#RoadToTheShow: 1A-Region 1 Preview

1A-Region 1

When & where: Wakulla HS, Crawfordville. First session is set for 11:45 a.m. Friday. Saturday’s first session set for 10 a.m.; finals usually are at discretion of tournament director and are most often slated for mid-afternoon starts.
Team favorite: Look for Clay (9th) to defend its region IBT title this weekend, though the Blue Devils should get stern tests for the host War Eagles, Suwannee (13th), Yulee, Bishop Kenny and South Walton. You can pencil in Clay, Wakulla and Suwannee for top 3, but there could be up to six teams in the mix for fourth and fifth.

Brackets can be reviewed HERE:  REGION 1 (WAKULLA)

Matmen’s state picks, sure to be wrong

The picks: 1. Julian Harvey (Wakulla, 9th). 2. Topher Pearson (Suwannee, 8th). 3. Jacob Bucci (Clay, 5th). 4. Turner Glenn (Episcopal, 15th).
The skinny: Home mats may have helped a lot last week, I think they will again this week. Harvey will get early tests, though, throughout the bracket.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Dewan Richardson (Florida High) v Luke Gray (Fernandina Beach, 20th).
Dark horse choices: Jake Parker (Wewahitchka, 19th); Josh Harris (Yulee).

The picks: 1. Jay Brown (Liberty County, 9th). 2. Jackson Holcomb (West Nassau, 20th). 3. Braden Glavin (Clay, 11th). 4. Conner Brown (Wakulla, 12th).
The skinny: Could be three or even four possibilities atop the podium; Brown has the history, but Holcomb is closing with a flurry. Glavin and both of the Browns have had the best schedules.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Thomas Pluhar (Rocky Bayou) v Lewis Duhan (Yulee).
Dark horse choices: Eli Jolicoeur (Suwannee, 16th); Leonardo Sanchez (Bay).

The picks: 1. De’Quon King (Raines, 1st). 2. Max Brewster (South Walton, 4th). 3. Maverick Rainwater (Clay, 5th). 4. Jacob Witt (Bolles, 12th).
The skinny: Two 2021 state placers in the final? Yes please. Pretty loaded weight class, as far it goes. How King’s path goes depends on how good he is on the feet.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Witt v Blayden Tharpe (West Nassau, 20th).
Dark horse choices: Tharpe; Caleb Orr (Wakulla).

The picks: 1. Brody Boehm (Suwannee, 7th). 2. Caden Kubatzke (Fernandina Beach, 10th). 3. Isaac Brinson (South Walton, 18th). 4. Juan Jimenez (Wakulla, 8th).
The skinny: Six legit possibilities could win this title at this weight class, and maybe as many as eight or nine real medal possibilities here.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Elijah Stillgess (Bay) v Allan Bustos (Bishop Kenny).
Dark horse choices: Rylan Herrera (Clay, 13th); Scott Busey (Episcopal).

The picks: 1. Austin McKinney (Suwannee, 5th). 2. Mikade Harvey (Palatka, 15th). 3. Isaiah Wilson (Wakulla, 6th). 4. Gibson Moore (South Walton).
The skinny: There’s one or two very, very good kids that will be left home after this weekend, up to and including maybe one or two kids projected to move on.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Nik Saldana (Fernandina Beach) v Xavier Logan (Clay).
Dark horse choices: Luke Latham (Rocky Bayou, 17th); Saldana-Logan winner.

The picks: 1. Brandon Lewis (Palatka, 7th). 2. Josh Kumpf (Clay, 8th). 3. Romero Black (Rutherford, 15th). 4. Wyatt Welch (Wakulla, 17th).
The skinny: Three potential finalists in the bottom half that will sort themselves out this weekend. There’s a lot of depth in this weight class.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Ayden Kirby (Suwannee) v Christian Ryan (Episcopal).
Dark horse choices: Austin Adamson (Yulee, 14th); Dietrich Woods (Fernandina Beach).

The picks: 1. Hayden Reeves (Wakulla, 10th). 2. Luke Boree (Clay, 8th). 3. Dylan Johns (Yulee, 9th). 4. Dylan Billingsley (South Walton, 11th).
The skinny: The four district champions should all reach the semis; a lot of kids who aren’t used to losing all that often are going to go home disappointed.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Marshall White (Suwannee) v Cole Misciagna (Fernandina Beach).
Dark horse choices: Paul Barakat (Bishop Kenny, 16th); Bear Siegal (North Bay Haven, 17th).

The picks: 1. Roberto Cuartero (Bishop Kenny, 3rd). 2. Tyson Musgrove (Suwannee, 7th). 3. Jae T Thaxton (Wakulla, 15th). 4. Conner Roberts (Wewahitchka, 20th).
The skinny: Not a deep weight class compared to the two before it, but if the final happens and it should, it’s going to be worth the Saturday price of admission alone.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Liam Strange (Wolfson) v Dean Wright (Florida High).
Dark horse choices: Hayden Meszaros (Clay); Rasean Rayam (Baker County).

The picks: 1. Enzo Gamba (Fernandina Beach, 9th). 2. Austin Howard (Suwannee, 7th). 3. Collin Hearn (Bishop Kenny, 10th). 4. Liam Hawkes (Florida High, 13th).
The skinny: A couple of really great quarterfinals to whet the appetite for Saturday, but there’s some drop after the top six or so.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: John Lopez (South Walton) v John Fernandez (Episcopal).
Dark horse choices: Luca Fiannca (Clay); Keaton Schirmer (Rutherford).

The picks: 1. Ethan Larsen (Clay, 10th). 2. Xander Hawkes (Florida High, 14th). 3. Clayton Dennison (Baker County, 12th). 4. Peyton Andersen (Rocky Bayou).
The skinny: A lot of depth here. I would not be surprised to see someone step forward and surprise the experts with a run to the title in this weight class.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: James Prentice (Suwannee) v Chad Allgood (Rutherford, 15th).
Dark horse choices: Jesse Johnson (Yulee, 11th); Allgood/Prentice winner.

The picks: 1. Dominic Martin (Clay, 4th). 2. Tyler Edenfield (Wakulla, 11th). 3. Alex Smith (Yulee, 10th). 4. Lucas Crawford (Fernandina Beach, 12th).
The skinny: Going to see some wars here, no question about it. I’m not going to be surprised by anything I see coming out of this weight class. Bottom-half semi looks VERY lively.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Nolan McKelvy (West Nassau, 15th) v Alexander Cortese (Union County).
Dark horse choices: Bryson Schirmer (Rutherford); McKelvy.

The picks: 1. David Mercado (North Bay Haven, 2nd). 2. Kedtric Wilbon (Clay, 9th). 3. Toby Kinghorn (Baker County, 7th). 4. Diego Duprey (Florida High, 16yh).
The skinny: Based on the district results, the top-half semi looks like a final, but Duprey’s gone on a roll in his most complete season in several. Won’t be easy for this field to push through the top four.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Danny Thornton (Union County) v Elijah Ramirez (South Walton).
Dark horse choices: Thornton/Ramirez winner; Michael Bagan (Bishop Kenny).

The picks: 1. Garrett Tyre (Clay, 1st). 2. Jamari Watson (Raines, 4th). 3. Braylen Ricks (Yulee, 9th). 4. Logan McAlister (North Bay Haven).
The skinny: Great second quarterfinal on Friday; this finals rematch would be pretty amazing too, could be most physically intense final of the tournament — in a group with several.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Ian Doyle (Baker County) v James Hardy (Wewahitchka).
Dark horse choices: Doyle; Collin Bishop (Florida High).

The picks: 1. Jack Pyburn (Bolles, 2nd). 2. Ethan Daniels (Clay, 12th). 3. Angel Lecointe (Bishop Snyder, 9th). 4. Nick Lee (South Walton, 10th).
The skinny: Three out of District 4 projected to advance, the top half is the tougher half to get through, because there’s a number of possibilities there.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Jacob Cardoza (Wakulla) v Chase Crews (Baker County, 17th).
Dark horse choices: Kevin Thallemer (Bishop Kenny, 11th); Austin Hoyle (Yulee, 19th).

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