Who’s the best?
We can know who the best is in wrestling. But what parts of the country, or state, are better than another, that’s a little harder to pin down.
Sure, it’s possible to have a gut reaction to the question.
I like the data myself.
So, while we’re in summer mode and posting camp flyers on Facebook pages and (hopefully) getting schedules for the coming year, and all of our records updates are done for 2020-21, and we’re in between big events like Disney and Fargo, we’ve got the time to crunch the numbers to answer the big questions.
We’ve looked at the state tournaments; now, the focus switches to the region events, to ask which district won each region. The order’s going to be pretty random.
One unique wrinkle to these posts. I’ve covered high school wrestling in (cranks up the Wayback machine in the head)… SIX states now. I’ve seen a lot. I have to say, I like Iowa’s version of the region round the best, where that state wrestles a true second-place match in determining who goes on to state.
I’m kind of a tinkerer at heart — one of the ideas I’ve championed was adopted by FHSAA this past year, with districts going out to six places and using those from time to time to help fill region brackets.
So in addition to the three measuring sticks of data, I’m offering a What If section of these posts. What if there was a true second? What if there was a true fourth? We’re going to show you who’d be involved, and then you in the various local areas can speculate how those matches would go (when we do my coverage-area regions, I’ll add some regular-season color on how they might have gone).
We said we’d be pretty random, and the first region up (we’ll do all 12) is Region 4 in 2A. In this case, the best district might be determined by which measuring stick you like best; it’s a split decision between Districts 16 and 13. I think both districts have a case.
We’ll start as we did with states. Which district scored the most points?
Although Southridge won the team title and provided almost half of District 16’s points, it was the depth of District 13, which got a big boost from sixth-place Viera –which finished ninth in the region — plus the 3-4 punch of Heritage and Sebastian River that carried the 13s to the top spot. One big help for the 13s, also, was the lack of full districts for both Districts 15 and 16, which were hampered by late rollouts due to Covid in 2020-21.
- District 13: 517.5 points
- District 16: 451
- District 14: 354
- District 15: 291.5
How about state qualifiers?
The distribution of region hardware told a slightly different story than just adding up the points. The 13s had the most region champs and finalists, but the 16s had more qualifier depth.
- District 16: 18 state qualifiers (4 1st, 4 2nd, 7 3rd, 3 4th).
- District 13: 16 state qualifiers (6 1st, 5 2nd, 4 3rd, 1 4th).
- District 14: 13 state qualifiers (0 1st, 4 2nd, 2 3rd, 7 4th).
- District 15: 9 state qualifiers (4 1st, 1 2nd, 1 3rd, 3 4th).
I also like to look at the depth each region has. One measuring indicator I use is to calculate the depth of each district by compiling the win-loss records of each district’s competitors. This got interesting with the addition of additional region qualifiers. This allowed District 13, the fullest district of the quartet, to amass the most victories, which probably helped them score the most points, but I’m going to list them by winning percentage order, which favored District 16.
- District 16: 103-75, 57.87% win percentage
- District 13: 114-103, 52.53%
- District 14: 86-101, 45.99%
- District 15: 68-92, 42.50%
So there you have it. Some interesting conclusions to draw.
Now, for the What Ifs. In MOST cases, there will be a true 4th; there would not be a true 2nd if the runnerup and 3rd-place wrestler met in the semis, that match would be determinative.
106: True 4th — Would match up Port St Lucie’s Donnell Williams, who qualified fourth, against district rival Cayden Miller of Okeechobee. They didn’t meet earlier in the tournament; Williams won by tech in the D14 final.
113: True 2nd — Runnerup Gabriel Bowen (Okeechobee) and third-place Johan Castano (Killian) were in opposite halves of the bracket and didn’t meet. True 4th — matches up Suncoast’s Holden Kapsos (who qualified 4th) against Belen’s Henry Amador.
120: True 2nd — As at 113, runnerup Connor Hueck (Southridge) & 3rd-place Roman Maldonado (Heritage) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Okeechobee’s Sonny Hancock (qualified 4th) against Sebastian River’s Tre Rhoades.
126: True 4th — matches Hialeah-Mater Lakes’ Michael Zunino (who qualified 4th) against Sebastian River’s Antonio Rosado.
132: True 2nd — Runnerup Kylen McQueen (Sebastian River) & 3rd-place James Berline (Ft Lauderdale) were in same half but didn’t meet; Berline came back to avenge his quarterfinal defeat in medal round. True 4th — Matches Viera’s Nate Olson (qualified 4th) against St Thomas Aquinas’ Ethan Vigutow.
138: True 4th — As it turns out, Belen’s Manuel Dominguez (who qualified 4th) benefited from not having a true 4th, while Port St Lucie’s William Diaz suffered from it. Diaz pinned Dominguez in the quarters and as it would have turned out would have gotten a rematch for true 4th. Fair play to Dominguez, though, he responded as one should after the quarterfinal loss, with three wins on the back and a 10-8 blood-round win over Southridge (who pinned him in the first minute in the D16 final) to qualify out.
145: True 2nd — Runnerup Rashad Hannon (McArthur) and 3rd-place Julian Mayorga (Southridge) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Belen’s Lucas Amaya (qualified 4th) against STA’s Joel Sanchez, who lost 10-6 to Mayorga in round 1 and then got to a blood-round rematch before falling again, 11-6.
152: True 2nd — Runnerup Anthony Callahan (Eau Gallie) and 3rd-place Zaiden Bucknor (Ft Lauderdale) were in opposite halves. No true 4th at this weight, the two wrestlers that would have been involved met in the quarters, and that match would have been determinative.
160: True 4th — Matches Port St Lucie’s Elijah Yuhas (qualified 4th) against Ft Lauderdale’s Nick Burress. The two wrestlers met in the District 14 semis, with Yuhas taking a first-period fall.
170: True 4th — Matches STA’s Nicolas Rodriguez (qualified 4th) against HML’s Leandro Chinea.
182: True 2nd — Runnerup Destin Watson (Eau Gallie) and 3rd-place Gian Espinal (HML) were in opposite halves. Like 152, there is no true 4th at this weight, the two wrestlers that would have been involved met in the quarters, with the qualifier winning that round.
195: True 2nd — Runnerup Gervaris Desire (PSL) and 3rd-place Zideen Ruiz (HML) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Melbourne’s Johnathan Sirad (qualified 4th) against Heritage’s Vicente Ramirez-Ellis. They met in the D13 semis, where Ramirez-Ellis had won by fall in that tournament a week prior.
220: True 4th — Matches Okeechobee’s Jose Monroy (qualified 4th) against STA’s Jordan Smith.
285: True 2nd — Runnerup Timule Hayes (Eau Gallie) and 3rd-place Marcelo Rosario (Southridge) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches McArthur’s Kevin Magrinat (qualified 4th) and Ft Lauderdale’s Dan Michel.
Tomorrow, we’ll head northwest from the 305 and take a look at 1A-Region 3.