Next Level

Next Level Note 10/29

The @NEFloridaMatmen area will have at least two wrestlers starting at the collegiate level later on this fall.

We learned a few days back about Washington & Lee senior Daniel Igel (Bolles ’10), who’ll be a co-captain for the Generals in his senior season at W&L. That was our first area college starter news.

However, on Monday, I received a message via Twitter that 2013 Creekside state champion Shane Carpenter will be Coker University’s starting 184-pounder when the Cobras travel to Charleston for The Citadel’s open tournament on Saturday. Carpenter defeated Joseph Holland, a freshman from South Carolina, for the spot.

A few other notes from around the area:

  • Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) is 1-1 in his wrestleoff at 197 pounds for Coker, going up against junior transfer Alex Green, who dropped down from 285 to contend for the spot at 197. I expect a tiebreaker match soon, given Coker’s first competition on Saturday. I have reached out to Coker’s SID (sports information director) for more information from last weekend’s Blue & Gold meet.
  • Kyle McClinton (Middleburg ’13) will be the backup at 141 pounds for Hannibal-LaGrange University, an NAIA program in Missouri. McClinton will be the #2 behind HLGU sophomore Caleb Shuck. The Trojans will face Illinois State University’s club program for their season opener on Saturday.
  • Freshmen Coll Robertson (Ridgeview ’13) and Frank Giordano (Ponte Vedra ’13) will go through wrestleoffs this week. Robertson let me know on Twitter that his wrestleoff at North Central College (IL), a Division III program, is scheduled for Saturday, while the website for Giordano’s school, Bacone (Okla.), also an NAIA program, indicated that intrasquad competition is set for Wednesday evening. Bacone’s competitive season begins on Sunday at the Baker/OCU Open.
  • Indiana Tech freshman Ben Galloway (Fleming Island ’13) went through an intrasquad meet Thursday night according to that wrestling team’s Twitter account; I do know that NAIA-level program will begin competition Saturday at the Baldwin-Wallace (Ohio) Open, so Galloway should see some mat time.
  • Also, no new word on either Edinboro freshman Victor Espana (Fleming Island ’13) or Ohio State sophomore Josh Fox (University Christian ’12) at the Division I level. I would expect Fox to get some mat time on Sunday at the Clarion (PA) Open.
  • Lastly, I have no updates on either Jamarius Jackson (Ridgeview ’13) or Cody Hankerson (University Christian ’13) competing in Iowa. Jackson is at Iowa Western, which opens competition on November 9, and Hankerson had signed with Morningside, which begins on November 15, but as of now does not appear on its roster.

Start the Journey

Practice starts today in Florida, including the 39 wrestling programs found in the Northeast Florida Matmen coverage area. I still am missing about half the schedules and most of the preview forms, though it is very early for those. November 13th (which is what right now I am showing as the area’s first dual) is barely three weeks out! Make a push. Check with your coaches to see if they’ve gotten the info and emails I’ve sent. I’m still needing contact information for three Duval County teams — Paxon, Stanton & Raines.

I got a tweet from a Gainesville-area fan looking to see if I’m going to cover them as well. Not this year. Although I may be spending one weekend a month in the very near future in Gainesville (MBA studies), I have no plans to do so in 2014-15 UNLESS this season exceeds all my expectations. So far, things have gone well enough, but I had hoped to have every schedule in hand by the first day of practice.

That being said, building credibility and a brand worth your time is a daily exercise. Wrestlers know that better than any other athlete, I think.


District sites

Updated Tuesday, October 29th, 2 p.m.

I have been advised by Bishop Snyder coach and dean Rusty Kellum that Yulee will host District 3 competition in Class 1A. Weigh-ins 8 a.m., seed meeting 8:45, wrestling starting at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, February 1 — the day for 48 district competitions state wide.

I have been advised by Bishop Kenny assistant coach Zach Fox that Bradford will host District 4 competition in 1A. Weigh-ins 8 a.m., wrestling to start at 10, with seed meeting somewhere in between.

I’ve learned through Lee’s schedule that Englewood will host District 3 competition in Class 2A. (Note: This has also been published on the FHSAA website). Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

I have been advised by Creekside coach Richard Marabell that the Knights will host District 4 competition in Class 2A. Weigh-ins at 9 a.m., seeding at 10, wrestling at 11.

I have been advised by Fleming Island coach Travis Cunningham that Palm Coast will host District 1 competition in Class 3A. Weigh-ins at 9 a.m., wrestling to start at 11, with seed meeting somewhere in between, I’d guess.

It’s a bit early in the game, but NEFLM will visit every local district site on District Day, no matter how much driving we have to do. NEFLM will have brackets from every local district event in all three classes and links to every other district result up on the site as they are posted by FHSAA. Same goes for regionals. As for state, well, we will BE ON HAND for live reporting on Twitter and tons of coverage otherwise.

Because February is…No…Sleep…Til…LAKELAND!

Next Level

Next Level note 10/14

Updated Friday, October 18, 9 a.m. —

For now, fomer University Christian standout and 2012 state champion Josh Fox will have to wait his turn at 184 pounds for Ohio State.

Fox lost by technical fall in the third period to 2012-13 Ohio State University starter Kenny Courts in Thursday night’s wrestleoffs at French Fieldhouse in Columbus, Ohio. Wrestleoffs have traditionally determined at least the initial starting lineup for a Division I wrestling team. As of now, by virtue of Fox’s Tuesday night preliminary victory, he is the No. 2 at the weight.

We’re continuing to monitor our other wrestlers who’ve gone on to compete at the collegiate level. Coker College is holding its intrasquad Blue & Gold competition on October 26, and Division III teams began practice this week.

Interesting note — in researching Iowa Western’s schedule to see when Ridgeview 2xer Jamarius Jackson’s season would begin — I saw a familiar name. Jackson’s head coach is Josh Watts, whom I covered back when he was in high school in Iowa. Interviewed him a couple of times, a long, long time ago.

Watch this space for more Next Level news and notes!


Cooking with gas

Thanks to my newest friend, Nassau Preps, I have successfully navigated the “create page” issue. I have several new updates to the site, with the composite 13-14 schedule getting its own page, plus all prior FHSAA district and regional tournament results from 2012 and 2013 attached, as well as state tournaments from those years and 2011 attached on another page.

Here’s the latest update of my plans: On Monday, emails will go out to all of the coaches with my preview form attached. Hopefully, I will get those back by the time the season begins and can add them to my comprehensive team-by-team preview. I also will continue the quest for more schedules. This past Monday was a good day, but I still have less than half. Here’s a list of what I still need:

  • Duval public schools — Mandarin, Sandalwood, Ed White, Fletcher, Atlantic Coast, Paxon, Englewood, Stanton, Lee, Wolfson, Jackson, Raines.
  • Duval private schools — University Christian, Providence, Episcopal.
  • Clay County — Oakleaf, Middleburg.
  • St. Johns County — St. Augustine, Bartram Trail, Menendez, FSDB. Plus Baker County.

It’s critical that I get these schedules back ASAP. We are just a month away from the season beginning!