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Announcement: Expansion. Yes. Again.

We’ve expanded the website, seems like, every year.

2014, Year 2 — we added Flagler and Alachua Counties, because teams in that area were — and hopefully still remain so — the most positive about what we’ve been doing. 2015, Year 3, we added a second website for teams teams west of Suwannee County, later folding the teams of that site — teams in the Tallahassee and Panhandle areas — into our original northeast site to create North Florida Matmen.

In 2019, we had our most ambitious expansion in four years thanks to FHSAA re-classification, adding teams in Volusia, Seminole and Marion Counties to create what, up to now, was our coverage area.

I always wanted to cover all of 3A-Region 1, through a substantial portion of that time, but one thing stopped me. Call it a notion of professional courtesy if you will, but I didn’t want to cut into the coverage area that a colleague and dear friend was responsible for, especially one who probably has helped me a lot more than I’ve ever helped him.

But, things change, and now that that colleague has equal responsibility for the entire state, I don’t mind challenging his old homestead for a little bit of expansion myself.

Starting this weekend, we will be covering all of 3A-Region 1 — including Districts 3 and 4 — with what I hope is as much depth and completeness as the rest of the north. So we will be covering the eastern Orlando suburbs and some city teams starting in 2021-22.

This is a trial basis. We’re going to see how it goes. I’ve got a nice base of support there, but I’d still like to get more coaches on board. Perhaps this announcement can help start that to happen. If it works, depending on how next year’s classification, I’ll evaluate my options toward expansion. If not, well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

So 3A-3 and 3A-4 will be fully part of the #TurkeyNWrestling preview. Next month. Oyyyyy. Not sure I’m ready, but I’m going to have to be. Like Saturday Night Live, they go on at 11:30 not because all parts of the show are perfect, but because it’s 11:30. My preview goes out at 6 a.m. ET on Thanksgiving morning, because it’s Thanksgiving morning.

We’ll introduce a few wrinkles in how we do, particularly, our midweek coverage later on. Some surprises to which, hopefully, you can look forward.

100 teams. Ballpark.

I must be out of my mind.

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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: Hey, Guys, My Bad

Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I get it really right. Sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I get it really wrong. If you were ready to toss your phone or laptop through a window because I either A) ranked you too low or B) ranked you too high in your district, maybe this will set your mind at ease.
Or not. Perhaps only a healthy dose of tryptophan, football and pre-Black Friday shopping will do that (actually, if you can avoid the pre-Black Friday shopping, do).
Anyway, let’s set the Wayback machine to a year ago today — give or take a day or two — and see how I did with last year’s predictions. Let the laughter ensue! (or not). But first, a little data…gotta have a little stuffing to go with that turkey…
We were 9-for-11 on picking champions last year (essentially the same as a year ago, when we were 8-for-10). The two misses were both on teams we had projected for thirds in their respective districts. In one case, Flagler Palm Coast in 3A-District 2, they just grew faster than we thought. In the other case, Columbia in 2A-District 2, the Tigers have always been very close in the mix. Last year, they just found a way on the weekend that they hadn’t been able to achieve in prior years.
We were 8-for-11 on picking last-place teams last year (solidly better, 13% better, than the previous year’s 6-for-10). The three misses were comparatively smaller. None of the actual last-place teams was picked higher than sixth in their eight-team districts in which they competed.
So, if I picked your team to win today, you should be pleased but not too over-confident. If I picked your team last, in any of our 11 districts, go get to work, kids.
It’s usually the middle where things get muddled. Last year, we had three districts with the top three in order correct; this year, there were two. We only had one right all the way down, and that was the revamped 1A-5.
If you don’t like where you are, take heart.
Think about Bishop Kenny’s story. Last year, essentially a new team. New head coach. String of district wins snapped. I knew they’d come back, but sometimes it takes a while. The Crusaders were tabbed for sixth in 1A-District 3. They stormed past that ill-thought suggestion and battled back to a second straight runnerup finish. Or take Robert E Lee. I had the Generals sixth in 2A-District 3. They’d had some significant graduation losses. No matter; they patched up and soldiered to their best district finish they’ve had since I started the site. Think about Rocky Bayou, which ignored its sixth-place prediction and took third in 1A-District 1. Or Deltona, which was placed seventh in 2A-District 4 in November, but pushed into a top-half spot (fourth).
Or, staying in that district, St Augustine. St AUGUSTINE! The Yellow Jackets were picked for fifth (and maybe to have to battle to keep fifth). Moved all the way up to second. I still am shocked … but nowhere near as much as mid-February.
Where you’re projected today is just that: a projection. And not always a very good one at that. Old Matmen really don’t know everything. Some days, he don’t know anything.
So. Dig in, not too much, to your dinners today. While you don’t have competition until next week, I’m sure you’ll have practice at some point soon, and you don’t want a full belly. Leave that to us old folks. I’ll see you on the mats soon enough.
1A-District 1
Last year’s prediction: 1. Arnold. 2. Rutherford. 3. Bay. 4. South Walton. 5. Wewahitchka. 6. Rocky Bayou Christian. 7. North Bay Haven. 8. Bozeman.
Last year’s actual: 1. Arnold. 2. South Walton. 3. Rocky Bayou Christian. 4. Rutherford. 5. Bay. 6. Bozeman. 7. North Bay Haven. 8. Wewahitchka.
Analysis: This district is always the toughest one for me to predict. At least this past year, we got the champion right, a rarity for us. South Walton filled more weights than expected and Rocky Bayou was the surprise of the district in finishing third. We had Bay finishing behind Rutherford correctly, but mid-pack as opposed to challenging for the title. I mostly had the bottom half right, just in a jumbled order.
1A-District 2
Last year’s prediction: 1. Wakulla. 2. Florida High. 3. Suwannee. 4. Marianna. 5. Godby. 6. Baker Cty, with no projected finish for Maclay or Rickards.
Last year’s actual: 1. Wakulla. 2. Suwannee. 3. Florida High. 4. Marianna. 5. Baker Cty. 6. Godby. 7. Maclay.
Analysis: The chalk district somewhat held up, although there was movement last season, as Suwannee found a way to push past Florida High and jump into second. We thought Godby would have enough points from stars to hold off Baker Cty, but the Wildcats filled a lot of weights and had a few first-year kids perform above expectations. Wakulla and Marianna held serve, so to speak, and while Maclay isn’t back this year, they had just a couple of kids and I would have picked them seventh had I been sure they were going to compete in the post-season.
1A-District 3
Last year’s prediction: 1. Yulee. 2. West Nassau. 3. Episcopal. 4. Raines. 5. Fernandina Beach. 6. Bishop Kenny. 7. Ed White. 8. Paxon.
Last year’s actual: 1. Yulee. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. Raines. 4. West Nassau. 5. Episcopal. 6. Fernandina Beach. 7. Ed White. 8. Paxon.
Analysis: Another champ correct and we got the bottom two correct, but Bishop Kenny was one of the surprise teams of the year, moving from sixth projected to second, which it pulled off in both dual and traditional formats. West Nassau and Episcopal had a little less depth than I thought, and I wasn’t aware of all of Raines’ star power when we made the picks. The Crusaders’ move up, though, was the big news of the district,
1A-District 4
Last year’s prediction: 1. Clay. 2. Bolles. 3. Ridgeview. 4. Bishop Snyder. 5. Wolfson. 6. Bradford. 7. University Christian. 8. Baldwin.
Last year’s actual: 1. Clay. 2. Bolles. 3. Ridgeview. 4. Wolfson. 5. Bishop Snyder. 6. University Christian. 7. Baldwin. 8. Bradford.
Analysis: Got the top three teams right (to be fair, they were fairly chalk), and in the right order, and got the bottom three teams right, just in jumbled order (I still think Bradford’s fullest team might have filled enough weights to hold sixth). Flip-flop between Wolfson and Snyder. The real surprise in this district came in the duals, when Wolfson qualified out for its first Region 1 quarterfinals appearance.
1A-District 5
Last year’s prediction: 1. Atlantic. 2. Palatka. 3. Pedro Menendez. 4. Keystone Heights. 5. FSDB. 6. Lake Weir. 7. Interlachen.
Last year’s actual: 1. Atlantic. 2. Palatka. 3. Pedro Menendez. 4. Keystone Heights. 5. FSDB. 6. Lake Weir (Interlachen didn’t compete).
Analysis: This was the first year that we predicted this district while treating all the teams within it as area teams, and while feeling the newness of it did make us a little bit leery, we felt pretty good about our choices with this one, and as it turned out, we had good reason, as we held serve all the way throughout, hitting 1-6 correctly. I did want to see more kids competing, though, and the loss of FSDB this year is a tough one to bear.
2A-District 1
Last year’s prediction: 1. Pace. 2. Gulf Breeze. 3. Ft Walton Beach. 4. Niceville. 5. Tate. 6. Crestview. 7. Choctaw. 8. Milton.
Last year’s actual: 1. Pace. 2. Ft Walton Beach. 3. Gulf Breeze. 4. Niceville. 5. Tate. 6. Crestview. 7. Choctaw. 8. Milton.
Analysis: After trying to hit this Panhandle district accurately since we started covering the area with our now-defunct Northwest FL site, we came as close as we’ve ever come in 2019-20, with only Ft Walton Beach and Gulf Breeze switching places, just 16.5 points apart in the final standings (to be fair, we did get this right in the duals setting). Everybody else was dead on. The most accurate we’ve been about the Panhandle since we started.
2A-District 2
Last year’s prediction: 1. Lincoln. 2. Orange Park. 3. Columbia. 4. Chiles. 5. Mosley. 6. Middleburg. 7. Leon. 8. Gainesville.
Last year’s actual: 1. Columbia. 2. Lincoln. 3. Mosley. 4. Orange Park. 5. Chiles. 6. Middleburg. 7. Leon. 8. Gainesville.
Analysis: Well…we got the bottom three right. Chiles might have been the best bottom-half team in the coverage area. But of course, it was Columbia that shook up the established order last February in our first district miss that we’ve had thus far. I also have to give a shout-out to Mosley here. While the Dolphins’ move up against expectations was also unexpected, the un-expectation was due to the fact that Mosley was moving up in class into what I thought was the toughest district top-to-bottom in the north. I just didn’t see the Dolphins being able to hang, but they did well.
2A-District 3
Last year’s prediction: 1. Fletcher. 2. Westside. 3. Englewood. 4. Ponte Vedra. 5. First Coast. 6. Robert E Lee. 7. Terry Parker. 8. Stanton.
Last year’s actual: 1. Fletcher. 2. Robert E Lee. 3. Ponte Vedra. 4. First Coast. 5. Westside. 6. Englewood. 7. Stanton. 8. Terry Parker.
Analysis: You’d think as often as I see these teams, I’d know something more about them. Getting Fletcher right and the bottom two teams right, if not the order right, was something. But the push that Lee made was not something that I expected (new blood in the lineup, which I didn’t expect, was a big part of it). Ponte Vedra, I thought, would be a year away yet from its push, at least as of last year, and the Sharks wanted to gain more ground than I thought they would. Even First Coast, though only moving up one spot, gained more ground against those expected to finish above it.
2A-District 4
Last year’s prediction: 1. Matanzas. 2. Seabreeze. 3. New Smyrna Beach. 4. Belleview. 5. St Augustine. 6. Pine Ridge. 7. Deltona. 8. Mainland.
Last year’s actual: 1. Matanzas. 2. St Augustine. 3. Seabreeze. 4. Deltona. 5. New Smyrna Beach. 6. Belleview. 7. Pine Ridge. 8. Mainland.
Analysis: Our push into Volusia & Marion Counties had us picking up several new teams in this district, and while we were right at the extremes of it, it was a journey getting there. Seabreeze validated my runnerup call with a district duals win, but the Sandcrabs lost some folks down the stretch. St Augustine was the big mover in a positive way up the group; I still remember being pretty gob-smacked when I saw the final result. Not as a big of an impact, but Deltona, also, made a big move up.
3A-District 1
Last year’s prediction: 1. Fleming Island. 2. Bartram Trail. 3. Creekside. 4. Sandalwood. 5. Oakleaf. 6. Mandarin. 7. Nease. 8. Atlantic Coast.
Last year’s actual: 1. Fleming Island. 2. Oakleaf. 3. Creekside. 4. Bartram Trail. 5. Nease. 6. Sandalwood. 7. Mandarin. 8. Atlantic Coast.
Analysis: Well, we got the 1 right and the 8 right. Seems to be a theme on that front. Oakleaf I hoped would not but thought could be in some disarray after a coaching change and some personnel leaving, but the Knights recovered faster than I expected. The teams that made moves up almost neatly replaced those I thought would hold together better, as Nease also made a move up in a positive way, thanks to some new infusions and a couple of old heads returning. Bartram Trail was better early in the season, but cooled off down the stretch, unexpectedly.
3A-District 2 
Last year’s prediction: 1. Buchholz. 2. University (Orange City). 3. Flagler Palm Coast. 4. Seminole. 5. West Port. 6. Forest. 7. DeLand.
Last year’s actual: 1. Flagler Palm Coast. 2. Buchholz. 3. University (Orange City). 4. Seminole. 5. West Port. 6. Forest. 7. DeLand.
Analysis: This was the other portion of our expansion into new counties (Volusia, Marion and Seminole) and I thought chalk would be the watchword. We thought Flagler’s year would come this year, but the Bulldogs were not willing to just wait for our timetable, but made their own instead. That shuffled up the top half somewhat. Otherwise, though, we had a pretty good feel for it, though the flow never felt right with the bottom four teams in Year 1. They’re in now, though, so we just need to keep working to bring them into our way of doing things.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 2

Most teams don’t absorb a graduation loss of nearly half its starting lineup and look forward to what’s to come.
On the Forgotten Coast, where Wakulla has reigned northern 1A teams for the past two years, graduation means opportunity for new blood to seize their chance and returners to become stars. And, while Clay promises to make the battle for the region’s top spot even hotter this year, the War Eagles have a lot of weapons back.
Although perhaps the two-time defending state runnerups are happier than anyone that former 1A juggernaut Lake Highland Prep has gone independent this year, opting to contend for the national prep school title instead of an FHSAA state one, whichever team makes it out of Region 1 will still have to battle through Palm Bay/Merritt Island (likeliest) in Region 2, plus the south Florida 1-2 combo of Somerset, which Wakulla took down in last year’s 1A state dual semi, and American Heritage-Delray Beach.
The War Eagles did graduate seven key seniors, including 2020 or former placers in Matthew Owen (126 last year), Noah Wilson (4th at 145 in March), Chase Roberts (6th at 152) and John Trevor Hinsey (5th at 195), plus 2019 state qualifier Slade Watkins, and that leadership may be difficult to fully replace.
But Wakulla has as many as 17 returners that saw key mat time as starters or in starting roles last year, and the depth of that room is difficult to over-estimate. Senior Raymond Hatchman (4th at 120 last year) is the War Eagles’ lone returning 12th-grader who placed a year ago, and will be joined by returning state qualifiers and fellow seniors George Hernandez (113 last year), Cole Baggett (160), Jackson Osteen (182) and Jayven Hearns (285). Junior Jayvon Brown also placed for Wakulla, taking sixth as a sophomore at 170.
After finishing third in the district for several, and to it too many, seasons in a row, Suwannee finally broke through to the Region 1 dual team tournament with a district runnerup finish, which it duplicated in the traditional post-season series, adding a fourth at Region 1.
The Bulldogs did lose two seniors to graduation, including March state qualifier Jaxon Sansouci (132 a year ago), but its depth was significantly better than in prior seasons.
Suwannee could have back as many as 15 kids that saw  significant time as starters. That number includes five returning state qualifiers in seniors Xander Kirkland (2018 state placer, qualified at 120 last year), Timothy Jolicoeur (126 in March) and Blaine Howard (182 in March), plus junior Tyson Musgrove (138 last year) and sophomore Brody Boehm (106 in March).
Could be a solid three-way battle for third place, with positives favoring Florida High, Marianna, and Baker Cty in third position.
From a tradition standpoint, the Seminoles are the right choice. Florida High was sixth at regions after taking third at districts last year, and can return up to eight wrestlers with key experience rom a year ago. Headlining that group are seniors Tyler Reeve (6th at state 126 last year) and 2019 state placer Emil Ganim (138 last year), plus two additional region qualifiers.
Key for Florida High will be overcoming the loss of three 2020 state qualifiers, including 2020 or earlier placers Marcus Haigler (4th at 195 in March) and 2019 placer Brooks Dyer (132 last year), as well as qualifier Dennis Ganim (145 last year).
Marianna has a new head coach for the second consecutive season, and lost two of its top five wrestlers to graduation, with 2020 state qualifier John Maddox tops among a group of four 2020 graduates that made up a solid part of the Bulldogs’ upper weights.
But Marianna has as many as 10 kids back that saw regular lineup time, with senior Chase Maddox (2x state qualifier, last year at 160) and junior Ethan Heinemann (145 last year) both reaching Kissimmee in March and both back this year.
Baker Cty did lose four post-season starters to graduation as well, but the Wildcats significantly retooled their lineup last year, even taking a regular-season tournament title along the way.
This year, Baker has up to possibly 10 key kids back that could form the nucleus of a group that is poised to jump into the top half of the District 2 field, should either Florida High or Marianna falter.
Godby’s probably the one team that would struggle the most to get out of the bottom third, just from a numbers standpoint (particularly in the lowers), compared to the rest of the district. The Cougars graduated two seniors from last year’s team, including 2020 state qualifier Joshua Yarbrough, but can bring back as many as seven key contributors, two with region experience.
Projected finish: 1. Wakulla. 2. Suwannee. 3. Florida High. 4. Marianna. 5. Baker Cty. 6. Godby.
BAKER CTY (Glen St Mary)
Coach: Tucker McCullough, 3rd year.
2019-20: 9-15 in duals. 8th at Joe Bees Memorial, 1st at Westside Roundrobin, 26th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 5th, 17th at region. 2019 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 8th, 25th at region. 2018 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 4th, 16th at region, T-56th at states. 2017 — Traditional: District 5th, 22nd at region, T-72nd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Thomas Torres (sophomore, 3-23 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Shane Bullard (junior, 18-14 at 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylen Goldsmith (sophomore, 15-23 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Ethan Collins (senior, 7-12 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Clayton Dennison (junior, 18-13 at 160, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Caleb Smith (sophomore, 2-8 at 170, 1 match from regions); Toby Kinghorn (junior, 25-10 at 182, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Conner South (senior, 19-13 at 195, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Garrett Cain (senior, 15-11 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions). Potentially returning (year in school not noted on Trackwrestling): Pierce Kirkland (22-9 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): David Jackson (19-11 at 126, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Juan Torres (9-15 at 132, 1 match from regions); Branden Bradley (7-8 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jaqrez Elliott (25-8 at 285, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Wildcats lost four seniors from last year’s group, but they have nine (possibly 10) key returners back, including eight post-season returners. And there’s only two seniors within that group, so they’ll be ready for bigger game soon.
FLORIDA HIGH (Tallahassee)
Coach: Clay Allen, 11th year.
2019-20: 1-2 in duals. 8th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 11th at Capital City, 19th at Allstate Wildcat, T-29th at Knockout Christmas Classic, 4th at Joe Bees Memorial, 6th at George Mulligan Memorial, 5th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: District 3rd, region 6th, T-18th at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region runnerup, 8th at states. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: district runnerup, 5th at region, T-30th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Tyler Reeve (senior, 35-8 at 126, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 6th); Emil Ganim (senior, 14-10 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Wright Dean (sophomore, 14-10 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Liam Hawkes (junior, 12-17 at 152, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Micah Perdue (senior, 27-13 at 160, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Diego Duprey (junior, 6-12 at 170, 1 match from regions); Collin Bishop (freshman, 4-5 at 182, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Brooks Dyer (17-8 at 132, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Dennis Ganim (21-12 at 145, district 3rd, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Marcus Haigler (20-10 at 195, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 4th).
Matmen’s take: Seminoles took some hits last season, compared to the past, but came out with a top-six region finish and top-20 state finish. To return to where they were in the area, they’ll need some bigs, but rest of lineup is solid.
GODBY (Tallahassee)
Coach: MaShawn Knight, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-12 in duals. 9th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 26th at Capital City Classic, 18th at Wakulla IBT, 7th at Viper Roundrobin.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: District 6th, 15th at region, T-40th at states. 2019 — Duals: T-3rd at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 16th at region, T-65th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, 18th at region, T-64th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): John Breaux (junior, 8-21 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Tony Howie (sophomore, 2-13 at 126, 1 match from regions); Kimmareus McCoy (sophomore, 3-13 at 145, 1 match from regions); Seth Williamson (junior, 10-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Keith Clark (sophomore, 6-18 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Julian Green (senior, 10-7 at 195, district 3rd, 1-1 at regions, did not compete on Saturday); Robert Harrell (senior, 19-10 at 220, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Thomas Branson (16-17 at 170, district 4th, 2-1 at regions, did not compete on Saturday); Joshua Yarbrough (21-5 at 285, district champ, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal).
Matmen’s take: Cougars have been to states each of the prior three years; whether they make it four will likely, as in past years, depend on their returning bigs. Lowers need to step up to match their bigger teammates for Godby to improve.
MARIANNA
Coach: Tom Burnette, 1st year.
2019-20: 7-7 in duals. 4th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 10th at Capital City Classic, 24th at Scott Rohrer Hoover, 12th at Gator Brawl, 7th at George Mulligan Memorial, 8th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 4th, region 8th, T-34th at states. 2019 — Duals: District T-3rd; Traditional: District 3rd, region T-7th, T-30th at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 3rd, region 8th, T-17th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Audra Phillips (junior, 4-17 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); William Carrel (junior, 26-25 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Hunter Cornelius (sophomore, 2-17 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Trett Phillips (junior, 20-25 at 138, 1 match from regions); Ethan Heinemann (junior, 21-14 at 145, district 4th, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Cody Lewis (junior, 10-25 at 152, 1 match from regions); Chase Maddox (senior, 44-12 at 160, district champ, region champ, 1-2 at states); Christian Cosson (senior, 40-17 at 182, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Lawson Jackson (junior, 7-21 at 195, 1 match from regions); Zeth Harris (sophomore, 7-11 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Dustin Arnold (20-18 at 132, district 4th, did not compete at regions); John Maddox (51-9 at 170, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Corey Davis (18-3 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Roosevelt Williams (27-27 at 220, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Bulldogs return sizable group from last year, leadership will pass to experienced hands. Younger kids aren’t so young anymore. Key for new coaches will be to fill a full lineup against powerhouse teams within the district.
SUWANNEE (Live Oak)
Coach: John Wainwright, 2nd year atr school.
2019-20: 29-14 in duals. 13th at Border Wars VII, 9th at Keystone Memorial, 8th at Clay Rotary, 1st at Vipers Roundrobin.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 4th, T-48th at states. 2019 — Duals: District T-3rd; Traditional: District 3rd, region 3rd, 17th at states. 2018 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 3rd, region 4th, T-25th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Brody Boehm (sophomore, 41-28 at 106, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Foster Swain (junior, 36-27 at 113, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Xander Kirkland (senior, 52-13 at 120, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Waylon Poole (sophomore, 4-11 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Timothy Jolicoeur (senior, 66-11 at 126, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Ayden Kirby (sophomore, 9-19 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tyson Musgrove (junior, 48-21 at 138, district champ, region champ, 0-2 at states); Caleb Parsons (senior, 49-22 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Austin Howard (sophomore, 34-31 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Jim King (senior, 21-31 at 160, 1 match from regions); Austin Baxter (sophomore, 6-18 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Dustin Wood (sophomore, 24-30 at 170, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Blaine Howard (senior, 27-8 at 182, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Mahri Roberts (junior, 1-9 at 195, 1 match from regions); Cayden Williams (junior, 6-14 at 285, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jaxon Sansouci (46-17 at 132, district 3rd, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Robert Robinson (6-13 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Bulldogs pushed through to the region round and took runnerup honors at traditional districts. They should return to those places once again, behind a deep room and the Suwannee commitment to excellence.
WAKULLA (Crawfordville)
Coach: William Pafford, 10th year.
2019-20: 24-1 in duals. 2nd at Border Wars VII, 2nd at Capital City Classic, 1st at Gator Brawl, 1st at Wakulla IBT, 4th at Clay Rotary, T-84th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state 5th. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region champ, 6th at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region runnerup, 16th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Julian Harvey (junior, 36-11 at 106, district champ, 1 match from states); Conner Brown (sophomore, 12-7 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Wyatt Welch (sophomore, 10-18 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); George Hernandez (senior, 53-12 at 113, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Juan Jimenez (junior, 12-17 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Raymond Hatchman (senior, 51-17 at 120, district champ, region runnerup, state 4th); Jae T Thaxton (sophomore, 23-22 at 126, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Bradley Martin (sophomore, 8-8 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jackson Merrick (senior, 34-22 at 138, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Cole Baggett (senior, 57-12 at 160, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Jayvon Brown (junior, 43-13 at 170, district champ, region 3rd, state 6th); Aiden Fetterhoff (junior, 4-13 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jackson Osteen (senior, 42-11 at 182, district runnerup, region champ, 0-2 at states); Daniel Brattain (junior, 6-9 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Hayden Reeves (junior, 29-14 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tyler Edenfield (junior, 25-16 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jayven Hearns (senior, 43-16 at 285, district 3rd, region 4th, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Matthew Owen (54-7 at 132, district champ, region champ, 1 match from state medal); Noah Wilson (55-6 at 145, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Jaden Arrizola (5-11 at 145, 2-2 at girls’ state); Chase Roberts (46-9 at 152, district champ, region runnerup, state 6th); Dylan Harvey (16-11 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); John Trevor Hinsey (54-6 at 195, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Slade Watkins (49-7 at 220, district champ, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Graduation losses are heavy for the War Eagles, but arguably the deepest room in north Florida will find the next in line to step forward. After two years of dual state runnerup finishes, is this the year? Don’t count out the Forgotten Coast.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 2A-District 3

Fletcher became the first Gateway Conference team, last year, to reach the FHSAA dual state tournament.
And while their appearance at dual states wound up with a loss in the 2A-Region 1 final on the first day of the tournament, last year’s group would add a District 3 traditional title and top-10 Region 1 finish to its season, as well as a Gateway title.
The nucleus of last year’s group — a five-pack of juniors that made history and built island legacy — are all back this year, and it’s that nucleus that drives us to tip the Senators as the choice to repeat in 2021.
Fletcher does lose five seniors from last year’s team, four of them post-season starters, and that loss will have to be made up, particularly toward the upper tier of the lineup, where the Senators’ depth has traditionally thinned some in comparison to their middles.
But the Senators will return up to 10 key wrestlers for this year’s team, including state qualifiers Joel Rodriguez (152 at 2A state in March) and Ethan Hollenbach (220 in March). Fellow senior Ana Bradshaw, who became the first girl in Gateway Conference history to win a conference title and in north Florida to win a district title, also returns after taking fifth at girls’ state in February.
But, Ponte Vedra is going to make fighting for every point count in both dual and traditional format against district competitors, and it may be that the Sharks’ depth could be too much to overcome at season’s end.
This year, Ponte Vedra will bring back as many as 15 boys and four girls with significant experience. Leading this year’s group will be senior Rett Maritato, who qualified for state at 170 a year ago.
If the Sharks will have any issues, it will be the graduation loss of five key seniors that were fixtures in their regular-season lineup. That cadre includes 2020 state qualifiers Alex De Almeida (138 in March) and Ethan Baur (145).
I think the next best teams will be Westside and Robert E. Lee, teams that have shown the promise of being among the city’s best in seasons past, but at times coming up short.
Will this be the year that perhaps Westside breaks through as a team? The Wolverines lost just two key seniors from last year’s group, but one of those was Westside’s only state placer, Angelo Philpot (5th at 170 in 2A).
The Wolverines will have as many as 11 returners back this year, with most of last year’s starting lineup back. Senior Ray Bolden, a two-time state qualifier (including last year) at 285, will headline that group.
The Generals are an intriguing group in 2020-21. Take a look at the key returners (as Matmen’s defined them), and Robert E Lee has more than only the bottom two teams in the district. It lost four post-season starters from last year’s group.
But the Generals have some very motivated kids among those returners, starting at the top of the list with senior and 2020 2A state runnerup Ahmahd Denmark, who was a District 3 and Region 1 champ. Joining him at Kissimmee last year was senior Craig Harper, who qualified out from regions at 220. Four of Lee’s additional five key returners had region experience.
Should any team in the top four falter, First Coast could certainly step into that top half of the standings. The Buccaneers, who’ll have a new coach for the second consecutive year, did lose four 2020 seniors to graduation, including 2A state qualifier DeVante Wyatt (170 in March), but will also return up to 11 wrestlers with key experience to this year’s team, including two that were a match away from states last season.
Englewood’s also got a team that could find itself in the top half of the district with some key improvements and a couple of breaks. The Ramos lost just three seniors from last year’s team, and can return as many as 10 key wrestlers this season. However, only one of those 10 got to the second day of regions last year.
Just from a numbers standpoint, I’m seeing Terry Parker and Stanton in a contest for seventh. The Braves graduated five wrestlers from last year’s team, and will have as many as seven significant returners back, though none competed at regions. The Blue Devils do have one region qualifier back, but they, too, graduated five seniors from the 2019-20 team, and have up to six back, five that were post-season starters.
Projected finish: 1. Fletcher. 2. Ponte Vedra. 3. Westside. 4. Robert E Lee. 5. First Coast. 6. Englewood. 7. Terry Parker. 8. Stanton.
ENGLEWOOD (Jacksonville)
Coach: Joseph Stetzer, 4th year.
2019-20: 23-15 in duals. 5th at Arlington Optimist, 4th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 6th at district, 25th at region. 2019 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District runnerup, 23rd at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, 21st at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Calvin Williams (sophomore, 25-15 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Raequan Staples (senior, 30-13 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Lynden North (junior, 40-5 at 132, district champ, did not compete at regions); Gary Perez (junior, 9-18 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Isiah Borrero (senior, 4-15 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rasean Rayam (sophomore, 13-31 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Sam Howard (senior, 34-10 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Darryl Sam (senior, 25-18 at 182, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Melvin Wiggins (sophomore, 22-18 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Isiah Musca (senior, 15-9 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Neil Gutierrez (junior, 12-3 at 285, did not compete in post-seaon traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Hunter Padgett (13-27 at 126, 1 match from regions); Jordan Mitchell (31-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Justin Mendez (31-11 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Matmen’s take: Rams lost three post-season starters to graduation, but otherwise have everyone back from team of a year ago. They’ll need to find some more lowers, but still could have a return to states for the first time since the 2016-17 season.
FIRST COAST (Jacksonville)
Coach: Tannor Tenopir, 1st year.
2019-20: 24-18 in duals. 5th at Gateway Conference, T-77th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 4th, T-13th at region, T-44th at states. 2019 — Duals: 3rd at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 9th at 3A-District 1, 22nd at 3A-Region 1. 2018 — Duals: T-5th at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 9th at 3A-District 1, T-27th at 3A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Trevor Studstill (16-14 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jace Austin (junior, 16-21 at 132, 1 match from regions); Myles Nicco (sophomore, 12-18 at 138, 1 match from regions); Payton Landon (senior, 18-10 at 138/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Josiah Mossor (senior, 39-3 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); Nicholas Smith (senior, 5-13 at 152, 1 match from regions); Tyler Heflin (senior, 17-18 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cleon Johnson (senior, 15-15 at 182, 1 match from regions); Timothy King (junior, 9-9 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Asia Jack (junior, 2-2 at 184, 2-2 at girls’ state); Grayson Peterson (senior, 27-7 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Ian Loschinskey (30-12 at 113, district champ, 2-2 at regions); DeVante Wyatt (43-7 at 170, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Hakeem Culberson (39-6 at 195, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Lampkin (36-11 at 285, district runnerup, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: The losses First Coast took in 2019 were substantial, but last year’s team lost 4 region qualifiers. There’s replacements, but in order for this year’s team to be substantially better, team needs to find more lowers and more team wins.
FLETCHER (Neptune Beach)
Coach: Paul Schloth, 1st year as HC at school.
2019-20: 14-5 in duals. 1st at Battle for the Blacktop, 9th at Capital City Classic, 13th at Keystone Memorial, 13th at Lady Panther, 1st at Gateway Conference, 12th at Braves Invitational, T-48th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region 9th, T-51st at states. 2019 — Duals: 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 3A-District 1 3rd, 11th at 3A-Region 1, T-28th at 3A states. 2018 — Duals: 3A-District 1 T-5th; Traditional: 3A-District 1 5th, 13th at 3A-Region 1, T-45th at 3A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ana Bradshaw (senior, 30-12 at 106, 5th at girls’ state; district champ, 1-2 at regions); Ryden Ashmore (junior, 16-22 at 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Josh Daltro (junior, 8-14 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Gabe Daltro (senior, 32-13 at 126, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Kaden Solomon (junior, 12-13 at 132, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Joel Rodriguez (senior, 42-7 at 152, district champ, region champ, 0-2 at states); Ryan Klein (sophomore, 13-15 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Michael Strong (senior, 20-8 at 195, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Hollenbach (senior, 30-7 at 220, district champ, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Toby Matson (sophomore, 17-24 at 285, region 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Hayden North (8-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tyriek Caldwell (13-16 at 138, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Tyson Petrie (24-9 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Tyler Dalldorf (15-21 at 160, 1 match from regions); Stone Rockhill (24-8 at 182, district champ, 1-1 at regions-injured).
Matmen’s take: Schloth’s won 5 district titles as an HC, and was 2020’s tactical-side director as lead assistant for the Senators. Don’t expect continuity issues. This group should be fine, particularly if it keeps bringing in solid performers.
PONTE VEDRA
Coach: Josean Gonzalez, 3rd year.
2019-20: 12-15 in duals. 1st at Arlington Optimist, 20th at Capital City Classic, 26th at Flagler Rotary, T-27th at Clay Rotary, T-51st at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2019 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 3rd, T-13th at region, T-59th at states. 2019 — Duals: 5th at 2A-District 4; Traditional: 5th at 2A-District 4, 18th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at 2A-District 4, 26th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Gia Lemon (senior, 12-16 at 100/106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Aiden Taylor (sophomore, 6-15 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Julian Villegas (junior, 13-18 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); James Richie (senior, 6-10 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Olivia Richie (sophomore, 8-9 at 113/122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Michael Stephens (junior, 12-16 at 120, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Josie Sagasser (sophomore, 5-6 at 134, 3-2 at girls’ state); Andrew Hissam (sophomore, 6-16 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Babin (senior, 5-19 at 145, 1 match from regions); John Whitley (senior, 10-16 at 145/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cyrus Ferraro (senior, 4-15 at 152, 0-2 at districts); Joseph Skinner (senior, 12-12 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rett Maritato (senior, 41-18 at 170, district 3rd, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Grace Lin (senior, 4-4 at 172, 1-2 at girls’ state); Zachary Underwood (senior, 5-12 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Luke Calamari (junior, 6-12 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Eric Ressler (sophomore, 7-17 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Xavier Agatep (sophomore, 3-12 at 220, 1 match from regions); Christopher Stewart (sophomore, 4-14 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Stephen Kowitski (13-21 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Jackson Shewey (20-13 at 132, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Alex De Almeida (31-8 at 138, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Ethan Baur (21-7 at 160, district 3rd, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Harlan Nikolov (17-14 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Girls program, in one year, has already grown into one of the coverage area’s largest. Sharks generated a lot of numbers in year 2; next step in program development will be contending for district titles and they’re close already.
ROBERT E LEE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Ricky Hicks, 7th year.
2019-20: 17-6 in duals. 6th at Arlington Optimist, 18th at Capital City Classic, 2nd at Gateway Conference, T-19th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 10th at region, T-16th at states. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at 3A-District 1; Traditional: 8th at 3A-District 1, T-19th at 3A-Region 1; T-56th at 3A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at 3A-District 1, 18th at 3A-Region 1, T-48th at 3A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ricky Hicks (Jr.) (sophomore, 22-16 at 106, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jamal Burkes (senior, 28-15 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Ty’Juan Jones (senior, 25-13 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Ahmahd Denmark (senior, 38-4 at 160, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Keshawn Waters (senior, 25-14 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jeremy Porter (senior, 17-6 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Craig Harper (senior, 34-13 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Jeramiah Stevens (26-12 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Savion Johnson (25-12 at 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Vincente Waugh (27-17 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Edward Peterson (11-18 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Most of the Generals’ top talent from last year is back this year and how quickly it gets into wrestling form depends on how long Lee football season is. They’ll have to replace four post-season starters, all of them upper weights, this year.
STANTON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Forrest Wheeler, 3rd year at school.
2019-20: 9-17 in duals. 9th at Arlington Optimist, 6th at Westside Roundrobin, 9th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 7th at district, 32nd at region. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, 25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 7th at district, 24th at region, T-50th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Artin Rezaei (senior, 21-19 at 126, 1 match from regions); Matthew Mock (senior, 10-24 at 132, 1 match from regions); Liam Salem (senior, 16-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jesse Liu (junior, 11-11 at 152, 1 match from regions); Seth Parks (sophomore, 9-23 at 220, 0-2 at districts); Connor McLoon (sophomore, 6-12 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Kenneth Caldeo (16-15 at 106, 1 match from regions); Gabe Navarro (26-18 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Avery Debelen (14-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Timothy Sinclair (19-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Charles Woo (21-11 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Blue Devils put together decent individual seasons, but had trouble forging needed next steps for the program as a whole. Recruiting new faces in the lineup is the critical factor the Stanton program must solve this coming year.
TERRY PARKER (Jacksonville)
Coach: Andrew McCrary, 1st year.
2019-20: 7-24 in duals. 8th at Arlington Optimist, 11th at House of Payne, 11th at Lady Bear Classic, 13th at Gateway Conference, T-99th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 8th at district, 28th at region.  2019 — Duals: 3rd at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 14th at region, T-28th at states. 2018 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, 19th at region, 41st at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kimoni Alfred (sophomore, 5-15 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mina Gibson (senior, 9-28 at 138/140, 0-1 at girls’ state-injured); Andrew Hodges (senior, 4-23 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Jose Payed (sophomore, 7-17 at 195, 0-2 at districts); Chloe Pollockov (junior, 4-9 at 195, 0-2 at girls’ state); William Gray (sophomore, 13-12 at 220, did not compete at post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Eljani Abraham (7-14 at 132, 0-2 at districts-injured); Tijuan Boyance (31-14 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ashley Saddler (34-12 at 160, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Darius Farmer (25-18 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Andrew Bailes (10-18 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Program faces a reboot this year, as Braves have no wrestlers back that won a district traditional match in 2019-20. Infrastructure is in place, but it will be different this year to see Parker not hosting tournaments as it had in past.
WESTSIDE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Christopher McNealy, 8th year.
2019-20: 12-16 in duals. 17th at Allstate Wildcat, 2nd at Westside Roundrobin, 6th at Gateway Conference, 14th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 5th at district, 11th at region, T-28th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete in 1A-District 3; Traditional: 6th at 1A-District 3, 14th at 1A-Region 1, T-54th at 1A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 5th at 1A-District 3, 14th at 1A-Region 1, T-56th at 1A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Deshawn Reaves (sophomore, 16-24 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Olleon Hickman (sophomore, 10-8 at 120, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Jacare Johnson (junior, 19-10 at 120, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Nathan Williams (sophomore, 21-22 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Donovan White (junior, 15-23 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Kristopher Fleming (sophomore, 8-19 at 138, 1 match from regions); Steven Millikin (senior, 12-19 at 145, 1 match from regions); Emma Smith (junior, 4-19 at 152, 0-2 at districts); John Merritt (senior, 35-14 at 182, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Elijah Williams (sophomore, 11-21 at 220, 1 match from regions); Ray Bolden (senior, 38-5 at 285, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Angelo Philpot (50-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Terrance Alexander (16-28 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Wolverines have a mixture of talent and inexperience, and need a schedule that will challenge both sets of that mixture. Losing last year’s top wrestler will be tough to replace. Team needs to find more wrestlers in upper half of lineup.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 2A-District 1

For the past couple of seasons, and certainly last year, Pace was a slam-dunk choice — pardon the mixed metaphor — to win the 2A-District 1 titles.
Thus, the choice to continue choosing the Patriots to win once again this season is apparent, but it shouldn’t be as easy a path for Pace this year.
The Patriots enter this year having to replace four seniors from last year’s team. That cadre of graduates included 2020 2A state champion Gabe Jacobs at 182, 2020 placer Derrick Lancero (4th at 120) and four-year starter and 2020 qualifier Ethan Billhimer (126).
But Pace has plenty of returning weaponry, in the form of battle-tested experience. Leading that charge will be senior Joseph Cortez, who qualified out for states last year as well (152). Joining Cortez are 2019 2A Kissimmee qualifiers in senior Cam Goodenow (285) and junior Atticus Waters (132), both of whom were one match from states last year.
Combined with fellow senior and 2x blood-rounder Wyatt Dillon (220 last year), the Patriots could have back as many as 12 key performers from last year’s roster.
Gulf Breeze should make the Patriots sweat for every point and every spot, though. The Dolphins were third in both duals and traditional format last year, but appeared to find a good lineup formula at season’s end.
Coming back for Gulf Breeze this season are as many as 12 impact wrestlers from last year’s team, including 11 post-season starters. Senior Ian Daily (132 last year) and sophomore Nate Weber (106 in March) each won a match at states a year ago, and they’ll headline a roster that had several kids in the mix for Kissimmee.
Gulf Breeze’s graduation loss was substantial, with three post-season starters and three kids that provided some solid depth in the Dolphins’ regular-season lineup, and they’ll be difficult to replace.
Ft Walton Beach was last year’s double district runnerup, and the Vikings could get back to that spot once again behind the strength of their lowers. They’ve got as many as 10 key kids back for this year, led by 2020 state qualifier Brandon Mallin (120 in March) plus a couple that were on the doorstep.
However, whether Ft Walton Beach will get there depends largely upon how quickly it can replace four post-season starters that graduated, That group includes 2020 state placer Kaleb Williams (220) and fellow Kissimmee qualifiers Patrick Adams (182) and Eddie Alexis (195).
Tate’s the wildcard in this district, I think. The Aggies have some solid upsides. They didn’t lose anyone to graduation, and were the only team that lost less than four seniors from last year. They’ve got up to 12 possible impact kids from last year, several of them upper-year starters.
However, Tate hasn’t been in the top half of the district in any of the past three seasons while this year’s crop of Aggies have been enrolled. And, at the same time, only two of this year’s possible 12 returners won a match at Region 1, and none got to the second day in that tournament. So that has to change.
Should either Ft Walton Beach or Tate struggle more than expected this season, I’d pencil in Niceville as the likeliest candidate to break into the top half. The Eagles do have some multi-year returners back in their cadre up to nine key performers. On the other hand, they also have six post-season starters to replace due to graduation, including 2020 state qualifiers in Jayden Pinto (132 in March) and Keane Creager (145).
Choctaw didn’t get hit quite as hard as the Eagles, both in terms of graduation loss (four seniors moved on in June) or in terms of size of the returning class. The Indians have as many as 12 impact returners back this year, but the downside is that just one of those 12 had a Region 1 victory.
Both Crestview and Milton took solid graduation hits last year, as both the Bulldogs and Panthers lost six key seniors in June. In both cases also, the teams’ sets of returning wrestlers — up to five in both cases — have a few post-season starters sprinkled into their mix, but none reached the region round.
Projected finish: 1. Pace. 2. Gulf Breeze. 3. Ft Walton Beach. 4. Tate. 5. Niceville. 6. Choctaw. 7. Crestview. 8. Milton.
CHOCTAW (Ft Walton Beach)
Coach: Charles Bertubin, 3rd year.
2019-20: 7-11 in duals. 18th at Border Wars VII, 22nd at Capital City, 11th at Gator Brawl, 8th at George Mulligan Memorial.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 7th at district, 29th at region. 2019 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 5th at district, T-21st at region. 2018 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 17th at region, T-69th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Deagan Kilpatrick (junior, 18-20 at 120, 1 match from regions); Ethan Pfhul (senior, 15-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Steven Banfield (sophomore, 16-25 at 126, 1 match from regions); Jacob Johns (sophomore, 6-31 at 132, 0-2 at districts); Eli Devoid (junior, 12-13 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Tristan Grissom (sophomore, 4-19 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ben Semenov (senior, 18-21 at 145, 1 match from regions); Samuel Santos (junior, 17-19 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Gamaliel Harris (senior, 8-14 at 182, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Peter Skehan (junior, 6-12 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Caden Nimmo (junior, 8-18 at 195, 1 match from regions); Jesse Sarver (junior, 6-23 at 220, 0-2 at districts).
Key losses (graduation): David Tambula (26-10 at 113, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Sherman Fuller (25-17 at 152, 1 match from regions); Joshua Lizana (2-16 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Michael Barton (15-17 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Indians will begin this year with more returning experience than they did a year ago, even with four post-season starters graduating. But Choctaw has just one returning win from last year’s region tournament; that has to get better.
CRESTVIEW
Coach: Damon Welch, 3rd year.
2019-20: 10-12 in duals reported to Matmen/searchable on Track. 14th at Border Wars VII, 7th at The Bash, 9th at Gator Brawl, 12th at George Mulligan Memorial, 10th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 6th at district, T-26th at region. 2019 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 6th at district, 24th at region. 2018 — Duals: 3rd at district; Traditional: 7th at district, 13th at region, T-64th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Tyler Mason (senior, 8-18 at 132, 1 match from regions); Benjamin Gross (senior, 13-22 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Lance Sanders (sophomore, 3-13 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Layne Franks (junior, 26-23 at 160, 1 match from regions); Mathew Sharp (senior, 14-30 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): AJ Richardson (29-20 at 126, 1 match from regions); Andrew Sippos (7-11 at 132, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Easton Flamand (23-28 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Jakob Allen (15-21 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Julio Fernandez (32-10 at 182, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Kennard Madden (35-9 at 220, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Rolando Hernandez (24-15 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: With no returners having region-tournament experience in 2019-20, and almost all of the top Bulldogs having moved on from graduation, Crestview faces an uphill battle this winter. First task is to rebuild toward a full lineup.
FT WALTON BEACH
Coach: Tobi Marez, 15th year.
2019-20: 6-7 in duals. 6th at Cam Brown Classic, 14th at Swede Umbach Invitational, 8th at Southeastern Pools, 2nd at Smiths Station Invitational, 2nd at Wakulla IBT, 13th at Braves Invitational.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 5th, T-28th at states. 2019 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 2nd at district, 7th at region, 40th at states. 2018 — Duals: T-7th at district; Traditional: 6th at district, 15th at region, T-69th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Reid Gannon (senior, 13-25 at 106, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Brandon Mallin (senior, 35-17 at 120, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Weston Burbidge (senior, 35-19 at 126, district 4th, 1 match from states); Darius Brundidge (sophomore, 4-21 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Max Vosburgh (senior, 2-13 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Martin Muniz (senior, 12-18 at 138, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Malachi Santiago (senior, 31-18 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Caleb Tourgee (senior, 28-12 at 160, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Carter Tobik (sophomore, 10-29 at 170, 1 match from regions); Spencer Mackenzie (junior, 23-23 at 285, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jean Maldonaldo (34-9 at 152, district champ, 1 match from states); Patrick Adams (34-18 at 182, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Kaleb Williams (35-12 at 220, district runnerup, region chap, state 6th); Eddie Alexis (31-17 at 195, district 3rd, region 3rd, 0-2 at states).
Matmen’s take: In past years, Vikings would have suffered heavily from losing three state-qualifying graduates; this year, Ft Walton Beach should have no problem remaining in the top half of the district. Will need a few more bigs, however.
GULF BREEZE
Coach: Dave Daily, 5th year.
2019-20: 26-9 in duals. 9th at Border Wars VII, 5th at Indians (AL) Invitational, 6th at The Bash, 6th at Gator Brawl.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: District 3rd, 12th at region, T-51st at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 3rd at district, 9th at region, T-50th at states. 2018 — Duals: 4th at district; Traditional: 1st at district, 3rd at region, T-34th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Nate Weber (sophomore, 39-15 at 106, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Elijah Johnson (sophomore, 18-28 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Logan Merritt (junior, 35-16 at 120, 1 match from regions); Colson Elliott (sophomore, 54-12 at 126, district champ, 1 match from states); Ian Daily (senior, 17-5 at 132, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Brennden Nita (sophomore, 11-6 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Garret Rudick (sophomore, 37-24 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Sean Jones (senior, 7-3 at 160, 1 match from regions); Hunter Dupont (senior, 12-8 at 170, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Micah Barker (junior, 17-18 at 182, 1 match from regions); Julian McCulley (senior, 35-22 at 195, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Bryson Wick (junior, 23-23 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Dylan Lawrence (49-11 at 138, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Kelly Scanlon (24-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Wyatt Sise (18-14 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mason Bourgeois (31-28 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Melvin Beganovic (1-12 at 285, 0-2 at districts); Cameron Anderson (12-15 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Matmen’s take: Dolphins did lose three post-season starters to graduation, but they’ve got nearly every weight covered with returning experience. If they find a heavy, that will be good. Youngsters that came in last year made immediate, solid impacts.
MILTON
Coach: Chafan Marsh, 4th year.
2019-20: 1-20 in duals. T-18th at Smiths Station Invitational, 10th at George Mulligan Memorial, T-36th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 8th at district, 21st at region. 2019 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: 8th at district, 26th at region. 2018 — Duals: T-7th at district; Traditional: 8th at district, 20th at region, T-69th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Coleman Barnhill (sophomore, 3-18 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Brock Wells (sophomore, 4-23 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Michael McCain (senior, 7-17 at 145, 1 match from regions); Zane Allen (sophomore, 1-6 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Kyle Flores (sophomore, 3-14 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Micah Kendrick (12-16 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Brandon Nicholson (22-8 at 138, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Sarinah Anderson (6-9 at 138, 2-2 at girls’ state); Joslyn Anderson (13-19 at 152, girls’ state 5th, 1 match from regions); Daniel McDonal (30-7 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Alec Cavazos (14-7 at 285, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Panthers made an impact in the girls’ side of the sport last year, but those girls have no graduated. Top three on the boys side have also graduated and returners have no 2019-20 region experience. Rebuilding effort has to continue.
NICEVILLE
Coach: Tom Bierly, 3rd year.
2018-19: 6-9 in duals. 11th at Border Wars VII, 17th at Capital City Classic, 22nd at Scott Rohrer Memorial, T-4th at George Mulligan Memorial, 7th at Wakulla IBT, 16th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 4th at district, 16th at region, 61st at states. 2019 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 4th at district, 15th at region. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: 3rd at district, T-6th at region, T-27th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ethan Pinto (sophomore, 30-16 at 113, district champ, 1 match from states); Noah Tritz (senior, 19-22 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Randolph (sophomore, 4-10 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Ethan Bueno (junior, 19-25 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Austin Hunt (sophomore, 7-10 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ty Hawkins (junior, 22-27 at 138, 1 match from regions); Martin Black (junior, 19-9 at 160, district 4th, did not compete at regions); Bryce Travis (junior, 18-21 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joe Hanson (sophomore, 7-18 at 285, 0-2 at districts).
Key losses (graduation): Jayden Pinto (40-19 at 132, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Keane Creager (46-17 at 145, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Jared Dieters (6-16 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Dante Barrett (7-24 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Sean Ripley (12-8 at 195, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Ramsey Kidder (30-20 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Coach Bierly is nearly fully back for the Eagles, who have several starters back as well. Recruitment among the freshman class last year was solid. Finding some upper weights will be this year’s priority, but team should have more stability.
PACE
Coach: Reggie Allen, 3rd year at school.
2019-20: 23-4 in duals. 6th at Border Wars VII, 26th at Scott Rohrer Hoover, 2nd at Gator Brawl, T-92nd at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 3rd, 11th at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District champ, 3rd at region, 22nd at states. 2018 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 2nd at district, 9th at region, T-69th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Natalie Lugo (junior, 19-31 at 106, 1-2 at girls’ state, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jacob Hobbs (junior, 24-17 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Atticus Waters (junior, 40-16 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Seth O’Gara (senior, 31-12 at 138, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Camden Friend (senior, 15-11 at 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Joseph Cortez (senior, 39-9 at 152, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Brody Andrews (senior, 27-17 at 160, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Aidan Bryan (junior, 12-15 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Nick Adams (senior, 9-6 at 182, 1 match from regions); Wyatt Dillon (senior, 29-9 at 220, district champ, 1 match from states); Krystopher Collins (senior, 9-16 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cameron Goodenow (senior, 43-8 at 285, district champ, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Derrick Lancero (56-6 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Ethan Billhimer (56-4 at 126, district runnerup, region 3rd, did not compete at states); Michael Burgess (19-16 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gabe Jacobs (59-0 at 195, district champ, region champ, state CHAMPION).
Matmen’s take: Patriots still have enough in the tank, even with losing three state qualifiers, two medalists and one champ, to be the favorite once again in the district. Returning group is battle-tested, with all juniors and seniors back.
TATE (Cantonment)
Coach: Aaron Telatovich, 3rd year (8th overall).
2019-20: 5-17 in duals as reported last year. 14th at Gator Brawl, 13th at George Mulligan Memorial.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist: Traditional: 5th at district, 30th at region. 2019 — Duals: district quarterfinalist; Traditional: 7th at district, 19th at region, T-50th at states. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 5th at district, 10th at region, T-22nd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Daniel McGaha (sophomore, 22-13 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Marcus Virgin (senior, 23-7 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Caiden Stone (sophomore, 5-14 at 132, 1 match from regions); David Luckey (sophomore, 6-8 at 138, 1 match from regions); Logan Drummond (senior, 10-16 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Chad Luckey (senior, 21-19 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Higgins (senior, 12-22 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Kaden McDonald (sophomore, 6-17 at 170, 1 match from regions); Jacob Turner (sophomore, 9-17 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Ashtyn Allen (senior, 13-5 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gabriel McKinley (senior, 19-13 at 220, 1 match from regions); Landen George (sophomore, 16-16 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: The good news for the Aggies is that they don’t lose any starters from last year’s team, but the bad news is that last year’s returners had just two wins as a group at the Region 1 tournament. Having another year as starters should help, though.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 5 & Indep.

A year ago, Atlantic had its break-out year as a program after the Sharks were, figuratively and sometimes literally, swimming in the wake of one of the Southeast’s top high school teams.
The Port Orange-based team won both dual and traditional titles in 1A-District 5 last year, going on to reach the Sweet 16 in 1A for duals and placing T-5th at Region 2 in late February.
The Sharks made that season possible behind seven individual district champions and a locked-in lineup.
That’s going to get a bit of a test this year, though I think Atlantic is still going to be the favorite for repeating. The Sharks did graduate four key starters, including 2020 state qualifier Azizbek Rustamiy, plus lost a fifth starter — and state qualifier — in junior Jamey Bruner, who moved over to geographic rival New Smyrna Beach, which is in 2A.
But Atlantic does return five district champs out of its group of up to seven post-season starters. Four of those seven fell in the blood round of the Region 2 tournament, and we would expect several Sharks wrestlers to not only qualify out for the 1A state tournament, but a few have the potential to podium in March of next year.
Where Palatka, our runnerup choice in the district, has kids, it’s going to be good in 2020-21. The question for the Panthers is going to be, will they fill a lineup?
Palatka lost three graduates from last year’s team, including a pair of fixtures over the past 4 years in 2019 state qualifier Ontarriyus Reid and March state qualifier Drevon Wallace, who’s now at Allen.
The Panthers have as many as seven wrestlers with starting experience back this season, six of them with Region 2 experience. Of those six, two got to Saturday’s second day. But this year, of the possibly-returning seven, just one will graduate in June, so the chance for a very solid nucleus is good not only for this year, but next. Now Palatka just has to fill the other weights in.
Pedro Menendez should be the choice for third in the district after reaching the Region 2 duals level for the first team in the school’s history last year. The Falcons lost just two seniors to graduation, but took a hit when their top competitor over the last three seasons, senior and 2020 placer Connor Spossey (5th at 170 in March), transferred to crosstown rival St Augustine.
But Menendez will have experience back in the middle of its lineup, with as many as nine key returners, six of them with Region 2 experience last season, and a sizable number of kids — at least in that middle — in the Falcons’ room. Should they fill a couple more of the bookend spots, they will be a threat to Palatka.
Keystone Heights projects to fourth in this district, with its top assistant taking over the program this year, in its third year as an FHSAA team. The Indians lost two wrestlers off last year’s team, including their top competitor from a year ago.
But KHHS has the potential for good numbers once again this year, with possibly as many as nine wrestlers that have starting experience, including five with Region 2 experience last year.
While the top half of the district appears to be locked in, the bottom half of the district took a significant hit in the offseason. Interlachen didn’t finish the 2019-20 season and FSDB’s head coach announced early in the fall that the school was not planning to field a team in 2020-21.
That leaves Lake Weir as the default choice for fifth. The Hurricanes had a first-year coach a year ago and struggled to keep numbers, with just two wrestlers that finished the year. But, both have eligibility to return, with a new coach once again this year.
This preview also is covering two independent team this seasons. First Baptist Christian Academy, out of Bunnell, is in (at least) its fourth season, and second full season with us. The Crusaders have one of the more ambitious small-school schedules in the coverage area, if the past couple of seasons have been any indication.
FBCA has as many as 10 starters back that saw regular time last year; while the Crusaders still won’t test their mettle in post-season competition, last year was perhaps the first year that they showed they could compete as a team and not as individuals.
The second independent team is first-year program Ribault, located in the heart of Jacksonville. The Trojans have not had a team at least during the lifetime of the website, and it’s the first new team in the Gateway Conference in three seasons.
Projected 1A-District 5 finish: 1. Atlantic. 2. Palatka. 3. Pedro Menendez. 4. Keystone Heights. 5. Lake Weir.
ATLANTIC (Port Orange)
Coach: Kris Blasko.
2019-20: 10-2 in duals reported to Matmen. 5th at Barbara Pill Memorial, 4th at Vipers Invitational, 2nd at DeLand Bulldogs IBT, 5th at Wolfpack Invitational, 2nd at 5 Star Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region T-5th, T-48th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for regions; Traditional: 4th at 1A-District 7, 5th at region, T-30th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for regions; Traditional: 4th at 1A-District 7, 12th at region, T-64th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Bernaldo Alvarez (sophomore, 22-13 at 113, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Avante Chamble (senior, 31-11 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); David Arcieri (senior, 38-12 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Noah Anderson (junior, 29-14 at 170, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); John Wyman (junior, 7-19 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Sklare (senior, 13-9 at 220, district champ, 1 match from states); Jared Jackson (senior, 34-3 at 285, district champ, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Jamey Bruner (20-9 at 120, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states; transferred to New Smyrna Beach); Tyler Livingstone (12-23 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Azizbek Rustamiy (14-7 at 132, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Jeremiah Epps (31-12 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Christian Henry (35-11 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Defending the duals and traditional title the Sharks won last year might be a little bit harder, but Atlantic still has a lot of weapons at its disposal. If it can patch the middle of its lineup, it should once again enter the season as odds-on favorite.
KEYSTONE HEIGHTS
Coach: Steven Knott, 1st year.
2019-20: 6-21 in duals.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 4th, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, 22nd at region. 2018 — Independent team in 2018-19.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Samuel Ulsch (sophomore, 8-13 at 120, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lorelei Tarvit (senior, 1-3 at 126, 1 match from regions); Canyon Hayes (sophomore, 13-12 at 132, 1 match from regions); Jonas Cole (sophomore, 14-10 at 138, 1 match from regions); Sheppard Wingate (junior, 12-13 at 160, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Steven Raab (sophomore, 10-14 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Brandon Rodriquez (8th, 9-12 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gabe Adams (senior, 10-10 at 220, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Cody Saley (junior, 3-10 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Kayla Elliott (10-7* at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Eliyah Cole (senior, 21-3 at 182, district champ, 2-2 at regions; transferred to Middleburg).
Matmen’s take: With just two seniors in this year’s group of returners, the Indians’ path of evolution is still very much one of growth. Losing Cole is going to be a difficult loss to replace, but he showed returners that success is within reach.
LAKE WEIR
Coach: Eoghan Cullen, 1st year.
2018-19: 0-3 in duals reported to Matmen. T-15th at Clash of the Titans, 19th at Ed Kilpatrick IBT, 17th at DeLand Bulldogs IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 6th, T-28th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not qualify for regions; Traditional: 7th at 2A-District 5, T-14th at 2A-Region 2, T-25th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not qualify for regions; Traditional: 7th at 2A-District 5, 23rd at 2A-Region 2, T-47th at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Grant Kincannon (sophomore, 4-11 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Dean Marquis (junior, 4-11 at 152, district champ, 2-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: Keeping kids in the lineup proved to be difficult for the Hurricanes in 2019-20. Hopefully, despite another first-year coach manning the program, the team will be able to build some consistency in its lineup this year.
PALATKA
Coach: Josh White, 10th year.
2019-20: 10-18 in duals. 2nd at Arlington Optimist, T-7th at Keystone Memorial, 4th at Wakulla IBT, T-19th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, T-12th at region, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, T-9th at region, T-40th at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 11th at region, T-56th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Mikade Harvey (sophomore, 28-15 at 106, district champion, 2-2 at regions); Brandon Lewis (junior, 37-17 at 132, district champ, 1 match from states); Delton (DJ) Nealy (senior, 21-13 at 138, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Adaris Medina (junior, 17-22 at 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Brady Weaver (sophomore, 6-25 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Samuel Lafferty (sophomore, 12-25 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Jack Tilton (junior, 22-13 at 195, district champ, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Ontarriyus Reid (37-14 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Drevon Wallace (39-16 at 126, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Marlon Williams (22-13 at 285, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Panthers are going to be very solid where they have wrestlers, but they can’t easily compete for district titles with half a team. Recruiting is just as important for Palatka as finding competition for its experienced kids.
PEDRO MENENDEZ (St Augustine)
Coach: Kevin Leonard, 5th year.
2019-20: 12-17 in duals. 23rd at Flagler Rotary, T-27th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 3rd, 17th at region, 28th at states. 2019 — Duals: 1A-District 4 semifinalist; Traditional: 3rd at 1A-District 4, 18th at 1A-Region 1, T-59th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not participate; Traditional: 1A-District 4 runnerup, 10th at 1A-Region 1, T-64th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Joseph Lepera (sophomore, 3-12 at 120, 1 match from regions); Gavin Rosario (junior, 12-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Logan Meehan (junior, 17-20 at 132, district 4th, 0-1 at regions-injured); Lukas Allen (sophomore, 7-8 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jose Ruiz (senior, 12-17 at 145, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Nathan Luckadoo (senior, 16-12 at 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jared Howard (sophomore, 9-24 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Dane Litzinger (senior, 17-16 at 182, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jon London (sophomore, 8-14 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Alex Binkiewicz (8-17 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Connor Spossey (44-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th; transferred to St Augustine); Logan Parham (17-17 at 195, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Falcons reached the regional dual round, a significant program milestone, and having solid numbers will help during the dual series, but it may be difficult to keep up their streak of state traditional appearances.
Independents
FIRST BAPTIST CHRISTIAN ACADEMY (Bunnell)
Coach: Unknown.
2019-20: 4-9 in duals. 14th at Battle for the Blacktop, 18th at Keystone Memorial, 15th at Gator Brawl, 27th at Flagler Rotary, 32nd at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): None. Independent team.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Gabriel Haren (8th, 8-19 at 106); Chase Jones (freshman, 2-18 at 106); Jordan Mills (freshman, 23-13 at 138); Tyson Mills (junior, 27-11 at 145); Tyler Jimenez (senior, 8-16 at 145/152); Mason Harrison (8th, 6-14 at 160/170); Adyn Cox (sophomore, 1-15 at 195); Jacob Rodriguez (sophomore, 5-13 at 195); Ibon Urraburu (sophomore, 3-18 at 220/285); Trevor Banks (freshman, 7-12 at 220/285).
Key losses (graduation): Jackson Whitley (2-17 at 132); Jackson Mills (15-16 at 152/160); Nathaniel Varol (17-16 at 170/182).
Matmen’s take: Crusaders have a couple of wrestlers right on the cusp of area-wide ranking, and they’ve shown themselves capable of bringing in new blood. With the schedule they’ve set for themselves, next step might be to gain state sanction.
RIBAULT (Jacksonville)
Coach: Jason Clark.
2019-20: No statistics. First-year team.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): None. Independent team.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): None.
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: After losing Andrew Jackson to low numbers, and more than one or two programs in the city struggling to keep the numbers they have, it’s a good sign that a new program may be starting up in northwest Jacksonville.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 1

I almost hate to do it to them.
Every time that I think this is the year that South Walton breaks out in order to take the reins of 1A-District 1 leadership, something happens in response to make that prediction look just a bit early.
But this year, even in a year and district where several teams have double digits of possible returners coming back to their teams, this should be the year the Seahawks make it happen.
Consider: South Walton lost just one starter from last year’s double runnerup team. In each of the last three years, the Seahawks have been the dual tournament runnerups; twice in the last three years, even with transfers in and out, it has been the traditional format runnerup. And this year’s team has enough experience to take it another step.
South Walton could bring back as many as 15 wrestlers that saw key starts for the Seahawks in 2019-20. Eleven of those 15 were region qualifiers. And it’s a young group, as none of the possible 15 returners are seniors. Junior Canyon Dart reached the state tournament (wrestling at 132) in his first year with the team last year, and could be a podium threat.
I’m thinking Rutherford, which was fourth at districts, could push up a couple of spots in 2021 (particularly if some kids that still have some eligibility left return to the team).
The Rams did not lose a single wrestler to graduation in 2019-20. And, this year’s group could run 10 deep in terms of significant returners.
Leading that charge — which includes four additional region qualifiers — would be senior Xavier Stillgess, a state qualifier at 195 in March and the area’s top returning 195 heading into this season.
If either the Seahawks or Rams falter, look for perennial small-small Panhandle power Arnold to be in the mix. The Marlins have a new coach again this year, but one of the toughest obstacles they’ll have to overcome is the loss of four post-season starters, including 2020 state qualifier Nick Kendrick, who transferred.
But Arnold has 12 regular-season starters back, five of them with Region 1 experience. While none made it to Kissimmee on the boys’ side, sophomore Henlee Haynes — a region qualifier at 182 in 2020 — won the girls’ 182 state title in her freshman season.
Look at North Bay Haven as an intriguing prospect in 2020-21. The Buccaneers lost just one starter — who did not see the post-season — in 2019-20 to graduation.
This coming year, NBH will have as many as 15 key returners rotating into the lineup, including a solid number of five girls. It’s still a very young lineup in terms of matches — as seen by last year — but if the Buccaneers are able to get more mat time, they’ll certainly be in the mix.
Bozeman and Rocky Bayou Christian could jump into the top half if anybody falters. The Bucks lost their top wrestler from last year to graduation, and Bozeman will return as many as 12 kids that saw good amounts of time in 2019-20, but none of them got to Saturday at Wakulla.
That’s also the case at Rocky Bayou, which was the pleasant surprise of the district last year in taking third. That would be a tall order for the Knights, who graduated two wrestlers from last year’s team — including their top competitor over the past four seasons. RBCS has as many as eight key contributors coming back, all of them with post-season experience.
Bay won the district three years ago, and this year’s seniors were a part of that group, but the Tornadoes and Wewahitchka just are lacking group numbers to be able to push into the top half of the district. Bay graduated two seniors from last year’s team, and the Tornadoes have as many as four returning key contributors (all with Region 1 experience), but filling the bookends is the first priority. We could see some individual successes at Wewa, but the Gators had just four kids last year. Three of them are back, all with post-season tournament experience.
Projected finish: 1. South Walton. 2. Rutherford. 3. Arnold. 4. North Bay Haven. 5. Bozeman. 6. Rocky Bayou Christian. 7. Bay. 8. Wewahitchka.
ARNOLD (Panama City Beach)
Coach: Michael Allison, 1st year.
2019-20: 9-11 in duals. 15th at Border Wars VII, 21st at Capital City Classic, 11th at Keystone Memorial, 7th at Gator Brawl, T-4th at George Mulligan Memorial, 11th at Wakulla IBT, 21st at Clay Rotary, 26th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District champ, 12th at region, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 11th at region, 26th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 5th at district, 15th at region, 24th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Porter Beach (junior, 20-17 at 106, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Alex Starling (sophomore, 16-19 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Lucas Biddle (sophomore, 40-21 at 113, district champ, did not compete at regions);  Konstantin Lekov (sophomore, 3-17 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joseph Beggs (sophomore, 6-28 at 132, district 4th, did not compete at regions); Trevyn Slik (senior, 4-19 at 138, 1 match from regions); John Starling (junior, 16-28 at 145, 1 match from regions); Max Gaylord (senior, 28-29 at 160, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Skyler Jarrell (senior, 2-23 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Henlee Haynes (sophomore, 20-26 at 182, girls’ state CHAMPION, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Tyler Lewis (junior, 19-26 at 195, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Tanner Lewis (senior, 13-15 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Will Ashby (31-19 at 120, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Spencer Korol (28-22 at 126, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Nick Kendrick (51-18 at 152, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Justin Harry 34-24 at 220, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: With three district titles in the last four years, Marlin lineup knows how to win. But with top two kids transferred in past two years, this year may bring new challenges. New leadership will have to step forward to keep winning tradition intact.
BAY (Panama City)
Coach: Mark Deaton, 3rd year.
2019-20: 1-5 in duals. 19th at Border Wars VII, 24th at Allstate Wildcat, 11th at The Bash, 16th at Gator Brawl, 14th at George Mulligan Memorial, 19th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 5th, T-20th at region. 2019 — Duals: T-9th at district; Traditional: District 6th, T-21st at region, T-65th at states. 2018 — Duals: District T-3rd (2nd in pool); Traditional: District champ, T-11th at region, T-50th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jamie Balmeceda (senior, 23-16 at 120, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Corban Cherry (junior, 16-26 at 126, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Trenton Wood (junior, 13-26 at 145, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Caleb Pippin (senior, 9-17 at 160, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Kyle Roper (13-12 at 138, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Dexter Anderson (15-21 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: After three straight prior years with state appearances, Tornadoes did not get to Kissimmee in March. Getting back is possible in 2021, but at the same time, Bay is going to want to be filling a full lineup to make team competitive.
BOZEMAN (Panama City)
Coach: Tony Collier, 2nd year.
2019-20: 5-9 in duals. 20th at Border Wars VII, 10th at The Bash, 20th at Gator Brawl, 18th at George Mulligan Memorial.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 6th, T-20th at region. 2019 — Duals: District T-5th; Traditional: District 10th, 23rd at region. 2018 — Duals: District 7th (4th in pool); Traditional: District 6th, 19th at region, T-54th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Joshua Vonkeyserling (sophomore, 14-18 at 106, 1 match from regions); Daniel Pierce (7th, 7-13 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Logan Jamison (7th, 9-27 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Nicholas Simental (sophomore, 7-16 at 120, 1 match from regions); Mason Shuller (freshman, 9-27 at 126, 1 match from regions); Christopher Eadie (sophomore, 9-17 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kincade Lassiter (senior, 12-10 at 138, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Kaleb Daigle (sophomore, 6-21 at 145, 1 match from regions); Darryll Taylor (sophomore, 6-18 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bradley Garner (sophomore, 11-27 at 152, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Walter Anderson (junior, 7-26 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Dylan Swearington (junior, 5-24 at 182, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Cole Galbreath, 31-10 at 285, district champ, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: The upside of graduation was that the Bucks lost just one starter in June; the downside was that it was Bozeman’s top wrestler. Bucks return a sizable group, but one that took losses. Getting mat time for that group is key.
NORTH BAY HAVEN (Panama City)
Coach: JJ Gibbens, 2nd year.
2019-20: 4-4 in duals. 20th at Gator Brawl, 11th at George Mulligan Memorial, T-84th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: District 7th, 27th at region. 2019 — Duals: District T-7th; Traditional: District 8th, 24th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 9th, 28th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): William Lundgren (7th, 7-7 at 106, 0-2 at districts); India Junkalan (8th, 1-5 at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Hein Le (junior, 6-13 at 113, 1 match from regions); Katherine Lundgren (sophomore, 8-19 at 120, 2-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from regions); Joshua Cox (junior, 5-17 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Helmut vonKnoblauch (senior, 14-14 at 132, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Michael Esquivias (senior, 21-9 at 138, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Jonathan Yates (junior, 6-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Cali Keeny (senior, 5-19 at 152, 1 match from regions); Hana Soto (8th, 0-2 at 154, 0-2 at girls’ state); Lyandro Leon (sophomore, 4-15 at 160, 1 match from regions); Stevens Roberson (junior, 1-19 at 170, 0-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from regions); Jackson Savell (junior, 3-12 at 182, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jonathan Serbest (junior, 8-8 at 220, district 4th, did not compete at regions); Layton Simmons (sophomore, 5-15 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Ethan Cole (15-4 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Matmen’s take: Buccaneers return 15 key wrestlers from last year’s team, graduating just one. Size of the returning group is bigger than ever before, and that is a massive upside for NBH. Group does need more mat time to make a bigger region impact.
ROCKY BAYOU CHRISTIAN (Niceville)
Coach: Kevin Walsh, 5th year.
2019-20: 5-7 in duals. 12th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 17th at Gator Brawl, 16th at George Mulligan Memorial, 15th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: District 3rd, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: District T-5th; Traditional: District 9th, 29th at region. 2018 — Duals: District T-3rd (2nd in pool); Traditional: District 10th, 29th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Thomas Pluhar (7th, 7-26 at 106, 1 match from regions); Owen Parry (freshman, 4-29 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Luke Latham (junior, 17-17 at 126, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Aden Hudson (sophomore, 5-26 at 138, 1 match from regions); Calvin Wells (senior, 17-20 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Sam Brewer (junior, 11-16 at 160, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jaden Scruggs (junior, 18-24 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Kyle Burden (senior, 18-17 at 285, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Wyatt Kirkpatrick (23-6 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); Jacob Parry (13-16 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: We did say Knights could reach top half in the district last year, and they did. RBCS is missing experience at several weights, so top-two status in late February might be ambitious, but returners should bring Knights back to top half.
RUTHERFORD (Panama City)
Coach: Jarod Melvin, 2nd year.
2019-20: 5-9 in duals. T-16th at Border Wars VII, 23rd at Capital City Classic, 8th at The Bash, 14th at Gator Brawl, 15th at George Mulligan Memorial, 12th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 4th, 19th at region, T-48th at states. 2019 — Duals: District T-7th; Traditional: District 5th, 17th at region, T-42nd at states. 2018 — Duals: District T-5th (3rd in pool); Traditional: District 4th, 17th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Elijah Stillgess (sophomore, 23-24 at 106, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Zander Stillgess (7th, 8-22 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Calvin Williams (junior, 14-8 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Colin Dutton (senior, 20-9 at 120, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Elijah Galloway (7th, 1-26 at 132, 1 match from regions); Christopher Weatherspoon (sophomore, 3-19 at 152, 1 match from regions); Zach Duncan (senior, 10-24 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Chad Allgood (junior, 33-19 at 170, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Marco Mejia (sophomore, 8-23 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Xavier Stillgess (senior, 40-12 at 195, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: With no graduates from last year’s team and 10 returners back, this might the best chance the Rams have to push for a region-dual spot and, perhaps, challenge for districts. Getting stars back from prior year’s team would help.
SOUTH WALTON (Santa Rosa Beach)
Coach: Travis Laxton, 2nd year as HC.
2019-20: 5-7 in duals. T-16th at Border Wars VII, 25th at Capital City Classic, 24th at Trey Culotta, 12th at Soddy Daisy Showdown, 17th at Gator Brawl, 9th at George Mulligan Memorial, 14th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 16th at region, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 4th at district, 6th at region, T-23rd at states. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 6th at region, 20th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Brett Canut (junior, 7-10 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); CJ Inman (sophomore, 7-27 at 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Randall Yates (sophomore, 9-35 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Canyon Dart (junior, 31-24 at 132, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Ryan Kurfirst (junior, 20-29 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Shane Lane (junior, 6-17 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ashton Nunes (sophomore, 13-23 at 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); John Lopez (junior, 22-27 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Judah McCoy (sophomore, 6-9 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Seth Marshall (sophomore, 7-35 at 160, 1 match from regions); Chase Maas (sophomore, 6-14 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Payton Ubben (sophomore, 5-14 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Noah Gabbard (junior, 7-13 at 195, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Nick Lee (sophomore, 18-23 at 220, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Thompson (sophomore, 4-27 at 285, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Dylan Garner (26-25 at 182, district champ, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: After three years of duals runnerup status, and three of four years as traditional runnerups, this might be the year for the Seahawks to take the next step. With 15 returners, group is large and has some solid experience behind it.
WEWAHITCHKA
Coach: Tracy Malcolm, 12th year.
2019-20: 0-17 in duals. 23rd at Swede Umbach, 16th at Lone Survivor, 12th at The Bash, 12th at Joe Bees Memorial, 19th at Gator Brawl, 17th at George Mulligan Memorial, 20th at Wakulla IBT, T-56th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 8th, 26th at region. 2019 — Duals: District T-9th; Traditional: District 7th, 19th at region, T-54th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 8th, T-25th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Justin Johnson (sophomore, 20-34 at 106, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Conner Roberts (sophomore, 45-23 at 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Kaylee Easter (junior, 17-34 at 126/128, 3-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from boys regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jaden Moseley (39-25 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Tiny Gator squad of returners is experience-laden; it’s taken quite a bit of lumps along the way. If Wewahitchka can fill weights this year, don’t be surprised to see the Gators rise up in the ranks. But that’s an if for now.
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#TURKEYNWRESTLING

#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 3

Last year was a difficult season on a number of levels for Yulee.
But the Hornets took out their frustrations by ruling the roost in 1A-District 3, with a double title (both in dual and traditional formats) and a Sweet 16 appearance in the FHSAA dual series, plus a seventh-place finish at Region 1 in Wakulla.
Duplicating the district double might be more complicated for the Hornets, as Bishop Kenny appears poised for a return to district-champion status should the Hornets falter. Adding to the complication is the loss of five June 2020 graduates, three of them Region 1 qualifiers, including 1A state qualifier Bradley Durrance at 220.
But if Yulee can find some new upper-weight wrestlers, they’re going to have experienced talent back at the rest of the lineup.
The Hornets have up to 11 kids with eligibility to return, nine of them with region experience last year. Seniors Aston Ricks (wrestled at 152 last year) and Isaiah Shook (160) are returning state qualifiers and potential threats to podium in March 2021.
Despite losing four post-season starters to June graduations — three of them Saturday competitors at Region 1, Bishop Kenny shouldn’t lose much of a beat this year.
And, with just one known senior in 2020 state qualifier Ryan Mayer (113 in 1A last year) in the lineup, if a district title doesn’t happen for the Crusaders this year, it might in 2022.
BKHS has as many as 11 possible significant returners back this year (not everybody’s year in school was listed on Track a year ago), and along with Mayer, will get on-the-mat leadership from fellow Kissimmee qualifiers in junior Sebastian Deara (126 last year) and sophomore Roberto Cuartero (145 in March)
While I have the projections the way I have them, it won’t surprise me, fully, to see any one of four teams take anywhere from third to sixth this year.
West Nassau should be better situated for duals — maybe. The Warriors did lose three of their top four kids last year, and that will — barring recruitment — make things trickier for them in the middle of the lineup.
But, the Warriors do have as many as seven key returners that could come back this year, including four Region 1 qualifiers led by senior and March state qualifier Jackson Rowell (220 last year).
Raines has been a team built more for IBTs — where its star power has shone very brightly — in past years, but the Vikings could have at least the skeleton of a competitive duals team, even after losing multiple-time state placers Kyle Hopkins (6th at 120 in March) and Jamon Goodwine (6th at 285) to graduation.
Those were Raines’ only significant graduation losses, though, and the Vikings have up to nine key kids back, including senior Raynarde Thomas (4th at 1A states at 170 last year) and juniors DaQuan King (3rd at 113) and Jamari Watson (195) as returning state qualiifers.
Should either the Warriors or Vikings falter, however, don’t be surprised to see Episcopal or Fernandina Beach break into the top half this year. The Eagles lost two starters from last year’s team, but have as many as 10 key contributors back; if they can sort out their depth in the lowers, and grow a couple of them up, that would be beneficial.
As for the Pirates, they lost just one 2020 senior to graduation and will have eight post-season starters back. But Fernandina will need to fill a few more weights to have a chance at breaking into the top three in the district.
Paxon and Ed White I would expect to round out the district standings. The Golden Eagles lost just one post-season starter from last year’s tea, and will have as many as nine possible key returners from last year’s team — a big improvement from the year before — but none of those returners had a win at Chiles (only two qualified out). Ed White lost three regular- or post-season starters to graduation, and only have two back with key experience under a new coach this season, but the Commanders will hopefully start the process of rallying back, if they can find some numbers.
Projected finish: 1. Yulee. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. West Nassau. 4. Raines. 5. Episcopal. 6. Fernandina Beach. 7. Paxon. 8. Ed White.
BISHOP KENNY (Jacksonville)
Coach: Nick Tillem, 2nd year.
2019-20: 15-9 in duals. 19th at Capital City, 6th at Joe Bees Memorial, 31st at Flagler Rotary, 25th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 9th, T-53rd at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 5th, T-23rd at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 3rd, 8th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Allan Bustos (junior, 17-17 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Ryan Mayer (senior, 35-15 at 113, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jack Raynor (sophomore, 10-18, 1 match from regions); Sebastian Deara (junior, 32-17 at 126, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Roberto Cuartero (sophomore, 33-16 at 138, district runnerup, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Collin Hearn (year in school not published on Track or in tournaments, 8-9 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals; Barrie Snyder (sophomore, 3-12 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Paul Barakat (junior, 8-26 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Bagan (junior, 10-16 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Adrian Rodriguez (sophomore, 10-21 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kevin Thallemer (year in school not published on Track or in tournaments, 15-17 at 220, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Brock Hinson (23-15 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Maher (17-12 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Carter Wood (23-19 at 160, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Curtis Leggett (23-17 at 285, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: A year ago, we said there would be a different vibe, and there was. We said the expectation to compete well should remain, and it did. Crusaders will be charging hard to return to district title after two years away.
ED WHITE (Jacksonville)
Coach: Avery Wilds, 1st year.
2019-20: 1-9 in duals. 15th at Joe Bees Memorial, 10th at Westside Roundrobin, 14th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 22nd at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 3 7th, 20th at 2A-Region 1, T-65th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 3 5th, 23rd at 2A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Sebastian Gonzalez (senior, 13-13 at 132, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Keyshun Spivey (senior, 3-18 at 182, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Shamar Goodman (2-14 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Larry McCurdy (8-7 at 220, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Salvador Rodriguez (18-9 at 285, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: This season is likely to be an uphill battle for new coaching staff, which is going to have to focus on recruiting kids to fill a lineup as a first priority. Schedule might have to stay light this year to reflect that inexperience.
EPISCOPAL (Jacksonville)
Coach: Jefferson Brant, 2nd year.
2019-20: 16-17 in duals. 25th at Flagler Rotary, 24th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 5th, 14th at region. 2019 — Duals: District semifinalist; Traditional: 4th at 1A-District 4, 12th at region, T-19th at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not participate; Traditional: 5th at 1A-District 4, 24th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Scott Busey (sophomore, 20-17 at 106, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Cohen Chesser (sophomore, 12-3 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Christian Ryan (junior, 24-9 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Joe Jackson (senior, 30-15 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Baylor Maurer (sophomore, 10-10 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ben Helton (sophomore, 17-19 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Noah Meyer (senior, 26-15 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Brennan Doherty (sophomore, 16-16 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); John Fernandez (sophomore, 17-21 at 170, 1 match from regions); Kent Robinson (sophomore, 7-18 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Robert Jackson (9-14 at 145, 1 match from regions); Reid Hampton (35-11 at 152, district champ, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: Eagles have 10 returners with solid experience last year, and just two of those 10 are seniors this year. Episcopal will have to find more upper weights to contend with district leadership, but it showed that it’s on the right track.
FERNANDINA BEACH
Coach: Eric Kubatzke, 3rd year.
2019-20: 8-22 in duals. 7th at Arlington Optimist, 9th at Joe Bees Memorial, 8th at Westside Roundrobin, 33rd at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 6th, 18th at region, T-56th at states. 2019 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 4th at district, 13th at region, 53rd at states. 2018 — Duals: 5th at district; Traditional: 8th at district, 21st at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Nik Saldana (sophomore, 17-24 at 106, 1 match from regions); Caden Kubatzke (sophomore, 25-16 at 120, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jeremy Mahoney (senior, 42-10 at 126, district champ, 1 match from states); Brooks Rohe (sophomore, 4-16 at 138, 1 match from regions); Lucas Crawford (sophomore, 1-12 at 160, 1 match from regions); Kolby Kidd (senior, 27-13 at 182, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Tyler Harris (senior, 16-9 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jared Hutchinson (senior, 12-14 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jeremiah Giedrys (39-14 at 170, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states).
Matmen’s take: Pirates should be better than duals record indicated, and they showed it in the individual successes they had, which reflected the schedule Fernandina wrestled. If Pirates can cover more middles this year, the dual wins will show up.
PAXON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Phillip Abbott, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-32 in duals. 10th at Arlington Optimist, 12th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 8th, T-29th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: Did not compete. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 2A-District 4 7th, 27th at 2A-Region 1.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): David Kang (junior, 7-19 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ashton Burgess (senior, 7-26 at 132, 1 match from regions); Jared Aten (senior, 8-17 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Dramis (senior, 22-12 at 152, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Alex Denyakin (senior, 12-13 at 152/160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Logan Holman (junior, 6-15 at 160, 1 match from regions); Cameron Avery (senior, 7-18 at 182, 1 match from regions); Daniel Harman (senior, 5-15 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Brunelli (sophomore, 11-16 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Joshua Leynes (6-15 at 170, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Golden Eagles took lumps in duals, but finished the year with nine key returners, six of whom competed in the post-season series. That in itself is a significant upgrade. Now, the focus needs to turn to lineup completion and more wins.
RAINES (Jacksonville)
Coach: Aaron Mason, 3rd year as HC.
2019-20: 7-5 in duals. 7th at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 13th at Capital City Classic, 6th at Amanda St John Memorial, 9th at Somerset Scuffle, 8th at Gator Brawl, 3rd at Gateway Conference, 10th at Clay Rotary, T-68th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, region 5th, 13th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, region T-7th, T-23rd at states. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 23rd at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Shanice West (junior, 10-24 at 106, 1-2 at girls’ state); DaQuan King (junior, 56-5 at 113, district champ, region runnerup, state 3rd); Javon Richo (junior, 7-13 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jada Arnold (junior, 16-27 at 154, 1-2 at girls’ state); Raynarde Thomas (senior, 47-7 at 170, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Christian McNair (senior, 8-11 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jamari Watson (junior, 26-10 at 195, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jalen Graham (senior, 10-8 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Timothy Hall (junior, 2-17 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Kyle Hopkins (43-6 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 6th); Jamon Goodwine (48-4 at 285, district champ, region champ, state 6th).
Matmen’s take: Vikings graduated two multi-time state placers, but bring two back, and could add a third this year. Team could make district leaders sweat in dual-team format if it chose to. Girls’ group has also performed well.
WEST NASSAU (Callahan)
Coach: Adam Bolger, 2nd year.
2019-20: 11-18 in duals. 5th at Joe Bees Memorial, 5th at Westside Roundrobin, 6th at Wakulla IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 4th, region 10th, T-30th at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, T-21st at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 23rd at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Blayden Tharpe (sophomore, 26-13 at 106, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Jackson Holcomb (sophomore, 14-29 at 113, district 4th, 1 match from states); Hunter Rosepiler (sophomore, 7-10 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gibreen Ahmad (sophomore, 20-25 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Deonte Robinson (senior, 11-14 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Conner Nobles (junior, 14-8 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jackson Rowell (senior, 30-15 at 220, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states).
Key losses (graduation): Brendan Ferenchik (27-5 at 120, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Bradley Hulett (40-6 at 138, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Requan Works (25-5 at 160, district champ, region 3rd, state 6th).
Matmen’s take: Three of Warriors’ top four kids all graduated in June, and their loss will be difficult to overcome. If West Nassau can find more lowers, and it might, the Warriors could make an even stronger push for district leadership in February.
YULEE
Coach: Brandon Crowder, 13th year.
2019-20: 26-5 in duals. 1st at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, 11th at Devil Dog (SC) Invitational, 2nd at Joe Bees Memorial.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region 7th, T-34th at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region semifinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, 10th at region, 27th at states. 2018 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, 9th at region, T-34th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Lewis Duhan (sophomore, 30-13 at 106, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jacob Proffit (sophomore, 24-21 at 113, 1 match from regions); Tristan Martinez (senior, 31-18 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Johns (sophomore, 32-12 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Dietrich Woods (27-9 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jesse Johnson (junior, 31-12 at 145, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Aston Ricks (senior, 45-10 at 152, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Isaiah Shook (senior, 28-17 at 160, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Collin Sewell (senior, 18-10 at 170, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Keleb Reddish (junior, 17-17 at 182, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Joseph Michel (junior, 18-21 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Trevor Gladson (21-7 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bryce Bees (28-6 at 132, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Lopez (9-13 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bradley Durrance (45-9 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Darquill Brown (31-16 at 285, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: After a stormy 2019-20 emotionally, schedule snafus put the Hornets on ice in wrapping up the regular season. But they still pulled together a district double. That might be tougher in 2021; team will need new blood up top.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 1A-District 4

Almost any district that Clay’s in, the Blue Devils are going to be favored.
That’s no less true in 2020-21 and 1A-District 4, as Clay will be gunning for its 22nd consecutive district traditional title and fourth straight dual win. And, the Blue Devils will do so back under the leadership of Hall of Fame coach Jim Reape, who returns to the top spot after two years as a Clay assistant.
Last year, the Blue Devils were Region 1 runners-up in both formats, going on to place 12th at the 1A state tournament. That team took nine individual District 4 titles. In June, however, it lost six regular starters to graduation, including five district champs, and a seventh starter to in-district transfer (more on that in a moment).
But Clay continues to embody the tradition-never-graduates approach, with as many as 10 key contributors back, plus a very deep room. Eight of those 10 wrestlers were region qualifiers, with senior Cale Hoskinson (3rd at 152 state in March) leading the charge. Hoskinson will be joined by fellow placer and junior Garrett Tyre (5th at 1A-220) and returning state qualifiers in junior Maverick Rainwater (106 in March) and sophomore Dominic Martin (145 last year).
Clay also will field a girls’ team for the second time this season. The Blue Devils have six returning girls wrestlers that competed at Dr Phillips and the girls’ state tournament last year, led by junior Madisyn Blackburn (3rd at 128 in February).
At full strength, Bolles appears to be odds-on for the runnerup spot in the district, though whether the Bulldogs take that spot in both dual and traditional formats might depend on how many kids are available in early January.
They lost two seniors from last year’s team, both multi-year starters, one a six-year starter for the Bulldogs.
But Bolles has most of its lineup back from last year’s Region 1 3rd-place team, including 10 key starters. Just two of those 10 are seniors, including 2020 state qualifier Ethan Asbury (1 match from podium at 182). Asbury will be joined as returning Kissimmee qualifiers by juniors Jacob Witt  (106 in March), Tyson Riley (138) and Jack Pyburn (220; injured after regions).
The biggest battle could be shaking out who’ll be in the mix for third. I’m projecting three teams to fight that battle. Right now, Ridgeview has the leg up, but don’t count out Wolfson and district newcomer Union Cty, which started its program as an independent a year ago.
The Panthers did graduate three post-season starters from last year’s team, taking a chunk of the team’s experienced middleweight group along with it.
But Ridgeview has as many as nine key starters back, led by senior and 2x state runnerup (3x placer) Matthew Rodriquez, who signed with Lehigh nearly two weeks ago. Junior Derrek Mosley, also a state qualifier at 285 last year, transfers over from Clay. And, of those nine key contributors the Panthers can call upon, six of them are sophomores, so the chance for a quality nucleus being built is there.
Like Ridgeview, Union Cty lost three seniors from last year, in a season that saw them compete fairly well (14 dual wins) for an independent.
The Tigers bring back 12 wrestlers with regular lineup appearances from last year, and that depth could be key as they take on the challenge of competing in the FHSAA post-season dual and traditional tournament series.
Wolfson lost just one senior from last year’s team, but he was its most-consistent competitor over the last couple of seasons and a four-year starter.
Still, though, the Wolfpack did reach the Region 1 duals tournament for the first time as a team a year ago, and they, too, have 12 key performers back from last year’s team. Eight of those 12 were region qualifiers. But, just two of them took wins at Region 1 at Wakulla, and they’ll need to improve on that finish.
Bishop Snyder and University Christian are the best candidates for sixth spot. In duals, the Cardinals are probably the better bet. Snyder lost just one senior to graduation last year, and have as many as eight key returners back, two of whom were 1 match from states in February.
The Christians might struggle to fill a lineup, or even come close, but they’ve got a lot of firepower returning, which gives them a solid presence in IBTs. As many as four returners could be available, led by a pair of 1A state placers in sophomore Egan Gustilo (5th at 113 in March) and eighth-grader Jayce Paridon (5th at 106).
Baldwin had a little bit more success in keeping numbers in its lineup, but the Indians still have some gaping holes in their lineup, and lost their best wrestler from last year. Bradford lost some of their best kids mid-season a year ago, and with just two post-season kids back, could really struggle with numbers also this year.
Projected finish: 1. Clay. 2. Bolles. 3. Ridgeview. 4. Union Cty. 5. Wolfson. 6. University Christian. 7. Bishop Snyder. 8. Baldwin. 9. Bradford.
BALDWIN (Jacksonville)
Coach: Immanuel Henderson, 3rd year.
2019-20: 0-12 in duals reported to Matmen. 12th at Arlington Optimist, 11th at Westside Roundrobin, 15th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 28th at region. 2019 — None; competed last year as independent first-year team. 2018 — Program did not exist.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Caleb Hellard (7th, 1-15 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Taylor Davenport (7th, 1-7 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Samuel Barnum (senior, 6-12 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Johnatan Santiago (8-10 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Indians should get better in Year 3 of the program, but they’ve got to get more mat time. When top kids are seeing upper teens in #s of matches against kids with more of a room to help them, and 40-50 matches, they’re underexperienced.
BISHOP SNYDER (Jacksonville)
Coach: Jeremy Mosley, 7th year.
2019-20: 0-11 in duals. 20th at Keystone Memorial, 11th at Joe Bees Memorial, 9th at Westside Roundrobin, 17th at Wakulla IBT, 30th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 5th, T-23rd at region. 2019 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 5th, 20th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 6th, 20th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ian Hall (sophomore, 4-13 at 106, 1 match from regions); Christian Villanueva (senior, 19-13 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Alex Crews (sophomore, 3-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joseph Miranda (sophomore, 5-21 at 145, 1 match from regions); Jamil Johnson (sophomore, 6-20 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Clayton Beasley (senior, 12-18 at 160, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Carson Bowers (senior, 5-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Angel Lecointe (junior, 17-9 at 220, 1 match from states).
Key losses (graduation): Austin Davoli (6-12 at 126, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Cardinals had a smaller graduation loss this year compared to the year previous, which is going to help, but they’ve got to fill some weights next year in order to compete for a shot at region duals and traditional top half.
BOLLES (Jacksonville)
Coach: Matt Morris, 33rd year.
2019-20: 21-21 in duals. 24th at Capital City Classic, T-7th at Keystone Memorial, 24th at Flagler Rotary, 12th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District runnerup, region 3rd, 33rd at states. 2019 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District champ, 15th at region. 2018 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: 3rd at district, 7th at region, 33rd at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jacob Witt (junior, 46-10 at 106, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Bryson Hubbard (freshman, 11-4 at 113, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Thomas Holt (freshman, 10-7 at 120, 1 match from regions); Denny Vohs (junior, 28-19 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Tyson Riley (junior, 48-13 at 138, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Skylar Malone (sophomore, 22-19 at 152, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Jackson Brill (sophomore, 10-17 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Asbury (senior, 33-16 at 182, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Jack Pyburn (junior, 40-9 at 220, district runnerup, region runnerup, did not compete at states); Cam Neal (senior, 24-14 at 285, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Dalton Posick (36-13 at 132, district champ, 1 match from states); Julian Morris (29-11 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Bulldogs bring back a sizable lineup that will put some challenge to Clay, and, although it usually does take a few weeks for the engine to rev up to full speed, it’s proven over the past few years it’s ready by late February.
BRADFORD (Starke)
Coach: Derrick Mitchell, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-9 in duals reported to Matmen.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 5th; Traditional: District 8th, T-29th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at district, T-25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 4th at district, T-11th at region, T-56th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Andrew Crews (junior, 3-8 at 132, 1 match from regions); Austin Varnes (senior, 6-3 at 285, district 4th, did not compete at regions).
Key losses (graduation): Michael McDuffie (6-8 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Tornadoes are still having some trouble keeping kids in the lineup; the best in the regular season didn’t finish the year with the team, and best in post-season didn’t go to region. Program has to focus on retention as the key issue.
CLAY (Green Cove Springs)
Coach: Jim Reape, 26th year as HC, 28th with program.
2019-20: 28-5 in duals. 10th at Clash of Lady Titans, 1st at Allstate Wildcat, 39th at Knockout Christmas Classic, T-16th at Lady Panther, 16th at Lady Bear Classic, 3rd at Clay Rotary, T-23rd at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region runnerup, 12th at states. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region 4th, 21st at states. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state runnerup.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Maverick Rainwater (junior, 17-9 at 106, district 3rd, region champ, 1-2 at states); Savanna Huckelberry (sophomore, 0-7 at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Dalton Huckelberry (senior, 25-21 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Kayla Haines (sophomore, 6-7 at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Josh Kumpf (junior, 9-13 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Abdiert Escobar (senior, 32-5 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Madisyn Blackburn (junior, 20-6 at 128, 3rd at girls’ state); Jaidyn Vinson (senior, 2-11 at 128, 1-2 at girls’ state); Aiden Mayo (junior, 10-11 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Harley Jundt (junior, 0-6 at 134, 0-2 at girls’ state); Luke Boree (junior, 37-16 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Dominic Martin (sophomore, 33-18 at 145, district runnerup, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Cale Hoskinson (senior, 51-7 at 152, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Luca Fiannaca (junior, 20-12 at 160/170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kaylee Waxler (junior, 0-11 at 172, 0-2 at girls’ state); Garrett Tyre (junior, 42-16 at 220, district champ, region champ, state 5th).
Key addition: Ethan Larsen (junior, 17-13 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals, transferred from Middleburg).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): Tazz Hampton (19-4 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Davis (40-14 at 120, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Stevi Outtin (2-8 at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Tucker Reape (11-11 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Isaiah Clifford (24-16 at 170, district champ, 1 match from states); Jordan Bell (31-15 at 182, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Joe Grelli (31-13 at 195, district champ, 1 match from states); Derrek Mosley (41-8 at 285, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states; transferred to Ridgeview).
Matmen’s take: It’s been tough for the Blue Devils to play catchup with respect to area and even the county, but the program has fully come back after a brief hit at the start of two seasons ago. Girls team is one of largest & most successful in area.
RIDGEVIEW (Orange Park)
Coach: Bart Rodriquez, 3rd year as HC.
2018-19: 11-25 in duals. 15th at Swede Umbach, 21st at Scott Rohrer, 10th at Gator Brawl.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 3rd, 11th at region, 24th at states. 2019 — Duals: T-5th at 2A-District 3; Traditional: 3rd at 2A-District 3, 10th at 2A-Region 1, T-19th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: 2A-District 3 champ, 2A-Region 1 quarterfinalist; Traditional: 2A-District 3 champ, 8th at 2A-Region 1, T-16th at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Blake Pu (sophomore, 38-12 at 106, district 4th, 1 match from states); Kaiden Tibbetts (sophomore, 23-19 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Robby Morris (sophomore, 14-21 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Matthew Rodriquez (senior, 66-1 at 126, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Ian Finnorn (sophomore, 23-17 at 138, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Brown (sophomore, 3-18 at 152, 1 match from regions); Desmond Stokes (junior, 9-8 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Keegan Powell (sophomore, 12-32 at 285, 1 match from regions); Derrek Mosley (junior, 41-8 at 285, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states; transferred from Clay).
Key losses (graduation): Shawn Tahir (27-28 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Gabe Guzman (49-9 at 145, district champ, 1 match from states); Spencer Robertson (29-20 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Although Panthers did lose a few of their top kids from last year’s team, they were successful in bringing in a sizable freshman group last December. Still will be a team seeing more individual than group success at least this year.
UNION CTY (Lake Butler)
Coach: Patrickk McDonald, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 14-26 in duals. 17th at Keystone Memorial, 18th at Ed Kilpatrick IBT.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Did not compete. 2019 — Program did not exist. 2018 — Program did not exist.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Kale Waters (sophomore, 19-14 at 106/113); Christian Simmons (sophomore, 20-14 at 106/113); Ian Halfacre (sophomore, 9-22 at 126); Ethan Shea (sophomore, 15-22 at 132); James Rogers (junior, 7-29 at 132/138); Danny Thornton (sophomore, 15-25 at 145); Johnny Benefield (sophomore, 8-13 at 152/160); Brandon Mecusker (senior, 14-23 at 152/160); Jayce Puni (sophomore, 6-13 at 152/160); Colin Hadlock (sophomore, 3-14 at 160/170); Carson Rogers (sophomore, 15-26 at 170); Daegan Gainey (sophomore, 13-15 at 220/285).
Key losses (graduation): Jonathan Maldonaldo (11-6 at 106/113); Allan McClellon (14-13 at 182/195); Davalier Blocker (20-24 at 220).
Matmen’s take: Union taking its first shot at sanctioned competition in its second year of existence. Tigers demonstrated last year that it had plenty of numbers, and that will help them, particularly in the dual team tournament series.
UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN (Jacksonville)
Coach: Wes Champ, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 4-29 in duals. 14th at Keystone Memorial, 15th at Fandetti-Richardson Brawl, 8th at Syrupmaker Invitational, 22nd at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 6th, 13th at region, T-22nd at states. 2019 — No program. 2018 — No program.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Jayce Paridon (8th, 51-11 at 106, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 5th); Egan Gustilo (sophomore, 52-8 at 113, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Avery Miller (senior, 7-11 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Flores (senior, 8-13 at 160, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Jackie Dinh (18-12 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: Christians are still a team that will shine brighter in individual tournaments than in duals or team environments, but those individuals are key building blocks, also, for future team success.
WOLFSON (Jacksonville)
Coach: Scott Marabell, 8th year.
2019-20: 9-22 in duals. 11th at Gateway.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District 4th, 25th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 5th at district, T-25th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: 6th at district, T-25th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Liam Strange (sophomore, 14-23 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Harbin (junior, 15-16 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Max Lewallen (junior, 23-16 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Emarre Campbell (senior, 15-18 at 132, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Nathan Shad (junior, 11-21 at 138, 1 match from regions); Gavin Hill (sophomore, 6-24 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lyric Richardson (senior, 14-10 at 160, 1 match from regions); Elijah Giles (sophomore, 3-15 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Dallas Kemp (sophomore, 11-13 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Shydeim Deas (senior, 10-14 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Tavion Ford (senior, 7-5 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Rashawn Spears (senior, 13-13 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Cameron Frison (27-12 at 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: In terms of numbers, graduation losses were not as extensive as last year, but the one lost was Wolfpack’s top wrestler the last three years. New leadership will need to step up in order for Wolfson to stay in contention for a top-3 spot.
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#TurkeyNWrestling2020-21: 3A-District 1

Running the north doesn’t just happen. It takes hard work from everyone, from the newest freshman to the leadership at the top.
And that is how Fleming Island has picked off five consecutive 3A-District 1 traditional titles, three district dual titles, five Region 1 traditional titles, three region dual titles, top-3 state traditional finishes each of the last three years, and two dual state runnerup showings. Outworking the competition.
Often times, the toughest competition Fleming Island sees locally is within its own room. This year, that will mean more than maybe it has recently. But when most of a team has to be replaced due to graduation, as Fleming’s did back in 2016, the Golden Eagles just started the rebuild with in-house kids and continued to dominate.
That’s the story once again after Fleming will have to replace eight June graduates, led by now-Campbell freshman and 2020 3A state champ Chad Nix (220), plus five placers in Luke Chop (3rd at 160), Dalton Williams (4th at 138), Tanner Hill (5th at 152), Gannon Janssen (6th at 145) and Jeffrey Lascano (6th at 195), plus state qualifiers Ryan Hobson (120) and Nick Janssen (182). Additionally, junior and 2020 state qualifier Isaac Padgett (132) moved out-of-state.
So as they did when Chop and Williams were freshmen, the Golden Eagles will rebuild largely from within this year. And they still have as many as nine key returners from last year’s team back, including two current or former placers in seniors Hunter Herrington (3rd in March at 113) and Gavin Smith (5th in 2019 at 170). Two more Golden Eagles reached the second day at Region 1 last year, and Fleming got a boost when senior David Parkes, a 3A state qualifier (152) last year, transferred over from Oakleaf.
Oakleaf doesn’t have Fleming Island’s room, but one thing that the Clay County Knights have the most of in the district is key returners — up to 15 in all — and while they might not close the gap yet, Oakleaf has shown it can get numbers out, which led to the Knights’ ascendancy to the runnerup spot and first appearance in the FHSAA Region 1 dual team tournament.
Leading those returners will be junior and 2020 state qualifier Marcus McGee (120 in February). The Knights also have six additional Region 1 qualifiers, including two wrestlers who reached the blood round.
In addition to Parkes, Oakleaf does have to replace two additional post-season starters, but the room is probably there to replace with returning experience.
Creekside seemed to weather the jump to 3A with a quietly-consistent year. This season, the St Johns Knights enter with four 2020 post-season starters graduated, led by state qualifier Jalen Hines (182).
Still, though, Creekside has a number of returners back, up to possibly 12 regular- or post-season starters back. That number includes six Region 1 qualifiers, three of whom got to the second day of competition.
The Bartram Trail lineup is usually one that’s a work in progress, though sometimes continuity can be a good thing. The Bears graduated four post- or regular-season starters from their lineup last year, and six seniors in all will need to be replaced this season.
But a large part of Bartram’s post-season lineup is back, with up to 13 key contributors potentially returning. Sophomore and 2020 state qualifier Ethan Vugman (106 last year) leads that group charge, with five additional Region 1 qualifiers returning.
If anyone in the top half falters, Nease is the team most likely to step in. The St Johns Panthers did lose their two most talented kids among a quartet of June 2020 graduates, all of them post-season starters, but Nease does have emerging talent at several weights. The Panthers’ individual highlight is sophomore Brielle Bibla, who was 5th at girls’ state in February (106) and might have gotten to every possible nearby event, and many not-so-nearby, this off-season.
Mandarin should be better this year. Having no wrestlers lost to graduation will help a lot in terms of continuity, but overall team cohesion should be better as well. The Mustangs have up to 11 impact returners back for this year, including five Region 1 qualifiers. Upper weights appear to be Mandarin’s strength; if it can find some solid middles, Mustangs could contend for the top half.
Returning experience will be a bit more of an issue for Sandalwood and Atlantic Coast as the season unfolds. The Saints have the better of it, with up to nine post- or regular-season starters back this year, but only three of those nine have Region 1 experience, and they graduated three starters, including 2020 state qualifier Lavaughn Brown, from the club. The Stingrays had just one graduate lost to this year’s team, but none of the up-to-five returners that Atlantic Coast can call upon this year got to regions in February.
Projected finish: 1. Fleming Island. 2. Oakleaf. 3. Creekside. 4. Bartram Trail. 5. Nease. 6. Mandarin. 7. Sandalwood. 8. Atlantic Coast.
ATLANTIC COAST (Jacksonville)
Coach: Hector Zayas, 2nd year.
2019-20: 3-14 in duals. 13th at Battle of the Border, 10th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 8th. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 10th, 30th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 10th, 33rd at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Eric Harper (senior, 17-10 at 120, 1 match from regions); Nick Shay (senior, 9-13 at 126, 1 match from regions); Joel Dudley (junior, 14-12 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Parsa Mokhlesabadi (junior, 6-11 at 145, 0-2 at districts); John Johnson (sophomore, 11-12 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Erik Llolli (1-12 at 132, 1 match from regions).
Matmen’s take: Small team once again expected for the Stingrays, but the group seemed to keep its head up throughout Zayas’ first year despite not sending anyone to regions. That should change in February. Team could return to top half in the Gateway this season.
BARTRAM TRAIL (St Johns)
Coach: Chad Parker, 7th year.
2019-20: 30-7 in duals. 17th at Flagler Rotary, 15th at Clay Rotary, T-59th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 3rd; Traditional: District 4th, 15th at region, T-52nd at states. 2019 — Duals: 2A-District 4 3rd; Traditional: 2A-District 4 3rd, 2A-Region 1 4th, 23rd at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: 2A-District 4 3rd; Traditional: 2A-District 4 4th, 2A-Region 1 T-6th, T-16th at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Ethan Vugman (sophomore, 54-9 at 106, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Coleton Memory (sophomore, 6-13 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jacob August (sophomore, 10-6 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Trevor Tagarelli (senior, 38-12 at 126, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Preston Pena (sophomore, 19-12 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Matthew Tayloe (junior, 22-18 at 138, 1 match from regions); Abby Cooper (senior, 2-4* at 140, 0-2 at girls’ state); Ayden Nguyen (junior, 20-11 at 152, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); John McNames (sophomore, 43-15 at 160, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Dominick Grubb (junior, 14-7 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Damien Ortega (junior, 13-15 at 195, 1 match from regions); Robert Hunter (senior, 11-19 at 220, 1 match from regions); Ryan Piersza (senior, 42-12 at 285, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation or as noted): Michael Moore (30-8 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Emmanuelle Sutherland (11-2* at 128, 3-2 at girls’ state); Stephen Farris (31-10 at 145, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Julia Perry (0-3* at 154, 0-2 at girls’ state); Ralph Hamilton (27-11 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Clarke Hamilton (23-6 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals; moved to Michigan).
* — not all girls’ results were reported to Matmen.
Matmen’s take: Bears took their lumps, to some degree, in the first year of 3A, and it showed in how the team as a whole finished the season. This year’s team brings back more experience, but the bigs need shoring up after McNames and Piersza.
CREEKSIDE (St Johns)
Coach: Richard Marabell, 13th year.
2019-20: 9-10 in duals. 4th at Bulldogs IBT, 16th at Flagler Rotary, 17th at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 3rd, region 10th, 48th at states. 2019 — Duals: 2A-District 4 runnerup, 2A-Region 1 semifinalist; Traditional: 2A-District 4 runnerup, 2A-Region 1 5th, T-42nd at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: 2A-District 4 champ, 2A-Region 1 champ, 2A state semifinalist; Traditional: 2A-District 4 runnerup, 2A-Region 1 4th, 21st at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Andrew Feeks (junior, 17-16 at 106, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Cody Smith (junior, 8-12 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Hunter England (senior, 23-13 at 120, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Nolan Anderson (senior, 18-13 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Keanan Sexton (junior, 7-8 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season tradiitonals); Lee Leavell (junior, 14-17 at 138, 1 match from regions); Nathan Manning (junior, 15-13 at 145, 1 match from regions); Hunter Brown (senior, 29-14 at 160, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Bryan Fortay (senior, 6-7 at 195, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Robbie Balke (senior, 7-16 at 220, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Wyatt Galloway (junior, 9-8 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Vincent Approbato (junior, 13-14 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses (graduation): Michael Galiani (19-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Zach Johnson (9-21 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Josh Benavides (17-11 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jalen Hines (38-8 at 182, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
Matmen’s take: Knights were quietly consistent in 2019-20, and with a number of returning starters in hand, Creekside will be in the mix for the runnerup spot in February. Finding a few more upper weights will be key to take a step further in 2020-21.
FLEMING ISLAND (Orange Park)
Coach: PJ Cobbert, 7th year as HC, 14th year at school.
2019-20: 26-2 in duals. 11th at Knockout Christmas Classic, 1st at Keystone Memorial (IBT), 1st at Milton-Winter IBT, 2nd at Flagler Rotary, 1st at Clay Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state semifinalist; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state 3rd. 2019 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state runnerup. 2018 — Duals: District champ, region champ, state runnerup; Traditional: District champ, region champ, state runnerup.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Hunter Herrington (senior, 38-8 at 113, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Riley Holton (senior, 44-15 at 126, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Liam McKenzie (sophomore, 9-10 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Dalton Baysinger (senior, 11-5 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jhoel Robinson (sophomore, 22-8 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gavin Smith (senior, 50-14 at 170, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Hunter Williams (junior, 16-6 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Josh Sandoval (junior, 17-2 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Raul Gonzalez (senior, 47-16 at 285, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
Key addition: Xavier Logan (junior, 11-9 at 145, 2A-District 4 4th, 0-2 at 2A-Region 1; transferred from Mainland); David Parkes (senior, 40-12 at 152, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states; transferred from Oakleaf).
Key losses (graduation): Ryan Hobson (42-25 at 120, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Isaac Padgett (39-21 at 132, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states; moved to Colorado); Dalton Williams (41-5 at 138, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Gannon Janssen (62-8 at 145, district champ, region champ, state 6th); Tanner Hill (54-12 at 152, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Luke Chop (61-9 at 160, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Nick Janssen (30-13 at 182, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jeffrey Lascano (54-10 at 195, district champ, region champ, state 6th); Chad Nix (63-1 at 220, district champ, region champ, state CHAMPION).
Matmen’s take: Big 2020 senior class made up a huge part of Fleming success the past three or four seasons, but that class often found its toughest local competition within its own room. That room will now take the reins, and it’ll be ready.
MANDARIN (Jacksonville)
Coach: Lance Day, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 21-21 in duals. 3rd at Arlington Optimist, 8th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, 28th at region. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 7th, T-19th at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District  7th, 30th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Devin Foster (sophomore, 29-16 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Ethan Harvey (senior, 21-23 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Tristan Garcia (junior, 27-23 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Frank Kershaw (junior, 15-13 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Xaine Evans (senior, 25-17 at 145, 1 match from regions); John Willis (senior, 11-7 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Tony Carter (junior, 46-7 at 182, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Royal Felton-Norman (senior, 14-14 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jaelen Simmons (sophomore, 17-9 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); De’Shawn Wise-Minor (sophomore, 20-19 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Nick Wilbur (senior, 33-7 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
Key losses (graduation): None.
Matmen’s take: Mustangs could be a flyer pick for the top half of the district come February; if the full Mandarin lineup competes in the post-season, it’s possible. Either way, more returning experience this coming year will help the Mustangs.
NEASE (Ponte Vedra Beach)
Coach: Bradley Lucas, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 19-17 in duals. T-26th at Lady Panther, T-25th at Lady Bear Classic, T-45th at Girls’ State.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District T-5th; Traditional: District 5th, 21st at region. 2019 — Duals: 2A-District 4 4th; Traditional: 2A-District 4 6th, 16th at 2A-Region 1, T-50th at 2A states. 2018 — Duals: 2A-District 4 4th; Traditional: 2A-District 4 3rd, 12th at 2A-Region 1, T-69th at 2A states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Brielle Bibla (sophomore, 44-18 at 106, girls’ state 5th; district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Parker Stamschror (sophomore, 17-13 at 120, 1 match from regions); Jhon Olivar (sophomore, 11-13 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Olivia Drayton (sophomore, 5-17 at 122/126, 0-2 at girls’ state); Wilson Whitehead (junior, 4-16 at 132, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Andrew Ryan (junior, 11-3 at 145, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Chad Severt (junior, 22-14 at 152, 1 match from regions); Kobe Ross (senior, 24-6 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Donald Haraway (sophomore, 15-15 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Brandon Almaria (sophomore, 9-14 at 285, 1 match from regions); Hunter Moser (senior, 5-11 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Trevion Demus (41-3 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Jalon Lumar (36-6 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Colin White (18-17 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Mario Powers (18-9 at 182, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).
Matmen’s take: St Johns Panthers will lose four region qualifiers from this year’s team, but young group should be better across the board this coming year. Team will need to augment its uppers, though, to make a real run for the top half of the district.
OAKLEAF (Orange Park)
Coach: Marcus Miller, 2nd year at school.
2019-20: 38-14 in duals. 6th at Keystone Memorial, T-7th at Flagler Rotary.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District runnerup, region quarterfinalist; Traditional: District runnerup, region 9th, T-41st at states. 2019 — Duals: District T-5th; Traditional: District 5th, 24th at region. 2018 — Duals: District 4th; Traditional: District 4th, 12th at region, T-34th at states.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Denzell Keeton (sophomore, 17-27 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Brandt (sophomore, 19-30 at 113, 1 match from regions); Marcus McGee (junior, 60-14 at 120, district 3rd, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Kevin Gilley (senior, 15-11 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jason Stewart (senior, 25-22 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Trevor Owens (senior, 44-21 at 132, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Gavin Bamber (junior, 13-13 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Logan Gilbert (senior, 22-8 at 138, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Roman Polinsky (sophomore, 19-13 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Dean Dahlem (senior, 16-25 at 145, 0-2 at districts); James McClintic (senior, 36-20 at 160, 1 match from regions); Onjel Caraballo (junior, 28-23 at 170, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Mason Ganion (junior, 13-8 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Isiah Schevchook (sophomore, 42-18 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Benjamin Gaddis (sophomore, 9-7 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation except as noted): David Parkes (40-12 at 152, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states; transferred to Fleming Island); Jason Mitchell (46-14 at 220, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Josh Murrell (43-9 at 285, district champ, 1 match from states).
Matmen’s take: Oakleaf made a solid contender’s push within the district last year, but Clay County Knights again lost one of its top returners to transfer. If this group can replace graduated bigs, Oakleaf should be reasonably solid again this year.
SANDALWOOD (Jacksonville)
Coach: John Eldeb, 3rd year as HC.
2019-20: 8-15 in duals. 4th at Arlington Optimist, T-27th at Tournament of Champions, 10th at Ships N Duels, 7th at Westside Roundrobin, 11th at DeLand Bulldog IBT, 7th at Gateway Conference.
Post-season stats (last 3 years): 2020 — Duals: District T-5th; Traditional: District 6th, 17th at region, T-41st at states. 2019 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 6th, 31st at region. 2018 — Duals: Did not compete; Traditional: District 8th, 34th at region.
Projected key returners (15+ matches or post-season experience last year, with 2019-20 weights): Hunter Milner (junior, 5-4 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Juvens Augustin (senior, 18-14 at 126, 1 match from regions); Ben Peterson (junior, 10-10 at 132, 1 match from regions); Jermell McCall (junior, 15-15 at 145, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jacob Kirkpatrick (sophomore, 7-19 at 145/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Michael Torres (senior, 19-22 at 152, 1 match from regions); Joshua Brown (senior, 29-13 at 160, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Khyle Ponds (junior, 7-8 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); William Rosenberger (senior, 12-17 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Key losses (graduation): Lavaughn Brown (37-7 at 138, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Dennis Parrish (12-10 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gustavo Martinez (15-3 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Matmen’s take: The last ties to the Saints’ run of Gateway titles graduated in June, and if Sandalwood is going to re-forge a conference run, it’s going to need to get some new blood in at the bookends of the lineup and continue to charge up its schedule.