- March 7, 2022
Freshmen Mariah Mills and Tiana Fries became Matanzas High School's first-ever district girls wrestling champs, and the Pirates won their first district team title.
It's a year of firsts for girls wrestling in Florida as the Florida High School Athletic Association has sanctioned the sport for the first time. Matanzas could be on the way to many more firsts before the season is over.
The Pirates hosted the District 3 tournament on Feb. 9 and easily won the championship with 176 points. Ponte Vedra finished second with 136 points, followed by Mainland (98), Clay (91), Tocoi Creek (89), Bartram Trail (72), Buchholz (40), Creekside (34), Keystone Heights (26), FPC (22), Nease (21), Menendez (18) and Seabreeze (11).
Mills, who won the 105-pound class, and Fries, who won the 110-pound title, accounted for 45 of the Pirates points. Five other Matanzas wrestlers were runners-up: Tesla Kirkland at 115 pounds, Christina Borgmann at 120 pounds, Isabella Tietje at 135 pounds, Gabrielle Proctor at 170 pounds and Nahilu Lubin at 235 pounds.
Also placing and scoring points for the Pirates were: Ryann Parkinson, fourth place in the 100-pound class; Maddie Torres, sixth place at 125 pounds; Marissa Roberts, fourth place at 130 pounds; Saiomy Cabrera, third place at 140 pounds; Samayra Cabrera, fourth place at 140 pounds; and Brooklyn Watt, third place at 190 pounds.
“It looks like we have the hardest district in our region, so we're in really good position to compete for this regional title.”
MIKE FRIES, Matanzas assistant coach
Matanzas will try to add another team title and more individual medals at the Region 1 tournament on Feb. 19 at North Bay Haven Charter Academy in Panama City. The Pirates qualified 13 wrestlers for the regional.
“It looks like we have the hardest district in our region, so we're in really good position to compete for this regional title,” Matanzas assistant coach Mike Fries said.
Most of the Pirates are first-year wrestlers. Tiana Fries is in her second year competing. She and Mills trained with Legend Athletics over the summer, working with coaches Mike Fries — Tiana’s father — T.J. Gillin and Jeremiah Marschka.
Mills improved to 8-2 with a pin over Gainesville Buchholz's Talia Robbins in 11 seconds in the championship match. Tiana Fries pinned her semifinal opponent and won the title match by a 14-5 major decision over Ponte Vedra's Cynthia Kowitski. Fries, who improved to 11-2, missed the beginning of the season with a broken ankle, returning on Jan. 5.
Borgmann pinned her first two opponents before falling in the final to Tocoi Creek's Brielle Bibla, one of the top wrestlers in the state. Bibla improved to 18-1.
FPC had two wrestlers place. Jamie Rupe finished fourth in the 115-pound class, and Ana Vilar placed third in the 125-pound class.