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TurkeyNWrestling2019-20: 1A-District 2

Here’s how strong 1A-District 2 is going to be within the region this year: four of the region’s top eight teams from last year, including all three of the top three, are in this district.

You’ll earned your stripes in this district.

A year ago, Wakulla had a dream season, with a tiny Forgotten Coastal town reaching the dual state finals against mighty Lake Highland Prep, one of the nation’s elite teams and probably best anywhere in the South. Were it not for a certain 3A club in Clay County, the War Eagles would inarguably be the best team in the north.

And with good reason. Wakulla has as many as 15 key returners back from last year’s team — even after losing three seniors, two of those state qualifiers, including 285 finalist Darius Wilkins.

The War Eagles can return up to 12 region qualifiers (all 12 reached the second day, with eight getting out to states), with the other three playing key roles a year ago (and most likely starting this year). Senior state medalists John Trevor Hinsey (3rd), Noah Wilson (4th) and Matthew Owen (6th) will all be looking for Saturday-night stints.

2019 District 2 and Region 1 runnerup Florida High lost an anchor of the program in May/June graduate Max Metcalf. But Metcalf was the only graduation loss sustained, and with the potential-returner numbers the Seminoles can bring back, they’re still the pick to click for the runnerup spot.

Florida High brings back as many as 12 wrestlers from the 2018-19 team. Ten of those were region qualifiers (seven getting to Day 2), with four returning state qualifiers, including senior medalists Tyler Reeve (3rd) and Brooks Dyer (4th), along with junior Emil Ganim (6th in 2019).

Because of what I would expect would be their edge in IBTs, I’m going to stay with Suwannee as the pick for third. 2019 Godby coach John Wainwright has deep Live Oak ties, and is taking over the coaching reins this year.

Wainwright will have as many as nine key returners back, eight of those region qualifiers and four of those eight state qualifiers. The Bulldogs will have to replace three key May/June graduates, two of them state qualifiers, including 2019 Kissimmee runnerup Terrell Williams.

Marianna would have been a champion contender had the Bulldogs stayed in District 1; here, in this district, i’ll battle with Suwannee for third. The Bulldogs appear to be the better dual team, though, with 13 wrestlers back, including three 2019 state qualifiers (including one via transfer), although they did lose four key wrestlers, including a state medalist, from last year’s team. With the reclassification, Godby goes from a locked down fourth to a team that will have to battle to hold fifth this year. The Cougars have just seven wrestlers back from last year’s team. All of them were region qualifiers but only two got to the second day. Godby former state champion MaShawn Knight is heading up this year’s team. Baker Cty could have up to nine wrestlers back from last year’s team — more than the Cougars — but only two of those qualified for the 2019 region tournament. Still, though, the Wildcats should be better than a year ago.

We’re never actually sure if Rickards or Maclay are going to have programs or not (Rickards started the year with one, but only competed in one tournament and not the post-season; Maclay is listed by FHSAA as accredited, but there’s never varsity results).

Projected finish: 1. Wakulla. 2. Florida High. 3. Suwannee. 4. Marianna. 5. Godby. 6. Baker Cty. Not projected: Maclay, Rickards.

BAKER CTY (Glen St Mary)
Coach: Tucker McCullough, 2nd year.
2018-19: 9-11* in duals (missing results from Bradford dual tournament). 8th at Cam Brown, 7th at Westside Roundrobin.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 8th at district, 25th at region. 2018 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 16th at region, T-56th at states. 2017 — Traditional: 5th at district, 22nd at region, T-72nd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): Aaron Norman (junior, 7-9* at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Juan Torres (senior, 10-9* at 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); David Jackson (senior, 18-12* at 126, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); James Knabb (senior, 7-9* at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Billy Martin (senior, 12-13* at 145, 1 match from regions); Clayton Dennison (sophomore, 9-14* at 152, 1 match from regions); Toby Kinghorn (sophomore, 19-11* at 160, 1 match from regions); Davon Woolf (junior, 6-9* at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ian Doyle (sophomore, 19-14* at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: If Wildcats can generate numbers they can move out of the bottom of this loaded district. Seniors have had successes, and program can build on that.

FLORIDA HIGH (Tallahassee)
Coach: Clay Allen, 10th year.
2018-19: 7-6 in duals. 3rd at Cam Brown, 9th at Capital City, 38th at Knockout Christmas, 7th at Keystone, 5th at Battle of the Border, T-9th at Green Cove Springs Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region runnerup, 8th at states. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: district runnerup, 5th at region, T-30th at states. 2017 — Traditional: 2nd at district, 3rd at region, 6th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): Emil Ganim (junior, 33-18 at 113, district champ, region 3rd, state 6th); Brooks Dyer (senior, 34-8 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Tyler Reeve (junior, 36-6 at 126, district runnerup, region champ, state 3rd); Dean Wright (freshman, 12-19 at 132, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Liam Hawkes (sophomore, 4-14 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Dennis Ganim (senior, 33-18 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Micah Perdue (junior, 10-8 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Noah Perdue (senior, 30-18 at 160, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Chauncy Riggsby (senior, 27-15 at 170, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Syre Ganim (senior, 8-9 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Diego Duprey (sophomore, 3-6 at 195, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Joshua Nable (sophomore, 5-22 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Max Metcalf (45-9 at 145, district runnerup, region 3rd, state 5th).
Matmen’s take: There are some weights where this year’s returning group didn’t wrestle in the post-season a year ago, but a few of them have had success. Winning begets winning, and Seminoles know how to win.

GODBY (Tallahassee)
Coach: MaShawn Knight, 1st year.
2018-19: 9-25 in duals. 19th at Capital City, 18th at Keystone, 15th at Trojan, 36th at Green Cove Springs Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: T-3rd at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 16th at region, T-65th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, 18th at region, T-64th at states. 2017 — Traditional: 4th at district, T-18th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): Jeremy Hector (junior, 23-30 at 106, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Nigel Brown (senior, 29-19 at 132, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Thomas Branson (senior, 10-38 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Madison Melton (senior, 10-18 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Julian Green (senior, 12-14 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Robert Harrell (junior, 15-31 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Joshua Yarbrough (senior, 285, district runnerup, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Ja’Tyren Walker (16-8 at 220, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states).
Matmen’s take: Knight will bring a fresh perspective to the group; it will benefit the Cougar bigs. Godby does need to recruit some more lowers and middles to be a region threat.

MARIANNA
Coach: Drew Mayo, 1st year.
2018-19: 18-10 in duals. 4th at Cam Brown, 21st at Capital City, 4th at Panhandle, 6th at Gator Brawl, 7th at Wakulla, T-79th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: T-3rd at district; Traditional: 3rd at district, T-7th at region, T-30th at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 3rd at district, 8th at region, T-17th at states. 2017 — Traditional: 5th at district, T-16th at region, T-43rd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): William Carrel (sophomore, 22-28 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Audra Phillips (sophomore, 2-10 at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Dustin Arnold (senior, 21-14 at 120, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Jayson Kyle (junior, 8-21 at 126, 1 match from regions); Trett Phillips (sophomore, 11-27 at 138, 1 match from regions); Ethan Heinemann (sophomore, 21-37 at 145, 1 match from regions); Cody Lewis (sophomore, 14-40 at 152, 1 match from regions); Christian Cosson (junior, 36-20 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); John Maddox (senior, 50-12 at 170, district 3rd, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Corey Davis (senior, 46-8 at 182, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Lawson Jackson (sophomore, 13-27 at 220, 1 match from regions); Roosevelt Williams (senior, 17-19 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Projected key addition: Chase Maddox (junior, 32-22 at 160, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states; transferred from South Walton)
Key losses (graduation): Neal Smith (19-10 at 113, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Hunter Monday (27-26 at 132, 1 match from regions); Antonne Williams (8-13 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jonah Mercer (47-19 at 195, district runnerup, region 3rd, state 6th).
Matmen’s take: Bulldogs’ most experienced kids will thrive even in this district environment. Key will be how well the kids that struggled a year ago fare in terms of making strides.

SUWANNEE (Live Oak)
Coach: John Wainwright, 1st year at school.
2018-19: Unknown (missing results from Diamondback Duals). 12th at Border Wars VI, 13th at Capital City, 10th at Allstate Wildcat, 5th at Trojan, 19th at Green Cove Springs Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: T-3rd at district; Traditional: 3rd at district, 3rd at region, 17th at states. 2018 — Duals: 3rd at district; Traditional: 3rd at district, 4th at region, T-25th at states. 2017 — Traditional: 3rd at district, 5th at region, T-56th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): Yoamet Perez (sophomore, 7-10 at 106, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Bryson Green (sophomore, 2-5 at 113, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Timothy Jolicoeur (junior, 30-13 at 120, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jordan Ware (junior, 22-11 at 126, district 3rd, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jaxon Sansouci (senior, 16-11 at 132, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Tyson Musgrove (sophomore, 6-16 at 138, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Caleb Parsons (junior, 10-12 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Pablo Oliva (senior, 14-16 at 160, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Blaine Howard (junior, 18-11 at 182, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Jaquary Pratt (30-9 at 145, district 3rd, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Terrell Williams (29-4 at 152, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Billy Duchaj (20-13 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: Where Suwannee has experience, it’s going to be exceptionally good. The Bulldogs need inexperienced kids to step up and find some more bigs, as well, in 2018-19.

WAKULLA (Crawfordville)
Coach: William Pafford, 9th year.
2018-19: 26-3 in duals. 4th at Border Wars VI, 2nd at Capital City, 1st at Gator Brawl, 1st at Wakulla, 3rd at Green Cove Springs Rotary, T-61st at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region champ, 6th at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region runnerup, 16th at states. 2017 — Traditional: District champ, region runnerup, 8th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience this past season, with 2018-19 weights): George Hernandez (junior, 46-18 at 106, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Julian Harvey (sophomore, 18-8 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jackson Merrick (junior, 40-23 at 113, district runnerup, region 4th, 1 match from state medal); Raymond Hatchman (junior, 42-18 at 120, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Matthew Owen (senior, 61-8 at 126, district champ, region runnerup, state 6th); Isaiah Wilson (sophomore, 25-12 at 132, district 3rd, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Chase Roberts (senior, 138, district runnerup, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Noah Wilson (senior, 63-6 at 145, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Jackson Osteen (junior, 35-22 at 152, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Cole Baggett (junior, 41-23 at 160, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Hayden Reeves (sophomore, 29-17 at 170, district champ, 1 match from states); Jayvon Brown (sophomore, 182/195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); John Trevor Hinsey (senior, 58-6 at 195, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Slade Watkins (senior, 47-13 at 220, district runnerup, region champ, 1 match from state medal); Jayven Hearns (sophomore, 14-7 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Charlie Owens (36-12 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Andrew Annand (51-12 at 182, district champ, region champ, 1-2 at states); Darius Wilkins (57-5 at 285, district champ, region runnerup, state runnerup).
Matmen’s take: Best 1A public school team in Florida. War Eagles will have tough time duplicating 2019 dual state run in 2020, as this year they’ll have to go through Gibbons/Somerset in semi.

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