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).