By MATMEN, Friday, 6:35 p.m.
1A State Duals
When & where: Semifinals start at 10 a.m. Saturday (weighin 9 a.m.), with finals scheduled for 2 p.m.
Teams: #8 Suwannee (35-3) v #1 Jensen Beach; #7 Hernando v #10 Zephyrhills Christian, semifinals. Semifinal winners will meet for the title; there is no dual for third place.
Friday’s wrestling: Suwannee led wire-to wire in defeating #11 Episcopal, 51-27, for the Region 1 title, while Jensen Beach did the same against #3 Mater Lakes Academy, with a 42-25 win for the Region 4 plaque. Hernando used a critical 27-0 run to push past #9 Palm Bay, 33-31, for the Region 2 championship, while Zephyrhills Christian closed out #3 First Baptist-Naples with an 18-0 run for the Region 3 finals win, 42-35.
Projection: The Bulldogs will scrap with anyone, and can beat almost anyone, knocking off Somerset Academy in December, but I think the Falcons are going to be too deep; Suwannee does have some younger kids in some weights where Jensen has some real horses. As for the other semifinal, it should be a real treat. Zephyrhills Christian isn’t afraid of anyone — they knocked off one of the state’s top squads, who’d themselves dispatched #2 Lemon Bay in the region semi. And they have additional motivation on their side. I like ZCA to make it out against Jensen Beach; the feel-good story would be the Warriors winning against the giants of the class, but that is often just a story. I look for Jensen Beach to repeat as champions.
State-ranked wrestlers remaining (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
106: Eli Jolicoeur (Suwannee, 2nd); Reed Yakes (Zephyrhills Christian, 4th); Ben Norris (Jensen Beach, 6th).
113: Gian Ortiz (Jensen Beach, 2nd); Justin Contreras (Suwannee, 9th); Kyle Pearson (Hernando, 12th); Jordan Lopez (Zephyrhills Christian, 16th).
120: Sebastian Degennaro (Jensen Beach, 1st); Topher Pearson (Suwannee, 2nd); Jordyn Valle (Hernando, 8th);
126: Ryan Mooney (Jensen Beach, 1st); Brody Boehm (Suwannee, 5th); Kyle Gallo (Zephyrhills Christian, 19th).
132: Charlie Armstrong (Jensen Beach, 5th); Talon Maple (Zephyrhills Christian, 6th); Kenneth Pritz (Hernando, 8th).
138: Mikel Pierce=Walker (Jensen Beach, 5th); Landen Holley (Zephyrhills Christian, 8th); TJ Rodier (Hernando, 11th); Ayden Kirby (Suwannee, 19th).
145: Jewell Williams (Jensen Beach, 1st); James Gadson (Hernando, 9th); Marshall White (Suwannee, 12th).
152: Dylan Fox (Jensen Beach, 3rd); Austin McKinney (Episcopal, 7th); Javier Lopez (Zephyrhills Christian, 8th); James Garrett (Hernando, 12th).
160: Austin Howard (Suwannee, 3rd); Colten Byrd (Jensen Beach, 6th).
170: Dustin Wood (Suwannee, 10th); Jeremiah Chavis (Zephyrhills Christian, 16th); Julius Eltzroth (Hernando, 17th).
182: Malachi Harriel (Jensen Beach, 6th); Benjamin Lewis (Suwannee, 19th).
195: Nate Sopotnick (Jensen Beach, 3rd); Jayshawn Nantce (Hernando, 10th).
220: Elijah Austin (Zephyrhills Christian, 5th); Toby Rooney (Jensen Beach, 13th).
285: Devin Williams (Hernando, 2nd).
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-1a