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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 2A-District 3

Fletcher became the first Gateway Conference team, last year, to reach the FHSAA dual state tournament.
And while their appearance at dual states wound up with a loss in the 2A-Region 1 final on the first day of the tournament, last year’s group would add a District 3 traditional title and top-10 Region 1 finish to its season, as well as a Gateway title.
The nucleus of last year’s group — a five-pack of juniors that made history and built island legacy — are all back this year, and it’s that nucleus that drives us to tip the Senators as the choice to repeat in 2021.
Fletcher does lose five seniors from last year’s team, four of them post-season starters, and that loss will have to be made up, particularly toward the upper tier of the lineup, where the Senators’ depth has traditionally thinned some in comparison to their middles.
But the Senators will return up to 10 key wrestlers for this year’s team, including state qualifiers Joel Rodriguez (152 at 2A state in March) and Ethan Hollenbach (220 in March). Fellow senior Ana Bradshaw, who became the first girl in Gateway Conference history to win a conference title and in north Florida to win a district title, also returns after taking fifth at girls’ state in February.
But, Ponte Vedra is going to make fighting for every point count in both dual and traditional format against district competitors, and it may be that the Sharks’ depth could be too much to overcome at season’s end.
This year, Ponte Vedra will bring back as many as 15 boys and four girls with significant experience. Leading this year’s group will be senior Rett Maritato, who qualified for state at 170 a year ago.
If the Sharks will have any issues, it will be the graduation loss of five key seniors that were fixtures in their regular-season lineup. That cadre includes 2020 state qualifiers Alex De Almeida (138 in March) and Ethan Baur (145).
I think the next best teams will be Westside and Robert E. Lee, teams that have shown the promise of being among the city’s best in seasons past, but at times coming up short.
Will this be the year that perhaps Westside breaks through as a team? The Wolverines lost just two key seniors from last year’s group, but one of those was Westside’s only state placer, Angelo Philpot (5th at 170 in 2A).
The Wolverines will have as many as 11 returners back this year, with most of last year’s starting lineup back. Senior Ray Bolden, a two-time state qualifier (including last year) at 285, will headline that group.
The Generals are an intriguing group in 2020-21. Take a look at the key returners (as Matmen’s defined them), and Robert E Lee has more than only the bottom two teams in the district. It lost four post-season starters from last year’s group.
But the Generals have some very motivated kids among those returners, starting at the top of the list with senior and 2020 2A state runnerup Ahmahd Denmark, who was a District 3 and Region 1 champ. Joining him at Kissimmee last year was senior Craig Harper, who qualified out from regions at 220. Four of Lee’s additional five key returners had region experience.
Should any team in the top four falter, First Coast could certainly step into that top half of the standings. The Buccaneers, who’ll have a new coach for the second consecutive year, did lose four 2020 seniors to graduation, including 2A state qualifier DeVante Wyatt (170 in March), but will also return up to 11 wrestlers with key experience to this year’s team, including two that were a match away from states last season.
Englewood’s also got a team that could find itself in the top half of the district with some key improvements and a couple of breaks. The Ramos lost just three seniors from last year’s team, and can return as many as 10 key wrestlers this season. However, only one of those 10 got to the second day of regions last year.
Just from a numbers standpoint, I’m seeing Terry Parker and Stanton in a contest for seventh. The Braves graduated five wrestlers from last year’s team, and will have as many as seven significant returners back, though none competed at regions. The Blue Devils do have one region qualifier back, but they, too, graduated five seniors from the 2019-20 team, and have up to six back, five that were post-season starters.
Projected finish: 1. Fletcher. 2. Ponte Vedra. 3. Westside. 4. Robert E Lee. 5. First Coast. 6. Englewood. 7. Terry Parker. 8. Stanton.
ENGLEWOOD (Jacksonville)
Coach: Joseph Stetzer, 4th year.
2019-20: 23-15 in duals. 5th at Arlington Optimist, 4th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 6th at district, 25th at region. 2019 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District runnerup, 23rd at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, 21st at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Calvin Williams (sophomore, 25-15 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Raequan Staples (senior, 30-13 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Lynden North (junior, 40-5 at 132, district champ, did not compete at regions); Gary Perez (junior, 9-18 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Isiah Borrero (senior, 4-15 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rasean Rayam (sophomore, 13-31 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Sam Howard (senior, 34-10 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Darryl Sam (senior, 25-18 at 182, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Melvin Wiggins (sophomore, 22-18 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Isiah Musca (senior, 15-9 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Neil Gutierrez (junior, 12-3 at 285, did not compete in post-seaon traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Hunter Padgett (13-27 at 126, 1 match from regions); Jordan Mitchell (31-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Justin Mendez (31-11 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Matmen’s take: Rams lost three post-season starters to graduation, but otherwise have everyone back from team of a year ago. They’ll need to find some more lowers, but still could have a return to states for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
FIRST COAST (Jacksonville)
Coach: Tannor Tenopir, 1st year.
2019-20: 24-18 in duals. 5th at Gateway Conference, T-77th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 4th, T-13th at region, T-44th at states. 2019 — Duals: 3rd at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 9th at 3A-District 1, 22nd at 3A-Region 1. 2018 — Duals: T-5th at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 9th at 3A-District 1, T-27th at 3A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Trevor Studstill (16-14 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jace Austin (junior, 16-21 at 132, 1 match from regions); Myles Nicco (sophomore, 12-18 at 138, 1 match from regions); Payton Landon (senior, 18-10 at 138/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Josiah Mossor (senior, 39-3 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); Nicholas Smith (senior, 5-13 at 152, 1 match from regions); Tyler Heflin (senior, 17-18 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cleon Johnson (senior, 15-15 at 182, 1 match from regions); Timothy King (junior, 9-9 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Asia Jack (junior, 2-2 at 184, 2-2 at girls’ state); Grayson Peterson (senior, 27-7 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Ian Loschinskey (30-12 at 113, district champ, 2-2 at regions); DeVante Wyatt (43-7 at 170, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Hakeem Culberson (39-6 at 195, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Lampkin (36-11 at 285, district runnerup, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: The losses First Coast took in 2019 were substantial, but last year’s team lost 4 region qualifiers. There’s replacements, but in order for this year’s team to be substantially better, team needs to find more lowers and more team wins.
FLETCHER (Neptune Beach)
Coach: Paul Schloth, 1st year as HC at school.
2019-20: 14-5 in duals. 1st at Battle for the Blacktop, 9th at Capital City Classic, 13th at Keystone Memorial, 13th at Lady Panther, 1st at Gateway Conference, 12th at Braves Invitational, T-48th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region 9th, T-51st at states. 2019 — Duals: 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 3A-District 1 3rd, 11th at 3A-Region 1, T-28th at 3A states. 2018 — Duals: 3A-District 1 T-5th; Traditional: 3A-District 1 5th, 13th at 3A-Region 1, T-45th at 3A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ana Bradshaw (senior, 30-12 at 106, 5th at girls’ state; district champ, 1-2 at regions); Ryden Ashmore (junior, 16-22 at 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Josh Daltro (junior, 8-14 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Gabe Daltro (senior, 32-13 at 126, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Kaden Solomon (junior, 12-13 at 132, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Joel Rodriguez (senior, 42-7 at 152, district champ, region champ, 0-2 at states); Ryan Klein (sophomore, 13-15 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Michael Strong (senior, 20-8 at 195, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Hollenbach (senior, 30-7 at 220, district champ, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Toby Matson (sophomore, 17-24 at 285, region 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Hayden North (8-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tyriek Caldwell (13-16 at 138, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Tyson Petrie (24-9 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Tyler Dalldorf (15-21 at 160, 1 match from regions); Stone Rockhill (24-8 at 182, district champ, 1-1 at regions-injured).
Matmen’s take: Schloth’s won 5 district titles as an HC, and was 2020’s tactical-side director as lead assistant for the Senators. Don’t expect continuity issues. This group should be fine, particularly if it keeps bringing in solid performers.
PONTE VEDRA
Coach: Josean Gonzalez, 3rd year.
2019-20: 12-15 in duals. 1st at Arlington Optimist, 20th at Capital City Classic, 26th at Flagler Rotary, T-27th at Clay Rotary, T-51st at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 3rd, T-13th at region, T-59th at states. 2019 — Duals: 5th at 2A-District 4; Traditional: 5th at 2A-District 4, 18th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at 2A-District 4, 26th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Gia Lemon (senior, 12-16 at 100/106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Aiden Taylor (sophomore, 6-15 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Julian Villegas (junior, 13-18 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); James Richie (senior, 6-10 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Olivia Richie (sophomore, 8-9 at 113/122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Michael Stephens (junior, 12-16 at 120, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Josie Sagasser (sophomore, 5-6 at 134, 3-2 at girls’ state); Andrew Hissam (sophomore, 6-16 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Babin (senior, 5-19 at 145, 1 match from regions); John Whitley (senior, 10-16 at 145/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cyrus Ferraro (senior, 4-15 at 152, 0-2 at districts); Joseph Skinner (senior, 12-12 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rett Maritato (senior, 41-18 at 170, district 3rd, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Grace Lin (senior, 4-4 at 172, 1-2 at girls’ state); Zachary Underwood (senior, 5-12 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Luke Calamari (junior, 6-12 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Eric Ressler (sophomore, 7-17 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Xavier Agatep (sophomore, 3-12 at 220, 1 match from regions); Christopher Stewart (sophomore, 4-14 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Stephen Kowitski (13-21 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Jackson Shewey (20-13 at 132, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Alex De Almeida (31-8 at 138, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Ethan Baur (21-7 at 160, district 3rd, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Harlan Nikolov (17-14 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Girls program, in one year, has already grown into one of the coverage area’s largest. Sharks generated a lot of numbers in year 2; next step in program development will be contending for district titles and they’re close already.
ROBERT E LEE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Ricky Hicks, 7th year.
2019-20: 17-6 in duals. 6th at Arlington Optimist, 18th at Capital City Classic, 2nd at Gateway Conference, T-19th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 10th at region, T-16th at states. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 8th at 3A-District 1, T-19th at 3A-Region 1; T-56th at 3A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at 3A-District 1, 18th at 3A-Region 1, T-48th at 3A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ricky Hicks (Jr.) (sophomore, 22-16 at 106, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jamal Burkes (senior, 28-15 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Ty’Juan Jones (senior, 25-13 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Ahmahd Denmark (senior, 38-4 at 160, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Keshawn Waters (senior, 25-14 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jeremy Porter (senior, 17-6 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Craig Harper (senior, 34-13 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Jeramiah Stevens (26-12 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Savion Johnson (25-12 at 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Vincente Waugh (27-17 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Edward Peterson (11-18 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Most of the Generals’ top talent from last year is back this year and how quickly it gets into wrestling form depends on how long Lee football season is. They’ll have to replace four post-season starters, all of them upper weights, this year.
STANTON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Forrest Wheeler, 3rd year at school.
2019-20: 9-17 in duals. 9th at Arlington Optimist, 6th at Westside Roundrobin, 9th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 7th at district, 32nd at region. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, 25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 7th at district, 24th at region, T-50th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Artin Rezaei (senior, 21-19 at 126, 1 match from regions); Matthew Mock (senior, 10-24 at 132, 1 match from regions); Liam Salem (senior, 16-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jesse Liu (junior, 11-11 at 152, 1 match from regions); Seth Parks (sophomore, 9-23 at 220, 0-2 at districts); Connor McLoon (sophomore, 6-12 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Kenneth Caldeo (16-15 at 106, 1 match from regions); Gabe Navarro (26-18 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Avery Debelen (14-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Timothy Sinclair (19-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Charles Woo (21-11 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Blue Devils put together decent individual seasons, but had trouble forging needed next steps for the program as a whole. Recruiting new faces in the lineup is the critical factor the Stanton program must solve this coming year.
TERRY PARKER (Jacksonville)
Coach: Andrew McCrary, 1st year.
2019-20: 7-24 in duals. 8th at Arlington Optimist, 11th at House of Payne, 11th at Lady Bear Classic, 13th at Gateway Conference, T-99th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 8th at district, 28th at region.  2019 — Duals: 3rd at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 14th at region, T-28th at states. 2018 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, 19th at region, 41st at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kimoni Alfred (sophomore, 5-15 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mina Gibson (senior, 9-28 at 138/140, 0-1 at girls’ state-injured); Andrew Hodges (senior, 4-23 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Jose Payed (sophomore, 7-17 at 195, 0-2 at districts); Chloe Pollockov (junior, 4-9 at 195, 0-2 at girls’ state); William Gray (sophomore, 13-12 at 220, did not compete at post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Eljani Abraham (7-14 at 132, 0-2 at districts-injured); Tijuan Boyance (31-14 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ashley Saddler (34-12 at 160, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Darius Farmer (25-18 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Andrew Bailes (10-18 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Program faces a reboot this year, as Braves have no wrestlers back that won a district traditional match in 2019-20. Infrastructure is in place, but it will be different this year to see Parker not hosting tournaments as it had in past.
WESTSIDE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Christopher McNealy, 8th year.
2019-20: 12-16 in duals. 17th at Allstate Wildcat, 2nd at Westside Roundrobin, 6th at Gateway Conference, 14th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 5th at district, 11th at region, T-28th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete in 1A-District 3; Traditional: 6th at 1A-District 3, 14th at 1A-Region 1, T-54th at 1A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 5th at 1A-District 3, 14th at 1A-Region 1, T-56th at 1A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Deshawn Reaves (sophomore, 16-24 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Olleon Hickman (sophomore, 10-8 at 120, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Jacare Johnson (junior, 19-10 at 120, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Nathan Williams (sophomore, 21-22 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Donovan White (junior, 15-23 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Kristopher Fleming (sophomore, 8-19 at 138, 1 match from regions); Steven Millikin (senior, 12-19 at 145, 1 match from regions); Emma Smith (junior, 4-19 at 152, 0-2 at districts); John Merritt (senior, 35-14 at 182, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Elijah Williams (sophomore, 11-21 at 220, 1 match from regions); Ray Bolden (senior, 38-5 at 285, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Angelo Philpot (50-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Terrance Alexander (16-28 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Wolverines have a mixture of talent and inexperience, and need a schedule that will challenge both sets of that mixture. Losing last year’s top wrestler will be tough to replace. Team needs to find more wrestlers in upper half of lineup.

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