Schedule Update — 10/29

I’ve added Nease to the fold! Just one more St Johns County needs to be added and that entire county will be in…who’s going to be next?

Started writing up some team bios for the season preview that will come out on Thanksgiving Day. I’m writing the bios with the following format:

  • Head Coach, number of years in current position.
  • Dual meet season record (I have this for all of last year’s teams but not for the new ones).
  • Regular-season tournament finishes.
  • Returning starters (I define a “returning starter” as a wrestler on the roster with at least 15 varsity matches from the previous season). I will add post-season honors as well.
  • I will write a brief mention of each team’s strengths and what I feel are their biggest challenges for the coming year.

That will not be the only part of the preview. There’ll be a story catching up with our one defending state champion — as we did a year ago — and a district-by-district guide of what to expect. I invite you to check out last year’s tournaments — I have most of them up on the site — and all the duals as well. There’s a LOT of info compiled there. We were just getting started, though.

Quality matters, and we’re going to bring it.

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#NextLevel Update

Two local wrestlers begin the 2014-15 NCAA DIvision II season with regional rankings in the division’s Super Region 2 poll, released by the region’s coaches late last week.

Coker College senior Travis Laxton (Suwannee ’10) and sophomore Robert Parland (University Christian ’13) both snagged top-5 mentions at their respective weight classes, as the Cobras begin the season ranked 7th as a team in Super Region 2.

Laxton enters his first year as a Coker wrestler, begins the year ranked fifth at 125 pounds. Laxton was 27-10 at Newberry a year ago, including a 15-2 record against other wrestlers in the region.

Parland is ranked third in the region at 197 after a 12-16 freshman season for the Cobras. He was 7-11 against region wrestlers a year ago.

Coker has five wrestlers that have preseason rankings. The Cobras begin competition at the Citadel Open on Saturday.

– Fox to compete in Michigan State Open: Ohio State University redshirt sophomore Josh Fox (University Christian ’12) will be competing in Sunday’s Michigan State Open in East Lansing. Fox is No. 2 on the Buckeye depth chart at 184 pounds.

– Wrestlers that are competing in #NextLevel competitions, either at the collegiate level or higher, should let us know! Comment the site if you are on a collegiate roster, whether club or varsity. (Side note: I’ve learned about two former Bradford wrestlers who are now running the NCWA program in Idaho) We’re hoping to reach out to UNF’s club team as well!

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Schedule update — 10/27

We’re at 33 now. Westside’s came in over the weekend. I still am missing 15 — eight from inside Duval County, four are new programs that we didn’t cover a year ago, and the other three all have new coaches.

Of the missings, I’ve not heard anything from Coach Warren at Andrew Jackson. Got an email from Coach Lee at Ed White saying I’d be getting a schedule, still waiting. I had some email contact about the Englewood tournament on December 13, but no full season schedule yet. I’ve not heard anything from Coach Hicks at Lee, heard only from John Dunn that he is coaching that program. Have not heard anything from Coach WIley at UC; I know he’s not an email guy. Coach Arthur at Oakleaf is hip-deep in a playoff run, we’ll see what I get from Bartram Trail after Chad Parker’s takeover is complete, and Coach Muckle at Nease is probably still building his schedule. I did get one email from Coach Borgus at Interlachen, but nothing further yet. Have not heard from Coaches White and Archer at Palatka or Bradford.

Still no word on coaching at Paxon, Stanton, Orange Park and Fernandina Beach. All I have is a name for First Coast. He doesn’t teach there, I haven’t done a district-wide search yet. Just learned, as the comment below suggests, that Suwannee will have a new coach as well.

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Preseason Nationals

It’s a long way from Lake City to Cedar Falls, Iowa…having driven by both, I would guesstimate the driving time at around…an even 24 hours or so. Maybe 20 if you have major endurance, a lead foot and radar in the vehicle.

That’s a major trip, is the point, and that’s what Columbia senior Kaleb Warner did (I think the Warners flew, though, to be accurate about it) to compete in the Cliff Keen USA Wrestling Preseason Nationals tournament at the UNI-Dome on the campus of the University of Northern Iowa this weekend.

Warner’s competing at 138 pounds this weekend in the 11th-12th grade division, finishing 4-2 on the day and finishing among the top 24 wrestlers in the draw, which was pretty sizable. He won his first 2 rounds, both by major decision. Warner defeated Wisconsin’s Dylan Kellner, 11-2, and Iowa’s Seth Wennermark, 9-1. His next match, in the round of 32, Warner lost in the round of 32 to the nation’s #11-ranked wrestler at 138, Illinois’ Vince Turk, who went on to finish third in the tournament, by a 9-1 major decision.

Warner opened his road on the back end with a 1-0, double-OT win over Louie Sanders of Minnesota, then won by fall in the second period over Nebraska state placer Cody Lambert. His tournament came to a close against Wisconsin’s Stetson Clary, who pinned Warner in the third period.

Warner will be competing in the Super 32 in Greensboro, N.C., next weekend.

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Schedule update — 10/24

Pedro Menendez is in the fold! That makes 32 teams out of the 48 in the expanded coverage area for 2014-15. Falcons are looking for tournaments in between the Matanzas duals on the first weekend of December and the Palm Coast Rotary event. If you have openings for your invites within that timeframe, whether dual or IBT, reach out to Coach Geores (his email was in the email blast I sent out earlier this week).

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Real Super Quick — Week 9 Thursday Aftermath (Sheesh) and Friday Football Picks (Offtopic)

Taylor (Pierson) 34, FSDB 28. Not off to a good start. 0-1.
NEASE 35, Arlington CD 0. That’s better. 1-1.
ORANGE PARK 21, Terry Parker 6. Almost feeling back to where I belong. 2-1.
RIBAULT 18, Paxon 7. Closer than I expected, Paxon is getting close. 3-1.
COLUMBIA 56, Lee 10. I expected a Columbia game like this one. 4-1.
ST. AUGUSTINE 49, Creekside 14. So far, not too bad. 5-1.
(These games were also played Thursday, I had these with my Friday picks)
WESTSIDE 31, Wolfson 0. I had Westside decisively in this one. I did. Trust me. 6-1.
RAINES 40, West Nassau 14. Also had Raines decisively. These two held to form at least, and I would tell you if I was wrong. 7-1.

Game of the week: Gaaaaaaaah! I thought it would be a tossup. Mandarin jumped out to an early lead and made it stand up. Clearly, the Mustangs are not who they once were. Question is, what happened to Sandalwood that made it not what it once was? Mandarin could very well be a playoff team now, and hats off to the Mustangs coaches and players for that. On the other hand, it’s yet another Game of the Week miss. Teams are going to start tweeting me to not pick their game for GOTW, and if I do, to pick the other team.

So we’re 7-2 going into tonight’s games…assuming no more wackadoodle scheduling (Sheesh, just because Duval kids are off today doesn’t mean games can’t be scheduled in Duval on Friday night. It just means they aren’t).

Here’s what I have:
Bolles at Andrew Jackson — Bolles, big.

Atlantic Coast at Fleming Island — Tossup. Edge AC but only because coming off a bye week, and Fleming is coming off an emotional win on the road over Fletcher.

Baker County at Stanton — Baker, big.

Matanzas at Bartram Trail — Bartram, decisive.

Bishop Kenny at Yulee — Hornets stay close but Crusaders will win in the end. Edge Kenny.

Palatka at Clay — Clay, decisive.

Duval Charter at Christ’s Church — Charter, decisive.

Ed White at Middleburg — White, decisive.

Episcopal at St. Petersburg Catholic — I’ll go with the home team in a tossup. Edge SPC.

First Coast at West Port — Should be big but I will go FC decisive.

Buchholz at Fletcher. Can’t see Sens losing at home two weeks in a row. Fletcher, decisive.

Keystone Heights at Interlachen — Heights, big.

Ponte Vedra at Pedro Menendez — Almost completely impossible to pick. I will take the Falcons by a nose in a tossup. Edge Menendez.

University Christian at Eagle’s View — I still think UC has the chops to take this one. Christians decisive.

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Real Quick — Week 9 Thursday Football Picks (Offtopic)

I swear, I have seen no score updates yet.

Taylor (Pierson) at FSDB — Dragons decisive at home.

Arlington Country Day at Nease — Different CD, I might go differently. Nease decisive at home.

Orange Park at Terry Parker — Raiders make it two in a row on the road. OP decisive.

Ribault at Paxon — This is a tough one for the home Golden Eagles. Ribault decisive.

Columbia at Lee — Can’t see Generals taking this one, even at home. Columbia decisive.

Creekside at St. Augustine — The run ends tonight. St. Augustine, decisive.

Mandarin at Sandalwood — Can the GOTW be on a Thursday? Yes it can. I will take Sandalwood, edge, but it should be a tossup and a helluva game.

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