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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 3A-District 2

A year ago, when this preview came out, we talked about Flagler Palm Coast perhaps upsetting the applecart. This year.
This year, the Bulldogs might have room to think bigger than that, in the year that we thought was going to be the breakout year, and the year after they won 3A-District 2 dual and traditional titles.
Flagler re-established itself as a region-wide threat, with a fourth-place finish at Region 1 and put itself into the mix at states behind four state qualifiers — juniors Blane DeFord (4th at 3A-145) and Kyle Peacock (138) and now-graduated AJ Cinelli (4th at 3A-285) and Andrew Dance (132).
Cinelli and Dance headlined a cadre of five June graduates that will have to be replaced in the room for the Bulldogs. With Cinelli’s loss, especially, a new big man up top needs to be found.
But the lineup is mostly covered otherwise with returning talent, including up to 12 returners — three with second-day Region 1 experience. The Bulldogs strengthened their depth in the middle of the lineup with a couple of key transfers as well.
Buchholz is still the odds-on choice for the runnerup pick, based on numbers returning and graduated from last year, plus the continuing flow of wrestlers into the Bobcat program.
Buchholz does lose five 2020 seniors — four of them post-season starters — to graduation. Included in that group was 2020 state placer Armando Acosta (5th at 182) and qualifiers Matthew Vann (170) and Nevan Burney (220).
But the Bobcats do have a deep room, with as many as 16 possible key contributors back from last year. That group includes 2020 state qualifiers in senior Jason Martin (195) and junior Venumadhava Mirel (113).
I feel like University (Orange City) is a solid third, at least, this year. The Titan boys do lose four key seniors due to graduation, all of them post-season starters, but will return as many as 10 impact starters in either the regular- or post-season, led by senior 3A state qualifier Christian Kennick (220 in March).
On the girls’ side, Lauren Kaminsky (5th at 134 in February) is a returning state placer, and will be joined by two other returners. The Lady Titans did take a bigger hit graduation-wise, with five 2020 seniors moving on, including a pair of 2020 placers in Ashley Corujo (112) and Katlyn Gillespie (147), both of whom placed fifth at girls’ state.
Forest is a tough group to figure out. The Wildcats won the Marion County conference title last year and had a regular-season tournament win, and should have back a reasonably-solid group, although it seemed like they were always short-handed in one way or another, yet found ways to win.
But the post-season wasn’t friendly to Forest, which had just one Saturday qualifier at regions and saw most of their better regular-season performers not even get to that level. And with fewer returners (up to nine from last year’s team, the lowest number in the district), the Wildcats will need to have a solid incoming class to bolster the group.
West Port graduated four seniors from last year’s team, including 2020 girls’ state champ Aspen Dodge (154) and two boys’ post-season starters. The Wolfpack could be the sleeper team this year, with a possibility for as many as 14 impact contributors from last year’s team, including nine post-season starters. But West Port didn’t have any wrestlers returning that got to the second day at Region 1; plus, we’re still not exactly sure who’s coaching the team this year.
As of right now, I’m thinking Seminole and DeLand might be bringing up the rear, althought both teams have a possibility of a solid number of returners back (up to 12 key returners back for both teams). The Noles have a bigger group of graduates (six) that moved on in June, with a group of four post-season starters that included a pair of state placers in 2020 3A champ Curtis Ruff (285) and runnerup Jordan Smith (220). The Bulldogs, meanwhile, graduated four seniors from their squad. None of DeLand’s returners got as far as the second day of Region 1 competition last year.
Projected finish: 1. Flagler Palm Coast. 2. Buchholz. 3. University-Orange City. 4. Forest. 5. West Port. 6. Seminole. 7. DeLand.
BUCHHOLZ (Gainesville)
Coach: Billy Pankey, 15th year.
2019-20: 19-8 in duals. 25th at Knockout Christmas Classic, 7th at Tournament of Champions, 3rd at Wolfpack Invitational, 5th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 5th at region, T-24th at states. 2019 — Duals: 3A-District 1 runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: 3A-District 1 runnerup, 4th at region, 19th at states. 2018 — Duals: 3rd at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 3rd at 3A-District 1, 8th at region, T-48th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Siddharth Bianchi (junior, 12-25 at 106, 1 match short of regions); Venumadhava Mirel (junior, 32-14 at 113, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Aiden Moore (junior, 42-15 at 120, district champ, did not compete at regions); Jeffrey Lynch (junior, 3-4 at 126, 1 match short of regions); Alexis Gonzalez (junior, 12-21 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kason Nichols (sophomore, 33-20 at 132, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Malcolm Brown (sophomore, 9-6 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cole Nixon (junior, 23-29 at 138, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Timothy Bowen (senior, 30-27 at 145, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Liam Buchanan (senior, 20-14 at 152, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Max Szabo (sophomore, 15-19 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Rattner (junior, 3-12 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Holden Mitrione (sophomore, 10-5 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jason Martin (senior, 41-15 at 195, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Drew Lewis (senior, 16-11 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bryon Diehl (sophomore, 7-8 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): David Sampson (5-11 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Vann (46-16 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Armando Acosta (50-4 at 182, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Nevan Burney (30-12 at 220, district 3rd, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jacob Robinson (39-21 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Bobcats should still be OK to contend for a top-five space at region, but they’re looking up now, within the district. Will have to replace some very solid bigs, and middle of the lineup is going to need to sort itself out quickly this year.
DELAND
Coach: Chris Folsom.
2019-20: 6-3 in duals searchable on Track and/or reported to Matmen. 9th at Clash of Lady Titans, 7th at Battle of the Blacktop, 5th at Amanda St John Memorial, 17th at Tournament of Champions, 11th at Ed Kilpatrick IBT, 7th at DeLand Bulldogs IBT, 12th at Wolfpack Invitational, 6th at 5 Star Conference, T-32nd at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 7th at district, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 4th at 3A-District 3, 28th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 5th at 3A-District 3, T-14th at region, T-22nd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kellen Chapman (sophomore, 14-11 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Felix Rivera (sophomore, 10-14 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rhett Roberts (junior, 6-15 at 120, 1 match from regions); Naobi Lagos (sophomore, 2-7 at 122/126, 0-2 at girls’ state); Noah Falk (junior, 6-14 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lane Wishart (junior, 9-13 at 138, 1 match from regions); Zane Canada (sophomore, 4-7 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Jaylen Wilson (senior, 5-14 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gavin Rodriguez (sophomore, 11-22 at 160, 1 match from regions); Bryce Minsky (senior, 13-9 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Gavin Hart (junior, 19-16 at 220, 1 match from regions); Dalen Burns (senior, 12-12 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Makenzy Garcia (12-11 at 112/113, girls’ state 3rd, 1 match from regions); Jacob Lashinsky (15-8 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Michael Brown (8-10 at 152, 1 match from regions); Aaron Morris (32-5 at 195, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: While this year’s team does have more returners than the 2019-20 team brought back, the Bulldogs will have just one wrestler that won a match at regions. DeLand needs to fill out lineup with more bigs to move up the district ladder this year.
FLAGLER PALM COAST (Palm Coast)
Coach: Zach Sanford, 3rd year at school.
2019-20: 21-4 in duals. 1st at Barbara Pill Memorial, 3rd at Will Nutter Memorial, 3rd at Somerset Scuffle, 5th at Flagler Rotary, 1st at 5 Star Conference, 1st at Ocoee Mat Classic, T-75th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 4th, T-17th at states. 2019 — Duals: 4th at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 4th at 3A-District 1, 18th at region. 2018 — Duals: 3A-District 1 runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: 3A-District 1 runnerup, region 3rd, 9th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kole Hannant (sophomore, 45-13 at 106, district runnerup, 1 match from states); John Hald (sophomore, 31-23 at 120, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Brendan Buckles (junior, 28-21 at 126, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Kyle Peacock (junior, 43-8 at 138, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Blane DeFord (junior, 54-8 at 145, district champ, region runnerup, state 4th); Felipe Costa (junior, 13-12 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Timothy King (junior, 32-12 at 152, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Marcelo Gonzalez (junior, 34-23 at 160, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Garrick Schwartz (junior, 29-24 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dalton Schell (sophomore, 15-31 at 182, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Joseph Wronowski (sophomore, 11-27 at 195, 1 match from regions); Seth Davis (junior, 22-21 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key additions: Grant Schwartz (senior, 19-16 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bryce Dodge (junior, 41-6 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions; transferred from West Port).
Key losses (graduation): Joseph Rizzo (43-15 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Andrew Dance (42-13 at 132, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Isabel Petrin (3-3 at 138, 2-2 at girls’ state); Jayden Austin (17-11 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Anthony Cinelli (39-8 at 285, district runnerup, region 3rd, state 4th).
Matmen’s take: We thought this year was going to be the big breakout year for Flagler, but the Bulldogs weren’t content to wait for our timeline. What that might mean for what happens this year is very interesting, but there are four starters to replace.
FOREST (Ocala)
Coach: Gabriel Zimmerly, 2nd year.
2019-20: 12-4 in duals searchable on Track/reported to Matmen. 9th at Bill Scott Holiday Invitational, 3rd at Westside Roundrobin, 15th at Moskowitz IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for 2A-Region 2; Traditional: 6th at 2A-District 5, T-26th at 2A-Region 2. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for Region 2-2A; Traditional: 5th at 2A-District 5, T-28th at 2A-Region 2.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jakob Zawosky (junior, 32-6 at 106, district champ, 1 match from states); Gabriele Mulford (senior, 2-13 at 113, 0-2 at districts); Nick Stua (senior, 13-16 at 120, 1 match from regions); Chase Cook (senior, 10-16 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Wesley Marren (junior, 10-14 at 132, 1 match from regions); Tyler Miller (senior, 19-13 at 145, 1 match from regions); Casey Carr (senior, 20-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Josshuel Martinez (junior, 6-12 at 220, 1 match from regions); Kaleb Thompson (senior, 7-14 at 285, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Steven Holmes (11-5 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Alvont Graham (17-8 at 182, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jacob Pratt (20-11 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: From last year to this, Forest showed one of the biggest jumps in improvement in the coverage area, but did so in a pretty quiet fashion. Defending MCIAC champions, will need to get more weights covered to contend closer to top of district.
SEMINOLE (Sanford).
Coach: Travis Cleary, 1st year.
2019-20: 7-6 in duals searchable on Track/reported to Matmen. 12th at Battle for the Blacktop, 4th at William Nutter Memorial, T-29th at Knockout Christmas Classic, T-10th at Milton-Winter, 30th at Lady Bear Classic, 10th at Flagler Rotary, 5th at Seminole Athletic Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: 6th at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 7th at region, T-12th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 5th at 3A-District 3, 7th at region, 17th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 7th at 3A-District 3, 29th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Noah Barbour (junior, 7-14 at 106, 1 match from regions); Isabale Hernandez (sophomore, 3-15 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Corry Sanchez (senior, 20-8 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Darian Raines (sophomore, 14-7 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ethan Gorospe (senior, 20-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Ryan Culbertson (sophomore, 3-5 at 132, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Anshuman Singh (senior, 6-20 at 138, 1 match from regions); Benjamin Bohring (senior per district bracket/junior per Track roster, 7-20 at 152, 1 match from regions); Justin Shima (senior, 5-13 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mike Frederick (sophomore, 3-5 at 170, 1 match from regions); William James (junior, 12-18 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Garrett Thornton (junior, 0-4 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Cesar Marquez (6-7 at 120, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Isaac Epperson (12-18 at 145, 1 match from regions); Gabriel Lacrosse (16-6 at 145/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Clifford Pinthieve (2-16 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jordan Smith (36-6 at 220, district champ, region runnerup, state runnerup); Curtis Ruff (38-1 at 285, district champ, region champ, state CHAMPION).
Matmen’s take: Could be something of a rebuilding year for the Noles, with four post-season starters and virtually all of its statewide presence graduated. But some of last year’s new blood had solid seasons, so the cupboard isn’t entirely bare.
UNIVERSITY (Orange City)
Coach: Brian Kells.
2019-20: 8-8 in duals searchable on Track/reported to Matmen. 5th at Lady Clash of Titans, 3rd at Clash of Titans, 10th at Tournament of Champions, 11th at Lady Panther, T-8th at Lady Bear Classic, 5th at Ed Kilpatrick, 11th at Flagler Rotary, 3rd at 5 Star Conference, 7th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: 3rd at districts; Traditional: 3rd at districts, 13th at regions, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 6th at 3A-District 3, 10th at region, T-42nd at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 6th at 3A-District 3, T-14th at region, T-61st at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Boys: Grady Bryant (sophomore, 21-16 at 106, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Patrick King (year not noted, 9-19 at 113, 1 match from regions); Malique Hargett (year not noted, 11-21 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Kolton Mixon (junior, 4-15 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cooper Braden (junior, 4-8 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Berrios (senior, 1-16 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); James Houck (senior, 19-17 at 152, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Aaron Liberti (senior, 19-14 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Christian Kennick (senior, 35-8 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Keenan Diaz (senior, 10-15 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Girls: Kyndall James (junior, 2-4 at 122, 2-2 at girls’ state); Alexandra Roche (year not noted, 7-8 at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Lauren Kaminsky (year not noted, 6-6 at 134, 5th at girls’ state).
Key losses (graduation): Ashley Corujo (12-7 at 112, 5th at girls’ state); Jonathan Justice (27-14 at 126, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Alyssa Murzycki (9-8 at 128, 2-2 at girls’ state); Jenna Ross (5-6 at 128, 2-2 at girls’ state); Kaylee Hollifield (6-3 at 134, 2-0 at girls’ state); Chase McDonough (26-7 at 145, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Katlyn Gillespie (19-14 at 147, 5th at girls’ state); Kellan Flanary (17-14 at 160, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Lasher (30-11 at 195, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Titans were in the mix in their new district, but in order to take another step into the region mix, they’ve got lineup holes to plug, particularly from 160-195. Lady Titans lost five starters and might struggle to stay in the top 10 statewide in the final year before state sanction, but if they can recruit new faces into the lineup, they will stay there.
WEST PORT (Ocala)
Coach: ???.
2019-20: 5-12 in duals searchable on Track/reported to Matmen. 25th at Kiwanis (Hernando) Invitational, 13th at Corey Hill Memorial, 19th at Lady Panther, 13th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: 7th at district; Traditional: 5th at district, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 3rd at district, T-19th at region, T-49th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for region; Traditional: 5th at district, T-20th at region, T-61st at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Tristen Perez (junior, 0-4 at 106, 0-2 at districts); Taylor Miller (junior, 6-22* at 106/112, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Frangello Baltodano (junior, 24-15 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Zackary Thompson (junior, 4-11* at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Colton McInturf (junior, 7-10 at 132, 1 match from regions); Jordan Ware (senior, 15-4* at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tyler Pinkowski (junior, 31-12 at 138, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Bridgett Pedalino (junior, 5-5* at 140, girls’ state 6th); Breyden Marquis (senior, 8-8* at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joseph Paci (sophomore, 7-11 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Rowlin Richardson (junior, 8-20 at 182, 1 math from regions); Nathan Bonczek (sophomore, 4-9 at 220, 1 match from regions); Cane Fernandez (sophomore, 7-12* at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Morgan Webb (6-8* at 100, 1-2 at girls’ state); Bryce Dodge (41-6 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions; transferred to Flagler Palm Coast); Theo Massilon (23-7 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Aspen Dodge (19-6* at 152/154, girls’ state CHAMPION); Ethan Smith (5-10 at 195, 0-2 at districts).
Matmen’s take: On the whole, Wolfpack did a better job with numbers last year, although it never overcame the loss of experience that previous team felt. Girls’ side will feel that loss this year. Group needs more than two wins (its 2019-20 number) at regions.

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