By MATMEN, Thursday, 8:55 p.m.
2A-Region 1 Final
When & where: Friday at 2 p.m. (weighin 1 p.m.), Osceola HS.
Teams: #9 Lincoln (16-4) v #2 Fleming Island (16-0).
Prior duals events (regular-season): Lincoln’s opened dual competition at Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals, where the Trojans were 5th; Lincoln was 4-0 last Saturday, taking 1st at its own Trojan Invitational. Fleming Island was 3-0 at home in the Keystone Memorial and was 8-0 at Suwannee’s Billy Saylor Invitational, taking first there.
Path to Friday: Lincoln won twice at crosstown rival Chiles to take the 2A-District 2 title, but needed criteria against their crosstown rival Timberwolves. The Trojans then advanced to the region final with wins over Ft Walton Beach and Gulf Breeze at home. Fleming Island gave up just one match loss in winning the 2A-District 4 title at New Smyrna Beach, advancing to the region final at home with wins over Clay County rivals Oakleaf and Middleburg.
At stake: Lincoln is looking for its third region championship and first since 2020, while Fleming Island is gunning for its sixth region title. The winner will advance to the state semifinals against either #6 Merritt Island or #19 Miramar. Saturday weighin is at 9 a.m., wrestling starts at 10 a.m. Finals are scheduled for 2 p.m.
Synopsis: What will Fleming Island do at the bookends? While that will not tell us much about Friday, but it would tell us a lot about the Golden Eagles’ plans for Saturday. Senior 285 Ethan Hoffstetter hasn’t been in the lineup for a few weeks; Fleming doesn’t need him to win Friday, but does need him to knock rust off at some point before a finals appearance. There are no holes, per se, in the Golden Eagle lineup, but having both 106s compete shores up a spot where Fleming’s experience hasn’t quite matched some of the rest of the team’s. Lincoln has a lot of lineup options and might use Friday to test out a few.
Projection: The odds are very, very long for the Trojans to stay within 20 points in this dual; Fleming Island just has too many powerhouse kids. Lincoln is really good at minimizing damage, and so I would be surprised if Fleming scored 60 or more, plus the Golden Eagles will not want to show every card they have to a potential finals opponent. A dual with Fleming winning by less than 30 would be the result of several Lincoln kids performing above expectations, by 30+ would be the result of the Golden Eagles performing at expectations.
State-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
106: Matthew Newman (Fleming Island, 2nd); Joe Tucker (Fleming Island, 9th); Jordan Mukaddam (Fleming Island, 13th).
113: Shane Duhaylungsod (Fleming Island, 8th); Vaniel Caceres (Lincoln, 12th).
120: Laird Duhaylungsod (Fleming Island, 2nd); Zakary Jurado (Lincoln, 19th).
126: Jayce Paridon (Fleming Island, 2nd); Jashawn Washington (Lincoln, 13th).
145: Kaden Schaefer (Fleming Island, 2nd).
152: Connor Edwards (Lincoln, 3rd); Matthew Kotler (Fleming Island, 5th).
160: Christopher Chop (Fleming Island, 10th).
170: Ronan Bozeman (Fleming Island, 4th).
182: Joshua Sandoval (Fleming Island, 4th).
195: Jakob Nowak (Lincoln, 4th); Walter Poe (Fleming Island, 11th).
220: Jhoel Robinson (Fleming Island, 1st).
285: Ethan Hoffstetter (Fleming Island, 2nd); Ryder Luck (Lincoln, 17th).
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-2a