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 next region up (we’ll do all 12) is Region 3 in 1A. Unlike Sunday’s post with 2A-Region 4, where the best district almost depended on which measuring stick used, this one came back with one answer. District 12, covering the area from North Port south to Naples, carried the day as the top district in 1A-Region 3.
We’ll start as we did Sunday, with a count of the most points scored by district.
Behind the 1-2 punch of team champ Lemon Bay and fourth-place Oasis, plus a third top-10 finish from Naples’ First Baptist Academy, the 12s surged ahead early and weren’t challenged. The battle between the other three districts was very close, as the gap between 2nd and 4th was just 35.5 points, only 2.5 points per weight class.
- District 12: 509 points
- District 11: 409.5
- District 9: 379.5
- District 10: 374
How about state qualifiers?
Here, too, District 12 had the way of it, with the most champs (five) and finalists (nine), plus the most fourths. The gap between 2nd and 4th reflected the points spread as well, as just three region medals separated second from fourth.
- District 12: 19 state qualifiers (5 1st, 4 2nd, 3 3rd, 7 4th).
- District 11: 14 state qualifiers (2 1st, 2 2nd, 8 3rd, 2 4th).
- District 9: 12 state qualifiers (4 1st, 3 2nd, 2 3rd, 3 4th).
- District 10: 11 state qualifiers (3 1st, 5 2nd, 1 3rd, 2 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. Here, the spread between the best district and the others was significantly smaller, but here, too, District 12 came out on top.
District 12: 114-99
District 11: 101-97
District 10: 87-95
District 9: 84-95
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 2nd — Runnerup Ryan Kissel (Carrollwood Day) and 3rd-place Diogo Santos (Berkeley Prep) were in opposite semis. It would be a rematch of the District 9 final, which Santos won by first-period fall. No true 4th, the two wrestlers that would have met there met in the quarters.
113: True 2nd — Runnerup Andres DiGregoli (First Baptist) and 3rd-place Logan Kelly (Lemon Bay) were in opposite halves in a rematch of the District 12 final, which DiGregoli had won by a 7-2 count. True 4th — Matches Tenoroc’s Brandon Coleman (qualified 4th) against McKeel’s Cade Beke, a rematch of the District 11 final, which Coleman won by 18-12 decision.
120: True 2nd — Runnerup Jacob Bacon (First Baptist) and third-place Guy Yodock (McKeel) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Lemon Bay’s Brycen Warren (qualified 4th) against Tenoroc’s Rafael Paz.
126: True 4th — Matches Lemon Bay’s Johnathon Hartsikov-Newsome (qualified 4th) against Parrish’s Tyler Roper.
132: True 4th — Matches Bayshore’s Amulek Partida (qualified 4th) against Discovery’s Coty Meadows.
138: True 2nd — Runnerup Brendan Palamar (Carrollwood Day) and 3rd-place Owen McNabb (McKeel) were in opposite halves and didn’t see each other earlier. True 4th — Matches Oasis’ Kai Shelton (qualified 4th) against Lemon Bay’s Ashton Tucker; that would be a rematch of the District 12 semis, which Shelton won by a 12-10 decision.
145: True 2nd — Runnerup Mateo Villalobos (Bonita Springs) and 3rd-place Cody McNabb (McKeel) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Tarpon Springs’ Jacob Farren (qualified 4th) against Tenoroc’s Leighton Tinch (assuming Tinch could continue, given his previous match was a loss by injury default).
152: True 2nd — Runnerup Erik Borresen (Sarasota Military) and 3rd-place Konstantin Houvardas (Berkeley Prep) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Lemon Bay’s Austin Werden (qualified 4th) against Dunedin’s Sam Haertle.
160: True 2nd — Runnerup Mailo Johnson (Dunedin) and 3rd-place Nicolas Sheets (Admiral Farragut) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Berkeley Prep’s Andrew Crouch (qualified 4th) against First Baptist’s Colby Gonzalez.
170: No true 2nd (participants previously met in semis) or true 4th (prospective participants previously met in quarters).
182: True 4th — The prospective participants that would meet here under a true-4th scenario did meet in the quarters, with the wrestler that won that match (Gibbs’ Elijah Crawford, by a wild 23-20 count over eventual 4th-place Ashton Gehret of McKeel) not getting out. But fair play to Gehret, a 2021 McKeel grad, who won three matches (two by pin over district rivals) at the back to earn a state spot.
195: True 2nd — Runnerup Scott Lynch (Northside Christian) and 3rd-place Eric Cooper (Mulberry) were in opposite halves. True 4th — Matches Lemon Bay’s Louis Baldor (qualified 4th) against Bradenton Christian’s Carson Allman, who’d lost to Cooper in round 1 and then got back to a blood-round rematch loss against Cooper.
220: True 4th — Matches Berkeley Prep’s Jared Noh (qualified 4th) against Oasis’ Ryan Anderson.
285: True 2nd — Runnerup Joquorius Taylor (Mulberry) and 3rd-place Chance Larsen (Avon Park) were in opposite halves; this would be a rematch of the District 11 final, which Larsen won by fall. True 4th — Matches Labelle’s Justin Connell (qualified 4th) and Lakewood’s Jacquez McCrea.
Tomorrow, we’ll pick up our first northern run-through with 2A-Region 1.