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: Lincoln HS, Tallahassee
When: Saturday, February 20 (9 a.m. weighin start, 11 a.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. Lincoln. 2. Chiles. 3. Columbia. 4. Mosley. 5. Orange Park. 6. Middleburg. 7. Leon. 8. Gainesville.
The skinny: Points at potentially every weight class should be enough to carry the Trojans; as of right now, I don’t project any of the other teams in the top half of the bracket to have a full set (Chiles and Columbia might fill 13 each). Could be a good scrap between the Timberwolves and Tigers, just as the dual was in December. Mosley, I think, has the upper hand on at least fourth, and Middleburg could even push past the Raiders for fifth.
Weight class to watch: 106. There’s going to be two decent kids that might have to find their way in as a fifth- or sixth-place finisher. District 1 was full and I project District 4 to be as well, but there might be an alternate slot as the result of a potentially-open space due to District 3 not sending four.
Matmen’s first-impression region qualifiers:
106: 1. Brett Millard (Columbia). 2. Derrick Williams (Mosley). 3. Sam Tolomeo (Chiles). 4. Vaniel Caceres (Lincoln).
113: 1. Elijah Hendley (Lincoln). 2. Garrett Marschka (Chiles). 3. Calvin Williams (Mosley). 4. Davon Bailey (Orange Park).
120: 1. Hunter Brown (Chiles). 2. Elijah Serrano (Orange Park). 3. Thomas Stokes (Middleburg). 4. JayShawn Washington (Lincoln).
126: 1. Riley Girgis (Middleburg). 2. Ron Taylor (Lincoln). 3. Jayden Thomas (Columbia). 4. Darius Mailhot (Mosley).
132: 1. Zaire Fernanders-Jackson (Lincoln). 2. Cooper Mote (Columbia). 3. Jae Garay (Chiles). 4. Dylan Johns (Middleburg).
138: 1. Olufemi Egberongbe (Chiles). 2. Nolan Zirgibel (Leon). 3. Mekhi Williams (Lincoln). 4. Christopher Hayes/Alexander Ulloa (Columbia).
145: 1. Nick Hejke (Mosley). 2. Preston Scoggins (Chiles). 3. Brennan Kade (Gainesville). 4. Mason Kirkland (Lincoln).
152: 1. Thomas Greene (Columbia). 2. Patrick Blanca (Lincoln). 3. Trevion Sermons (Orange Park). 4. Alex Adkins (Chiles).
160: 1. Nick Kendrick (Mosley). 2. Alex Nayfack (Middleburg). 3. Andrew Mullins (Chiles). 4. Jerry Bowman (Lincoln).
170: 1. Joseph Rice (Columbia). 2. Eliyah Cole (Middleburg). 3. Kaydon Lester (Mosley). 4. Carlos Nelson (Gainesville).
182: 1. Cayden Bevis (Lincoln). 2. Will Wiggins (Chiles). 3. Tucker Cody (Middleburg). 4. Jayden Drew (Columbia).
195: 1. Kyle McGill (Chiles). 2. Wyatt Yown (Lincoln). 3. Joshua Seabrooks (Leon). 4. Geoffrey Delice (Orange Park).
220: 1. Omarion LaRoach (Lincoln). 2. Shawn Raggins (Columbia). 3. Nicholas Groves (Chiles). 4. Riley Rajotte (Leon).
285: 1. Jaycob Jones (Columbia). 2. Nic Weaver (Lincoln). 3. Robert Willis (Mosley). 4. Reese Sheehan/Jonothan Garcia (Orange Park).
Obie or not Obie: Will Obie Smith be in the lineup tomorrow for Columbia at, most likely, 160? If yes, that will not only strengthen Columbia’s chances in the middle, but will make yet another class in this powerful district just that much tougher.
Middleburg middle and 182: We could see all of Middleburg’s 138s/145s over the space of three weights (adding 152 as well) and that might allow the Broncos to cover up to 13 weights. While that might make individual goals tougher to fill for some, it would certainly help the team to have that coverage.
This one’s for the girls: Orange Park’s lineup, and we’ll know this a bit based on what we see from first day at girls’ state brackets, could be significantly impacted, as the Raiders have routinely had as many as four weights with female starters throughout the year. Filling all weights will be tougher without them.