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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 4

Almost any district that Clay’s in, the Blue Devils are going to be favored.
That’s no less true in 2020-21 and 1A-District 4, as Clay will be gunning for its 22nd consecutive district traditional title and fourth straight dual win. And, the Blue Devils will do so back under the leadership of Hall of Fame coach Jim Reape, who returns to the top spot after two years as a Clay assistant.
Last year, the Blue Devils were Region 1 runners-up in both formats, going on to place 12th at the 1A state tournament. That team took nine individual District 4 titles. In June, however, it lost six regular starters to graduation, including five district champs, and a seventh starter to in-district transfer (more on that in a moment).
But Clay continues to embody the tradition-never-graduates approach, with as many as 10 key contributors back, plus a very deep room. Eight of those 10 wrestlers were region qualifiers, with senior Cale Hoskinson (3rd at 152 state in March) leading the charge. Hoskinson will be joined by fellow placer and junior Garrett Tyre (5th at 1A-220) and returning state qualifiers in junior Maverick Rainwater (106 in March) and sophomore Dominic Martin (145 last year).
Clay also will field a girls’ team for the second time this season. The Blue Devils have six returning girls wrestlers that competed at Dr Phillips and the girls’ state tournament last year, led by junior Madisyn Blackburn (3rd at 128 in February).
At full strength, Bolles appears to be odds-on for the runnerup spot in the district, though whether the Bulldogs take that spot in both dual and traditional formats might depend on how many kids are available in early January.
They lost two seniors from last year’s team, both multi-year starters, one a six-year starter for the Bulldogs.
But Bolles has most of its lineup back from last year’s Region 1 3rd-place team, including 10 key starters. Just two of those 10 are seniors, including 2020 state qualifier Ethan Asbury (1 match from podium at 182). Asbury will be joined as returning Kissimmee qualifiers by juniors Jacob Witt  (106 in March), Tyson Riley (138) and Jack Pyburn (220; injured after regions).
The biggest battle could be shaking out who’ll be in the mix for third. I’m projecting three teams to fight that battle. Right now, Ridgeview has the leg up, but don’t count out Wolfson and district newcomer Union Cty, which started its program as an independent a year ago.
The Panthers did graduate three post-season starters from last year’s team, taking a chunk of the team’s experienced middleweight group along with it.
But Ridgeview has as many as nine key starters back, led by senior and 2x state runnerup (3x placer) Matthew Rodriquez, who signed with Lehigh nearly two weeks ago. Junior Derrek Mosley, also a state qualifier at 285 last year, transfers over from Clay. And, of those nine key contributors the Panthers can call upon, six of them are sophomores, so the chance for a quality nucleus being built is there.
Like Ridgeview, Union Cty lost three seniors from last year, in a season that saw them compete fairly well (14 dual wins) for an independent.
The Tigers bring back 12 wrestlers with regular lineup appearances from last year, and that depth could be key as they take on the challenge of competing in the FHSAA post-season dual and traditional tournament series.
Wolfson lost just one senior from last year’s team, but he was its most-consistent competitor over the last couple of seasons and a four-year starter.
Still, though, the Wolfpack did reach the Region 1 duals tournament for the first time as a team a year ago, and they, too, have 12 key performers back from last year’s team. Eight of those 12 were region qualifiers. But, just two of them took wins at Region 1 at Wakulla, and they’ll need to improve on that finish.
Bishop Snyder and University Christian are the best candidates for sixth spot. In duals, the Cardinals are probably the better bet. Snyder lost just one senior to graduation last year, and have as many as eight key returners back, two of whom were 1 match from states in February.
The Christians might struggle to fill a lineup, or even come close, but they’ve got a lot of firepower returning, which gives them a solid presence in IBTs. As many as four returners could be available, led by a pair of 1A state placers in sophomore Egan Gustilo (5th at 113 in March) and eighth-grader Jayce Paridon (5th at 106).
Baldwin had a little bit more success in keeping numbers in its lineup, but the Indians still have some gaping holes in their lineup, and lost their best wrestler from last year. Bradford lost some of their best kids mid-season a year ago, and with just two post-season kids back, could really struggle with numbers also this year.
Projected finish: 1. Clay. 2. Bolles. 3. Ridgeview. 4. Union Cty. 5. Wolfson. 6. University Christian. 7. Bishop Snyder. 8. Baldwin. 9. Bradford.
BALDWIN (Jacksonville)
Coach: Immanuel Henderson, 3rd year.
2019-20: 0-12 in duals reported to Matmen. 12th at Arlington Optimist, 11th at Westside Roundrobin, 15th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 28th at region. 2019 — None; competed last year as independent first-year team. 2018 — Program did not exist.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Caleb Hellard (7th, 1-15 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Taylor Davenport (7th, 1-7 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Samuel Barnum (senior, 6-12 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Johnatan Santiago (8-10 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Indians should get better in Year 3 of the program, but they’ve got to get more mat time. When top kids are seeing upper teens in #s of matches against kids with more of a room to help them, and 40-50 matches, they’re underexperienced.
BISHOP SNYDER (Jacksonville)
Coach: Jeremy Mosley, 7th year.
2019-20: 0-11 in duals. 20th at Keystone Memorial, 11th at Joe Bees Memorial, 9th at Westside Roundrobin, 17th at Wakulla IBT, 30th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 5th, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 5th, 20th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 6th, 20th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ian Hall (sophomore, 4-13 at 106, 1 match from regions); Christian Villanueva (senior, 19-13 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Alex Crews (sophomore, 3-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joseph Miranda (sophomore, 5-21 at 145, 1 match from regions); Jamil Johnson (sophomore, 6-20 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Clayton Beasley (senior, 12-18 at 160, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Carson Bowers (senior, 5-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Angel Lecointe (junior, 17-9 at 220, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Austin Davoli (6-12 at 126, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Cardinals had a smaller graduation loss this year compared to the year previous, which is going to help, but they’ve got to fill some weights next year in order to compete for a shot at region duals and traditional top half.
BOLLES (Jacksonville)
Coach: Matt Morris, 33rd year.
2019-20: 21-21 in duals. 24th at Capital City Classic, T-7th at Keystone Memorial, 24th at Flagler Rotary, 12th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, region 3rd, 33rd at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District champ, 15th at region. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 3rd at district, 7th at region, 33rd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jacob Witt (junior, 46-10 at 106, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Bryson Hubbard (freshman, 11-4 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Thomas Holt (freshman, 10-7 at 120, 1 match from regions); Denny Vohs (junior, 28-19 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Tyson Riley (junior, 48-13 at 138, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Skylar Malone (sophomore, 22-19 at 152, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Jackson Brill (sophomore, 10-17 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Asbury (senior, 33-16 at 182, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Jack Pyburn (junior, 40-9 at 220, district runnerup, region runnerup, did not compete at states); Cam Neal (senior, 24-14 at 285, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Dalton Posick (36-13 at 132, district champ, 1 match from states); Julian Morris (29-11 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Bulldogs bring back a sizable lineup that will put some challenge to Clay, and, although it usually does take a few weeks for the engine to rev up to full speed, it’s proven over the past few years it’s ready by late February.
BRADFORD (Starke)
Coach: Derrick Mitchell, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-9 in duals reported to Matmen.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 5th; Traditional: District 8th, T-29th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at district, T-25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, T-11th at region, T-56th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Andrew Crews (junior, 3-8 at 132, 1 match from regions); Austin Varnes (senior, 6-3 at 285, district 4th, did not compete at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Michael McDuffie (6-8 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Tornadoes are still having some trouble keeping kids in the lineup; the best in the regular season didn’t finish the year with the team, and best in post-season didn’t go to region. Program has to focus on retention as the key issue.
CLAY (Green Cove Springs)
Coach: Jim Reape, 26th year as HC, 28th with program.
2019-20: 28-5 in duals. 10th at Clash of Lady Titans, 1st at Allstate Wildcat, 39th at Knockout Christmas Classic, T-16th at Lady Panther, 16th at Lady Bear Classic, 3rd at Clay Rotary, T-23rd at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region runnerup, 12th at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region 4th, 21st at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state runnerup.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Maverick Rainwater (junior, 17-9 at 106, district 3rd, region champ, 1-2 at states); Savanna Huckelberry (sophomore, 0-7 at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Dalton Huckelberry (senior, 25-21 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Kayla Haines (sophomore, 6-7 at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Josh Kumpf (junior, 9-13 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Abdiert Escobar (senior, 32-5 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Madisyn Blackburn (junior, 20-6 at 128, 3rd at girls’ state); Jaidyn Vinson (senior, 2-11 at 128, 1-2 at girls’ state); Aiden Mayo (junior, 10-11 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Harley Jundt (junior, 0-6 at 134, 0-2 at girls’ state); Luke Boree (junior, 37-16 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Dominic Martin (sophomore, 33-18 at 145, district runnerup, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Cale Hoskinson (senior, 51-7 at 152, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Luca Fiannaca (junior, 20-12 at 160/170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kaylee Waxler (junior, 0-11 at 172, 0-2 at girls’ state); Garrett Tyre (junior, 42-16 at 220, district champ, region champ, state 5th).
Key addition: Ethan Larsen (junior, 17-13 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals, transferred from Middleburg).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Tazz Hampton (19-4 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Davis (40-14 at 120, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Stevi Outtin (2-8 at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Tucker Reape (11-11 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Isaiah Clifford (24-16 at 170, district champ, 1 match from states); Jordan Bell (31-15 at 182, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Joe Grelli (31-13 at 195, district champ, 1 match from states); Derrek Mosley (41-8 at 285, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states; transferred to Ridgeview).
Matmen’s take: It’s been tough for the Blue Devils to play catchup with respect to area and even the county, but the program has fully come back after a brief hit at the start of two seasons ago. Girls team is one of largest & most successful in area.
RIDGEVIEW (Orange Park)
Coach: Bart Rodriquez, 3rd year as HC.
2018-19: 11-25 in duals. 15th at Swede Umbach, 21st at Scott Rohrer, 10th at Gator Brawl.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, 11th at region, 24th at states. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at 2A-District 3; Traditional: 3rd at 2A-District 3, 10th at 2A-Region 1, T-19th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: 2A-District 3 champ, 2A-Region 1 quarterfinalist; Traditional: 2A-District 3 champ, 8th at 2A-Region 1, T-16th at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Blake Pu (sophomore, 38-12 at 106, district 4th, 1 match from states); Kaiden Tibbetts (sophomore, 23-19 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Robby Morris (sophomore, 14-21 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Matthew Rodriquez (senior, 66-1 at 126, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Ian Finnorn (sophomore, 23-17 at 138, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Brown (sophomore, 3-18 at 152, 1 match from regions); Desmond Stokes (junior, 9-8 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Keegan Powell (sophomore, 12-32 at 285, 1 match from regions); Derrek Mosley (junior, 41-8 at 285, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states; transferred from Clay).
Key losses (graduation): Shawn Tahir (27-28 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Gabe Guzman (49-9 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); Spencer Robertson (29-20 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Although Panthers did lose a few of their top kids from last year’s team, they were successful in bringing in a sizable freshman group last December. Still will be a team seeing more individual than group success at least this year.
UNION CTY (Lake Butler)
Coach: Patrickk McDonald, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 14-26 in duals. 17th at Keystone Memorial, 18th at Ed Kilpatrick IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Did not compete. 2019 — Program did not exist. 2018 — Program did not exist.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kale Waters (sophomore, 19-14 at 106/113); Christian Simmons (sophomore, 20-14 at 106/113); Ian Halfacre (sophomore, 9-22 at 126); Ethan Shea (sophomore, 15-22 at 132); James Rogers (junior, 7-29 at 132/138); Danny Thornton (sophomore, 15-25 at 145); Johnny Benefield (sophomore, 8-13 at 152/160); Brandon Mecusker (senior, 14-23 at 152/160); Jayce Puni (sophomore, 6-13 at 152/160); Colin Hadlock (sophomore, 3-14 at 160/170); Carson Rogers (sophomore, 15-26 at 170); Daegan Gainey (sophomore, 13-15 at 220/285).
Key losses (graduation): Jonathan Maldonaldo (11-6 at 106/113); Allan McClellon (14-13 at 182/195); Davalier Blocker (20-24 at 220).
Matmen’s take: Union taking its first shot at sanctioned competition in its second year of existence. Tigers demonstrated last year that it had plenty of numbers, and that will help them, particularly in the dual team tournament series.
UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN (Jacksonville)
Coach: Wes Champ, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 4-29 in duals. 14th at Keystone Memorial, 15th at Fandetti-Richardson Brawl, 8th at Syrupmaker Invitational, 22nd at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 6th, 13th at region, T-22nd at states. 2019 — No program. 2018 — No program.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jayce Paridon (8th, 51-11 at 106, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 5th); Egan Gustilo (sophomore, 52-8 at 113, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Avery Miller (senior, 7-11 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Flores (senior, 8-13 at 160, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jackie Dinh (18-12 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Christians are still a team that will shine brighter in individual tournaments than in duals or team environments, but those individuals are key building blocks, also, for future team success.
WOLFSON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Scott Marabell, 8th year.
2019-20: 9-22 in duals. 11th at Gateway.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 4th, 25th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 5th at district, T-25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at district, T-25th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Liam Strange (sophomore, 14-23 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Harbin (junior, 15-16 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Max Lewallen (junior, 23-16 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Emarre Campbell (senior, 15-18 at 132, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Nathan Shad (junior, 11-21 at 138, 1 match from regions); Gavin Hill (sophomore, 6-24 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lyric Richardson (senior, 14-10 at 160, 1 match from regions); Elijah Giles (sophomore, 3-15 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Dallas Kemp (sophomore, 11-13 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Shydeim Deas (senior, 10-14 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Tavion Ford (senior, 7-5 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Rashawn Spears (senior, 13-13 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Cameron Frison (27-12 at 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: In terms of numbers, graduation losses were not as extensive as last year, but the one lost was Wolfpack’s top wrestler the last three years. New leadership will need to step up in order for Wolfson to stay in contention for a top-3 spot.

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