Update: Most finals are already on Trackwrestling, but not all yet. I walked through the weight classes. Exactly three wrestlers that made weight today saw their season come to an end.
1A-District 5 preview
When & where: Today starting at 2 p.m. at Trinity Catholic HS in Ocala. Finals are scheduled, per the FHSAA website, to begin “immediately after prelims.”
Team outlook: There are only two teams in the eight-team district that are even close to fielding full teams, so picking the top two teams is somewhat simple — look for Crystal River, coming off a top-two team finish at the Villages dual tournament on Saturday, to be the favorite to win the district, with Palatka running second. None of the other teams in the field have more than half a dozen wrestlers in the lineup, from the results I’ve seen on them this season, and I wouldn’t expect that to change for today.
Matmen-area team outlooks:
Palatka: Should qualify a sizable majority of its guys through to regions at Astronaut, although I don’t have enough data in front of me to suggest that everyone will get through. Best chances to win a regional title will be at whatever weight Dean Lowe wrestles (126 or 132) and the Panthers could also see Bryan Smith (195) make finals after a solid podium performance at Clay Rotary. Ira Dixon (220), Kedrick Davis (182), Shade Ward (120 or 126) and Marcellus Metson (113, although his lineup presence has been part-time) are also threats to make the finals, and have strong enough resumes that they should move on, even if a bracket happens to have more than four in it.
Interlachen: Not many wrestlers in play — four tops, from what I’ve been seeing of late, but all have a good shot to move on and at least two — the Hastings boys, Logan at 182 and Lance at 195 — have a solid shot of making the finals. Logan will have a tough go with Crystal River’s Eddie Bennis, while Lance recently got the upper hand against CR’s Jaret Flynn, but will also have to contend with Palatka’s Smith. Cade Mason has made significant strides and should certainly be a region qualifier, and freshman Julian Rivera (170) has a good chance to move on as well.
Eastside: With so many missing results this year, it’s been tough to follow the Alachua County Rams as well as I would like, but it has been nice to see Kenneth Vance return — albeit at a late point in the season. Vance has been one of Eastside’s top kids the last couple of seasons, and should be able to move on at either 195 or 220, perhaps factoring into a finals situation as well. Robert Taylor should have the ability to get out at either 152 or 160, and might be a finals contender, and Niknil Lamba should be a qualifier at 145.