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.
We don’t get brackets in advance (unless we tell you otherwise that we did), so while there’s a reasonable confidence that these are the weights where these kids picked to move on, we issue the disclaimer that we’re not 100% in knowledge of that.
We’re going to give you our first impression of each weight class, and, in each district, we’ll provide one weight class where we expect the unexpected to happen and three dark horses that particularly intrigue us as things stood when we wrote these.
Where: Matanzas HS, Palm Coast
When: Wednesday, February 17 (1 p.m. weighin start, 3 p.m. wrestle start, times as local).
At stake: Top 4 in each weight class automatically advance to the 2A-Region 1 tournament February 26-27 at Mosley HS in Lynn Haven. Districts this year are to wrestle out to fifth and sixth place where possible.
Projected team finish: 1. New Smyrna Beach. 2. Matanzas. 3. St Augustine. 4. Seabreeze. 5. Belleview. 6. Deltona. 7. Mainland.
The skinny: New Smyrna Beach proved itself capable of handling IBTs as well as duals, as the 2A state semifinalists won the inaugural Bi-County title two weekends ago. Matanzas and St Augustine have plenty of chances to scrap for individual titles as well; Seabreeze and Belleview should get several qualifiers through and have the chance to contend for top-3 team status. Deltona and Mainland should move a couple through as well.
Weight class to watch: 132. I think the champion is pretty well set, but if there’s any truth to “any wrestler on any given day” 132 might show us that, as several of the wrestlers in the field have the ability to win twice and at least get to the finals.
Matmen’s first-impression region qualifiers:
106: 1. Simjay Engberg (New Smyrna Beach). 2. Carter Wilder (Matanzas). 3. Gavin Barro (St Augustine). 4. Kayla Nguyen (Seabreeze).
113: 1. Zackery Young (Belleview). 2. Aidan Sutton (New Smyrna Beach). 3. Cynder Melton (Seabreeze). 4. Savier Garcia (St Augustine).
120: 1. Kevin Kerns (Deltona). 2. Wilson Nguyen (St Augustine). 3. Tristen Winfrey (New Smyrna Beach). 4. Mark Willis (Belleview).
126: 1. Jamey Bruner (New Smyrna Beach). 2. Joseph Kent (Seabreeze). 3. Jordan Levy (St Augustine). 4. Gage Alberty (Belleview).
132: 1. Jace Engberg (New Smyrna Beach). 2. Logan Mayer. 3. Christian Jackson (St Augustine). 4. Morgan Cole (Belleview).
138: 1. Devin Stickney (Seabreeze). 2. Justis Chandler (New Smyrna Beach). 3. Carlos Quintanal (St Augustine). 4. Andrew Davis (Belleview).
145: 1. Michael Shannon (New Smyrna Beach). 2. Gabriel Galloza (St Augustine). 3. Eric McLaughlin (Belleview). 4. Josh Rodgers (Mainland).
152: 1. Brock Roberts (Seabreeze). 2. Tyson Mills (Matanzas). 3. Avante Chamble (New Smyrna Beach). 4. Hayden Yanni (St Augustine).
160: 1. Jordan Mills (Matanzas). 2. Clint Griffin (St Augustine). 3. Jackson Farmer (New Smyrna Beach). 4. Cornelius Bentley-Greene (Belleview).
170: 1. Connor Spossey (St Augustine). 2. Devin Dorton (Mainland). 3. Eric McLaughlin (Belleview). 4. Brandyn Cox (Matanzas).
182: 1. Ryan Murphy (St Augustine). 2. Chris Thomas (Seabreeze). 3. Sawyer Vanrider (New Smyrna Beach). 4. Nico Rivera (Mainland).
195: 1. Doug Dittmer (New Smyrna Beach). 2. Caiden Patton (Seabreeze). 3. Nathan Halstead (Belleview). 4. Michael Koliner (St Augustine).
220: 1. Ethan Chiu (Deltona). 2. Nathan Boyd (Seabreeze). 3. Andrew Dunn (Belleview). 4. Austin Mitchum (New Smyrna Beach).
285: 1. Robert Elder (Matanzas). 2. Nathan Hatch (Deltona). 3. Jordan Colubiale (Mainland). 4. Noah Cortez (New Smyrna Beach).
‘Cuda middles: Wrestleoffs this week in a couple of different rooms will tell the tale on who goes out from 138 through 170 for New Smyrna Beach, which has been able to mix-and-match without much dropoff at all.
Matanzas uppers: Same deal, to some extent as the NSB issue in the middle, but after 160 and up to 285 there’s been some degree of unsettledness in the Pirates’ lineup. If that got put together in the interim between Bi-County and tomorrow, Matanzas will be a stronger threat.
152: I almost picked this as a weight class to watch, but there’s some uncertainty on which guys will be there. If the four I have going out all do go out at that weight, that’s a foursome that’s going to do damage at Mosley.