1A-District 4 preview capsule

1A-District 4
Team synopsis: Last year, this district was an absolute fight from start to finish. Bishop Kenny did some creative lineup juggling, got some strong performances and had a bellwether leader on the mat that helped the Crusaders overcome
strong challenges from Bolles and University Christian and win the title. But there were points during the course of the day when anyone might have won this thing — Bolles looked like a lock halfway through the day.

This year could be even messier. In fact, I will just come out and say I expect that.

Why? Because here more than in any other district, star power is what may be the difference. All three of last year’s top 3 teams had significant graduation losses to overcome at the start of this season. Bolles, University Christian,
Bradford, Episcopal and Providence all had numbers issues a year ago. I would have expected FSDB to put together a team that could take care of business and maybe surprise its way to the title, but I’ve already heard about roster issues
there. Duval Charter may still be (at least) a year away, but they’re a team on the move. Pedro Menendez also had some graduation hits after losing several wrestlers midway through the season. Wolfson is still so very young, and they’ve
lost their top wrestler from a year ago.

Projected finish: 1. Bolles. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. FSDB. 4. University Christian. 5. Bradford. 6. Duval Charter. 7. Providence. 8. Episcopal. 9. Pedro Menendez. 10. Wolfson.

Bishop Kenny Crusaders
Coach: Paul Schloth, 6th year in position.
2013-14: 10-9 in duals. 2nd at Rob Bierman Invite, 19th at Capital City Classic, 11th at GCS Rotary, 1A-District 4 champ, 8th at 1A-Region 1 meet, T-25th at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Alexander Condoroteanu-oroveanu (district runnerup, 16-8 at 285 in 13-14), Nick Toney (district champ, region 3rd, 31-10 at 120 in 13-14), Colin Warren (district 4th, 5-8 at 145 in 13-14).
Juniors: Kyle Black (district runnerup, 4-9 at 132 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Ryan Timmons (district runnerup, 21-13 at 106 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: If the Crusaders find some middles to go with bookends, they could be solid again. There’s a fair amount of returning skill in this lineup.

Bolles Bulldogs
Coach: Matt Morris, 27th year in position.
2013-14: Dual record unknown. 7th at Rob Bierbaum Invite, 17th at Westside Kiwanis, T-46th at Seahawk Slam (GA), 30th at GCS Rotary, 20th at Palm Coast Rotary, 2nd at 1A-District 4 meet, 12th at 1A-Region 1 meet, T-31st at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Josh Calhoun (district champ, region champ, 3rd at state; 37-5 at 132 in 13-14).
Juniors: Gray Creed (district 4th, 17-16 at 126 in 13-14), Connor Cronk (district champ, 14-8 at 138 in 13-14), Jordan Jackson (district 4th, 11-8 at 220 in 13-14), Michael Surenyan (district runnerup, 15-11 at 145 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Caleb Calhoun (district 3rd, 18-12 at 195 in 13-14).
8th: KJ Fagan (district 4th, 11-6 at 106 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Bulldogs usually start slowly and finish fast. Calhoun is one of just two top-ranked wrestlers statewide, and he’ll benefit immensely from being in the most crowded weight class locally last year.

Bradford Tornadoes
Coach: Bryce Archer, 1st year in position.
2013-14: 4th at 1A-District 4 meet, 10th at 1A-Region 1 meet, 27th at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Clay Hicks (6-18 at 138 in 13-14), Shayne Kahakua-Lodivero (district champ, region 4th, 24-11 at 106 in 13-14).
Juniors: Jason Griffis (district champ, region 3rd, 32-7 at 113 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Bradford’s ace has graduated, but the Tornadoes still have solid kids in the lower weights. If they can figure out their numbers issue, they could be a factor in the district race.

Duval Charter Panthers
Coach: Brian Adkins, 2nd year in position.
2013-14: 9-25 in duals. 10th at Optimist Invitational, 7th at 1A-District 4 meet, 27th at 1A-Region 1 meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Juniors: Ben Fitzpatrick (district 3rd, 20-16 at 138 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Andrew Duchaussee (11-26 at 145 in 13-14), Hunter Lawson (25-15 at 120 in 13-14), Blaise Puig (19-19 at 132 in 13-14).
Freshmen: Ethan Barry (6-13 at 145 in 13-14), Chris Duchaussee (13-10 at 126 in 13-14). Daniel Porter (district runnerup, 33-9 at 113 in 13-14).
8th: James Allinson (1-17 at 145 in 13-14), Andrew Slade (24-10 at 106 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Panthers are building for the future, a brick at a time. Lots of bricks get added this year, and I foresee more region qualifiers for Duval Charter as a result.

Episcopal Eagles
Coach: Mike Rickey, 2nd year in position.
2013-14: 7-8 in duals. 6th at Rob Bierman Invite, 8th at 1A-District 4 meet, 28th at 1A-Region 1 meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Juniors: Conor Chepenik (district 3rd, 14-6 at 220 in 13-14), Travis Williams (7-10 at 285 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Connor Evans (8-7 at 120 in 13-14), Christian Rickey (11-9 at 138 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Don’t be surprised if the Eagles take several steps forward. Sophomore transfer Chase Lasater (Orange Park) will give a boost to a rapidly-improving upper-weight group.

Florida School for the Deaf & Blind Dragons
Coach: Travis Homewood, 1st year in position.
2013-14: 20-2 in duals. 5th at Rob Bierbaum Invite, 10th at Billy Saylor Invite, 5th at 1A-District 4 meet, 25th at 1A-Region 1 meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Wesley Homewood (district 3rd, 28-10 at 160 in 13-14), Marcus Maldonado (district runnerup, 23-12 at 138 in 13-14), AJ Rice (district 4th, 22-9 at 120 in 13-14), Nick Stanfield (7-21 at 152 in 13-14).
Juniors: Jordan Philyor (13-12 at 220 in 13-14), Imed Touahri (district 3rd, 19-13 at 182 in 13-14).
8th: Diego Garcia (14-14 at 106 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: I don’t mind telling you these guys are my favorites; you try wrestling without being able to see or hear as you do now. But FSDB proved they’re not just a novelty with 20 dual wins, and might pull off the feat again.

Pedro Menendez Falcons
Coach: Jason McFarlane, 1st year in position.
2013-14: 9-16 in duals. 5th at St Johns River Conference, 11th at Westside Kiwanis, 14th at Palm Coast Rotary, 6th at 1A-District 4 meet, 11th at 1A-Region 1 meet, T-43rd at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Nicholas DiGregorio (16-14 at 138 in 13-14), Rodney Padgett (district champ, region 4th, 35-9 at 152 in 13-14).
Juniors: Brandon Anderson (5-15 at 170 in 13-14), Brandon Gardner (10-22 at 106 in 13-14), Jonathan Samples (8-15 at 160 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: It was a dream post-season for the Falcons a year ago, with four state qualifiers and one placewinner. That will be tough to duplicate, but Menendez showed dual strength at times even before the tournament run in February.

Providence Stallions
Coach: Justin Daniels, 4th year in position.
2013-14: 2-12 in duals. 13th at Optimist Invitational, 31st at Palm Coast Rotary, T-35th at Ippolito Invite, 9th at 1A-District 4 meet, 24th at 1A-Region 1 meet, T-66th at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Max Cobb (district champ, region 3rd, 26-9 at 220 in 13-14), Ty Merry (district 3rd, 20-11 at 170 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Aaron Smith (district 4th, 6-9 at 182 in 13-14).
Freshmen: Evan Merry (12-12 at 126 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Cobb was one of the surprises of last year, but then, he had a chance to face the best at Brandon’s IBT tournament last year. With some very solid 220s right in his district, he doesn’t have far to look for competition.

University Christian Christians
Coach: Kevin Wiley, 2nd year in position.
2013-14: 12-2 in duals. 1st at Rob Bierman Invite, T-12th at Capital City Classic, 7th at Lyman Invite, 4th at GCS Rotary, 7th at Palm Coast Rotary, 3rd at 1A-District 4 meet, 3rd at 1A-Region 1 meet, 7th at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: David Trigg (district runnerup, region runnerup, 27-10 at 220 in 13-14).
Juniors: Michael Marshall (10-6 at 170 in 13-14).
8th: Derrick Stumph (10-13 at 113 in 13-14), Cameron Wiley (district 3rd, 16-14 at 106 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s take: Trigg is one of the area’s best at 220, and youthful experience is at the other bookend, but it’s the middle where the Christians might struggle this year. Numbers were also an issue at times in 2013-14.

Wolfson Wolfpack
Coach: Scott Marabell, 2nd year in position.
2013-14: 7-10 in duals. 11th at Optimist Invitational, 15th at Gateway Conference, 10th at 1A-District 4 meet, 21st at 1A-Region 1 meet, 39th at 1A state meet.
Returning starters (15+ matches):
Seniors: Charles Kessinger (15-12 at 126 in 13-14), Rafeal Leon (8-7 at 182 in 13-14).
Juniors: Joao Celso (9-20 at 160 in 13-14), DeAngeles Harris (district 3rd, region 3rd, 5th at 1A state meet, 26-7 in 13-14), Quetin O’Berry (7-9 at 106 in 13-14).
Sophomores: Joseph Brokaw (4-18 at 220 in 13-14), Joshua Cade (8-7 at 132 in 13-14), Jorge Hernandez (9-11 at 132 in 13-14), Albert Quintanilla (7-10 at 145 in 13-14), Nassiem Waitley (6-16 at 195 in 13-14).
NEFLM’s edited take: We’d been told Harris was at University Christian, but Coach Marabell noted otherwise. Either way, he’s a force, and a threat to win at every level. Still a young team, still a work in progress. Several returners will need to take a large step forward.

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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