1A-4 meet preview
When & where: Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. Per the FHSAA website, the finals start time has yet to be determined.
Teams in the field: #4 University Christian and #10 Bishop Kenny should battle for top honors in the 10-team district — which is the largest among the local district tournaments. The Crusaders have more numbers, but only just barely, while the Christians have more star power. Several solid teams — Florida School for the Deaf & Blind, Pedro Menendez and Bradford — should also be near the top. Episcopal closed the regular season with a flurry, while Duval Charter showed willingness to dual anyone, anywhere. Bolles found more numbers, and a bit more success, as the season wore on after opening the year with a preseason #5 ranking, while Wolfson and Providence had the ups and downs that any emerging program would.
We’re going to do weight classes as we did for 1A-3.
106 — I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Ryan Timmons for Bishop Kenny, KJ Fagan for Bolles, Andrew Slade for Duval Charter, Henry Zimmer for Episcopal, Diego Garcia for FSDB, Brandon Gardner for Menendez, Mikey Mitaly for Providence, Cameron Wiley for UC and Richard Tran for Wolfson. Either Peyton Brown or Shayne Kahakua-Lodivero should start for Bradford. Based on what I’ve seen, I will take Timmmons as the favorite to win the district title. While Timmons does have 10 losses on his resume, they’re all — for the most part — against regional-level qualifiers, and all are either 2A or 3A. How 2-4 shakes out could be very interesting, as Garcia has pinned Slade and been pinned by Wiley (twice), who, in turn, has been pinned by Slade. Could be all about style and matchups. Slade’s fall was later in the year than the first Garcia-Slade and Garcia-Wiley matchups, so if you’re above tossing a coin, that could be somewhat instructive. Don’t sleep on whoever Bradford puts out at 106; that wrestler is OK enough to extend the season by a week, and Tran might be a wild card entrant after spending most of the year at 113 before dropping to this weight for Gateway.
113 — I do not see a 113 for Bishop Kenny, Bolles or Wolfson (though the Warriors could throw out former 106 Quetin O’Berry at 113). I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: whichever didn’t wrestle at 106 for Bradford between Brown and Kahakua-Lodivero, either Daniel Porter or Hunter Lawson for Duval Charter, Jake Tessar for FSDB, Elliot Callison for Providence and Derrick Stump for UC. Not so sure about Menendez, who could put out Gardner, Limuel Mallari or James Carter. Also not entirely sure about Providence, as three or four kids have each wrestled one or two matches and that’s about all I’ve got reported. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m going to make a conditional pick: If Porter is at 113, he is the solid favorite to win the district title. Porter has been the Panthers’ top wrestler all season, but he has also had several matches at 120 throughout the year. It would be better for him to be here, though, as opposed to a loaded bracket at 120. I look at the Bradford 113 and Tessar as the likeliest challengers for the finals. I’m not sure that anybody else leaps out at me to project them as a fourth-place finisher and regional qualifier. The spot’s open for the taking, though.
120 — I do not see a 120 for Pedro Menendez or for Wolfson. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Nick Toney for Bishop Kenny (as of today, 11th statewide), Ben Barton for Bolles, Jason Griffis for Bradford (16th statewide at 113), (probably) Hunter Lawson for Duval Charter, Connor Evans for Episcopal, AJ Rice or Nick Thompson for FSDB, Brian Storandt for Providence and Brysen Allen of UC (who was ranked statewide until today). Based on what I’ve seen, Toney is the solid pick to win the district title. Toney spent a lot of time 1 or 2 weights up, but his coaches believed in his possibilities at 120. We’re starting to see those possibilities play out, as he’s 9-2 since the drop, with both of those losses coming at Clay Rotary, a grind for anybody. I would take Allen as my choice to reach the final as well, over Griffis as of today. Right now, if Rice were at 120, he would the choice at 4 over Lawson, but depending on who’s here and who isn’t Lawson is still a candidate to move on to the next round. Evans could be in the mix to contend as well.
126 — I do not see a 126 for UC. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Nate Caron of Bishop Kenny (15th statewide), Gray Creed of Bolles, Brandon Funderburk of Bradford, Chris Duchaussee of Duval Charter, either Curry Pajcic or Shane Pack for Episcopal, either Setth Snow or Rice for FSDB, Michael Brown for Pedro Menendez (9th statewide), Evan Merry for Providence and Charles Kessinger for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I’m going to take Brown as the solid-to-heavy favorite to win the district title. Brown’s only local losses (non-injury default, anyway) have been to 3A’s Evan McCall. I’m troubled, though, that he didn’t wrestle at Bartram Trail’s duals tournament two weekends ago for the Falcons, but if he can be back he should be. Caron is the solid #2 and Snow (or Rice) is a solid #3 at this weight. Fourth is going to be an interesting fight, with Bradford’s Funderburk (my choice now if I was backed up against a wall), the Episcopal 126, Merry and Kessinger all in the mix. Should be a good, competitive bracket.
132 — I do not see a 132 for Providence. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: either Kyle Black or Jonathan Chiotti for Bishop Kenny, Josh Calhoun for Bolles (7th statewide), Blake Addison for Bradford, Blaise Puig for Duval Charter, Pack or Pajcic for Episcopal (whoever didn’t wrestle at 126), Jose Mercado for FSDB, (probably) Dominique Bordley for Pedro Menendez, David Glies for UC and Joshua Cade for Wolfson. Admittedly, Bordley hasn’t been in the lineup for quite some time. Based on what I’ve seen, I think Calhoun is the heavy favorite to win the district title. Calhoun has had struggles against some really strong competition in the area’s strongest weight class. But that has prepared him for this postseason. As for who he might face in the finals, I’m not entirely certain. As I figure the Dragons’ Snow will be at 26 and I don’t truly know if Bordley will be back, it appears that there is, or certainly could be, quite a bit of gap out there between Calhoun and the rest of the field. That means that almost everyone has a chance to find their way into the mix with a strong Saturday.
138 — I do not see a 138 for Bolles, Bradford or UC. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Chiotti or Black for Bishop Kenny (whoever isn’t at 132), either Ethan Barry or Ben Fitzpatrick for Duval Charter (both have split time with roughly-equal results), Christian Rickey for Episcopal, Marcus Maldonado for FSDB, either Daniel Desario or Nicholas DiGregorio for Pedro Menendez, Spencer Turner for Providence and Jorge Hernandez for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I think…it’s a complete tossup. I’m tempted right now to go with Maldonado as the slight favorite based on how he and the Dragons have wrestled, but I’m not 100 percent certain. It’s been quite awhile since DiGregorio has been in the lineup for Menendez; I might have tipped him as the pick if he had been in the lineup more recently. It’s unfortunate that Bishop Kenny’s Logan Bote won’t be available after sustaining a concussion. He would have been a solid choice for the title as well. His replacement has a shot of getting out, still, as does Rickey. So I think Maldonado, but it’s an even, wide-open field.
145 — I do not see a 145 for Bradford or Providence. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Colin Warren for Bishop Kenny, Michael Surenyan for Bolles, Andrew Duchaussee or James Allinson for Duval Charter, Peter Pitochi for Episcopal, Kyle McCreath for FSDB, Brandon Anderson for Pedro Menendez, Cody Joseph for UC (11th statewide) and Albert Quintanilla for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, Joseph should be the heavy, if not overwhelming as well, favorite to win the district title. I actually feel Joseph is a bit underrated statewide and should be seen as a state podium threat. Saturday, I”m not sure anyone will be able to stay six minutes. Who will be in the final? I am thinking it could be McCreath when it’s all said and done. He’s taken a lot of strides during the course of the season, and the rest of the field either hasn’t seen enough time on the mat this year, or the competition that FSDB has gone and faced. I think Warren and Surenyan should battle it out for 3-4, but don’t sleep on Pitochi making things interesting for the hosts.
152 — I do not see a 152 for Bradford or UC, and possibly not for Providence, either. I expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Christian Schloth or Will Myer for Bishop Kenny, Bradshaw Steele for Bolles, either Allinson or Mike Dinkla for Duval Charter, Hunter Selton for Episcopal, Nick Stanfield for FSDB, Rodney Padgett for Pedro Menendez (14th statewide), Khalif Carter for Wolfson and probably Charlie Rush for Providence. Based on what I’ve seen here, Padgett is the solid favorite to win the district title. Padgett has quietly been great for the Falcons, anchoring the middle of the lineup with solid performances throughout the season. I expect that to continue on Saturday, and I would expect that he would meet Steele in the finals. That could be a good match. Steele is starting to look like he’s found the same form he had early in the season. I do think there is a sizable gap between the first two and the rest of the group. I think Kenny’s 152, Stanfield and Selton are all in the mix for the 3-4 slots. It wouldn’t surprise me if Selton, a senior, finds a way into one of those spots in his final appearance on the home mat.
160 — Oh man. This weight and 170 could be the spotlight weight classes of the tournament. I’m not sure there’ll be a 160 for Menendez. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Tim Bianco or Jack McMorrow for Bishop Kenny, Garrett Bennett for Bolles, either Jarraid Forsyth (3rd statewide at this weight) or Richard Hill for Bradford, Josh Miller for Duval Charter, Mac Weldon or Alex Woodward for Episcopal, Wesley Homewood or Michael Shoemaker for FSDB, Ty Merry or Smith Aaron for Providence, Daniel Folkner for UC (6th statewide), Joao Celso for Wolfson. If Menendez has a 160, it would probably be Jonathan Samples, but it’s been a while. Based on what I’ve seen, I am making…a conditional pick. The question is: Where will Forsyth go? If he’s here, which I think he will be, he’s the favorite to win the district title. If he’s at 170, then I would go with Folkner. Both are exceptional wrestlers, I would say that I think Folkner’s schedule might be a bit more challenging. His only 1A loss was to Lake Highland Prep, if that says anything. Would be a great finals match. I think third and fourth go to Weldon and Homewood, if they’re both at this weight. If that’s the quartet that makes it out, that’s one of the strongest foursomes the district will have going to region next week. Should Merry be here, he could be in the mix, too.
170 — I don’t see a 170 for Menendez and Wolfson. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Kuba Kaszuba for Bishop Kenny (5th statewide), Brandon Dattoli for Bolles (14th statewide), Forsyth or Hill for Bradford, Dillon Morency for Duval Charter, Woodward or Weldon for Episcopal, Shoemaker or Homewood for FSDB, Aaron or Merry for Providence, and Michael Marshall for UC. Not sure there’d be any mats left after the 160 final, but based on what I’ve seen, it’s…another conditional pick! Should Forsyth be here, and I don’t think he will be, he would be the choice, with Kaszuba 2nd, Dattoli 3rd and Weldon or Merry (if either are here) or Marshall for the fourth spot. If he’s not, then move Kaszuba and Dattoli up a slot, slot in Hill for third and the rest more or less the same. How’s that for decisiveness? You can’t get that level of decisiveness from ESPN, I tell you. There’ll be a lot of great matches wrestled, I know that much for sure.
182 — I don’t see a 182 for Bradford, Episcopal, Menendez or Providence, which makes this a six-man district and only two wrestlers eliminated. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Bayley Judah or, possibly, Ethan Yates of Bishop Kenny, Philip DeWees of Bolles, Max Weaver for Duval Charter, Imed Touahri for FSDB, Mack Green for UC and Nassiem Waitley for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I think it’s a three-person race between DeWees, Touahri and Judah, for the moment, to win the district title. Not sure between the three who has the horses to go all the way to the title, I can actually see it playing out in favor of each of them. I’m not certain that Yates can drop down, but if he’s able to, he might have the capability to win the title. I think Green is probably the best of the remaining three. He certainly has had some entertaining matches during the course of the season for the Christians.
195 — I do not see a 195 for Bradford, Wolfson or possibly Providence. I do expect the following wrestlers to turn up: Yates or Judah for Bishop Kenny, Caleb Calhoun for Bolles, Matthew Agostino for Duval Charter, Hayes Oken for Episcopal, Thaddeus Smith for FSDB, Garrett Fairbanks for Pedro Menendez (7th statewide) and Trey Miller for UC (1st statewide), with possibly Stovall Welms for Providence. Based on what I’ve seen, I would choose Miller as an overwhelming favorite to win the district title, with a slam-dunk final between Miller and Fairbanks. That could be a good match for a while, but Miller is just too strong and has too high a motor to overcome this weekend. Oken is the solid choice for third at this weight, and I would see Yates fourth here, which is why it might be advantageous for him to move down, because Judah might be able to come up here and still nab fourth over Calhoun and possibly Smith. That’s how I see it playing out, anyway.
220 — I do not see a 220 for Bishop Kenny, Bradford, Menendez and possibly DUval Charter, which could make for another six-person bracket and only two eliminations. I do think the following wrestlers will turn up: Jordan Jackson for Bolles, either Conor Chepenik (more likely) or Travis Williams for Episcopal, either Frankie Stewart or Jordan Philyor (more likely) for FSDB, Max Cobb for Providence, David Trigg for UC (10th statewide) and Joseph Brokaw for Wolfson. 220 could even be open for FSDB, as Stewart hasn’t wrestled for quite a while. Based on what I’ve seen, I would pick Trigg as the solid favorite to win the district title. Trigg has improved a lot wrestling in between two statewide #1s in MIller and Jamal Fiffer, and the time has improved his skills a great deal. I would slot Cobb in as the other finalist at this weight, with Episcopal and FSDB battling it out for third. If FSDB’s open, then Episcopal would be the slam-dunk third, regardless of who they have there. If Michael Booker is able to come back for Duval Charter, he would have a solid chance at the 4 spot.
285 — I do not see a 285 for Bolles, Duval Charter, Providence and possibly FSDB if Philyor is at 220, which is a strong possibility based on who is here. I do think the following wrestlers will turn up: Alexander Condoroteanu-oroveanu for Bishop Kenny, Kyle Brooks for Bradford, Chepenik or (more likely) Williams for Episcopal, William Gwin for Pedro Menendez, Jamal Fiffer for UC (#1 statewide) and DeAngeles Harris for Wolfson. Based on what I’ve seen, I see Fiffer leading a very strong class of heavies into regions next week. Fiffer is, in almost every instance, the strongest heavyweight in any field he’s in, but this field could give him a good workout for the next couple of weeks. I’m not sure who will be the 2. The head says Condoroteanu, but the gut says Harris. Either way, both will get in, as should Gwin, and perhaps I can finally get settled whether it’s William or Austin, as I often see Gwin’s first name in results. If nothing else, I want to get that straight at least. This is going to be a monster weight next week at Bishop Snyder, and we’ll get a little taste of how monstrous at Episcopal on Saturday.