- February 20, 2022
Flagler Palm Coast brought nine wrestlers to the District 2-3A boys tournament and all nine qualified for the regional tournament.
Johnny Hald (138 pounds) and Kelton Howard (160 pounds) won district championships for the Bulldogs on Feb. 15 at Lake Mary. Hald won district for the second year in a row.
FPC's other qualifiers were Kole Hannant (second place, 132 pounds), Hayden Herndon (second place, 145), Carson Baert (second place, 152), Josh David, (third place, 170), Brandon Calidonio (third place, 182), Dalton Schell (second, 195) and Ethan Laupepa (second 220).
Hannant had won district the past two years. But he faced a tough opponent in the final in Gainesville Buchholz's Cavarius Liddie, who is ranked fourth in the state.
At the District 4-2A tournament at Clay, Matanzas' Kaden Golder won the 113-pound title. Five other Pirates will join him at the regional: T.J. McLean (third, 106), Kyle Corely (fourth, 126), Carter Wilder (fourth, 138), Landon Wright (third, 160) and Tyler Thomas (fourth, 220).
Mainland qualified four wrestlers at Clay. Christian Hudson (second, 285), Brian Harris (third, 132), Sam Ayodele (third, 145) and Malik Daniels (third, 182) all qualified for the regional. Seabreeze's William Sites (third, 120 pounds) and Jackson Pruett (fourth, 195) also qualified.
Golder, ranked fourth in the state, won a 2-0 decision over seventh-ranked Shane Duhaylungsod of Fleming Island in the 113-pound final. Duhalungsod was a state finalist last year.
Golder got a point for an escape in the second period and another for an illegal move by Duhalungsod in the third period. Golder said the Fleming Island wrestler nearly got a takedown at the end.
"I held my ground and time ran out," Golder said. "He's a tough kid. But now I know a little about how he wrestles."
The Pirates' McLean was one of three top-10-ranked wrestlers in the district's 106-pound weight class. McLean, ranked fifth, lost to seventh-ranked Matthew Newman in the semifinals. Newman decisioned No. 1-ranked Jacob Bucci of Clay, 2-0, in the final.