OK, so with these region bragging rights pieces I think I’d like to be a bit more detailed, given that there are many, many more local kids in play. But we’ll start the same way we did the state pieces.
Looking at the qualifiers, here’s how you’d expect the districts to fall out:
1. Leon (18) — 5-4-5-4.
2. Choctawhatchee (15) — 4-5-5-1.
3. Englewood (14) — 4-4-2-4.
4. Creekside (9) — 1-1-2-5.
So let’s jump to it. I made you guys wait long enough already.
1. Creekside — 34 points.
8-6 as a district. Austin Wynn (1st) 4-0, Rocky Samples 3-2, Kristopher Smith 1-2, Aaron Mago 0-2.
Key wins: After Wynn’s, obviously, the only thing that looks in any way upset-ty in nature might have been Samples beating Lincoln’s Sean Hendley 12-9 in the consi quarters. As I didn’t cover Matanzas as an area team last year, I don’t have history on how that matchup might have gone during the regular season. It was a bigger win, for sure.
2. Choctawhatchee — 33 points.
7-7 as a district. Nelson Elder (4th) 3-2, Blake Hartzog (2nd) 3-1, Brenden Lugo 1-2, Jordan Chermauckas 0-2.
Key wins: Hartzog got a key fall in the semis to ensure his ticket was punched from the bottom half of the bracket. Elder had to go through Wynn in the semis and then fend off a tough challenge from Samples in the consi semis, winning 5-4 to ensure he would get out to Lakeland.
3. Leon — 29 points.
7-7 as a district. Cole Horton (not available) 0-2, Traevon O’Neal (3rd) 5-1, Hendley 2-2, Nathan Kilgore 0-2.
Key wins: O’Neal’s only loss in the region was to Elder, and he got that one back in the third-place match. Still a pretty solid performance from the district as a whole, even without having the champion available and having O’Neal pulling most of the load as a result.
4. Englewood — 13 points.
5-8 as a district. Dylan Rossetti 2-2, Roderick Evans 2-2, Brandon Rice 1-2, Ivory Durham (not available) 0-2.
Key wins: I think the Evans 10-8 win over Hendley might be really big for him, not that it got him to state this year, but for him to beat a Lincoln wrestler should be really helpful in 2014-15 for his makeup. Rossetti will be back and will have a chance to work through getting through the second day. Saturday was a bit of a struggle, but he also faced two ranked wrestlers.
1. Englewood — 51 points at weight (64 overall).
10-6 as a district. Marcus Reid (1st) 4-0, Chris Griffin (4th) 4-2, Robert Hammock 0-2, Archie Brown 2-2.
Key wins: Reid pinning his way through the draw was impressive enough, but for the comparative differences I might say that Griffin’s majors over Nease’s Tristen Lucessi and St. Augustine’s Dustin Vara were equally impressive (plus going 4-3 with a ranked Tahj Brennen of Gainesville in third-place match). Brown pitched in, too, with a one-sided major over the Choctawhatchee runnerup.
2. Leon — 34 points at weight (63 overall).
9-6 as a district. Jacob Geiger (2nd) 3-1, Brennen (3rd) 5-1, Josh Wine (not available) 0-2, Logan Mellor 1-2.
Key wins: Mostly held to form, although the district would have scored more with a full group. (Side note: I cast no aspersions on anybody who forfeited at regions, but I would say there should be a procedure in place to allow alternates to compete — the only time there should be forfeits or byes in the region/states level of the post-season is when there aren’t enough competitors. We’ll see the impact of that later).
3. Creekside — 25 points at weight (59 overall).
6-8 as a district. Carter Goodman 2-2, Dustin Vara 2-2, Tristen Lucessi 1-2, Josh Cordle 1-2. Goodman is another one who had a better tournament than I might have otherwise expected. A good draw helped, but he went 3-1 with Brennen. He was state-quality this past season. The top three will all be juniors next year. All could and should be considered state ranking-worthy.
4. Choctawhatchee — 15 points at weight (48 overall).
3-8 as a district. Jason Bucy 2-2, David Sweeney 1-2, Justin Witt 0-2, Carter Lurk 0-2.
Key wins: Only Bucy made it to the consi quarters. As a group, it just wasn’t as deep as the others. One of the performances should have been better than it was.
1. Englewood — 35.5 points at weight (99.5 overall).
8-7 as a district. Tyrese Germain (2nd) 3-1, Jeremiah Watson 1-2, Shawn Lanier (4th) 4-2, Dalton Deckerhoff 0-2.
Key wins: Germain proved his legitimacy yet again with a fairly-quick pin over another district champion in the semis and going 4-0 in the finals match. Most impressed with Lanier, who beat at least three opponents I would have favored to win during the course of the tournament.
2. Choctawhatchee — 41 points at weight (89 overall).
8-6 as a district. Matthew Burger (1st) 4-0, Robert Wood 2-2, Alex Lovett 2-2, Alex Croaker 0-2.
Key wins: The Chocs cut into the lead with Burger’s title but got decent production from the 2-3 combo as well. I again state here, entirely too many forfeits at this weight. Just no excuse for it, and no excuse for FHSAA not to have a procedure in place to fix it.
3. Leon — 23.5 points at weight (86.5 overall).
6-7 as a district. Austin Wild (3rd) 4-1, Josh Lynch 2-2, Kai Colson (not available) 0-2, Elijah Keselowsky (not available) 0-2.
Key wins: Wild’s third was expected, but Lynch did more than hold his own on the back half of the bracket, with two big wins and a battle with Lanier to get into the consi semi. Two guys not wrestling at all hurt the district in terms of not having the opportunity to score points.
4. Creekside — 15.5 points at weight (74.5 overall).
5-8 as a district. Chad Samples 3-2, Jared Heinrich 1-2, Ralph Hicks 1-2, Jairo Hernandez (not available) 0-2.
Key wins: Samples had the only contested wins for the district. After a nice start, the Creeks have hit a tailspin, with just the one state qualifier so far.
1. Choctawhatchee — 44 points at weight (133 overall)
10-6 as a district. Tyler Bradley (2nd) 3-1, Nick Staviski (3rd) 4-1, Eric Altreche 3-2, Aaron Rodriguez 0-2.
Key wins: The Chocs finally move into the lead — although qualifier leader Leon has yet to do so — behind lots of wins on both sides of the bracket. Deepest of the districts at this weight, as evidenced by Staviski and Altreche both winning twice on the back side.
2. Leon — 39 points at weight (125.5 overall).
8-6 as a district. Jon Gardner (1st) 4-0, David Edmunds (4th) 3-2, Austin Sullivan 1-2, Brandon Wine 0-2.
Key wins: A pair of seniors made it through to Lakeland, and that’s how Leon was able to make it back into the top half, after bouncing back and forth between second and third. Tally Lincoln’s schedule was probably the reason why Edmunds was able to hold it together after a semifinal loss to Bradley and still get out.
3. Englewood — 18 points at weight (117.5 overall).
5-8 as a district. Trevor Belden 3-2, Fuhteh Tsai 1-2, Marc Ataiza 1-2, Tristan Tollison 0-2.
Key wins: Talent-wise, Englewood is right there with the Leons, but experience was the difference. Belden was just one point short getting out even as it was. We saw what he could be capable of in the post-season. At the right weight for a full season, Tsai will be OK too.
4. Creekside — 15 points at weight (89.5 overall).
5-8 as a district. David Tyer 2-2, Matt Norton 2-2, Austin Scott 1-2, Blane Stefancik 0-2.
Key wins: Tyer and Norton were each able to pick up a win on the back side, but just ran into more experienced guys. Every one who made it out will be back next year, and better for the experience.
1. Leon — 46 points at weight (171.5 overall).
9-6 as a district. Kaleb Warner (1st) 4-0, Winslow Robinson (4th) 3-2, Dexter Melton 1-2, Casey Owens 1-2.
Key wins: Finally, the Leons are in the lead, as the qualifier list predicted they would be. The group picked up a lot of bonus points along the way, and that’s why they were so successful, averaging more than 5 points per win. Robinson was huge, beating two other district champs and going six minutes with a third.
2. Choctawhatchee — 26 points at weight (159 overall).
7-8 as a district. Anthony Krevatas 3-2, Jonah Hooton 2-2, Alexis Rivera 1-2, Robert Frey 0-2.
Key wins: Bit of a hiccup knocked the Choctaws out of first, as none of the four guys were able to get to the semifinals. However, they did get two to the consi semis, where they just ran into either stronger competition or competition on a mission.
3. Englewood — 34 points at weight (151.5 overall).
8-6 as a district. Anthony Hauser (2nd) 3-1, Joey Epstein (3rd) 4-1, Kirtis Davis 1-2, Juwan Lee 0-2.
Key wins: Hauser and Epstein were stalwarts all season, and neither disappointed, as both only lost to Warner (I’m told Hauser was ahead until he was concussed, but I can’t confirm it by having been there). That kept the Engles in fighting position.
4. Creekside — 12 points at weight (101.5 overall).
4-8 as a district. Dayton Gilbert 2-2, Cody Womack 0-2, Matt McMillan 2-2, Dalton Koike 0-2.
Key wins: Although this marked the fourth straight weight without a qualifier, three of the four qualifiers come back next year, and Gilbert should definitely be in the mix for qualifying next season, after completing this year as a district champion.
1. Leon — 33 points at weight (204.5 overall).
8-7 as a district. Carlos Evelo 2-2, Dustin Regar (2nd) 3-1, Gavin Hoard 3-2, Aaron Bower 0-2.
Key wins: While Evelo struggled, the Leons got picked up by a solid effort from Regar, who beat two district champions, and from Hoard, who won twice on the back side of the bracket. District starting to show the form predicted by its qualifiers, as it pushed the gap between first and second outward a little bit.
2. Englewood — 46 points at weight (197.5 overall).
10-6 as a district. Travis Neubeck (1st) 4-0, Kevin Herrera 1-2, Tristen Roderick (4th) 4-2, Darien Tucker 1-2.
Key wins: Neubeck’s pinning his way through the bracket helped pile up the points, but so did Roderick, who was quite impressive after losing to Regar in the first round. He got into Lakeland the most impressive way — winning four matches on the back side, and nearly made it five in the third-place match.
3. Choctawhatchee — 28 points at weight (187 overall).
7-7 as a district. Daniel Keely 2-2, Chase Blake (3rd) 4-1, Anthony Raheem 1-2, Austin Salmi 0-2.
Key wins: Blake proved he might have been the best of the district, losing only to Neubeck, and Keely only lost on the front end to Regar before not being available to wrestle Saturday.
4. Creekside — 11 points at weight (112.5 overall).
3-8 as a district. Troy Magnuson 2-2, Ryan Baker 1-2, Charlie Miller 0-2, Henry Velasquez 0-2.
Key wins: I thought Magnuson might have been in the mix to get out, but he ran into the Regar buzzsaw after making the semis and then hit Roderick in the middle of his mission. Five weights without a qualifier, though — it’s a very uphill battle heading to the halfway point.
1. Leon — 52 points at weight (256.5 overall).
11-5 as a district. Matt Tamayo (1st) 4-0, Jake Maguire (3rd) 5-1, Kel Davis 3-2, Gable Hoard (not available) 0-2.
Key wins: Uh oh. LEONS. They’re starting to pull away at the halfway point. While I’ll miss not being able to cover Tamayo as an area kid next year, Maguire did a lot on the back end after losing to the runnerup in the quarters. Davis also had a good tournament, only getting knocked out by Maguire.
2. Choctawhatchee — 26 points at weight (213 overall).
6-7 as a district. Blake Doerr (2nd) 3-1, Blake Tressler 1-2, Kaleb Perez 2-2, Matthew Weesner 0-2.
Key wins: The Choctaws popped back up into second mainly on Doerr’s strength, going 6-3 with Tamayo in the final, but Perez helped out by reaching the semis as well.
3. Englewood — 15 points at weight (212.5 overall).
6-8 as a district. Nicholas Stiles (not available) 0-2, Tony Belle 2-2, Keath Sawdo 3-2, Shaqur Lampkins 1-2.
Key wins: The Engles would certainly have done better with a healthy Stiles, who was hurt at districts. You can guess that from everyone else’s performance, as the district still had six wins. All six of the wins came on the back side. Three come back next season, so some good things should be ahead.
4. Creekside — 14 points at weight (126.5 overall).
4-8 as a district. Jared Langdo (4th) 3-2, Justin Gross 1-2, Zach Gregory 0-2, Nathan Pooler 0-2.
Key wins: Finally, another Lakeland qualifier for the Creeks. Langdo didn’t have a lot of help from his district mates, though, as the group had just one forfeit win other than Langdo’s wins.
1. Leon — 55 points at weight (311.5 overall).
11-6 as a district. Tristan Sommer (1st) 4-0, Marcellus Boyd (4th) 3-2, Austin Chapman 3-2, Angelo Markantonakis 1-2.
Key wins: Sommer dominated, as we would have expected, but Boyd made the semis and Chapman won three matches on the backside after losing in round 1 by forfeit. Is it over? Is the fat lady singing?
2. Choctawhatchee — 45 points at weight (258 overall).
10-7 as a district. Forrest Lang (3rd) 4-1, Luca Spinoso 3-2, Caleb Homa 2-2, John Bishop 1-2.
Key wins: Not so fast, my friends. Lang had only a bad draw separate him from the finals — he was the only one able to go a full six with Sommer — and Spinoso also had a good tournament.
3. Englewood — 28 points at weight (240.5 overall).
7-7 as a district. Mitchell Harris (2nd) 3-1, Andre Carter 1-2, JT Davie 1-2, John Blizzard 2-2.
Key wins: The district did pretty well, on the whole, staying fairly competitive in the hunt for second, with everyone collecting wins. We’ll see how Carter does next year — he’s the only non-senior who qualified.
4. Creekside — 0 points at weight (126.5 overall).
0-8 as a district. Colin Peaks 0-2, Zach Tillman 0-2, Conor Griffin 0-2, Eddy Leon de la Cruz 0-2.
Key wins: Well…there weren’t any. And I’m kind of stunned about that. Three of the four have another chance next year. But it makes even second place in a competition like this look like a herculean challenge.
1. Leon — 42.5 points at weight (354 overall).
9-5 as a district. Kevin Hilton (1st) 4-0, Jaycie Rudd (2nd) 3-1, Malcolm Clemmons 2-2, Josh Rodgers 0-2.
Key wins: That’s three consecutive weights with the most points in the weight class. Can we crown the Leons yet? Can we? Especially when you get a 1-2…it’s a big move.
2. Choctawhatchee — 22 points at weight (280 overall).
6-7 as a district. Joseph Cambron (3rd) 4-1, Hunter Clayton 2-2, Hunter Applegate 0-2, Ryan Wallace 0-2.
Key wins: Cambron did most of the heavy lifting, but the Choctaws still managed well enough to stay in second, even if they lost another 20 points to the Leons.
3. Englewood — 20 points at weight (260.5 overall).
7-8 as a district. Skyler Taylor 3-2, Sergio Jordan 3-2, Lucas Karl 1-2, Justin Griffis 0-2.
Key wins: Am looking forward to seeing what all four guys do next year, as all return. Taylor and Jordan lost to the eventual finalists in the quarters, and then both won twice on the back side.
4. Creekside — 23.5 points at weight (150 overall).
6-8 as a district. Tristen Barth (4th) 3-2, Stacy Murray 1-2, John Wilson 1-2, Michael Swain 1-2.
Key wins: I really didn’t know what to expect from Barth, as the one time I saw him wrestle up close was in a one-sided matchup. This was the weekend I became a believer. He went 4-2 with Hilton in the semis, and I’ve sung Hilton’s praises several times. And he became the first non-Creekside 2014 state qualifier from the district (at least in this inquiry — there might have been other qualifiers who punched their tickets a little sooner, in fact we’ll see one in the next weight).
1. Leon — 32 points at weight (386 overall).
8-8 as a district. Jerrin Gilmore (4th) 4-2, Jordan Nash 2-2, Nathan Meth 2-2, Riley McGill 0-2.
Key wins: Gilmore had a pretty good tournament, losing only in the quarters to the eventual region champion, and Meth had a nice tournament — I didn’t expect him to pick up a championship-side win.
2. Choctawhatchee — 41 points at weight (321 overall).
9-6 as a district. Chase Schoener 2-2, Shamar Johnson (1st) 4-0, Clay Witt 3-2, Cody Dixon 0-2.
Key wins: Can’t fault Schoener, he got to the semis and another district champion, but Johnson had a phenomenal run to the region title, beating two district champs along the way. And Witt won three times on the back side before running into a guy he’d lost to in rd 1.
3. Englewood — 9 points at weight (269.5 overall).
3-8 as a district. Frank Waters 1-2, Jessie Pafford 1-2, Josh Detrick 1-2, Joseph Garcia 0-2.
Key wins: Might take second place out of the equation. This was more of a struggle for the Engles than I thought it might be. I expect we’ll see Detrick and Garcia back a couple of times.
4. Creekside — 36 points at weight (186 overall).
8-6 as a district. Clayton Dennis (2nd) 3-1, William Rinchiusa (3rd) 4-1, Dakota Cody 1-2, Jason Geiger 0-2.
Key wins: Not surprised that Dennis and Rinchiusa made it out, and that they did most of the heavy lifting, and that they could, theoretically, help keep the Creeks in a battle for third.
1. Leon — 12 points at weight (398 overall).
3-8 as a district. Brandon Johnson 2-2, Christian Thompson 1-2, Robert Williams 1-2. Bye 0-2.
Key wins: Um, uh oh. The one thing that could hurt the Leons would be numbers (just five in the district); makes things difficult when you’re three-against-four. The Leons had two wins on the front side, both forfeits, and only won once in a contested match. Uh oh.
2. Choctawhatchee — 50 points at weight (371 overall).
11-5 as a district. Will Diamond (1st) 4-0, Avery Sisson (2nd) 3-1, Harley Meyer 3-2, Brian Haynes 1-2.
Key wins: Consider the battle for first re-joined by the Choctaws. Sisson really made this possible, with a quarterfinal win over Johnson, and Meyer had three wins on the backside, almost making it out.
3. Englewood — 14 points at weight (283.5 overall).
4-8 as a district. Jonathan Shoen 3-2, Barry Pierre 1-2, Chase Lasater (not available) 0-2, Ashton Haris (not available) 0-2.
Key wins: Two not availables makes it hard to score, and while Shoen pulled it together after what could only be called a wild match leading to an upset in the quarters, what he’ll do in the next two years should be really interesting.
4. Creekside — 43 points at weight (229 overall).
10-7 as a district. Jeremy Beaulieu (3rd) 4-1, Jordin Castanheira (4th) 3-2, Brandon Alexanian 2-2, Xavier Jones 1-2.
Key wins: Beaulieu pinned everybody but the region champ and Castanheira had a great tournament in reaching the semis with his wild-match-upset win over Shoen, plus the second of two tight wins over Meyer to punch his ticket for Lakeland.
1. Leon — 30 points at weight (428 overall).
8-7 as a district. Lucus Bradley 2-2, Fred Saliba (3rd) 5-1, Robert Norton 1-2. Bye 0-2.
Key wins: Better, even with the bye, mainly because of Saliba. Got to hand it to him. After being pinned in the quarters, he went out and won four times, including wins over the guy who beat him at districts and the guy who beat him the day before. That’s what being a senior and knowing it’s your last shot can mean sometimes.
2. Choctawhatchee — 46 points at weight (417 overall).
8-5 as a district. Chris Nash (1st) 4-0, Brendan McClendon (2nd) 3-1, Michael Zimmerman 1-2, Dylan Blackmon 0-2.
Key wins: The Choctaws are making a huge late push. A 1-2 can help make up a lot of ground, particularly when they add five pins into the mix. It’s officially too close to call — for the first time in a long while.
3. Englewood — 19 points at weight (302.5 overall).
4-8 as a district. Chasen Irvine (4th) 3-2, Xavier Nieves 0-2, Robert Smith 1-2, David Thompson 0-2.
Key wins: Third place is by no means a sure thing for the Engles. After Irvine’s wins, the only win was on the back side against the bye. Makes it tough as a group.
4. Creekside — 26 points at weight (255 overall).
8-8 as a district. Gus Fischer 2-2, Maverick Dennis 2-2, Hayden Good 3-2, Courtney Johnson 1-2.
Key wins: I thought this group would have pushed Englewood’s a little harder in terms of points, maybe even finished ahead of the Leons, but they got plenty of wins. I don’t know the Bartram kids too well yet, and I understand how big football is there, but I wish Good would give wrestling a full season’s shot. Think he would have qualified for Lakeland. He still can next year.
1. Choctawhatchee — 41 points at weight (458 overall).
10-7 as a district. Tres’ Dawson (3rd) 4-1, Cody Leonard 2-2, Mycah Sutton 3-2, Matt Hardy 1-2.
Key wins: Dawson only lost to the eventual region champ and Leonard won twice (both with two extra bonus points each), but Sutton really helped, with three wins on the back side. It will come down to the heavies.
2. Leon — 14 points at weight (442 overall).
3-7 as a district. Jason Osagie (2nd) 3-1. 3 byes, all at 0-2.
Key wins: Obviously, Osagie’s were all key. But he couldn’t have prevented the Choctaws from taking over. I said, teasingly, the hardest he got pushed at districts was by 285-pound teammate Damian Loggins while waiting to weigh in. Being the only guy from the district meant all eyes on him and he did well. He could have used some help for this kind of “contest,” though.
3. Englewood — 47 points at weight (349.5 overall).
10-6 as a district. Devon Brooks (1st) 4-0, Kerry Hardine 3-2, Avery Wilds 2-2, Alex Richardson 1-2.
Key wins: The Engles are too far back to put a charge into second, but they did well here at this weight, as Brooks got bonus points three times en route to his title and Hardine won three matches by fall. He’ll have learned a lot from this after being one match short of state. Wilds, too, picked up a couple of wins.
4. Creekside — 24 points at weight (279 overall).
5-8 as a district. Rafael Lopez (4th) 3-2, Gregorio Torres 1-2, Matt Arnett 1-2, Matt Mechley 0-2.
Key wins: Lopez did his job, giving good enough effort against Osagie in the semi, and then punching his ticket to Lakeland with a decisive fall in the consi semis, but he didn’t get enough help from the rest of the Creeks.
1. Choctawhatchee — 31 points at weight (489 overall).
8-8 as a district. David Dubois 2-2, Joseph Pearson 3-2, Austin Vu 1-2, Harrison Kase 2-2.
Key wins: No qualifiers, but with the most of the firepower concentrated around the Matmen area, all the Choctaws had to do was hold serve and they would win, which they did. Impressed with Pearson, who went 8-6 with Creekside’s Cole Eubanks and 7-5 with Orange Park’s Christian Tejada. He’ll be a guy to watch as a sophomore.
2. Leon — 14 points at weight (456 overall).
4-8 as a district. Loggins 3-2, Marcus Zeighler 0-2, Gabe Beyer 1-2, David Musselwhite 0-2.
Key wins: Loggins did decently, getting to the consi semis, but the Matmen guys were too much, and I was surprised by that. Same, too, for Zeighler, who should be much better next year if he can be healthy in January. I think the time away was a bit of a problem.
3. Englewood — 63 points at weight (412.5 overall).
12-4 as a district. Malcolm Kirce (1st) 4-0, Tejada (3rd) 4-1, Kelton Johnson (2nd) 3-1, Demetris Harris 1-2.
Key wins: This is about as good as a district can do short of sweeping the qualifiers, and the Engles still took the top 3 slots. A big majority of the wins came with bonus points. Good sendoff for eventual medalists Kirce and Tejada, a showing of the future for Johnson and Harris had a win with bonus points.
4. Creekside — 17 points at weight (296 overall).
4-8 as a district. Eubanks (4th) 3-2, Jessy Moseley 1-2, William Lynch 0-2, Taylor Montroy 0-2.
Key wins: Again, not enough of them after the champ, usually. While a couple of weights did well, there wasn’t enough depth in the district to challenge in this kind of a format.