North Florida Matmen staff report
SODDY DAISY, TN — With just six wrestlers, South Walton was not going to be able to challenge for team honors this past weekend at the Soddy Daisy Showdown.
But four Seahawk wrestlers — led by champion Ethan Pickren at 126 — would earn top-three finishes in their weight classes, as South Walton finished sixth in the 10-team tournament with 69 points, ahead of four teams that had at least three more wrestlers, if not close to a full team.
The host squad won the team title, 269-209.5, over Chicago west suburban Downers Grove South.
Pickren pinned his way through the 126-pound draw on Saturday, with three falls, all coming in the first period. In the finals, Pickren needed just 44 seconds to finish off his Farragut, TN, opponent, Zachariah Garabrandt, for the title.
At 170, Harris Barton would reach the finals, behind a quarterfinal fall and 8-2 decision in the semis, but fell in the finals to Gibbs TN’s Isaiah Brooks, 13-6, to come in second.
Seth Weinthal (126) and Gunnar Nebel (160) would each take thirds in their weight classes. Weinthal went into sudden-victory time with Farragut’s Garabrandt in the semis before falling, 4-2, but Weinthal rallied with a fall and decision to place third.
Nebel also fell in the semifinals to a Downers Grove South wrestler, but had a decision and romped to a 12-1 major to rally back for his third.
The Seahawks are now off until next Saturday, January 6, when they’ll appear at Suwannee’s Billy Saylor Invitational.
Complete brackets from this tournament, including team scores, can be found here.