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. NOTE: We were provided with Florida High’s projected lineup two days before this preview appeared.
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: Florida State University School (Florida High), Tallahassee.
When: Saturday, February 20 (10 a.m. weighin start, noon wrestle start, times as local).
At stake: Top 4 in each weight class automatically advance to the 1A-Region 1 tournament February 26-27 at Bolles School in Jacksonville. Districts this year are to wrestle out to fifth and sixth place where possible.
Projected team finish: 1. Wakulla. 2. Suwannee. 3. Baker Cty. 4. Florida High. 5. Marianna. 6. Godby.
The skinny: Wakulla should be able to qualify its entire team out and should win several weight classes in addition to the team title. That I think’s a given. What won’t be given is where everybody finishes between second and fourth. I would have said Suwannee in a walk a month ago, and it still might be the Bulldogs by a good-sized margin, but if Baker Cty fills all their lowers as they had early on in the season, they’re going to provide a very strong push. And if Florida High gets some help in filling its lineup out as well, the Seminoles will be a tough team as well.
Weight class to watch: 152. I think the district champ is pretty well set….maybe? Marianna’s got an option there that could really throw my preview off. And there’s at least two teams with options there, plus will Godby have representation? So many questions; it’s going to be a fun weight to watch tomorrow.
Matmen’s first-impression region qualifiers:
106: 1. Julian Harvey (Wakulla). 2. Topher Pearson (Suwannee). 3. Makayla Johnson (Baker Cty). No 4th.
113: 1. George Hernandez (Wakulla). 2. Austin McKinney (Suwannee). 3. Brock Duncan (Baker Cty). 4. Delandre Leconte (Florida High).
120: 1. Raymond Hatchman (Wakulla). 2. Xander Kirkland (Suwannee). 3. Copher Stran (Baker Cty). 4. Hunter Cornelius (Marianna).
126: 1. Tyler Reeve (Florida High). 2. Timothy Jolicoeur (Suwannee). 3. Isaiah Wilson (Wakulla). 4. Thomas Torres (Baker Cty).
132: 1. Jackson Merrick (Wakulla). 2. Brody Boehm (Suwannee). 3. Joshua Carter (Baker Cty). 4. Cyrus Selman (Florida High).
138: 1. Tyson Musgrove (Suwannee). 2. Emil Ganim (Florida High). 3. Jae T Thaxton (Wakulla). 4. William Carrel (Marianna).
145: 1. Ethan Heinemann (Marianna). 2. Hayden Reeves (Wakulla). 3. Caleb Parsons (Suwannee). 4. Anthony Bedoya (Florida High).
152: 1. Austin Howard (Suwannee). 2. Zabdiel Garcia-Esquilin (Wakulla). 3. Nigel Brown (Godby). 4. Rasean Rayan (Baker Cty).
160: 1. Cole Baggett (Wakulla). 2. Ayden Kirby (Suwannee). 3. Alexander Hawkes (Florida High). 4. Leo Cottrell (Baker Cty).
170: 1. Clayton Dennison (Baker Cty). 2. Dustin Wood (Suwannee). 3. Liam Hawkes (Florida High). 4. Daniel Brattain (Wakulla).
182: 1. Jackson Osteen (Wakulla). 2. Conner South (Baker Cty). 3. Julian Green (Godby). 4. John Campbell (Florida High).
195: 1. Micah Perdue (Florida High). 2. Toby Kinghorn (Baker Cty). 3. Blaine Howard (Suwannee). 4. Tyler Edenfield (Wakulla).
220: 1. Robert Harrell (Godby). 2. Garrett Cain (Baker Cty). 3. Jack Mispel (Wakulla). 4. Amarrie Harris (Florida High).
285: 1. Jayven Hearns (Wakulla). 2. Daeshawn Larry (Baker Cty). 3. Cayden Williams (Suwannee). 4. Adam Stinson (Fla High).
Wakulla in the middle: The War Eagles do have a few options they can pursue in the 138/152 range and I would imagine wrestleoffs will track those, so we will see who lines up at those weights tomorrow.
Ditto Florida High: The Seminoles also have mix-and-match options in and around the 138-152 weight classes, and used them — quite often — throughout the season. I suspect there were some spirited wrestleoffs late last week or early this week.
The Dennison factor: We saw Clayton Dennison, who should be a force in and around 170 for Baker Cty, but not as much in January. There’d be some dropoff if he doesn’t suit up but not so much that the Wildcats won’t get out at that weight.