Kaylee Easter wins regional, advances to girls state wrestling tourney

On Saturday, Feb. 19, Wewahitchka High School’s Kaylee Easter became the school’s first ever regional wrestling champion after winning in the 130-pound weight class.

Easter, the team’s senior captain,  went undefeated and will go on to compete in Florida’s first ever girls wrestling championship in two weeks.

Easter is, “to my knowledge, the first-ever regional champ (boys or girls) for Wewa,” said Wewa wrestling coach Tracy Malcolm.

To earn her way to the state finals next month, Easter, after receiving a first-round bye, pinned her Crestview opponent in just 1:06 and followed that with a convincing 12-0 win over her next foe from Tocoi Creek. 

Easter’s championship match proved to be somewhat anticlimactic as she earned the victory due to an injury default by her Clay High School opponent. 

Although younger sister, seventh grader Kameron Easter, finished in fourth place at 100 pounds, just missing out on earning bronze, both girls will travel to Kissimmee the first weekend in March to wrestle in the state championship.

Overall, the Wewa ladies finished in 11th place out of 53 teams at the regionals. 

Wewa boys advance 7 to regionals

Even though the boy grapplers finished a disappointing sixth out of the seven teams at last Thursday’s 1A, Region 1, District 1 tournament at the Wewa gym, seven athletes qualified for the regionals this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 25 and 26 at Wakulla. 

Sixth place was “not what I envisioned, but I’m nearsighted,” said Malcolm, who served as the district tournament host in addition to coaching his team.

Besides Wewa, district foes include Bay, Bozeman, North Bay Haven, Rocky Bayou, Rutherford, and tournament champion South Walton. 

Jake Parker and Conner Roberts won gold for the Gators in the 106- and 152-pound weights classes, respectively, and both in easy fashion.

In the final match, Parker had little trouble with his Rocky Bayou opponent, David Drake, quickly gaining a 9-0 advantage before ending the one-sided contest with a pin while in the first period. 

Roberts also found the gold medal match to his liking, methodically rolling to a 16-0 win over South Walton’s Chase Maas. 

Wewa’s other regional qualifiers are James Hardy (220) and Briceson Davis (285), both of whom took third place, and Tyler Johnson (113), Justin Johnson (126), and Jarrett Spencer (145) finishing in fourth place. 

“I suspect that Jake and Conner will make it deep into Saturday afternoon, and potentially (earn) one of 16 spots for the state championships the first weekend in March,” Malcolm said.

The FHSAA state wrestling tournament will take place on Thursday-Saturday, March 3-5, at the Silver Spurs Arena at Osceola Heritage Park in Kissimmee, hosted by Kissimmee Sports. 

For further information, including ticket prices, visit https://fhsaa.com/sports/wrestling

For complete up-to-date coverage of all Gulf County high school sports, visit gulfcounty.news or be sure to read Feb. 24  Star.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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