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 3A. As we saw in 2A-R1 and 2A-R4, one district ruled them all. But none so far — we still have over half the regions to go through — have dominated a region like District 10 dominated 3A-R3.
We’ll start with a count of the most points scored by district.
This race wasn’t much of a race from the jump, with three of the top four teams — including the overwhelming individual team champ, Ft Pierce Central — all coming from District 10. In fact, the 10s outpointed any other TWO districts’ point totals, COMBINED.
- District 10: 699 points
- District 9: 407.5
- District 12: 252
- District 11: 207
How about state qualifiers?
If the gap in points wasn’t enough of a lead to call this thing, the qualifiers surely would be. District 10 had 28 region medals. Now, keep in mind that each region only awards 56. That’s right, one district bagged HALF the available state spots. The other three districts collected the other half.
- District 10: 28 qualifiers (9 1st, 5 2nd, 10 3rd, 4 4th).
- District 9: 13 qualifiers (3 1st, 3 2nd, 1 3rd, 6 4th).
- District 12: 9 qualifiers (0 1st, 3 2nd, 2 3rd, 4 4th).
- District 11: 6 qualifiers (2 1st, 3 2nd, 1 3rd, 0 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. While District 10 wrapped things up pretty early on, I want to call attention to the effort by its 152 group — Ft Pierce Central’s J.T. Apicella, Treasure Coast’s Lucas Moreno, Vero Beach’s Cooper Patton and Centennial’s Cameron Dodd. The quartet all qualified out. That happens from time-to-time but not often. But here’s more. All four made the semis. And both wrestlers that lost in the semis won in the blood round. A group of 4 wrestlers can’t do any better than that (and they’re all back next year).
- District 10: 151-92
- District 9: 106-116
- District 12: 67-92
- District 11: 54-79
So there you have it. Thus far (again, only nearly halfway through), no district has dominated a region like 3A-10 dominated Region 3.
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 or quarters, that match would be determinative.
106: True 2nd — Runnerup Evan Martinez (Freedom) and 3rd-place Renier Ortiz (Vero Beach) would meet. True 4th — Matches Ft Pierce Central’s Connor Harris (qualified 4th) against Jupiter’s Jagger Pentney. Pentney was an additional qualifier after taking fifth at District 10, but reached the Region 3 blood round.
113: True 2nd — Runnerup Evan Pena (Wellington) and 3rd-place Isaiah Herrington (Ft Pierce Central) would meet. True 4th — Matches Lake Nona’s Christian Reinhardt (qualified 4th) against Olympic Heights’ Carlos Garcia.
120: True 4th — Matches Park Vista’s Zachary Shapiro (qualified 4th) against St Cloud’s Nathaniel Huron.
126: True 2nd — Runnerup Andre Aja (Freedom) and 3rd-place Elijah Ortiz (Palm Beach Gardens) would meet. True 4th — Matches Deerfield Beach’s Ryan Anderson (qualified 4th) against Treasure Coast’s Jacob Bartkowiak.
132: True 4th — Matches Freedom’s Eric Aja (qualified 4th) against St Cloud’s Caleb George. The two wrestlers faced off in the District 9 final, where Aja took a 7-2 win.
138: True 2nd — Runnerup Brandon Lehrman (Olympic Heights) and 3rd-place Seth George (St Cloud) would meet. No match for true 4th, as the participants met in the quarters, with the eventual state qualifier winning.
145: True 2nd — Runnerup Pedro Azevedo (Olympic Heights) and 3rd-place Luke Schumatti (Palm Beach Gardens) would meet. True 4th — Matches Wellington’s Seth Rhodes (qualified 4th) against Treasure Coast’s James Wetenkamp.
152: True 4th — Matches Centennial’s Cameron Dodd (qualified 4th) against Cypress Creek’s Josh Mannix.
160: True 2nd — Runnerup Riley Orr (Ft Pierce Central) and 3rd-place Jabore Brown (Treasure Coast) would meet. They had met last in the District 10 semis, where Orr won by first-period fall. True 4th — Matches St Cloud’s Wilfredo Martinez (qualified 4th) against Freedom’s Cooper Galvin. The pair met in the District 9 final, with Martinez pushing through a 6-5 decision.
170: No true 2nd or true 4th.
182: True 2nd — Runnerup Isaiah Pierre (Olympic Heights) and 3rd-place Frito Antonie (Treasure Coast) would meet. True 4th — Matches St Cloud’s Spencer O’Neil (qualified 4th) against Freedom’s Melvin Cavallo. The pair met in the District 9 semis, with O’Neil taking a 7-3 win.
195: True 2nd — Runnerup Keyshawn Campbell (Vero Beach) and 3rd-place Jordan Adrien (Treasure Coast) would meet. True 4th — Matches Park Vista’s Nickolas Napase (qualified 4th) against Freedom’s Matt Miller.
220: True 4th — Matches Deerfield Beach’s Kayden Pierre (qualified 4th) against Royal Palm Beach’s Claude Mathieu.
285: True 4th — Matches Dr Phillips’ Gerald Greaves (qualified 4th; went on to win state the following week) against Olympic Heights’ Parker Poloskey.
Tomorrow, we’re returning to north Florida with a review of 1A-Region 1.