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’re a little over half done and this is the final “local” region that we’ve got going. Next up is Region 2 in 1A. In past years, you could almost pencil in District 7 in all these categories, but the main reason why is now an independent team. With the powerhouse team of the region now Palm Bay, would the Pirates — and District 8 — replace that power vacuum in the region?
Yes. For the most part, yes.
We’ll start with a count of the most points scored by district.
District 8 ran away with the points lead, as Palm Bay’s individual title total of 300 being enough to more than double District 5 and nearly surpass District 7 by itself. But the rest of the district chipped in an equal share, plus a couple more points, to push its lead out of sight.
- District 8: 612 points.
- District 6: 496.5
- District 7: 348
- District 5: 142
How about state qualifiers?
Here, too, the 8s dominated, with 10 region champions and matching the rest of the region with seven runners-up. But District 8 had a solid amount of depth — not as many 3rds/4ths as District 6, but, then, it had triple the finalists the 6s had.
- District 8: 25 qualifiers (10 1st, 7 2nd, 5 3rd, 3 4th).
- District 6: 17 qualifiers (1 1st, 4 2nd, 6 3rd, 6 4th).
- District 7: 12 qualifiers (2 1st, 3 2nd, 2 3rd, 5 4th).
- District 5: 2 qualifiers (1 1st, 0 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 this was the closest measuring stick of the three, the win percentage in favor of the 8s was not close. Overall wins, however, was closer and, in terms of raw data, favored District 6, though District 6 was more likely to have additional qualifiers, which helped.
- District 8: 123-84
- District 6: 126-117
- District 7: 94-99
- District 5: 40-83
While Palm Bay wasn’t quite an exact fit for the team it replaced atop the Region 2 table, it essentially fulfilled the same role of that team — as the region’s center of power, and District 8 took over as the strongest district as a result.
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 Logan DeLos Santos (Palm Bay) would face 3rd-place Raider Morelli (Space Coast). The district rivals had met in the District 8 final, with DeLos Santos taking a 13-10 decision. True 4th — Matches Master’s Academy’s Dustin Kohn (qualified 4th) against Cypress Creek (Wesley Chapel)’s Jaden Desantis.
113: True 2nd — Runnerup Alex McMiller (Satellite) would face 3rd-place Talon Maple (Zephyrhills Christian). True 4th — Matches Merritt Island’s Zane Hudson (qualified 4th) against Space Coast’s Anthony Edwards. Edwards had taken a 7-5 decision in the third-place match at District 8.
120: True 2nd — Runnerup Shaver Jackson (Palm Bay) would face 3rd-place TJ Rodier (Hernando). While I don’t have full results for either team, the pair did meet at Day 1 of state duals, with Jackson taking an 8-6 win. True 4th — Matches Citrus’ Charles Smith against Astronaut’s Preston Pineiro.
126: True 2nd — Runnerup Lucien Comelchook (Merritt Island) would face 3rd-place Diego Mojica (Hernando). True 4th — Matches Zephyrhills Christian’s Landen Holley (qualiifed 4th) against Citrus’ Jacob Reynolds.
132: True 4th — Matches Zephyrhills’ Jaiden Martinez (qualified 4th) against Merritt Island’s Eddie Sears.
138: True 4th — Matches Zephyrhills Christian’s Javier Lopez (qualified 4th) against Nature Coast’s Forest Tilson. The District 6 rivals had previously met in the finals of that tournament, with Lopez winning by second-period fall.
145: True 4th — Matches Villages’ Cameron Rima (qualified 4th) against Wesley Chapel’s Nick Iserino. This would have led to Iserino, instead of Rima, qualifying out, but fair play to Rima, who rallied from the quarterfinal loss with three consi-side wins to qualify out, while Iserino ran into two multiple-time District 8 state qualifiers in the semis and blood round.
152: True 2nd — Runnerup Logan Simpson (Citrus) would face 3rd-place Jason Perez (Hernando). True 4th — Matches Zephyrhills’ Idael Reyes (qualified 4th) against Cypress Creek (Wesley Chapel)’s Jonathan Cardona. They’d met in the District 6 semis, where Cardona took a 6-5 win.
160: True 4th — Matches Nature Coast’s Caleb Murray (qualified 4th) against Villages’ Kevin Coon.
170: True 2nd — Runnerup Michael McCarthy (Satellite) would face 3rd-place Khalil Mitchell (Merritt Island). They had met in the District 8 final, with Mitchell winning by first-period fall. True 4th — Matches Palm Bay’s Anthony Holden (qualified 4th) against Hernando’s Nate Greene.
182: True 2nd — Runnerup Jacob Suggs (Bishop Moore) would face 3rd-place Blake Coleman (Citrus). They had met in the District 7 final, with Coleman winning by first-period fall. True 4th — Matches Cocoa’s Troy Sawyer (qualified 4th) against Atlantic’s David Arcieri. The pair of 2021 graduates had met at Space Coast’s Viper Invitational, where Sawyer had won by first-period fall.
195: True 2nd — Runnerup Johnathan Ahne (Hernando) would face 3rd-place Matthew Kovalskiy (Weeki Wachee). They had met in the District 6 final, with Kovalskiy winning by first-period fall. True 4th — Matches Villages’ Jaden Markus (qualified 4th) against Palm Bay’s Octavion Osby.
220: True 2nd — Runnerup Theotis Smith (Zephyrhills) would face 3rd-place Ozkan Aydin (Palm Bay). True 4th — Matches’ Villages’ Nicholas Heise (qualified 4th) against Zephyrhills Christian’s Elijah Austin.
285: True 2nd — Runnerup Carlos Gerardino (Palm Bay) would face 3rd-place Sam Fleming (Hernando). At the first day of state duals, Gerardino won by third-period fall. True 4th — Matches Zephyrhills’ Dajuan McCullough (qualified 4th) against Atlantic’s Jared Jackson. They did not meet during the regular season.
Our next region that we will analyze — the post on it will come out as time permits this coming week, with Fargo taking up some time as well — will be Region 4 in 3A.