max Metcalf, Florida High (126).

126: Florida High got on the board in a two-man bracket, as sophomore top seed Max Metcalf downed Wakulla senior Max Owen, 6-2, for the championship.

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Bryan Metcalf, Florida High (132).

132: The Seminoles made it back-to-back as top-seeded junior Bryan Metcalf had two falls — both in the first minute — with a 38-second pin over NFC sophomore Landon Kelly in the semi and a 47-second one over Wakulla freshman Blake Reeves for the title. Suwannee senior Kenneth Foster, who’d lost 10-1 in the semis to Reeves, rallied for two falls of his own in the first minute, needing 29 seconds in the consi semis over Godby’s Naomy Vega and then 35 seconds in the third-place match against Kelly.

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Max Harris, Florida High (138).

138: Florida High senior top seed Max Harris gave his team a three-peat, with a fall in 1:12 over Rickards junior Keian Bahmani in the semis, following that up with a 13-4 title-round victory over Wakulla junior Micah Lanier. Suwannee sophomore Terrell Williams, who lost 2-0 in the semis to Lanier, put together two quick pins for third, falling Godby’s Micaela King in 19 seconds in the consi semis and then 50 seconds to take down Bahmani for third.

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Jake Richardson, Florida High (145).

145: Seminole junior top seed Jake Richardson made it four FSUS titles in a row, with a 44-second pin over Godby junior Zach Godwin in the semis and then a 6-2, double-overtime win in the final over Suwannee senior Joey Borrell. Wakulla freshman Noah Wilson, who lost 5-2 to Borrell in the semis, needed just 31 seconds to take third with a fall over Godwin.

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Tanner Clark, Suwannee (152).

152: Suwannee senior and top seed Tanner Clark had two one-sided victories for the Bulldogs’ second title, with a semifinal pin in 1:42 over Godby junior Quentavius Smith, then rolling past Florida High senior Duncan Weaver, 18-5, in the finals. Wakulla freshman Ian Walker, who lost in double-overtime, 3-2, to Weaver in the semis, pinned Smith in 2:23 for third.

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Billy Jenkins, Suwannee (160).

160: In a three-man bracket, Suwannee top-seeded senior Billy Jenkins needed just 20 seconds in his one match, decking Wakulla senior Noah Breeden in that time. Florida High freshman Marcus Haigler, who lost 8-6 to Breeden in the semis, had a walkover in the third-place match.

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Jemel Fanfan, Florida High (170).

170: Florida High senior and top seed Jemel Fanfan started another run of Seminole titles, with a 57-second fall in the semi over Suwannee senior Angel Soto, then held off Wakulla freshman Trevor Hart, 10-9, for the title. North Florida Christian senior Landon Albritton, who lost by fall (1:51) in the semis to Hart, pinned Soto in 32 seconds for third place.

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WIll Haigler, Florida High (182).

182: Seminole top-seeded junior Will Haigler picked up two pins for the championship, falling Godby senior Jeff Louis-Jean in 1:04 in the semis, then pinning Wakulla sophomore Andrew Annand in 3:44 in the final. Rickards senior Donterius Spencer, who lost 12-1 in the semis to Annand, had two pins on the back side, falling Suwannee’s Charles Votava in 2:31 in the consi semis and Louis-Jean in 5:22 for third.

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Cam Brown, Florida High (195).

195: Florida High top-seeded senior Cam Brown capped off the Seminoles’ second 3-peat with two first-period pins, the first in 1:49 over Godby sophomore JaTyren Walker in the semis and the second in 1:52 over Wakulla freshman John Trevor Hinsey in the final. North Florida Christian senior David Lunn, who fell 7-3 to Hinsey in the semis, won twice in the consi rounds, with a 42-second pin over Rickards’ Malcolm Newmyer in the consi semi and a 3-1 win over Walker for third.

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Marlon Ng, Wakulla (220).

220: Wakulla top-seeded senior Marlon Ng needed just 74 seconds to take his bracket, pinning Godby sophomore Ryan Kirby in 32 seconds in the semi and North Florida Christian senior Jonathan Wainwright in 42 seconds for the title. Kirby would come back to take third, pinning Suwannee senior Bernardo Perez in 4:43 in that match.

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Jacob Marin, Wakulla (285).

285: Wakulla top-seeded senior Jacob Marin had his lone victory come via injury-default in a 3-man bracket, as Godby senior Devon Neely medically forfeited. Florida High freshman Logan Stinson, who’d lost by fall (5:18) to Neely in the semis, had a walkover in the third-place match.

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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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