South Walton welcomes top wrestling programs to Border Wars

SANTA ROSA BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - South Walton's sixth annual Border Wars wrestling meet doesn't decide a state or district champion, but the bragging rights are cherished more than any other regular season meet for those that attend.

That's because it's one of the hardest to win.

Seahawks coach Carey Nick has been hosting Border Wars since 2013, an idea formed after traveling out of town to another sizable event.

In the years that followed, the event has drawn some of the best programs from the region and beyond.

This year's field includes 20 teams from Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, Georgia and Tennessee.

"All these teams that are coming are really top in the state and they have some really great wrestlers," Nick said. "We have over 15 state champs that are going to be here competing, over 40 state placers competing and a Fargo national champion that's gonna be here as well."

Locals Arnold, Mosley, Wewahitchka, Fort Walton Beach and the hosting Seahawks represent the Panhandle.

Although the field undergoes small changes each year, most coaches are excited about the prospect of returning to Border Wars.

"I love the idea because our motto here, we like saying 'to be the best you have to face the best,'" Nick added. "I think this weekend is the best in the southeast. Tournaments are a little hard to find that serve this caliber this early in the season and teams will have a good judge for where they're at."

The meet begins at 2 p.m. on Friday and continues Saturday at 10 a.m.