Christmas has nothing on this. THIS is the most wonderful time of the year.
Just remember before you read. It’s not personal, but you’re allowed to take it personally if you want. Prove me wrong. Or prove me right. I like both.
Where: Yulee HS.
When: Monday, February 17 (8 a.m. weighins, 10 a.m. wrestle start).
Projected team finish: 1. Yulee. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. Raines. 4. Episcopal. 5. Fernandina Beach. 6. West Nassau. 7. Ed White. 8. Paxon.
The skinny: The tournament’s certainly the host Hornets’ to lose, but Yulee hasn’t had a lot of mat time for close to four weeks now, which can have both good and bad components to it. Assuming the Hornets can shake off the rust in the early rounds, they should be fine. Could be a nice battle for second between Bishop Kenny and Raines. Crusaders will have the numbers at each weight, and numbers mean a lot more at this stage, but Vikings will have the star power — we’ll really see that shine through at the state tournament. Question is whether the Raines supporting cast can surprise. Don’t be shocked if Episcopal makes a solid run not only at third, but even at second. The Eagles have beaten BK in a dual during the course of this year, and a belief-filled team could be a dangerous one. Fernandina and West Nassau have a couple of very solid kids and will contest well — perhaps as well as fourth — but holes in the lineup may be a problem for both groups. That will be the case for Ed White and Paxon, too, but they’re dealing with even less in the way of numbers.
Matmen’s projected region qualifiers (along with dark horses if applicable and a BRIEF note):
106: 1. Blayden Tharpe (West Nassau). 2. Duhan Lewis (Yulee). 3. Scott Busey (Episcopal). 4. Allan Bustos (Bishop Kenny). Dark horse: Nik Saldana (Fernandina Beach). Note: I would not be surprised if the pigtail goes the other way, or the bottom-half semi, either.
113: 1. DaQuan King (Raines; 3rd statewide). 2. Ryan Mayer (Bishop Kenny, 15th statewide). 3. Christian Ryan (Episcopal). 4. Jackson Holcomb (West Nassau). Dark horse: Jacob Proffit (Yulee). Note: That pigtail could be a good one right out the chute.
120: 1. Kyle Hopkins (Raines; 3rd statewide). 2. Joe Jackson (Episcopal). 3. Brendan Ferenchik (West Nassau). 4. Trevor Gladson (Yulee). Dark horse: Caden Kubatzke (Fernandina Beach). Note: Top to bottom, strongest group of the day.
126: 1. Jeremy Mahoney (Fernandina Beach, 17th statewide). 2. Sebastian Deara (Bishop Kenny, 20th statewide). 3. Tristan Martinez (Yulee). 4. Ben Helton (Episcopal). Dark horse: David Kang (Paxon). Note: Good semi, very good final forthcoming. Maybe most competitive final of the day.
132: 1. Bryce Bees (Yulee; 17th statewide). 2. Brock Hinson (Bishop Kenny). 3. Noah Meyer (Episcopal). 4. Shamar Goodman (Ed White). Dark horse: Ashton Burgess (Paxon). Note: Will be a solid final.
138: 1. Bradley Hulett (West Nassau; 17th statewide). 2. Roberto Cuartero (Bishop Kenny). 3. Dylan Johns (Yulee). 4. Sebastian Gonzalez (Ed White). Note: Could be a solid final; Yulee has a couple of kids who could step in here and qualify third.
145: 1. Daniel Maher (Bishop Kenny). 2. Jesse Johnson (Yulee; 20th statewide). 3. Gibreen Ahmad (West Nassau). 4. Robert Jackson (Episcopal). Dark horse: Jared Aten (Paxon). Note: The final should be a good one in this weight class.
152: 1. Aston Ricks (Yulee). 2. Reid Hampton (Episcopal). 3. Alex Denyakin (Paxon). 4. Barrie Snyder (Bishop Kenny). Dark horse: Jakob Turnage (West Nassau). Note: There’s room in the third and fourth here.
160: 1. Requan Works (West Nassau; 15th statewide). 2. Carter Wood (Bishop Kenny). 3. Isaiah Shook (Yulee). 4. Logan Holman (Paxon). Dark horse: Lucas Crawford (Fernandina Beach). Note: Some possibilities for hotly-contested consis in this group.
170: 1. Raynarde Thomas (Raines; 8th statewide). 2. Jeremiah Giedrys (Fernandina Beach). 3. Deonte Robinson (West Nassau). 4. Collin Sewell (Yulee). Dark horse: John Fernandez (Episcopal). Note: I could see Sewell higher, he has a win in hand over Giedrys (that Giedrys got back, same tournament).
182: 1. Keleb Reddish (Yulee). 2. Kolby Kidd (Fernandina Beach). 3. Christian McNair (Raines). 4. Daniel Harman (Paxon). Dark horse: Conner Nobles (West Nassau). Note: This bracket is the most wide-open of the group, and could be one of the fullest. Could see a 170 move up.
195: 1. Jamari Watson (Raines; 18th statewide). 2. Joseph Michel (Yulee). 3. Tyler Harris (Fernandina Beach). 4. Adrian Rodriguez (Bishop Kenny). Dark horse: Matthew Brunelli (Paxon). Note: An enterprising 182 might find some room here. Semi between Michel & Harris could be solid.
220: 1. Bradley Durrance (Yulee; 7th statewide). 2. Jackson Rowell (West Nassau). 3. Jarred Ball (Ed White). 4. Jared Hutchinson (Fernandina Beach). Note: I think the four are pretty well set, based on what I think the others might have.
285: 1. Jamon Goodwine (Raines; 2nd statewide). 2. Salvador Rodriguez (Ed White). 3. Darquill Brown (Yulee). 4. Curtis Leggett (Bishop Kenny). Note: Good set getting out, shouldn’t be dark horses entering in. Could see a LOT of movement between 2-4.
JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.
The season is done and champions are crowned in eight classes in Georgia! We have 8 stories up from Saturday’s finals on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com
Please support our independent journalism!