By MATMEN, Thursday, 10:05 p.m.
3A-Region 1 Final
When & where: Friday at 6 p.m. (weighin 5 p.m.), Osceola HS.
Teams: #13 DeLand (13-6) v #18 Hagerty (7-4).
Prior duals events (regular-season): DeLand opened its duals at Hagerty, ironically enough, taking 6th (2nd among local teams); in January, the Bulldogs took nine double-digit wins to win the Bulldog Duals title. Hagerty’s only regular-season duals competition was hosting Rouse Duals, where the Huskies were 10th out of 11 teams.
Path to Friday: DeLand became a first-time district champ in winning District 2 on December 15, advancing to Osceola with victories at home over Bartram Trail and Buchholz. Hagerty won its 4th district title with three wins on January 4, then advanced to the region final by defeating Apopka and Timber Creek in the quarters and semis at Olympia.
At stake: Both teams are looking to become first-time region champs. Lincoln The winner will advance to the state semifinals against either #7 Cypress Bay or #1 South Dade. Saturday weighin is at 9 a.m., wrestling starts as soon as a mat opens after a 1A or 2A state semifinal concludes. Finals are scheduled for 2 p.m.
Synopsis: The extreme edges of the lineups are DeLand’s, and the middle should go to DeLand. Hagerty has 195 and 220 advantages and should have the upper hand in the 32/38 range. Which team will be able to perform above expectations tomorrow? The wrestlers who can find another level in their own game, the wrestlers who can dictate terms most effectively in weights that look like tossups, these will be the kids who decide this dual on Friday.
Projection: I can confidently state this will be the closest of the three area region finals. Hagerty has a little more room to play with its lineup — SOME — and maybe take advantage of a couple of spots against lesser-experienced kids with some lineup-bumping and make things very tight. It’s the fourth time in the last five years that the Huskies have been at Osceola, and that’s going to count. But DeLand has cultivated its returners carefully and progressively over the last two years, and I think the Bulldogs will pull through, but it will be a single-digit spread, and very well will be within six points or less.
State-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
120: Phoenix Krauth (DeLand, 10th).
126: Benjamin Wolgamuth (Hagerty, 18th).
132: Nikolas Blake (Hagerty, 3rd).
138: Kellen Chapman (DeLand, 16th).
145: Joshua Folsom (DeLand, 17th).
152: Mathias Franz (DeLand, 12th).
160: Kamdon Harrison (Hagerty, 4th); Zane Canada (DeLand, 18th).
170: Connor Gilliam (Hagerty, 16th).
182: Gavin Rodriguez-Cayro (DeLand, 10th).
195: Hunter Tate (Hagerty, 9th).
285: Marion (MJ) Smokes (DeLand, 7th).
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-3a