Destin Eight bring home the medals

Special to The Log

Out of 285 competitors, the Destin Eight brought home 19 medals from the American Martial Arts Institute National Tournament in Kingsport, Tenn.

The group making up the Destin Eight ranged in age from 5 to 16 and ranged from Karate Kubs to second degree black belts. Members of the Destin Eight were Ava Woodward, 5, Karate Kub; Riley Woodward, 7, green belt; Zoe Modica, 5, Karate Kub; Hayden Modica, 8, brown belt; Kiana Deacon, 6, orange belt; Cade Deacon, 8, purple belt; Cherokee-Dawn Chambless, 15, 2nd degree black belt; and Cheyenne Chambless, 16, 2nd degree black belt. Master Chick Mathis, a former World Champion, an eighth degree black belt and a master instructor, led the Destin Eight.

The Destin group decided at the last minute to enter as a demonstration team. Most of the demonstration teams had been together for years and were very large.

For example, one team had 28 members, while Destin had only six.

Destin didn’t win the demonstration team event, but received high marks for entertainment and came in fourth behind Johnson City, Tenn., Fort Walton Beach, and Morganton, N.C.

The demonstration team consisted of the Cheyenne and Cherokee-Dawn Chambless, Haden Modica, Riley Woodward and Cade and Kianna Deacon.

The Destin Eight, however, did well in the individual events and brought home 19 medals.

Cheyenne Chambless won third place for weapons and sparing.

Cherokee-Dawn Chambless won second in sparing and third in weapons.

Cade Deacon placed second for speed kicking, board breaking and forms, and third in sparring.

Kiana Deacon won third in forms and board breaking, and second in speed kicking.

Hayden Modica took second in board breaking, forms and weapons, and third in sparing.

Riley Woodward placed third in forms.

Zoe Modica and Ava Woodward each won a Kub Medal.

Up next for the Destin team is the Montgomery Invitational in Montgomery, Ala., in March.