One Weekend For Glory: 1A

1A state preview

We wrap up our previews with Class 1A. Enough talk. Enough words. GO TIME!

Wrestling starts: Friday at 10 a.m. at The Lakeland Center and continues throughout the day with two rounds of championship and two rounds of consolation wrestling. Saturday picks up at 10 a.m. with the semifinals, followed by two rounds of consolation wrestling, third- and fifth-place matches and the finals at 6.

Locals: Andrew Klopman (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. (tie) Third & Bottom 39. 4. Second 55.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #1 William Pickren of South Walton takes on unranked Matthew Davis of McKeel in the first round, with the winner facing #3 Steven Moreno of Miami Pace or #7 Lukas Twardosky of Pasco in the quarters.
Klopman’s podium chances: Pretty good, considering that he comes out of what is on paper the easiest quarter of the four. Klopman’s also beaten several ranked wrestlers during the year, so shouldn’t be fazed by seeing #4 Cullen Telfer in the quarters, possibly.
Semifinal choices: Pickren, Klopman, Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep) and Brevin Balmeceda (Keys Gate).

Locals: Dale Browning (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 30. 2. Third 34. 3. Top 35. 4. Bottom 49.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #4 Browning takes on #8 Jack Lipp of Lemon Bay in the first round, with the winner facing either unranked Chance Layfield of Bay or #1 Kennedy Monday of Cardinal Gibbons in the quarters.
Browning’s podium chances: Despite the draw of Monday — who has made a splash this year — as a quarterfinal opponent, either way they’re pretty good. Semis = podium automatically, a loss would mean needing two wins at least on the back end, which is doable, but would also have to come against ranked opponents.

Locals: Nick Toney (Bishop Kenny).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 34. 2. Third 35. 3. Second 37. 4. Top 50.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #9 Dante Pedilla of Weeki Wachee faces #7 Dy’Juan Carney of Wakulla in the first round, with the winner taking on either unranked Eric Garcia of Lely or #1 Brady Moser of American Heritage in the quarters.
Toney’s podium chances: He probably liked getting this draw and facing #10 Austin Rasmussen of Deltona in round 1, given that Rasmussen decisioned #6 Toney 1-0 at Clay Rotary when Toney was still getting used to sucking back to 120 after being up higher. His road is better off with a first-round win; if Rasmussen can repeat the feat, Toney’s path in the consis, where he is in the bracket, is a lot harder than the path he’d take with a quarterfinal loss.
Semifinal choices: Richie McClanahan (Arnold), Bryce Rogers (Lake Highland Prep), Anthony Artalona (Tampa Prep), Moser.

Locals: Michael Allen (Pedro Menendez), Tharin Hessenauer (Fernandina Beach).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 32. 2. Second 33. 3. Top 37. 4. Third 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #14 Brown faces #6 Justin Cohen of Miami Pace in the first round, with the winner taking on #14 Mark Espinosa of Nature Coast or #1 Donovon Hough of Tampa Prep in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Brown has a fair chance of hanging around for a medal, but it won’t be easy, coming out of a quarter with four ranked wrestlers. Same holds true for #16 Hessenauer, who’s in with three top-10s in the second quarter.
Semifinal choices: Brock Carlan (Arnold), Anthony Vazquez (Cardinal Gibbons), Michael Allen (Crystal River), Hough.

Locals: Josh Calhoun (Bolles), Dylan Martin (Clay), Brandon Harvey (Baker County).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. Bottom 35. 3. Second 37. 4. Third 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Calhoun faces #7 Jesus Nieves of Weeki Wachee in the first round, with the winner taking on #10 Joey Fazio of Southeast or #5 Jonathan Astacio of Somerset Academy in the quarters. Evenly-matched quarter based on the rankings.
Locals’ podium chances: Calhoun should be in the mix for a podium finish no matter where he ends up Friday, but a first-round loss would be the hardest way to go, given the way the draws break. Either #4 Martin or #13 Harvey has to go into the consolation round at some point, as the two face each other in round 1. The first round of the back end for the loser of that match is survivable.
Semifinal choices: Calhoun, Elijah Cleary (Lake Highland Prep), Jay Dugmore (Indian Rocks Christian), Jamel Morris (Cardinal Gibbons).

Locals: Austin Luke (Clay), Timothy Worthen (Yulee).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 26. 2. Third 32. 3. (tie) Top & Second 34. Very even brackets.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Luke faces #1 Jamel Morris of Cardinal Gibbons in the first round, with the winner taking on either #11 Billy Jenkins of Suwannee or #8 Eric Cabral of Booker in the quarterfinals.
Luke’s podium chances: Still good, despite the lousy draw of a #6 facing a #1 in round 1. Considering that Luke came out of a region that advanced 2-3-4-6, there’s going to be guys he can beat all the way along the path. The biggest stumbling block, if Luke were to lose in round 1, to a podium finish is having 1 and 2 in the same semifinal (as they are here) — one of those two would be in the consi semis with him, but if he gets that far he’ll be on the podium already.
Semifinal choices: Max Wohlabaugh (Bishop Moore), Skyler White (Pasco), Anthony Petrone (Lake Highland Prep), Morris.

Locals: Adam Breindel (Clay), Cody Joseph (University Christian), Josh Helm (Fernandina Beach).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 29. 2. (tie) Top & Third 36. 4. Bottom 50.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #2 Christian Perez of Miami Pace faces #8 Justin Martinez of Lake Highland Prep in the first round, with the winner facing either #14 Cody Davis of Wakulla or #5 Erich Byelick of Indian Rocks Christian in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: At top end, Breindel has enough to win the state championship. Don’t be surprised to see a Breindel-Joseph quarterfinal, as they are in the same quarter. Both Joseph and Helm should at least both make the quarters, and Helm may do better than that. It would not surprise me a bit to see all three somewhere on the podium Saturday night.
Semifinal choices: Tag Wilber (Jupiter Christian), Perez, Breindel, Alex Lopouchanski (Cardinal Gibbons).

Locals: Imier Almanzar (Clay), Thomas Monaghan (Fernandina Beach), Rodney Padgett (Pedro Menendez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: Bottom 34. Second 36. Top 38. Third 41. Another evenly-matched bracket.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #2 Almanzar draws a tough #5 Devin Combs of Marianna in the first round, with the winner facing either unranked Bobby Caspolich of Lemon Bay or #10 Nick Delvecchio of Cardinal Gibbons.
Locals’ podium chances: Should Almanzar get through rd 1 as expected, he should make the semis and that would get him on the podium. He has a solid shot at Saturday night. #11 Padgett faces #1 and defending state champion Jake Spengler of Lake Highland Prep in rd 1, and so could be looking at having to win three on the back end. #15 Monaghan isn’t favored against #6 Jonte Scott of Anclote in rd 1, but if he can get through that one, his chances for a medal improve significantly.
Semifinal choices: Connor Steinfeld (Sarasota Military), Spengler, Connor Allshouse (Indian Rocks Christian), Almanzar.

Locals: Daniel Folkner (University Christian), Michael Dudzinski (West Nassau), Caleb Loyd (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 33. 2. Third 36. 3. Top 44. 4. Second 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: Unranked Bryce Hill of American Heritage (Delray) faces #1 Shawn Brown of Suwannee, with the winner taking on #11 Zachary Logan of Villages or #4 Ryan Dodge of Lemon Bay in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: By the numbers, #9 Dudzinski is under-rated in his first-rounder with #8 Julien Georgescu of Cardinal Gibbons, but I’ve said to anyone who’d listen or read that Dudzinski has been under-rated, and I think he proved it Saturday at Bishop Snyder. That being said, a quarter with #2 Trace Woxberg of Rockledge is a tall order. Loyd is unranked and could get a quarterfinal date with Folkner. The two met at Clay in the first week of January, with Folkner taking an 8-4 decision. Folkner got a very good draw, and Loyd might have the capability to go deep into the tournament, too.
Semifinal choices: Jarraid Forsyth (Bradford), Folkner, Woxberg, Brown.

Locals: Kuba Kaszuba (Bishop Kenny), Brandon Dattoli (Bolles), Trevor Larson (Clay).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Bottom 29. 2. Third 35. 3. Second 40. 4. Top 42.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #7 Sasha Key of Suwannee takes on #8 Tupac Isme of Lely in the first round, with the winner facing either #12 Le’Shaun Gray of Nature Coast or #2 Matt Kirkland of Miami Pace.
Locals’ podium chances: Podium is all there for Kaszuba, who is the highest-ranked wrestler in his quarter (the top one). Two wins and he’s in. He might have to go through Larson, who’s also in that quarter. Larson has a fall in hand over his first-round opponent. #14 Dattoli isn’t favored to win his first-round match, by the rankings, as he takes on #6 Anthony Dampier of Dunedin, but he should be able to win at least two matches in the consolation round.
Semifinal choices: Kaszuba, Connor Andrew (Lake Highland Prep), Colton Jackson (Villages), Kirkland.

Locals: Brandon Marshall (Bishop Snyder), Jermaine Oliver (Raines).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 33. 2. Top 35. 3. Bottom 37. 4. Third 51.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #6 Diego Bell of Cardinal Gibbons takes on #3 Jarred Kruse of Gulf in the first round, with the winner facing unranked Robert Rodriguez of Suwannee or #7 Termaine McClendon of Lely in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Both are very strong chances indeed. Marshall versus Kruse in a semifinal should be a great match; that could be the only significant roadblock en route to Saturday night. Look at the winner of the bottom quarterfinal — likely to be Oliver or #1 Raekwon Reggler of Somerset Academy — to make the final.
Semifinal choices: Marshall, Kruse, Brandon Brown (Brooksville Central), Reggler.

Locals: Trey Miller (University Christian), Nathan Morales (Bishop Snyder), Garrett Fairbanks (Pedro Menendez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Top 28. 2. Third 33. 3. Bottom 36. 4. Second 41. Pretty good brackets.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #1 Miller opens his bid for a state title with #11 Jarvis Gamble of Ft. Pierce Westwood in the first round. The winner will face either #6 Chris Ralston of Satellite or #10 Michael Dunlap of Dunedin in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: Miller’s are very solid. He shouldn’t get pushed hard before the semis, when a podium finish would already be secured. Fairbanks drew #3 Ryan Thomas of Cardinal Gibbons in the first round, so he may have to look at the back end as the route to a medal. Both he and Morales have a fair shot at a medal, though one may have to knock out the other for it to happen.
Semifinal choices: Miller, Thomas, Cole Fagan (Dunnellon), Delroy Blake (Avon Park).

Locals: David Trigg (University Christian), Max Cobb (Providence), Lenny Carter (Baker County).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Second 32. 2. Top 46. 3. Third 48. 4. Bottom 54.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: Unranked Carter (who was ranked in preseason, so don’t sleep on him) will open with #7 Ken Rosa of Coral Springs Charter in the first round, with the winner facing either #3 Travis Dunbar of Astronaut or #5 Noah Huxley of SW Florida Christian in the quarterfinals.
Locals’ podium chances: Winning that first-rounder might be critical for Carter in order to stay alive, as he would be facing a top-five — and desperate — wrestler with something to prove in the consolation round. Trigg is unranked also, but has a pretty fair shot at the quarters, as does Cobb. There are only 10 ranked wrestlers in the draw, so there’s lots of chances to walk away with a podium finish.
Semifinal choices: Anthony Contegiacomo (Nature Coast), Dunbar, Jesse Gaudin (Hernando), Alejandro Lopez (Mariner).

Locals: Jamal Fiffer (University Christian), Roland Samec (Clay), DeAngeles Harris (Wolfson), Austin Gwin (Pedro Martinez).
Which quarter is the strongest?: 1. Third 35. 2. Second 41. 3. (tie) Top and Bottom 52.
Who’s in the strongest quarter: #12 Samec drew #2 MaShawn Knight of Godby in the first round, with the winner taking on #4 Kane Takacs of Southeast or unranked Ronald Smith of American Heritage (Delray) in the quarters.
Locals’ podium chances: For Fiffer, very strong. With three unranked wrestlers in his quarter, he should not have a problem reaching the semis (and the podium). Gwin is the only unranked wrestler in the second quarter, and he faces #3 Andrew Ivie of Pasco (Fiffer’s likely semifinal opponent), so the back end would be his route. If he can win the first round on the consolation side, anything’s possible after that. Samec didn’t get a great early draw, but he has a very strong chance at a medal. Harris will face #11 Anthony Vines of Weeki Wachee in the first round. As Duval County public schools’ only Class 1A representative, Harris is a wild-card who could learn a lot about what is possible for his future this weekend.
Semifinal choices: Fiffer, Ivie, Knight, Matt Knick (Cardinal Gibbons).


District Picks, Part 1A-3: The Undiscovered Yulee

Welcome to the wild and woolly world of Yulee’s district. I thought I might do OK here, even though I didn’t know much about the host Hornets, or how the combinations would work themselves out between several Duval County public schools, Nassau County, Baker County and Bishop Snyder. An interesting conglomerate, to say the least.

106 — Well, this got blown up in a hurry. My conditional pick to win didn’t compete Saturday. The young man who won, from Raines, was barely on my radar, which makes me wonder how many other wrestlers are walking the halls there, not wrestling? Haynes started the season very late, but he must not have needed a season’s warmup. I did get Poitevint over Charriez right, but it was a semi and not a final. And I did get Williams right as in the mix for fourth. So the picks sucked at the top, pretty decent thereafter.

113 — There was a Nassau fight in this one, but just not where I expected it to be. It was Nassau 1-3, with Forrest 4th. Yulee’s John Parker was there, and pinned his way through. Props for that, wish I’d seen more of him.  My picks sucked, the kids who did well deserved to do well.

120 — Never overlook a prior win. I forgot that maxim of projecting wrestling winners, and went with Helm over Youmans because I forgot it. Had the right two in the finals at least. I had Thompson in the 3-4 mix, but Patterson surprised and impressed me. A mixed combination of sucky decisionmaking and some rock, but only just some.

126 — Hey! I called the Nassau sweep in this one, and that’s how it went down. Hessenauer won as I predicted, majoring Scott (3rd) in the semi and decisioning Hixson in the final. I thought Dale would be at 32, but he dropped down to here, and had I known he would be here he would have been my choice for 4th. So mostly rocked it.

132 — My picks: Harvey 1, Guillory 2, Dale 3, Savage 4. How it turned out: With Dale at 26 and Broadwater here, it was Harvey 1, Guillory 2, Savage 3 and Welsh 4. Mostly rocked this one, too, although Guillory held Harvey to a simple decision.

138 — And the momentum comes screeching to a halt. Worthen pinned my choice for the title. I knew he was pretty OK but he was more than that last weekend. Kelly separated himself from Kish pretty well in the third-place match, too. The kids wrestled well that blew up my projections, which were not up to the challenge.

145 — I can say that my 1-2 of Helm-Kellum worked out well, but the consolation round was a mess, because Forehand went 45 instead of 52 and Ruise of Baker wasn’t able to compete. Raines’ Dollison had the best event of his season. So the picks were a mixture of rock and suck.

152 — This pick was a good use of a waffle. I really had some trouble figuring out who would follow right behind Monaghan, and it wound up Beverly who fought his way out of the mix to reach the final. Thomas then decisioned Imrich for third. So the picks somewhat rocked, with a side of meh for the waffling.

160 — I pretty much called this one, with Dudzinski winning without too much trouble, and Bell/Dukes being the 2-3. I’d said if Cleland was at 160 (he wasn’t) he’d be right there for 2nd, and if not I would have called Williams 4th, which is where he wound up. Rocked it.

170 — We found out that Adams is a pretty solid wrestler after decisioning Cleland to win the district. I really thought Bell and Russell would be at 52/60, so the back end was going to be a bit of a mess, too, no matter what. Baxter had a better tournament that I expected. The kids that won wrestled well, my picks were not informed and, well, sucky.

182 — This weight played out straight and I called the top three correctly with Marshall/Oliver/Greathouse. Turner surprised me by pinning Mulkey. That season just never materialized the way I thought it might. Well done to Turner — yet another Hornet I under-estimated. So this was fairly rockish, except for the 4th.

195 — Yet another theme emerges — the underestimation of Yulee. Of course, kids dropped from weights they’d wrestled at all year. I thought Pollard would be at 220. So it’s not, maybe, so much an underestimation as it is a lack of information; without recent results, that happens. C’est la vie. I did get the 1-2 correct and McClain was in the mix for 3-4. So fairly rockish again.

220 — I went out on a limb with Carter/Cleland, and Cleland clearly learned some things from wrestling Baker earlier in the year. Yulee’s Nick Parker proved to be the best of the rest. The pick was mostly a miss. Sucky.

285 — I got the 1-2 right with Welsh and DeLosSantos, but underestimated another Nassau wrestler. This time, it was Turpin, who pinned likeliest 3-4 prospects Green in the first round and Moyle for third place. Well done, Austin. You made this pick only kind of rockish. I don’t mind getting picks wrong. That will happen in this sort of endeavor.

Final count:

Picks that rocked: 7 1/2

Picks that sucked: 6

Picks that meh: 1/2

Teams I’ll try to do better with next year: At least 1.


Cardinals Win 1A-3 Title, First In School History

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

YULEE — It was only seven years ago that the Bishop Snyder wrestling program began to take shape under coach Rusty Kellum.

The Cardinals experienced the depths of losing seven years ago. But they didn’t intend to stay there.

Saturday, Bishop Snyder went from startup to star, holding off stern tests from the host Hornets and Fernandina Beach to win its first district championship in the school’s history. The Cardinals outpointed Yulee, 173.5-160, with Fernandina Beach third at 143, in the 1A-3 district meet.

“Our guys have obviously worked extremely hard to get to where we are today,” Kellum said. “We are extremely proud of them and what they’ve accomplished all year long. For those who saw the birth of this program only seven years ago, this was a remarkable day.”

Bishop Snyder won three individual titles and advanced 10 wrestlers to Friday’s Region 1 tournament, which the Cardinals will host.

“This is a journey that has made a giant impact for our school; our hope is that God is honored by our accomplishments,” Kellum said. “We’ve talked about a theme within our program: take pride in how far you’ve come, have faith in how far you can go. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey.”

Bishop Snyder’s Brandon Marshall (182) rode three pins to his district title, pinning Raines’ Jermaine Oliver in the finals.

Nathan Morales (195) had a tougher challenge in taking first at his weight for the Cardinals, winning twice by pin and then defeating Baker County’s James Carter by decision in the title match.

At 220, Nicholas Cleland made it back-to-back-to-back for Bishop Snyder, decisioning Baker County’s Lenny Carter in the final after winning by fall in the semis.

Nassau County champion Yulee made the Cardinals work hard for that title, though, securing more individual titles (four) and moving nine on to region.

John Parker (113) was the Hornets’ first champion, pinning his way through the draw, with a fall over West Nassau’s Brandon Bostick. Ty Youmans (120) went back-to-back, defeating Fernandina Beach’s Joseph Helm by decision after an earlier pin.

At 138, Timothy Worthen brought home Yulee’s third title after pinning his way through the bracket. He falled Bishop Snyder’s Jonathan Radomski in the title match.

RJ Adams was the Hornets’ last individual champion, winning the 170 bracket with a pin and two decisions, including a decision over the Cardinals’ Nathaniel Cleland in the championship match.

Fernandina Beach had three champions and advanced nine to region in compiling its third-place finish.

Tharin Hessenauer (126) had a major decision and decision to win his championship, winning over West Nassau’s Zach Hixson in the title match. Josh Helm (145) had two wins on the day, winning by fall and then technical fall over Bishop Snyder’s Kody Kellum for his title.

Thomas Monaghan also was a champion for the Pirates at 152, with a pair of pins on the day, including one in the finals over Yulee’s Daniel Beverly.

West Nassau, led by Michael Dudzinski’s title at 160, finished fourth with 101 points. Forrest was fifth at 98, and picked up a title from Kahlil Welsh at 285.

Raines, with a title coming from Joseph Haynes at 106, was sixth with 73 points, while Brandon Harvey (132) was victorious for seventh-place Baker County, which had 70. Andrew Jackson was eighth (31 points) and Paxon ninth (16).

A complete list of 1A-3 region qualifiers by school is found elsewhere on the home page of the site. Region pairings will be published as soon as they are made available.


1A-District 3 Preview

1A-3 meet preview

When & where: Saturday starting at 9:45 a.m. at Yulee High School. Finals schedule to be determined per the FHSAA website.

If you go: From Jacksonville, take I-95 North to Exit 373 for Florida 200/A1A toward Callahan/Fernandina Beach. Go 0.2 miles, keep right at the fork, follow signs for Yulee/Amelia Island/Fernandina Beach and merge onto A1A South/FL-200. Follow A1A south for 4.0 miles until you reach Miner Road; turn right. Follow Miner for 1.5 miles, Yulee High School should be on right-hand side.

Teams in the field: Only just today was local #6 Bishop Snyder added to Scout’s list of state-ranked teams. The Cardinals enter the rankings ranked 21st overall, and should be a solid favorite to win the district championship. It could be quite a good fight among several times for second through sixth places, as I could see five teams (Forrest, Fernandina Beach, West Nassau, Yulee and Baker County) all battling for spots. The Rebels were a top-five team at Gateway two weeks ago, the host Hornets are Nassau County champions and Fernandina is a team on the move of late. Paxon, Raines and Andrew Jackson are short-handed by comparison. Each of those schools have a chance to move kids on, even several kids on, but probably won’t be factors in the team race.

106: Projections are difficult here, because we have a grouping of teams that don’t see each other all that much, between the west/north side of Duval County and Nassau County. Plus one of the teams is missing an awful lot of results during the regular season. So we’re going to start with what we know, and these are going to read a little differently than the others: I have not seen a 106 for Jackson, for Baker County, for Forrest or for West Nassau at least recently. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Parker Poitevint for Bishop Snyder, Rafael Charriez for Fernandina Beach, Wesley Sadler or Adam Foster for Paxon, Nephi Haynes or Jemell Jones for Raines. Who I’m not sure about is Yulee. Dylan Youmans  spent some time here but as best as I can tell didn’t wrestle at Camden’s duals two weeks ago. I will make a conditional pick, therefore. If Youmans is here, I would choose him as the favorite to win. If not, I’m going to go with Poitevint over Charriez, although the two haven’t met this year, that I can see. Not sure who the fourth would be between Sadler/Foster and Haynes/Jones. If I knew Foster was at 106, he’d be the fourth. NOW…if Baker brings in a kid or two that they have (Cody Miller might immediately leap to 1st, but I only have 4 matches for him all year, and Sydney Williams has beaten a couple of kids, so might be in the mix for fourth if she wrestles as well).

113: I have not seen a 113 for Jackson, for Baker County (in a while), or for West Nassau (for a while). I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Brenden Bizier of Bishop Snyder, Zachary Watson of Fernandina, Delmontae Davis of Forrest, Foster for Paxon (if he’s not at 106), whoever between Haynes and Jones didn’t go 106 for Raines, and am less sure that Yulee will have John Parker here. I am thinking Watson must have come over to Fernandina from Yulee, as I do have a few matches for a Zachary Watson of Yulee, but all were early. Based on what I see, I am going with Bizier as the favorite to win the district. He’s had the most varied competition this year. For the 2-4 spots, I see it being a Nassau fight between Watson and Parker, with Foster also perhaps in the mix there and maybe Davis as well. Baker did have a few 106s in the course of the season; any of them could go at 113 and upset this apple cart. Again, if Miller were here, even with limited mat time I might vault him to the top.

120: I have not seen a 120 for Jackson or for Raines. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Shawn Martin for Baker, Troy Bilodeau for Bishop Snyder, Joseph Helm for Fernandina, Aniko Patterson for Forrest, Hayden Lenman for Paxon, TJ Thompson for West Nassau and Ty Youmans for Yulee. Based on what I see here, Helm is the favorite to win the district. I would say the solid favorite, except that he did lose 3-2 to Youmans earlier in the season. Those are the solid top two. I look at Bilodeau, Martin and Thompson as the likeliest candidates to fight it out for 3 and 4; both Bilodeau and Thompson have pins over Martin, but haven’t met each other. Patterson and Lenman might find rough going and will likely have to try to fight their way through out of the consis.

126: I have not seen a 126 for Baker County, Bishop Snyder or Raines. This makes it a Nassau County battle, for the most part. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Daisan Biffle for Andrew Jackson, Tharin Hessenauer for Fernandina, Kuyvonta Broadwater for Forrest, either Ryan Ochoa or Osiris Mancera for Paxon, Zach Hixson for West Nassau and Demarcus Scott for Yulee. I see this as a 1-2-3 Nassau sweep, with Hessenauer the solid favorite to win the title. Hessenauer beat another West Nassau wrestler earlier in the year and has a pin over Scott, and has been locally ranked all season. Assuming that Hixson and Scott stay here, this should be a good semifinal. Fourth will be interesting. If Ochoa represents Paxon, he should be the fourth, given that he pinned Biffle at the Gateway. If Mancera is there, then I think Biffle would be the fourth.

132: I have not seen a 132 for Andrew Jackson. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Brandon Harvey for Baker County, Teddy Guillory for Bishop Snyder, Jade Welsh for Fernandina, Dale George for Forrest, Darius Veals for Paxon, John Jones for Raines, Jacob Savage for West Nassau, and mostly sure that Phoenix Mikell would go for Yulee. Based on what I see here, Harvey should be the heavy favorite to win the district. Newly-minted with a statewide ranking (14th, as of today’s last update), Harvey has only one 1A loss and that was out-of-region. I think that the trio of Guillory – who didn’t start the year until earlier this month – and George and Savage will battle it out for the remaining three slots, but all three have the edge over the rest of the field when it comes to moving on.

138: I have not seen a 138 for Andrew Jackson or for Raines. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Logan Kish for Baker County, Jonathan Radomski for Bishop Snyder, Luke Baine for Fernandina, Kason Kelly for Forrest, Michael Hutchinson for Paxon, Timothy Worthen for Yulee and probably Tyler Beverly for West Nassau. Based on what I see here, I would tab Radomski as the favorite to win the district. He goes a little unnoticed with some of the star power the Cardinals have up top, but (at least until Guillory came on board) he’s been the catalyst for what usually turns into a run of Bishop Snyder victories. His competition level is the highest in the weight class. I think Kish has probably separated himself from the rest of the group for consideration as a finalist, but I’m bothered that I didn’t see him at Ed White last week. Should be a good fight for two spots between Beverly, Worthen and Kelly, all of whom have shown some good things.

145: I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Andrew Sheffield for Andrew Jackson (unless he slots in at 52), Johnny Ruise for Baker  County, Kody Kellum for Bishop Snyder, Josh Helm for Fernandina Beach, Dushaun Manning of Forrest, Connor Foreman for Paxon, Patrick Dollison for Raines. I’m less sure about who West Nassau will have (possibly John Forehand, unless he’s at 52, or maybe Aaron Thomason) or who Yulee will have (either David Shepard, Jordan Frank or Brian Winkles). Based on what I’ve seen here, Helm (ranked 13th statewide) is the solid-to-overwhelming favorite to win the district. Knock off a John Martorano, you get my attention and fast. We’ve had to wait until mid-January for Helm to appear in the lineup, but in the brief time he’s been well worth the wait. Kellum is the solid favorite for the runnerup position. So tall (taller than me, and I’m a good 6-3) for a 145. Put him in the weight room and he will be a monster upper in the next two years. After that it gets a little murky due to the uncertainty for Nassau and Yulee. I’m inclined to go with Ruise as slightly ahead of the other Nassau entrants, who are a tossup for fourth. I think Forehand might also go 52.

152: I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Sheffield or Demonta Bell of Andrew Jackson, Tyler Imrich of Bishop Snyder, Thomas Monaghan of Fernandina, Brian Thomas of Forrest, Torry Williams of Paxon, Jeremiah Prince of Raines. I am less sure about Baker County (either Simon Brown, Ian Finn or Jake Koburger), West Nassau (Forehand or possibly Trevor Higginbotham) or Yulee (David Beverly, Frank or Winkles). Based on what I’ve seen here, newly-minted state 16th Monaghan is the solid favorite to win the district. Monaghan looks more comfortable the lighter he’s been, and now he has a solid training partner right next to him in Helm. It’s gonna be a really good field and competitive battles for 2-4 at this weight. Bell, Imrich, Thomas, Williams, Forehand and Beverly all have good chances to get out. The wrestlers who’ve been part-time are going to find themselves struggling in this field, because there are no easy outs. Even Prince and Brown have won several matches.

160: I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Bell or Tracy Russell from Andrew Jackson, Tristen Bartron from Baker County, Matt Tate or Nathaniel Cleland of Bishop Snyder, Matthew Schuyler from Fernandina, Dominique Williams from Forrest, Anthony Dukes from Paxon, Sha-Mel Franks from Raines, Michael Dudzinski from West Nassau and Dillion Gadoury from Yulee. Based on what I’ve seen here, the solid-to-overwhelming favorite is Dudzinski (9th statewide) to win the district. He has only one loss this year, and that was to a 2A wrestler. He’s beaten a fellow #1 and fellow solid favorite in this tournament. Almost no one worked harder this off-season, and he’s reaping the rewards now. Another solid field should go to region from this weight class, highlighted by Cleland (if he’s here and not 170), Dukes and either Bell or Russell, whoever is at 160. Williams has had a good Gateway season and Bartron could surprise as well.

170: I have not seen a recent 170 from West Nassau. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Russell from Andrew Jackson (unless at 160, in which case Jackson will be open here), Anthony Johnson of Baker County, Tate or Cleland from Snyder, Jackson Crews from Fernandina, Isaiah Golson from Forrest, Tyrann Baxter from Raines and either RJ Adams or Cecil Winebarger from Yulee. Paxon may also send up Hudson Sadler at this weight. Based on what I’ve seen here, I have to make another conditional pick: If Cleland is at 170, he’s the favorite to win the district. If he’s at 160, then look for an interesting fight to play out between Golson and Adams. I’ve seen Golson, I haven’t seen Adams this year. They’ll both make it out either way. I lean toward Tate over Crews for the fourth spot…UNLESS Fernandina slots Kelsey Greathouse all the way down here at 170. He did pin Winebarger recently. If he’s here, rearrange everything to put Greathouse at the top and slot everyone down accordingly.

182: I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Kenyon Johnson from Andrew Jackson, Sean Mulkey from Baker County, Brandon Marshall from Bishop Snyder, Greathouse or Crews from Fernandina, DeAngelo Hunt from Forrest, Jeremy Sinclair from Paxon, Jermaine Oliver from Raines, Zach Morgan from West Nassau and Anthony Chiauzzi from Yulee. Based on what I’ve seen here, the solid favorite has to be Marshall in a weight class that, if Greathouse is here, is worth the price of admission by itself. Marshall has just the one loss the very first weekend of the season (to Dudzinski, who bumped up from his then-weight of 170 to face him). Marshall (last local ranking #1, 2nd statewide) can beat you a lot of different ways, and the ones that he hasn’t thought up, Oliver (#2 locally, fifth statewide) just might have tried. That is such a contrast in every way, Marshall’s technical precision versus Oliver’s freakish athleticism. Played straight, Greathouse is the 3 here, with Mulkey the definite 4 by a little ways over either Hunt or Johnson. Should Greathouse drop to 70, that moves Mulkey up and a fight between Hunt and Johnson. They didn’t meet at Gateway, but Hunt majored Englewood’s Ashton Harris, who decisioned Johnson.

195: With Greathouse down at least one weight, I have not seen a 195 from Fernandina of late. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Rashad McClain of Andrew Jackson, James Carter of Baker County, Nathan Morales of Bishop Snyder, Malik Brown of Forrest, Elijah Mitchell-McGraw of Paxon, Malcolm Kirtsey of Raines, Seth Petty of West Nassau and Gino Carollo of Yulee. Based on what I’ve seen here, Morales is the slight favorite to win the district. He’s consistently good, rarely beats himself and quietly gets the job done for the Cardinals. He has not faced Carter, who I am thinking will be the other finalist – Carter won in a fight up at 220 that weekend – but it should be a closely-matched title competition. I think 3 and 4 is a three-person race between McClain, the Gateway Conference runnerup, Brown and Petty.

220: I have not seen a 220 for Andrew Jackson, Fernandina Beach (since very early in November) or Raines. I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Lenny Carter of Baker County, Nicholas Cleland of Bishop Snyder, Dexter Nickles of Forrest, Jordan Smith of Paxon, Bradley Sikes of West Nassau and Duna Polard of Yulee. Based on what I’ve seen, the pick is Carter as the favorite to win the district. Like the larger Helm at Fernandina, the larger Carter has only been in the lineup a short time. Other than a quick pin at the hands of Orange Park uber-220 Devon Brooks, Carter has drilled all opposition. Cleland (15th statewide) isn’t susceptible to drilling, but he lost to James Carter, 10-7, during the regular season. Lenny Carter looks like he has even more aggression on the mat. Big gap between Carter and Cleland and the rest of the field, Sikes is probably the best of the rest and my choice for third, with a lean toward Polard as the fourth.

285: I have a pretty good idea that the following wrestlers will go: Travaris Shanks of Andrew Jackson, Collyn Green of Baker County, Christian DeLosSantos of Bishop Snyder, Austin Turpin of Fernandina, Kahlil Welsh of Forrest, Julian Leandre of Paxon, Lawrence Jones of Raines and Bradley Kite of Yulee. I’m less sure of West Nassau, who could send out either Jackson Moyle or Matthew Forsythe. Based on what I’ve seen here, Welsh (15th statewide) is the solid favorite to win the district. And it’s a pretty solid field, as Green, DeLosSantos and Moyle (if he goes) all have had decent-to-good seasons and would do well at regions next week. Welsh has a rare combination of size and athleticism, though, that will be very difficult to counter this weekend. Look at DeLosSantos as a fellow finalist, with Green and Moyle (if he goes here) the likeliest 3-4 prospects.


Weekend Roundup (1/24-25)

Northeast Florida Matmen staff report

BRUNSWICK, GA — One last tuneup.

Just a couple of days after dropping to fourth in the Class 1A statewide polls, #1 Clay tuned up the competition in Saturday’s 10-Way dual event hosted by Brunswick, hammering four pool opponents by an average of 56.5 points and then taking it to the host Pirates, 64-9, in the final.

The Blue Devils (23-2) opened wrestling Saturday with a convincing 76-6 victory over Bolles, then added one-sided wins against #6 Bishop Snyder (65-12) and Yulee (79-0). Camden County gave Clay the most trouble on the day, but the Blue Devils still more than doubled up Camden’s score in a 43-19 win.

The pool wins put Clay into the tournament title match against Brunswick, and the closest the Pirates would get was two matches in, trailing 6-3. Four Clay falls later, it was 30-3 and the dual was effectively over.

Roland Samec (285) started that string of pins, continued by Andrew Klopman (106), Dale Browning (113) and Caleb Wyman (120). Imier Almanzar (152), Caleb Loyd (160) and Tristain Sichmeller (182) also had falls, as did Jon Whiting at 195 to start the dual. Dylan Martin (132) and Adam Breindel (145) picked up technical falls as well.

After starting the day with tough defeats against Clay and Camden County, Bishop Snyder righted the ship for a 2-2 day, defeating Bolles 46-26 and Yulee 52-21. Yulee knocked off Bolles, 45-34, for its lone win on the day.

Wrestlers at seven weights were undefeated for Clay. Recording five wins on the day were Browning at 113, Martin at 132, Breindel at 145, Almanzar at 152 and Loyd at 160. Additionally, Andrew Klopman (4 matches) and Cody Taylor (1) were undefeated at 106. Bishop Snyder’s Brandon Marshall (182) and Bolles’ Brandon Dattoli (170) were 4-0 on the day.

Girls’ state title for Fiege: Sandalwood’s Nadine Fiege won a second girls’ state championship this past weekend, as reported on her Twitter feed. Fiege has been the starter for the Saints at 170 pounds. Further details were not available at the time of this writing, but will be added as more information becomes available.

At Fernandina Beach: Three days after wrestling them at Ed White, the Pirates hosted Baker County on a rare single Saturday-afternoon dual, defeating the Wildcats 48-27.

Five pins carried Fernandina Beach to the win, as well as three forfeits. Joseph Helm (120), Josh Helm (145), Thomas Monaghan (152), Matthew Schuyler (160) and Kelsey Greathouse (182) all had falls for the Pirates.

Baker County got pins from Logan Kish (132), James Carter (195) and Lenny Carter (285), as well as a forfeit at 220 from Jestin Canterbury and decision from Brandon Harvey at 132.


A Little Kiwanis Preview

Teams have already assembled or are assembling at Bishop Snyder. Here’s a quick little summary:

Teams in the field: Atlantic Coast, Bartram Trail, Bishop Snyder, Bolles, Brunswick GA, Buchholz, Creekside, First Coast, Fleming Island, Fletcher, Mandarin, Menendez, Middleburg, Ponte Vedra, Ridgeview, Yulee.

Ranked wrestlers in the field: There are 30 ranked wrestlers just in the @NEFloridaMatmen poll, plus several others from Brunswick and Buchholz that are of that level of quality. There are an additional 30 wrestlers who are honorable mention listers.

By weight class…

106 — #4 Austin Wynn, Creekside; #5 Joseph Cooper, Fleming Island.

113 — #1 Chase Robison, Fleming Island; #2 Jeremiah Watson, Ridgeview; #5 Joshua Harris, Mandarin.

120 — #1 Xaiver Sampsel, Fleming Island; #5 Brandon Bemister, Atlantic Coast; HM Justin Trinh, Ridgeview.

126 — #1 Evan McCall, Fleming Island; #2 Michael Brown, Menendez; HM Nacierre Williams, Atlantic Coast; HM Trevor Belden, Ridgeview; HM Matt Norton, Ponte Vedra.

132 — #1 Charles Cuthbert, Fleming Island; #4 Joey Epstein, Ridgeview; #5 Josh Calhoun, Bolles; HM Ollie Dixon, Atlantic Coast; HM Cal Rodgers, Fletcher (the de facto 6 and 7, if rankings went that deep).

138 — #1 David Detwiler, Fleming Island; #4 Joshua Sweeten, Fletcher; #5 Ryan Baker, Creekside; HM Jonathan Radomski, Bishop Snyder; HM Mark Coaxum, Ridgeview.

145 — #3 John Martorano, Fleming Island; #4 Jared Langdo, Creekside; HM Connor Cronk, Bolles; HM Ectrus Barber, Atlantic Coast.

152 — #2 Colin Peaks, Ponte Vedra; #3 Rodney Padgett, Menendez; #4 Bradshaw Steele, Bolles; HM Dillon May, Atlantic Coast; HM Jason Davis, Fleming Island; HM Kody Kellum, Bishop Snyder; HM Noah Perez, Mandarin.

160 — HM Jerome Abbott, Fleming Island; HM David Cline, Creekside; HM Nathaniel Cleland, Bishop Snyder; HM Marcus Gomez, Ridgeview; HM John Perrone, Mandarin.

170 — #2 Heath Whiddon, Fleming Island; #4 Richard Gagnon, Mandarin; #5 Brandon Dattoli, Bolles; HM Triston Ulrich, Atlantic Coast; HM Skylor Coxon, Fletcher.

182 — #1 Samuel Hernandez, Mandarin; #2 Brandon Marshall, Bishop Snyder; #3 Austin Smenda, Fleming Island; #4 Jeremy Beaulieu, Creekside.

195 — #1 Peter Martorano, Fleming Island; #2 Nathan Morales, Bishop Snyder; #3 Garrett Fairbanks, Menendez; HM Mike Gant, Atlantic Coast (might be at 182); HM Gus Fischer, Creekside; HM Brandon Alexanian, Bartram Trail; HM Tanner Hagerty, Fletcher; HM Stefano Devoto, Fletcher.

220 — HM Nicholas Cleland, Bishop Snyder; HM Rafael Lopez, Creekside.

285 — #2 Malcolm Kirce, Ridgeview; HM Codie Miller, Mandarin; HM Christian DeLosSantos, Bishop Snyder.

Four potential 1-2 matchups at a tournament not having the word “Clay” in the title…that’s pretty killer. I myself will be watching these semis very closely on Saturday. I hope to be able to post first-day brackets later tonight!


December 11 Roundup Story

For the time being, Yulee is the king of Nassau County prep wrestling.

The Hornets staked their claim to the throne in a pair of duals Wednesday night at home against fellow county rivals Fernandina Beach and West Nassau, defeating the Pirates 42-36 and Warriors 39-33, in their first dual meets in the area for 2013-14.

In the third dual, West Nassau edged Fernandina by a 39-37 count.

Against West Nassau, Yulee got falls from Dylan Youmans (106), John Parker (113), Timothy Worthen (138), RJ Adams (170), Duna Polard (195) and Nick Parker (220) to secure the win, plus an overtime decision from Ty Youmans at 120.

West Nassau received a pair of victories on the night from Jacob Savage (132, two pins), John Forehand (145, two pins), #1 Michael Dudzinski at 160 (pin & decision) and Jackson Moyle (285, 2 pins).

In results reported for Fernandina, Rafael Charriez (106), Jesse Henn (152), Matthew Schuyler (170) and Wyatt Roach (195) had falls for the Pirates over West Nassau.

In other dual meets Wednesday night:

#8 Ridgeview 59, Ponte Vedra 6: The Panthers dominated affairs at home, with five pins in the middle weights from Justin Trinh (120), #4 Joey Epstein (132), Mark Coaxum (138), Chase Gold (145) and Marcus Gomez (160), plus a tech fall at 113 from #2 Jeremiah Watson. Jack Fox (106) won by fall for the Sharks’ lone points.

Palm Coast 50, #10 Creekside 22: 3A regional power Palm Coast had seven pins over Knight wrestlers in securing the home dual victory. For Creekside, Rafael Lopez (220) and Cole Eubanks (285) each had falls, with #4 (at 106) Austin Wynn (wrestling Wednesday at 113) taking a major decision.

Providence double dual: Episcopal continued its winning ways after a slow start to the season, adding two more wins at its in-town rival, as the Eagles defeated the host Stallions 42-30 and Andrew Jackson 48-30.

The third dual saw the matchups go the Tigers’ way in a 36-6 victory, Jackson’s first of the season, as reported by Jackson coach Joe Warren.

Episcopal had four double winners in Connor Evans (120), Christian Rickey (138), Peter Pitochi (145) and Hunter Selton (152), while Andrew Jackson equaled the feat with Daisan Biffle (126), Demonta Bell (160), Tracy Russell (170) and Kenyon Johnson (182) all winning twice. Max Cobb (220/285) was Providence’s lone double winner.

Pedro Menendez 39, Bartram Trail 27: The Falcons’ third-ranked wrestler at 152, Rodney Padgett, secured the victory for Menendez with a third-period fall in the last match of the nigh, wrapping up the road dual victory. #2 (at 126) Michael Brown (wrestling at 132), Jonathan Samples (160), #3 Garrett Fairbanks (195) and William Gwin (285) all had falls for Menendez. Bartram got pins from Kyle Bachman (113) and Andy Plish (145).

Bishop Kenny 54, Bolles 15: Pins from Jonathan Chiotti (132) and #1 Kuba Kaszuba (170), plus a host of forfeits against a still short-handed Bolles side, pushed the Crusaders to the road dual victory. #5 (at 132) Josh Calhoun (wrestling at 138) and Michael Surenyan (152) had pins for the Bulldogs.

FSDB 60, Interlachen 15: The Dragons improved to 2-0 in duals behind pins from Wesley Homewood (182) and Imed Touahri (220), plus eight forfeit victories. Homewood needed just 51 seconds for his fall, while Touahri finished his off in 1:47. The dual was unique in that it was a mid-afternoon contest at Interlachen, with the entire student body in attendance.

Other results: Unofficially, @NEFloridaMatmen received word that St. Augustine and Nease were tied at 42-all, with the Yellow Jackets getting the victory, presumably in criteria. Neither of the Yellow Jackets’ or Panthers’ head coaches confirmed the result at press time. There was no report from Wednesday’s dual at Baker County matching the Wildcats against #7 Ed White.


November 23 Roundup Story

Experience counts in large amounts, even for teams with high expectations and tons of talent.

For #1 Fleming Island on Saturday, not having the services of state-ranked and state-tournament tested seniors Evan McCall (staph infection) and Peter Martorano (waiting to certify after a school field trip forced a missed certification date), plus newly-transferred state qualifier Trevor Betros (shoulder) didn’t mean a day-long struggle.

It just meant a day without a team title at the Robert “Keystone” Northway Duals, a day punctuated at the start by a presentation of a plaque signed by the entire Fleming team and given to the Northway family.

The Golden Eagles ran through what was by comparison the tougher of two pools with relative ease, defeating #6 Ridgeview (63-18) and #9 St. Augustine handily (54-27), as well as Bishop Kenny (66-0) and Duval Charter (72-0).

In the day’s finale, though, Fleming Island ran into Georgia 2012 Class AAAAA duals champion in Camden County, and with so much of its battle-tested experience sitting the day out, Camden proved too tough for the Golden Eagles, taking a 42-18 decision and the title of the 11-team event.

Ridgeview rallied from the pool-round loss to its Clay County rival, however, and went on to take third place, taking a 54-24 victory over a surprising Forrest team, also in its season-opener. Both Ridgeview and Forrest were 3-1 in their respective pools.

St. Augustine edged First Coast 38-29 for fifth, and #9 Pedro Menendez took seventh with a 43-18 victory over Oakleaf.

Tough going for Raiders: #3 Orange Park ran into some rough seas Saturday at the Tallahassee Lincoln duals, going 2-3 on the day.

Orange Park (9-3 for the season) defeated Arnold 45-32 and Tallahassee Chiles 48-30, but fell to event champion Tallahassee Lincoln 46-24, Wakulla 45-36 and Marianna 36-34 on the day.

Two Orange Park wrestlers — Skyler Taylor (170) and Christian Tejada (285) — did go 5-0 on the day for the Raiders. Tejada is a perfect 12-0 for the season.

Hornets stung in Deltona: Yulee opened the 2013-14 season with some tough sledding at the Deltona Duals, taking just one win on the day, a 42-32 decision over Hagerty.

The Hornets fell 47-23 to Ocala Forest, 61-18 to duals champion Timber Creek, 51-21 to Deland and 45-30 to the event hosts.


District sites

Updated Tuesday, October 29th, 2 p.m.

I have been advised by Bishop Snyder coach and dean Rusty Kellum that Yulee will host District 3 competition in Class 1A. Weigh-ins 8 a.m., seed meeting 8:45, wrestling starting at 9:45 a.m. on Saturday, February 1 — the day for 48 district competitions state wide.

I have been advised by Bishop Kenny assistant coach Zach Fox that Bradford will host District 4 competition in 1A. Weigh-ins 8 a.m., wrestling to start at 10, with seed meeting somewhere in between.

I’ve learned through Lee’s schedule that Englewood will host District 3 competition in Class 2A. (Note: This has also been published on the FHSAA website). Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.

I have been advised by Creekside coach Richard Marabell that the Knights will host District 4 competition in Class 2A. Weigh-ins at 9 a.m., seeding at 10, wrestling at 11.

I have been advised by Fleming Island coach Travis Cunningham that Palm Coast will host District 1 competition in Class 3A. Weigh-ins at 9 a.m., wrestling to start at 11, with seed meeting somewhere in between, I’d guess.

It’s a bit early in the game, but NEFLM will visit every local district site on District Day, no matter how much driving we have to do. NEFLM will have brackets from every local district event in all three classes and links to every other district result up on the site as they are posted by FHSAA. Same goes for regionals. As for state, well, we will BE ON HAND for live reporting on Twitter and tons of coverage otherwise.

Because February is…No…Sleep…Til…LAKELAND!