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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 3

Last year was a difficult season on a number of levels for Yulee.
But the Hornets took out their frustrations by ruling the roost in 1A-District 3, with a double title (both in dual and traditional formats) and a Sweet 16 appearance in the FHSAA dual series, plus a seventh-place finish at Region 1 in Wakulla.
Duplicating the district double might be more complicated for the Hornets, as Bishop Kenny appears poised for a return to district-champion status should the Hornets falter. Adding to the complication is the loss of five June 2020 graduates, three of them Region 1 qualifiers, including 1A state qualifier Bradley Durrance at 220.
But if Yulee can find some new upper-weight wrestlers, they’re going to have experienced talent back at the rest of the lineup.
The Hornets have up to 11 kids with eligibility to return, nine of them with region experience last year. Seniors Aston Ricks (wrestled at 152 last year) and Isaiah Shook (160) are returning state qualifiers and potential threats to podium in March 2021.
Despite losing four post-season starters to June graduations — three of them Saturday competitors at Region 1, Bishop Kenny shouldn’t lose much of a beat this year.
And, with just one known senior in 2020 state qualifier Ryan Mayer (113 in 1A last year) in the lineup, if a district title doesn’t happen for the Crusaders this year, it might in 2022.
BKHS has as many as 11 possible significant returners back this year (not everybody’s year in school was listed on Track a year ago), and along with Mayer, will get on-the-mat leadership from fellow Kissimmee qualifiers in junior Sebastian Deara (126 last year) and sophomore Roberto Cuartero (145 in March)
While I have the projections the way I have them, it won’t surprise me, fully, to see any one of four teams take anywhere from third to sixth this year.
West Nassau should be better situated for duals — maybe. The Warriors did lose three of their top four kids last year, and that will — barring recruitment — make things trickier for them in the middle of the lineup.
But, the Warriors do have as many as seven key returners that could come back this year, including four Region 1 qualifiers led by senior and March state qualifier Jackson Rowell (220 last year).
Raines has been a team built more for IBTs — where its star power has shone very brightly — in past years, but the Vikings could have at least the skeleton of a competitive duals team, even after losing multiple-time state placers Kyle Hopkins (6th at 120 in March) and Jamon Goodwine (6th at 285) to graduation.
Those were Raines’ only significant graduation losses, though, and the Vikings have up to nine key kids back, including senior Raynarde Thomas (4th at 1A states at 170 last year) and juniors DaQuan King (3rd at 113) and Jamari Watson (195) as returning state qualiifers.
Should either the Warriors or Vikings falter, however, don’t be surprised to see Episcopal or Fernandina Beach break into the top half this year. The Eagles lost two starters from last year’s team, but have as many as 10 key contributors back; if they can sort out their depth in the lowers, and grow a couple of them up, that would be beneficial.
As for the Pirates, they lost just one 2020 senior to graduation and will have eight post-season starters back. But Fernandina will need to fill a few more weights to have a chance at breaking into the top three in the district.
Paxon and Ed White I would expect to round out the district standings. The Golden Eagles lost just one post-season starter from last year’s tea, and will have as many as nine possible key returners from last year’s team — a big improvement from the year before — but none of those returners had a win at Chiles (only two qualified out). Ed White lost three regular- or post-season starters to graduation, and only have two back with key experience under a new coach this season, but the Commanders will hopefully start the process of rallying back, if they can find some numbers.
Projected finish: 1. Yulee. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. West Nassau. 4. Raines. 5. Episcopal. 6. Fernandina Beach. 7. Paxon. 8. Ed White.
BISHOP KENNY (Jacksonville)
Coach: Nick Tillem, 2nd year.
2019-20: 15-9 in duals. 19th at Capital City, 6th at Joe Bees Memorial, 31st at Flagler Rotary, 25th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 9th, T-53rd at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 5th, T-23rd at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 3rd, 8th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Allan Bustos (junior, 17-17 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Ryan Mayer (senior, 35-15 at 113, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jack Raynor (sophomore, 10-18, 1 match from regions); Sebastian Deara (junior, 32-17 at 126, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Roberto Cuartero (sophomore, 33-16 at 138, district runnerup, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Collin Hearn (year in school not published on Track or in tournaments, 8-9 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals; Barrie Snyder (sophomore, 3-12 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Paul Barakat (junior, 8-26 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Bagan (junior, 10-16 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Adrian Rodriguez (sophomore, 10-21 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kevin Thallemer (year in school not published on Track or in tournaments, 15-17 at 220, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Brock Hinson (23-15 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Maher (17-12 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Carter Wood (23-19 at 160, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Curtis Leggett (23-17 at 285, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: A year ago, we said there would be a different vibe, and there was. We said the expectation to compete well should remain, and it did. Crusaders will be charging hard to return to district title after two years away.
ED WHITE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Avery Wilds, 1st year.
2019-20: 1-9 in duals. 15th at Joe Bees Memorial, 10th at Westside Roundrobin, 14th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 22nd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 3 7th, 20th at 2A-Region 1, T-65th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 3 5th, 23rd at 2A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Sebastian Gonzalez (senior, 13-13 at 132, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Keyshun Spivey (senior, 3-18 at 182, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Shamar Goodman (2-14 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Larry McCurdy (8-7 at 220, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Salvador Rodriguez (18-9 at 285, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: This season is likely to be an uphill battle for new coaching staff, which is going to have to focus on recruiting kids to fill a lineup as a first priority. Schedule might have to stay light this year to reflect that inexperience.
EPISCOPAL (Jacksonville)
Coach: Jefferson Brant, 2nd year.
2019-20: 16-17 in duals. 25th at Flagler Rotary, 24th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 5th, 14th at region. 2019 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 4th at 1A-District 4, 12th at region, T-19th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not participate; Traditional: 5th at 1A-District 4, 24th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Scott Busey (sophomore, 20-17 at 106, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Cohen Chesser (sophomore, 12-3 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Christian Ryan (junior, 24-9 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Joe Jackson (senior, 30-15 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Baylor Maurer (sophomore, 10-10 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ben Helton (sophomore, 17-19 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Noah Meyer (senior, 26-15 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Brennan Doherty (sophomore, 16-16 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); John Fernandez (sophomore, 17-21 at 170, 1 match from regions); Kent Robinson (sophomore, 7-18 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Robert Jackson (9-14 at 145, 1 match from regions); Reid Hampton (35-11 at 152, district champ, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: Eagles have 10 returners with solid experience last year, and just two of those 10 are seniors this year. Episcopal will have to find more upper weights to contend with district leadership, but it showed that it’s on the right track.
FERNANDINA BEACH
Coach: Eric Kubatzke, 3rd year.
2019-20: 8-22 in duals. 7th at Arlington Optimist, 9th at Joe Bees Memorial, 8th at Westside Roundrobin, 33rd at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 6th, 18th at region, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 13th at region, 53rd at states. 2018 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 8th at district, 21st at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Nik Saldana (sophomore, 17-24 at 106, 1 match from regions); Caden Kubatzke (sophomore, 25-16 at 120, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jeremy Mahoney (senior, 42-10 at 126, district champ, 1 match from states); Brooks Rohe (sophomore, 4-16 at 138, 1 match from regions); Lucas Crawford (sophomore, 1-12 at 160, 1 match from regions); Kolby Kidd (senior, 27-13 at 182, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Tyler Harris (senior, 16-9 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jared Hutchinson (senior, 12-14 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jeremiah Giedrys (39-14 at 170, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states).
Matmen’s take: Pirates should be better than duals record indicated, and they showed it in the individual successes they had, which reflected the schedule Fernandina wrestled. If Pirates can cover more middles this year, the dual wins will show up.
PAXON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Phillip Abbott, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-32 in duals. 10th at Arlington Optimist, 12th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 8th, T-29th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: Did not compete. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 4 7th, 27th at 2A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): David Kang (junior, 7-19 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ashton Burgess (senior, 7-26 at 132, 1 match from regions); Jared Aten (senior, 8-17 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Dramis (senior, 22-12 at 152, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Alex Denyakin (senior, 12-13 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Logan Holman (junior, 6-15 at 160, 1 match from regions); Cameron Avery (senior, 7-18 at 182, 1 match from regions); Daniel Harman (senior, 5-15 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Brunelli (sophomore, 11-16 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Joshua Leynes (6-15 at 170, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Golden Eagles took lumps in duals, but finished the year with nine key returners, six of whom competed in the post-season series. That in itself is a significant upgrade. Now, the focus needs to turn to lineup completion and more wins.
RAINES (Jacksonville)
Coach: Aaron Mason, 3rd year as HC.
2019-20: 7-5 in duals. 7th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 13th at Capital City Classic, 6th at Amanda St John Memorial, 9th at Somerset Scuffle, 8th at Gator Brawl, 3rd at Gateway Conference, 10th at Clay Rotary, T-68th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, region 5th, 13th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, region T-7th, T-23rd at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 23rd at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Shanice West (junior, 10-24 at 106, 1-2 at girls’ state); DaQuan King (junior, 56-5 at 113, district champ, region runnerup, state 3rd); Javon Richo (junior, 7-13 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jada Arnold (junior, 16-27 at 154, 1-2 at girls’ state); Raynarde Thomas (senior, 47-7 at 170, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Christian McNair (senior, 8-11 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jamari Watson (junior, 26-10 at 195, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jalen Graham (senior, 10-8 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Timothy Hall (junior, 2-17 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Kyle Hopkins (43-6 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 6th); Jamon Goodwine (48-4 at 285, district champ, region champ, state 6th).
Matmen’s take: Vikings graduated two multi-time state placers, but bring two back, and could add a third this year. Team could make district leaders sweat in dual-team format if it chose to. Girls’ group has also performed well.
WEST NASSAU (Callahan)
Coach: Adam Bolger, 2nd year.
2019-20: 11-18 in duals. 5th at Joe Bees Memorial, 5th at Westside Roundrobin, 6th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 4th, region 10th, T-30th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, T-21st at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 23rd at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Blayden Tharpe (sophomore, 26-13 at 106, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Jackson Holcomb (sophomore, 14-29 at 113, district 4th, 1 match from states); Hunter Rosepiler (sophomore, 7-10 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gibreen Ahmad (sophomore, 20-25 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Deonte Robinson (senior, 11-14 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Conner Nobles (junior, 14-8 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jackson Rowell (senior, 30-15 at 220, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Brendan Ferenchik (27-5 at 120, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Bradley Hulett (40-6 at 138, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Requan Works (25-5 at 160, district champ, region 3rd, state 6th).
Matmen’s take: Three of Warriors’ top four kids all graduated in June, and their loss will be difficult to overcome. If West Nassau can find more lowers, and it might, the Warriors could make an even stronger push for district leadership in February.
YULEE
Coach: Brandon Crowder, 13th year.
2019-20: 26-5 in duals. 1st at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 11th at Devil Dog (SC) Invitational, 2nd at Joe Bees Memorial.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 7th, T-34th at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 10th at region, 27th at states. 2018 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, 9th at region, T-34th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Lewis Duhan (sophomore, 30-13 at 106, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jacob Proffit (sophomore, 24-21 at 113, 1 match from regions); Tristan Martinez (senior, 31-18 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Johns (sophomore, 32-12 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Dietrich Woods (27-9 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jesse Johnson (junior, 31-12 at 145, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Aston Ricks (senior, 45-10 at 152, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Isaiah Shook (senior, 28-17 at 160, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Collin Sewell (senior, 18-10 at 170, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Keleb Reddish (junior, 17-17 at 182, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Joseph Michel (junior, 18-21 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Trevor Gladson (21-7 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bryce Bees (28-6 at 132, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Lopez (9-13 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bradley Durrance (45-9 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Darquill Brown (31-16 at 285, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: After a stormy 2019-20 emotionally, schedule snafus put the Hornets on ice in wrapping up the regular season. But they still pulled together a district double. That might be tougher in 2021; team will need new blood up top.

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