By MATMEN, Wednesday, 5 p.m.
1A-District 1 IBT
When & where: Thursday at Wewahitchka, noon CT (weighin), 2 p.m. CT (wrestle).
Teams in the field: In addition to the host Gators, Bay, Bozeman, Freeport, North Bay Haven, Rocky Bayou Christian, Rutherford and South Walton are in the district field.
At stake: Top four wrestlers in each of 14 weight classes will automatically advance to the 1A-Region 1 tournament at Wewahitchka 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: South Walton.
Returning individual champions: Jake Parker (Wewahitchka), Leonardo Sanchez (Bay), Isaac Brinson (South Walton), Romero Black (Rutherford, won in 2021 also), Conner Roberts (Wewahitchka), Keaton Schirmer (Rutherford), Bryson Schirmer (Rutherford), David Mercado (North Bay Haven, won in 2021 also), Nick Lee (South Walton, won in 2020 also).
Synopsis: Will the same scenario hold to form that played out at district duals, where North Bay Haven and Bay leapfrogged South Walton to the top two positions in the district? Perhaps. The Buccaneers have some more points to count on in filling weights with capable competitors than they did a year ago, but they also have a hammer out for thre post-season. Bay is loaded down low, but they are still newer than most up top. South Walton needs to get its middles sorted out; if so, they’re still very much a threat to defend. I still think Rutherford fills out the rest of the top half of the standings, but the Rams haven’t yet been as consistent as I projected they’d be.
State-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
106: Nathan Lyttle (South Walton, 16th).
113: Derrick Williams (Bay, 1st).
120: David Drake (Bay, 10th); Jake Parker (Wewahitchka, 11th).
126: Isaac Brinson (South Walton, 7th).
132: Gibson Moore (South Walton, 17th).
138: Elijah Stillgess (Bay, 18th).
145: Bear Siegal (North Bay Haven, 11th); Romero Black (Rutherford, 12th).
160: Conner Roberts (Wewahitchka, 9th).
195: David Mercado (North Bay Haven, 3rd).
220: Nick Lee (South Walton, 13th).
Rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-1a