#RoadToTheShow: 2A-Region 1 Preview

2A-Region 1

When & where: Chiles HS, Tallahassee. First session is set for 2 p.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: I think everyone will be chasing Fleming Island (6th) this weekend. That’s no surprise. Where the real drama should be will be in the battle for second place. Look for Lincoln (14th), Chiles, Ft Walton Beach (13th), New Smyrna Beach, Matanzas (9th) and perhaps also Pace, Gulf Breeze and Fletcher to all contend for top-five spots. Could even be a couple of wild-cards in that mix.

Brackets can be reviewed HERE:  REGION 1 (CHILES)

Matmen’s state picks, sure to be wrong

The picks: 1. Derrick Williams (Mosley, 9th). 2. Shane Duhaylungsod (Fleming Island, 10th). 3. Jackson Hornback (Middleburg, 18th). 4. Alexander Mendez (Pace).
The skinny: While Williams could get a solid quarterfinal test, as might Duhaylungsod in a region dual matchup, they should advance through. Some gap between the 3-4 and potential 5-6, though.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Richard Crunkilton (New Smyrna Beach) v Alec Poole (Gulf Breeze).
Dark horse choices: Landon Locantora (Fletcher); Joe Tucker (Lincoln).

The picks: 1. Jayce Paridon (Fleming Island, 1st). 2. Vaniel Caceres (Lincoln, 9th). 3. Carter Wilder (Matanzas, 4th). 4. Grady Woodard (Middleburg, 13th).
The skinny: While 106 is a bit short on depth, 113 could have up arguably eight potential contenders with viable paths to the state tournament. None will touch Paridon, though.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Caleb Mullinix (Belleview) v Woodard.
Dark horse choices: Zak Vosburgh (Ft Walton Beach, 17th); Deagan Kilpatrick (Choctaw, 18th).

The picks: 1. Calvin Williams (Mosley, 6th). 2. Wyatt Leduc (Middleburg, 9th). 3. Laird Duhaylungsod (Fleming Island, 8th). 4. Ryden Ashmore (Fletcher, 17th).
The skinny: There’s a chance — small, perhaps, but a chance — for a hard-charger to roll through and shock the field in taking the title here. Another weight class with a fair amount of depth.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: JaShawn Washington (Lincoln, 18th) v Coby Shields (Gulf Breeze).
Dark horse choices: Zackery Young (Belleview, 15th); Jonathon Bruner (New Smyrna Beach, 10th).

The picks: 1. Jamey Bruner (New Smyrna Beach, 5th). 2. Riley Girgis (Middleburg, 7th). 3. Garrett Marschka (Chiles, 6th). 4. Kaden Golder (Mainland).
The skinny: Also a weight class loaded with depth. Could be 8-10 kids that have valid chances to move on to the state round, could also see a couple of really great quarters Friday night.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Hazen Esary (Pace) v Jacare Johnson (Westside).
Dark horse choices: Cole O’Brien (Fletcher, 13th); Ethan Pinto (Niceville).

The picks: 1. Colson Elliott (Gulf Breeze, 4th). 2. Hunter Brown (Chiles). 3. Joshua Mukaddam (Fleming Island). 4. Mark Willis (Belleview, 15th).
The skinny: Elliott is the class of the field and Brown is probably the second choice (aided also with a decent-ish draw, with a tough quarterfinal), but some possibilities after those two.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Brian Harris (Mainland) v Grady Dolan (Ponte Vedra).
Dark horse choices: Wilson Nguyen (St Augustine, 12th); Jayden Thomas (Columbia).

The picks: 1. Kaden Schaefer (Fleming Island, 7th). 2. Jace Engberg (New Smyrna Beach, 12th). 3. Maeson Otwell (Pace, 16th). 4. Logan Merritt (Gulf Breeze).
The skinny: Schaefer established himself as the 138 to beat at state duals; I like the Panhandle kids to follow the finalists, but there’s a few intriguing possibilities out there.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Blake Pu (Ridgeview) v Olleon Hickmon (Westside).
Dark horse choices: Dylan Parkinson (Matanzas); Logan Moore (Middleburg).

The picks: 1. Nolan Zirgibel (Leon, 9th). 2. Matthew Kotler (Fleming Island, 10th). 3. Garret Rudick (Gulf Breeze). 4. Christian Jackson (St Augustine).
The skinny: I think this is looking like a District 2 finals rematch. Panhandle could also grab two state-qualifying slots at this weight as well; several wildcard possibilities are out there, though.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Sam Ayodele (Mainland) v Steven Banfield (Ft Walton Beach).
Dark horse choices: DiSean Hires (Englewood, 17th); JJ Martinez (Niceville, 18th).

The picks: 1. Nick Hejke (Mosley, 3rd). 2. Tyson Mills (Matanzas, 4th). 3. Christopher Chop (Fleming Island, 9th). 4. Jordan Baxter (Pace).
The skinny: The final is all but a lock, but there could be a lot of kids gunning for those 3-4 spots. Might be the deepest bracket I’ve looked at so far, and there’s some with some real depth.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Brayden Lovingood (St Augustine) v Andrew Mullins (Chiles).
Dark horse choices: Connor Edwards (Lincoln, 10th); Alexander Davidson (Ft Walton Beach).

The picks: 1. Atticus Waters (Pace, 5th). 2. Clint Griffin (St Augustine, 10th). 3. Ronan Bozeman (Fleming Island, 4th). 4. Trevion Sermons (Orange Park, 9th).
The skinny: Yet another hammer of a weight class from a depth standpoint, although I do think the finalists are a cut above. I think these middle weights have a lot of possibility to surprise the state as a whole with who qualifies out.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Bryce Travis (Niceville) v Benny Lewis (Ed White).
Dark horse choices: Josh Daltro (Fletcher); Marquis Muniz (Ft Walton Beach).

The picks: 1. Joseph Rice (Columbia, 4th). 2. Jordan Mills (Matanzas, 6th). 3. Joshua Sandoval (Fleming Island, 5th). 4. Martin Black (Niceville).
The skinny: Oh boy. That bottom quarterfinal. Be sure you watch that one, that’s going to be amazing. And whoever survives it, against an on-the-mission Rice, that too will be spectacular. But there will be moves made away from there, too.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Sandoval v Micah Barker (Gulf Breeze).
Dark horse choices: Ty Morgan (Pace, 20th); Barker.

The picks: 1. Jhoel Robinson (Fleming Island, 2nd). 2. Harrisen Wall (Niceville, 16th). 3. Blake Fluck (Gulf Breeze, 7th). 4. Jacob Nowak (Lincoln, 15th).
The skinny: There’s gap between 3-4. How much gap is there between Robinson and Fluck, which looks like the “championship” match? We’ll probably find out, as they look to dominate the top half. But who will be in the bottom-half blood round?
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Nowak v Isaac Waters (Pace).
Dark horse choices: Waters; Sawyer Vanrider (New Smyrna Beach).

The picks: 1. Cayden Bevis (Lincoln, 2nd). 2. Shawn Raggins (Columbia, 10th). 3. Aidan Bryan (Pace, 7th). 4. Dylon York (New Smyrna Beach, 8th).
The skinny: Bevis is the class of the field, but who’s got the gumption to face him in the final? The top half of this bracket has three good possibilities; just need three solid showings to make it happen.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Landon Wright (Matanzas) v Carter Tobik (Ft Walton Beach, 13th).
Dark horse choices: Melvin Wiggins (Englewood, 16th); Dillon Elliott (Chiles).

The picks: 1. Cedric Fairrow (Ft Walton Beach, 1st). 2. Derrick Mosley (Ridgeview, 4th). 3. Omarion LaRoach (Lincoln, 10th). 4. Eimantas Skirius (Arnold).
The skinny: Two 2021 state placers in the final, Mosley being down a weight has suited his speed, but it will be a difficult hang to keep up with Fairrow’s speed and power. Will be a nice quarter late Friday afternoon between Fairrow and LaRoach.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Ladarius Jackson (Fleming Island) v Thomas Jones (Riverside, 19th).
Dark horse choices: Hale Wood (Pace); Austin Mitchum (New Smyrna Beach).

The picks: 1. Toby Matson (Fletcher, 3rd). 2. Ethan Hoffstetter (Fleming Island, 9th). 3. Spencer Mackenzie (Ft Walton Beach, 8th). 4. Nic Weaver (Lincoln, 11th).
The skinny: It will not surprise me if any of the top three picked here go on to win the title. Don’t count out the senior, but the two juniors are very, very capable. Fourth could be quite interesting. Taking the senior with the most experience.
First-round match I’m most intrigued by: Kamari Perkins (Riverside) v Phillip Dillard (Gulf Breeze, 12th).
Dark horse choices: Jaquan Whitty (St Augustine, 10th); Dillard.

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