By MATMEN, Friday, 5 p.m.
1A-District 3 IBT
When & where: Saturday at Episcopal, 8 a.m. (weighin), 9:30 a.m. (wrestle).
Teams in the field: In addition to the host Eagles, Bishop Kenny, Bolles, Fernandina Beach, Paxon, Raines, Stanton, University Christian, West Nassau, Wolfson and Yulee 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: Yulee.
Returning individual champions: Turner Glenn (Episcopal), Caden Kubatzke (Fernandina Beach, won in 2021 also), Nicholas Pressley (Episcopal), Austin Adamson (Yulee), Dylan Johns (Yulee, won in 2021 also), Roberto Cuartero (Bishop Kenny), Enzo Gamba (Fernandina Beach, won in 2021 also), Alex Smith (Yulee), Elias Spurlin (Stanton)*, Nik Saldana (Fernandina Beach, won in 2021); Blayden Tharpe (West Nassau, won in 2020).
* — won 2A-District 3 title last year.
Synopsis: We should have a very good fight for first place in this district Saturday; while Episcopal has the leg up on the field by dint of the Eagles’ district-duals win last month, the Eagles will have to demonstrate it can close the deal in the IBT setting. And that will mean pushing past Yulee’s starpower and recent experience in winning district IBTs. It will mean overcoming Bishop Kenny’s own starpower and the Crusaders’ own history of winning at the district level. And it will mean overcoming Fernandina Beach and what might be the Pirates’ best chance in a while to win districts. Plus there’s West Nassau, Paxon and Stanton, all of which have shown signs of possible emergence, maybe not this year, but perhaps soon.
State-ranked wrestlers (listed by weight class in ranked order) —
113: Josh Harris (Yulee, 19th).
120: Kyle Brown (Paxon, 8th); Turner Glenn (Episcopal, 9th).
126: Blayden Tharpe (West Nassau, 7th); Elias Spurlin (Stanton, 8th); Caden Kubatzke (Fernandina Beach, 11th); Scott Busey (Episcopal, 14th).
132: Cael Kubatzke (Fernandina Beach, 10th); Nicholas Pressley (Episcopal, 15th).
138: Austin Adamson (Yulee, 12th).
145: Cole Misciagna (Fernandina Beach, 14th); Jack Raynor (Bishop Kenny, 20th).
152: Roberto Cuartero (Bishop Kenny, 2nd).
160: Enzo Gamba (Fernandina Beach, 2nd); John Fernandez (Episcopal, 8th).
170: Dylan Johns (Yulee, 5th); Brennan Doherty (Episcopal, 13th); Luke Ghannam (Bishop Kenny, 16th).
182: Collin Hearn (Bishop Kenny, 6th); Nolan McKelvy (West Nassau, 7th); Christian McGarity (Episcopal, 8th); Christopher Aud (Yulee, 10th).
195: Alex Smith (Yulee, 2nd); Lawson Perry (Episcopal, 11th).
220: Cayden Ricks (Yulee, 19th).
285: Braylen Ricks (Yulee, 4th); Austin Hoyle (Yulee, 10th); Gregory Townsend (Raines, 16th).
Rankings from https://www.kabrawrestling.com/rankings/class-1a