Dolphin wrestling season ends at regionals


Dolphin wrestler faces off against an opponent at the district championship.

Hayden Brown, Sports Editor

   The Gulf Breeze High School Wrestling team recently competed and dominated in the District Competition at Pace High School. The District 1-2A Duels hosted schools from Escambia, Santa Rosa and Okaloosa County to determine what teams would move further into the post season. Out of the seven teams present, Gulf Breeze placed first. The Dolphins also placed first in both the Panhandle Championship and Regional Semifinals. However, their season came to an end with a loss in the Regional Finals to Lincoln High School.  

   While all of the competition at the event was formidable, the wrestling team’s rivals, the Pace Patriots, were the team to beat. The Patriots have won the District 1-2A Duels four years in a row, even raking in a first place win in the Dolphin gymnasium last year. Both teams started out strong in the tournament, receiving quarterfinal byes. During this round, Gulf Breeze destroyed Choctawhatchee High School 84-0. Both teams won in the semifinals, with Gulf Breeze beating Fort Walton Beach High School 41-30. The finale of the tournament was ten straight matches between the top two teams, Pace and Gulf Breeze. Pace took an early lead of 29-24, but the Dolphins rallied for four straight pins, earning them a 47-29 victory. Second place went to Fort Walton Beach, who beat Pace after both were defeated by the Dolphins.  

   The next stage in the wrestling postseason was the Panhandle Championships. The boys team qualified, while only individuals participated for the Lady Dolphins. Despite this, the girls team still performed amazingly, bringing home two gold metals and one silver metal. Lilly Powell and Camdyn Elliot brought home gold, while Helena Alcantar earned silver. The boys team were also dominant in this competition. The Dolphins refused to lose even once during this competition and won all six matches they faced.
   After the Panhandle Championships, the boy’s team moved on to the Regional Semifinals. There, the Dolphins faced off against the Chiles Timberwolves of Tallahassee, who were ranked first in District 2A. It was a close match, with the Dolphins narrowly winning a 45-30 victory.  

   With this victory, the team qualified for the Regional Finals. Disappointingly, the Dolphins did end up losing this competition in a close loss of 39-30 to the Lincoln High School Trojans of Tallahassee. Despite the loss, there were several impressive wins within the match. Six members of the Dolphins worked hard to defeat their opponents in this competition, and senior Colson Elliott earned 150 victories throughout his career as a Dolphin. The team placed second in the region. 

   Despite the postseason loss, this is still one of if not the furthest the Dolphin wrestlers have made it into the postseason. This was an amazing send-off to the many seniors who will be leaving the team next year, such as Nate Weber. “I have wrestled since I was five, so it’s been a part of my life forever,” said Weber. A Regional Semifinal win and revenge on Pace will surely help drive the remaining team to push themselves next year, as well as serving as a proper farewell for the seniors on the team.