By MATMEN, Tuesday, 5 p.m. EDITED 7:10 p.m. to update weighin and wrestle start times.
2A-District 1 IBT
When & where: Wednesday at Niceville, 8 a.m. (weighin), 9 a.m. (wrestle).
Teams in the field: In addition to the Eagles, Choctaw, Crestview, Ft Walton Beach, Gulf Breeze, Milton, Pace & Tate are in the district field.
At stake: Top four wrestlers in each of 14 weight classes will automatically advance to the 2A-Region 1 tournament at Chiles on February 24-25. Additional fifth- and sixth-place wrestlers at each weight may be selected to advance as additional region qualifiers to fill out the region bracket. Those wrestlers are selected via an FHSAA schematic.
Defending team champion: Ft Walton Beach.
Returning individual champions: Zak Vosburgh (Ft Walton Beach, won in 2021 also); Ethan Pinto (Niceville, won in 2020 also); Colson Elliott (Gulf Breeze, won in 2020 & 2021 also); Maeson Otwell (Pace); JJ Martinez (Niceville); Ty Morgan (Pace); Santiago Mayic (Ft Walton Beach, won in 2021); Nate Weber (Gulf Breeze, won in 2020).
Synopsis: Ft Walton Beach is the two-time defending team champion, with a 13.5-point margin of victory over Gulf Breeze in 2021 and a 31-point margin of victory last year. If the Vikings can prove that they shored up the middle of their lineup, and it looks like they largely have, they would be in a good position to three-peat. Gulf Breeze will once again push the Vikings hard; with a strong lineup up through at least 160, they will make Ft Walton work hard to stay in the mix through those weights, but FWB is definitely the stronger up top. Pace is probably the choice for third, with a younger lineup than in prior seasons it will be difficult to push past either the Dolphins or Vikings. Niceville should be a couple steps ahead of the rest of the group to round out the top four teams.
State-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
106: Garrett Ferguson (Gulf Breeze, 9th).
113: Aiden Macken (Gulf Breeze, 9th); Santiago Mayic (Ft Walton Beach, 16th).
120: Zak Vosburgh (Ft Walton Beach, 12th); Coby Shields (Gulf Breeze, 13th).
132: Nathan Weber (Gulf Breeze, 19th).
138: Maeson Otwell (Pace, 9th); Ethan Pinto (Niceville, 16th).
145: Bradack Carroll (Choctaw, 11th); JJ Martinez (Niceville, 13th); Steven Banfield (Ft Walton Beach, 15th).
160: Alexander Davidson (Ft Walton Beach, 8th); Jordan Baxter (Pace, 16th).
170: Ty Morgan (Pace, 7th); Malachi Lewis (Niceville, 17th); Lance Sanders (Crestview, 20th).
182: Isaac Waters (Pace, 7th); Connor Roberts (Ft Walton Beach, 17th).
195: Darius Brundidge (Ft Walton Beach, 15th).
220: Carter Tobik (Ft Walton Beach, 8th).
All rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-2a