I promise it’s not Groundhog Day.
159 days ago…February 22, 2019.
Matmen Don’t Know? 2A-District 1. 159 days ago, we published our 2A-District 1 predictions, both team and individual. Let’s see how we did. Brackets for that district can be found here.
Team: 1. Pace. 2. Gulf Breeze. 3. Ft Walton Beach. 4. Niceville. 5. Crestview. 6. Choctaw. 7. Milton. 8. Tate.
Reasons: Pace and Gulf Breeze had established themselves as the top teams from the dual tournament onward. Ft Walton had a strong close to the season, and Niceville and Crestview had appeared to be the strongest of the rest of the group.
Actual: 1. Pace. 2. Ft Walton Beach. 3. Gulf Breeze. 4. Niceville. 5. Choctaw. 6. Crestview. 7. Tate. 8. Milton.
What happened, Matmen?: While Gulf Breeze was missing one or two quite-important starters, which might have made a difference (the gap between second and third was just eight points), what also happened was that Ft Walton continued to close the season in an absolute fury. Choctaw and Tate also performed above expectations. If the Aggies had had more kids, they might have finished as high as fifth.
Predicted: 1. Brandon Walls, Gulf Breeze. 2. Deagan Kilpatrick, Choctaw. 3. Reid Gannon, Ft Walton Beach. 4. Grace Moore, Niceville.
Actual: 1. Walls. 2. Kilpatrick. 3. Moore. 4. Gannon. Got the qualifiers right, but Matmen really should have noticed that Moore had majored Gannon 22-10 at Border Wars. C’mon Matmen.
Predicted: 1. David Tambula, Choctaw. 2. Max Kronlage, Gulf Breeze. 3. Atticus Waters, Pace. 4. Noah Tritz, Niceville.
Actual: 1. Tambula. 2. Waters. 3. Tritz. 4. Kronlage. Same as 106; I did hedge a bet that I wouldn’t be surprised to see some movement. More homework needed doing, though, clearly.
Projected: 1. Ian Daily, Gulf Breeze. 2. Brandon Mallin, Ft Walton Beach. 3. Derrick Lancero, Pace. 4. Ethan Bueno, Niceville.
Actual: 1. Lancero. 2. Mallin. 3. David Luckey, Tate. 4. Logan Merritt, Gulf Breeze. OK, not knowing that Daily was hurt was a bit of a setback, but definitely slept on Luckey in this one.
Projected: 1. Weston Burbidge, Ft Walton Beach. 2. Tyler Tran, Pace. 3. Kelly Scanlon, Gulf Breeze. 4. Jay Pinto, Niceville.
Actual: 1. Scanlon. 2. Tran. 3. Pinto. 4. Burbidge. In fairness to my pick at the time, because I know Scanlon’s mom is gonna be reading this, Tran had two earlier pins in the regular season over Scanlon, and I did at least get the qualifiers right.
Projected: 1. Ethan Billhimer, Pace. 2. Michael Walls, Gulf Breeze. 3. Karter Watson, Crestview. 4. Maquis Muniz, Ft Walton Beach. Dark horse: Ty Hawkins, Niceville.
Actual: 1. Billhimer. 2. Walls. 3. Ian Van Gestel, Milton. 4. Watson. Van Gestel was a senior AND also avenged a pigtail loss by fall to Watson; Ft Walton had another wrestler at 132.
Projected: 1. Keane Creager, Niceville. 2. Seth O’Gara, Pace. 3. Dylan Lawrence, Gulf Breeze. 4. Ismond Santiago, Ft Walton Beach.
Actual: 1. Creager. 2. Lawrence. 3. O’Gara. 4. Paul Fina, Tate. Ft Walton had another wrestler at 138, and Fina established himself with a shutout major in the quarters. Bracketing had Creager and O’Gara in the same half.
Projected: 1. Carlos Bogan, Ft Walton Beach. 2. Calvin Malo, Gulf Breeze. 3. Joseph Cortez, Pace. 4. Malachi Santiago, Crestview.
Actual: 1. Bogan. 2. Malo. 3. Cortez. 4. Santiago. Finally. The blind squirrel finds the acorn. Panhandle picks have always been tough for me.
Projected: 1. Kishma Davis, Pace. 2. Logan Myers, Choctaw. 3. Collin Lentz, Niceville. 4. Caleb Tourgee, Ft Walton Beach.
Actual: 1. Davis. 2. Lentz. 3. Myers. 4. Tourgee. I expected a war in that bottom-half semi between Myers and Lentz, both leaders of their teams, I didn’t expect it to be a 15-6 margin.
Projected: 1. Nate Golmon, Pace. 2. Corban Ferguson, Ft Walton Beach. 3. Hunter Pelfrey, Choctaw. 4. Daniel McDonal, Milton.
Actual: 1. Golmon. 2. McDonal. 3. Ferguson. 4. McCoy Lamb, Niceville. I had Lamb as a dark hose and he hammered one of my picks; McDonal had a really nice tournament, with two pins to reach the final.
Projected: 1. Eddie Alexis, Ft Walton Beach. 2. Paul Roberts, Choctaw. 3. Phillip Frazetta, Gulf Breeze. 4. Brody Andrews, Pace. Dark horse: Luke Baker, Crestview. Note: I like the bottom-half semi’s competitiveness here.
Actual: 1. Alexis. 2. Roberts. 3. Matthew Murphy, Niceville. 4. Andrews. Murphy, who didn’t get a mention in my preview, tossed that preview in the trash, with three wins in the tournament, losing only to Alexis.
Projected: 1. Austin Earle, Gulf Breeze. 2. Kaleb Williams, Ft Walton Beach. 3. Sean Ripley, Niceville. 4. Dylan Glausier, Crestview.
Actual: 1. John Gunther, Pace. 2. Ripley. 3. Williams. 4. Earle. Gunther had been hurt since December and only came back for this tournament; I would have picked him, had I known. Williams was in the same half with Gunther. Ripley pinned my champ pick in the semi.
Projected: 1. Wyatt Dillon, Pace. 2. Azaya Purifoy, Tate. 3. Patrick Adams, Ft Walton Beach. 4. Mathew Sharp, Crestview.
Actual: 1. Purifoy. 2. Dillon. 3. Adams. 4. Aiden Savage, Choctaw. I said there might be some play for fourth, and I was right, but I should have followed Brant’s rankings with respect to the final.
Projected: 1. Spencer Mackenzie, Ft Walton Beach. 2. Kennard Madden, Crestivew. 3. Kevin Burgess, Tate. 4. Michael Poole, Pace.
Actual: 1. Madden. 2. Burgess. 3. Ramsey Kidder, Niceville. 4. Poole. Flat miss on my part. While I have more wins for Mackenzie than what was reported to the district host, Madden was the clear choice. He was the only guy with a better-than-.500 record.
Projected: 1. Cameron Goodenow, Pace. 2. Weston Tew, Crestview. 3. Luther Fagalima, Ft Walton Beach. 4. Alec Cavazos, Milton.
Actual: 1. Tew. 2. Goodenow. 3. Cameron Anderson, Gulf Breeze. No 4th. My third- and fourth-place picks didn’t compete, and while Tew had been a state threat in seasons past, I just didn’t have enough body of work this year to know if he was ready for the post-season. He was.
So. How’d we do?
Do I even need to ask? Badly. Just eight champion picks were accurate. Ten kids I didn’t pick to get out, got out. One of them even won districts and probably — if they’d been able to compete at the level — would have gotten out to state.
My guy. Do more homework next year. Be better. Maybe a road-trip out once or twice this year would help.
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