#NextLevel update

It’s hard to remember Brandon Marshall (Bishop Snyder ’14) as a #NextLevel candidate because his level, is, well, it’s pretty high compared to a standard go-to-college, wrestle-folkstyle collegian.

Marshall, a pre-med major at Northern Michigan University and resident at the United States Olympic Training Site on the NMU campus, won a silver medal at the Eduardo Campbell Cup, held in Panama City, Panama this past weekend.

Competing at 84 kg (185 pounds), Marshall was 2-2 at the event, taking second to Panama’s Elton Brown, 6-0.

Consider this: these are Olympic-level wrestlers that Marshall is facing. At 18, still with many good wrestling years ahead, this kind of experience is invaluable for somebody like Marshall, who was a 1A state finalist for the Cardinals at 182 this past year.

As a group, the NMU Olympic Training Site team took home top honors, with two gold medals, another silver besides Marshall’s and a bronze.

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Schedule update — 10/22

Learned from Kevin Warner @ Columbia that 2A-District 2 is at Tally Chiles on Friday, February 27. Wrestling starts at 3 p.m. No offense to the Tigers, but I’m hoping to have other plans that night…it is my birthday.

That being said, we now stand at 31 teams in the fold! Got schedules from West Nassau and finally received an email from Coach Davis at Gainesville. I was very happy to get that one. So the Warriors and the Hurricanes are added to the schedule and we are now, almost, two-thirds of the way to being complete.

Who is going to be next?

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Email blast update

Hi readers,

Thank you sincerely for continuing to read this blog and tolerating my madcap (madcrap?) football picks. We just went over the 115,000 visitor mark. Not bad for a sport that doesn’t rate coverage in the larger media because of a “lack of community.” Talk about madcrap.

Just emailed all of the coaches a few minutes ago to update them on where we are with schedules. Check out our 14-15 composite schedule to see if your team has been added or if it’s still needed. I also cc’d the ADs from Paxon, Stanton, First Coast and Fernandina Beach, letting them know I’m needing coach contact information for their teams as well. Soon Orange Park’s AD will be added to that list.

I’m planning our season preview package to go out on Thanksgiving Day. Eat some turkey, read some wrestling and get a look at the preseason team rankings for 2014-15. I won’t do individual rankings until after the first weekend of competition, so sometime after December 6.

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Two items of note

1. The Duval Wrestling Academy is set to have a grand opening event on Saturday, November 8, from 12-5 p.m. at its new facility located at 5121 Bowden Road, Suite 206-207 (on the corner of Bowden & Richard Road). I’ll be there sometime during the course of the day, along with Boy #4. The academy is targeting Duval County youth wrestlers between the ages of 5-18, with particular emphasis on younger wrestlers. For more information, contact Duval Charter head coach Brian Adkins at adkins.brian@mayo.edu.

2. Pat Fairfax has announced the date for the 4th Annual Pat Fairfax Wrestling Scholarship golf tournament. It is set for Sunday, November 16, with a 12:30 p.m. shotgun start at Champions Club at Julington Creek, located at 1111 Durbin Creek Boulevard in Jacksonville. 4-man scramble, entry fee $75/golfer which includes golf, range balls, prizes and food. Interested golfers can register an entire foursome, or individually. Tee sponsorships are $100 and Mr. Fairfax is looking for responses on those by Saturday, November 1. Checks payable to Pat Fairfax Wrestling Scholarship, credit cards are accepted. As I am unwilling to post Mr. Fairfax’s home addy or phone number here, please email him at pfairfax@comcast.net, and I’m sure he’ll email you a flyer — which DOES have the addy and phone number listed.

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Week 8 — The Aftermath

1-0 start to the week with the Oakleaf win. Let’s see how the rest of Week 8 played out. I always remember the losses as blindsiding me more than the wins do.

BOLLES 57, Baldwin 0. No surprises here. 2-0.
Creekside 37, BARTRAM TRAIL 24. Knights are proving to be one of those completely unpredictable teams. Still unbeaten in district play. 2-1.
AUCILLA CHRISTIAN 35, Bishop Snyder 27. Went as I expected, Cardinals hung tough, but couldn’t shut down the hosts. 3-1.
CLAY 49, Pedro Menendez 14. Might not pick against Clay again in the regular season. 4-1.
DUVAL CHARTER 37, Eagle‚Äôs View 17. Didn’t expect this one to be quite this decisive in the Panthers’ favor. 5-1.
TAYLOR COUNTY 26, Fernandina Beach 9. Been a tough season for the Pirates. 6-1.
FIRST COAST 34, Palm Coast 30. As I thought, FC made it closer than it might otherwise have wanted. 7-1.
Fleming Island 27, FLETCHER 13. And the Golden Eagles make a bid for me once again. One of those wins that might have more implications for the junior class next season. 7-2.
UNIVERSITY CHRISTIAN 48, Harvest 0. Was not surprised at the blowout Christians win. 8-2.
ED WHITE 41, Lee 6. Staging up for a helluva finish for Duval bragging rights. 9-2.
Nease 40, MATANZAS 39, OT. Did say I could see Nease winning, but it must have been a thrilling game, what with the extra time and all. 9-3.
Orange Park 20, MIDDLEBURG 10. Did say can’t count the Raiders out, but I did pick the Broncos. Rivalries matter. 9-4.
ENGLEWOOD 18, Terry Parker 0. Braves gave good fight, but Rams held serve at home. 10-4.
PAXON 39, Wolfson 6. Could Paxon finish the year above .500? That will make things very interesting on the home front for me as Boy #4, who still wants to play football, chooses his high school this year. 11-4.
BISHOP KENNY 39, Stanton 0. Surprised it was this close, actually. 12-4.
SANDALWOOD 49, West Port 22. Saints roll up the points in hammering the Ocala city school. 13-4.
RIBAULT 26, Westside 8. Hate to pick against a school with wrestling against a school without it, but Trojan defense is the truth. Interesting that WS beat Kenny, Kenny beat Ribault and Ribault beat WS. Matchups. 14-4.
Baker County 45, YULEE 15. Even though this was a Baker home game…I’m just flabbergasted at this outcome. Not even the loss. But 30 points? Wow. 14-5.
RAINES 41, Andrew Jackson 0. Went down more or less as expected. 15-5.
FSDB 47, Alabama Deaf 14. Well, at least Saturday picks went the way they should. Too bad most of the weekend was a bit of a wash. 16-5.
Game of the week:
PROVIDENCE 34, Episcopal 7. Not surprised that the Stallions scored as often as they did, but I thought Eagles would answer a bit more often. Eagles, though, making many strides quickly as a program. 17-5.

I did not pick Ridgeview-Ponte Vedra, but if I’d had the opportunity (thanks TU for NOT publishing it in your list of games; see, this is why I no longer carry the paper), I would have picked Ridgeview and been wrong. But I didn’t put myself on record..soooo….as of now I am 93-24. I wish I could be 80 percent correct in a lot more aspects of my life, but I’ll settle for being able to be (nearly) 80 percent correct in picking area high school football games.

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VERY super quick: Friday Week 8 Football Picks (Offtopic)

1-0 with Oakleaf’s 21-point win over Buchholz for Week 8. Here’s tonight’s games:

  • Baldwin (1-6, 0-2) at Bolles (4-2, 0-1). Bolles has GOT to have its ears pinned back for this one. Take the Bulldogs, big.
  • Bartram Trail (4-2, 0-1) at Creekside (2-5, 2-0). Knights still unbeaten in district play. I think that ends tonight. Bartram Trail, decisive.
  • Bishop Snyder (3-4) at Aucilla Christian (4-2). I think the Cardinals will hang, but I’ll take, in a tossup, the home team. Edge Aucilla.
  • Clay (6-1, 2-0) at Pedro Menendez (3-3, 0-1). I get it, Blue Devils, I get it. Clay, decisive.
  • Eagle’s View (5-2, 1-1) at Duval Charter (4-1, 1-1). This could be a heckuva game for a playoff spot. Tossup. Edge Duval Charter.
  • Fernandina Beach (1-6, 0-1) at Perry Taylor County (3-3, 0-1). Not sure where Perry is, exactly, but they should do well. Perry Taylor, big
  • Palm Coast (6-1, 1-0) at First Coast (6-0, 1-0). Should be a very good game. FC may find a way to make this closer than the Buccaneers might want, but I will still go First Coast, decisive
  • Fleming Island (2-4, 0-2) at Fletcher (4-2, 1-0). This was a great game last year, not necessarily shaping up that way this year. Fletcher, decisive
  • Harvest Community (3-3, 2-0) at University Christian (4-2, 2-0). I think the Christians could win going away. UC decisive.
  • Lee (6-1, 3-1) at Ed White (5-1, 3-0). Generals have had a great season. Commanders big, though.
  • Matanzas (2-3, 0-1) at Nease (2-4, 0-2). District 4 matchup, on the football field. The head says Matanzas, edge, but I could see Nease winning.
  • Middleburg (3-3, 2-1) at Orange Park (0-6, 0-3). Can’t count the Raiders out at home in a Clay County matchup, but again, the head says Edge Middleburg.
  • Terry Parker (0-6, 0-3) at Englewood (2-5, 1-3). Rams should win pretty handily tonight. Englewood, decisive.
  • Paxon (3-3, 2-2) at Wolfson (1-5, 1-3). Wolfpack got off the schneid last week with Stanton, Golden Eagles another matter, even in a home game. Paxon, decisive.
  • Stanton (0-6, 0-4) at Bishop Kenny (4-1, 3-1). Oh dear, Blue Devils. Oh dear oh dear oh dear. Kenny, big.
  • West Port (2-4, 0-2) at Sandalwood (3-3, 0-1). Not the Saints of yore, but enough to win at home more or less easily. Sandalwood, decisive.
  • Westside (4-3, 4-0) at Ribault (4-2, 3-1). Wolverines should be happy I keep picking against them. I’m going to do it again tonight. This is a helluva defense. Tossup. Edge Ribault.
  • Yulee (4-2, 2-2) at Baker County (2-5, 1-3). A good northern matchup tonight. Look for the Hornets to right the ship. Yulee, decisive.

Saturday games:

  • Andrew Jackson (1-5, 0-1) at Raines (4-3, 2-0). Vikings take Jackson to The Graveyard. Raines, big.
  • FSDB (4-2) at Alabama Deaf (1-5). Dragons, big, in a long road trip.

Game of the week:

  • Providence (6-1, 0-0) at Episcopal (5-1, 0-1). A great Duval battle between natural rivals. I would expect a war. Tossup. I don’t think the Eagles can hang with Stallions’ Amauri Wakefield. Edge, Providence.
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Sometimes you get to break news

I can now officially advise regarding news I came into possession of earlier this week.

Orange Park, last year’s consistent #3 team for most of the 2013-14 season (and, truth be told, my intended #1 team at preseason-time last year until the loss of now-freshman at Nebraska-Kearney, and 2013 state champion, Corey Van Dorn at 182), is in need of a new head coach.

Chad Parker has officially let me know that as of today he is leaving the Raider program and taking over at Bartram Trail to start the 2014-15 season. With official practices still about three weeks away, that gives OP some time to find a new coach. Parker will be replacing Ed Snyder as the Bears’ head coach. He’s told me that he’s looked for an opportunity to teach and coach closer to his home, and teaching in St Johns County (where BTHS just had an opening come up that fit Parker’s certifications), as well as running the Bears’ program, offers him an opportunity to do just that.

Man oh man. That’s big news for both programs. Ton of talent in Orange Park that will need a steady hand to keep things going the way they’ve gone so far, ton of potential in Bartram.

So that means the number of HC openings is back up to four: Two in Duval County, unless Paxon and Stanton have coaches settled; one in Nassau County, where I haven’t heard anything yet about Fernandina Beach; and now one in Clay County with Orange Park.

The season just got a whole lot closer.

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