Tiger claim third consecutive Border Wars title
December 11th, 2018| Written by: Editor



For the third consecutive year the Holy Cross Tigers walked away from the South Walton Border Wars with a championship belt.  Unlike last season, however, when the Tigers had five finalists but only came away with runner-up spots, three Tiger champions were crowned.

Evan Frost at 106 lbs., Mason Macaluso at 160 lbs. and Cameron Frost at 170 lbs. won championships for Holy Cross, who finished the team race with 466.5 points, 143 points ahead of runner-up Florida's Palmetto Ridge High School, which had 323.5 points.  St. Paul's placed third with 321.5 points, followed by Wakulla High School of Florida and Woodward Academy of Georgia.  In the sixth and seven spots were Jesuit and Live Oak.  East Ascension took 10th-place in the field of 20 schools.

Five other Tigers, Jacob Frost, Michael Lundin, Caruso Signorelli, Caden Mumme and Anthony Sciambre, reached the finals but fell short of individual championships.

Holy Cross won their third consecutive South Walton Border Wars title
2016 2017

Jesuit and Live Oak had one champion apiece.  In the 285 lbs. final, two-time defending Division I state champion Perry Ganci of the Blue Jays scored a takedown at the very end of his match against Darius Wilkins of Wakulla, 7-5.  Clayton Hill, a Division II defending state champion, dominated Palmetto Ridge's Ben McCallister via a 13-0 major decision.

For the St. Paul Wolves, Peyton Ward and Evan Ulfers placed second.  Ward lost in the finals via a 15-0 technical fall to Ethan Pickren of South Walton at 138 lbs.  Ulfers also lost his finals match via a technical fall (17-2) to Frost of Holy Cross in the 170 lbs. weight class.  In Ward's seven wins over the weekend he pinned six opponents and only had one close match, a 5-2 decision.  Ulfers scored a fall and a major decision on Friday, and on Saturday won via a fall in 1:44 and a 9-5 decision prior to his finals match against Frost.

East Ascension also had two finalists.  Defending Division I state champion Trent Mahoney had a decent third-period lead but let his opponent, McCoy Pace of Woodward Academy, back into the fray.  McCoy caught Mahoney in a cradle, and after Mahoney extricated himself some other points not many people understood went McCoy's way, and the Georgia wrestler prevailed 13-10.  At 195 lbs. Devon Clark reached the finals for the Spartans, but he fell to another Woodward Academy wrestler, Malcolm Wiley.

While it may be of little consolation to the Louisiana wrestlers who lost to them, Ward and Mahoney, South Walton's Ethan Pickren and Woodward Academy's McCoy Pace won the Outstanding Wrestler belts for the lower and higher weight classes.

Runner-up Palmetto Ridge, FL 3rd-place St. Paul's, LA
4th-place Wakulla, FL 10th-place East Ascension, LA

With only eight entrants, Woodward Academy of Georgia placed fifth and won five individual championships.

Outstanding Wrestlers:
Ethan Pickren (left) in the lower weight classes and McCoy Pace (right) in the heavier weight classes.
On Friday Pickren won his three pool matches via scores of 21-6 TF, 23-8 TF and 14-2 MD.  He pinned his first three opponents Saturday in 1:12, 3:11 and 3:42 prior to his 15-0 TF over St. Paul's Peyton Ward in the finals.

Pace pinned his first three opponents on Friday in 1:40, 2:27 and 3:19, and won his last pool match via a 12-2 MD.  He took the same path on Saturday with pins in 0:41, 1:18 and 4:43 prior to his 13-10 win over Mahoney.

2015 2017 2018
Pickren won this tournament as a freshman, placed fifth as a sophomore, won once again as a junior and capped off his last appearance with one more championship.  To date, he is the only wrestler who has won this event three times.

Much more on this event will be published at a later date.

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