1A-District 2 meet preview
When & where: Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at Florida State University High School in Tallahassee. Finals are scheduled, per the FHSAA website, “immediately after prelims.”
Team outlook: At the outset, this was looking like a Wakulla vs. host Florida High scenario, and to a certain extent that is true, but the question now will be whether the Seminoles will hold off Suwannee for second, and they should. Wakulla put the last piece of evidence establishing itself as the pre-eminent team in the district with its win at Tricounty last weekend. Suwannee did finish ahead of Florida High at Clay Rotary, but the fully-loaded Seminole lineup should be intact for districts, and that lineup way outdistanced the Bulldogs at Raines 5 Star. Godby should outdistance both North Florida Christian and Rickards, neither of which was in attendance at Tricounty.
A note below: while we have records for Suwannee wrestlers below, we do not for the other teams in the district. Hopefully, next year, we will be able to track all teams with equal degrees of effectiveness.
Prediction: 1. Brandon Trask, Suwannee (33-7). 2. Ikeon Myles, Florida High. 3. Brandon Hunter, Wakulla. 4. Landon Kelly, North Florida Christian. No 106s for Godby or Rickards.
Snapshot: Trask (NE Matmen #8, 9th statewide) is the pick with a win in hand over Myles at 5 Star, not sure about actual outcome…Myles rallied with win at Tricounty, putting him in the driver’s seat ahead of the rest of the group…I would tab Hunter with more experience in the third-place match.
Prediction: 1. Larry Smith, Wakulla. 2. Chase Clark, Suwannee (23-12). 3. Florida High representative, either Delon Franklin or Mike Cerio. 4. Dalton Harrison, Godby. No 113s for NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: Smith (#3 statewide) will dominate this bracket, even as against Matmen honorable mention-listed Clark…Clark pinned Franklin and beat Cerio at 5 Star…whoever Florida High sends out should be well ahead of Harrison, who did not appear at Tricounty, that I can see.
Prediction: 1. Max Metcalf, Florida High. 2. Rolin Malik, Wakulla. 3. Michael Santangelo, Suwannee (11-12). 4. Marcus Lloyd, Godby. No 120s for NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: Metcalf (13th statewide) didn’t compete at Tricounty for the Seminoles and had an all-too-short Clay tournament, but was solid at Raines 5 Star and should still have the edge of Tricounty champ Malik…there’s a sizable gap between Metcalf/Malik and Santangelo, a 2015 state qualifier, but Santangelo is still trying to recapture lost time from earlier in the season…that being said, Santangelo will surely be no lower than third, and is capable of surprises.
Prediction: 1. Bryan Metcalf, Florida High. 2. Jonathan Hunter, Wakulla. 3. Tyler Ogles, Suwannee (12-18). 4. Braxten Marshall, Godby. No 126s for NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: We haven’t seen Metcalf (#5 statewide) since he won at Raines, but assuming that he will be back for the post-season, he should be the solid favorite over Tricounty finalist Hunter…Hunter had two falls and a decent performance at Tricounty, and I would see him ahead of Ogles and Marshall…Ogles could be one of those Suwannee tournament surprises this year.
Prediction: 1. Duncan Weaver, Florida High. 2. Max Owen, Wakulla. 3. Kenneth Foster (5-1) / Julian Borrell (17-13), Suwannee. No 132s for Godby, NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: Weaver was impressive at Tricounty, edging Owen (#13 statewide) in the semis and then taking down Chiles’ Logan Mellor (2A) in the final…still, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Owen take a measure of vindication…not sure if Foster, a 2015 state qualifier who had his one appearance of 2015-16 at Raines, or Borrell will be the guy here.
Prediction: 1. Hunter Royce, Wakulla. 2. Max Harris, Florida High. 3. Borrell / Foster / Terrell Williams (18-12) / Tanner Clark (18-12), Suwannee. No 138s for Godby, NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: This assumes that Royce (#7 at 145) is actually here; the ranking makes me pause. If he moves up, then I would just slide up Harris to 1 and the Suwannee rep to 2, with Ryan Houstan of Wakulla at 3…Harris had a strong Tricounty as well…Suwannee has a lot of depth options here, as all of those listed above have had time at or could bump up to 138.
Prediction: 1. Jake Richardson, Florida High. 2. Noah Breeden / Houstan, Wakulla. 3. Suwannee rep. 4. Zach Godwin, Godby. No 145s for NF Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: Lots of hedging here. If Royce is actually at 145, I would give him the 1 spot over Richardson…as mentioned earlier, Suwannee has depth options here, but it would most likely be Williams or Clark if it’s anyone…Godwin should be the 4th out here.
Prediction: 1. Joey Borrell, Suwannee (30-10). 2. Andrew Thaxton, Godby. 3. Colten McCulley, Wakulla. 4. (possibly) Marcus Haigler, Florida High. No 152 for NF Christian.
Snapshot: Borrell has quietly put together a solid resume that could put him in line for a states appearance, including an 11-6 win over Thaxton at Florida High’s tournament…the 1-2 have a sizable gap against the rest of the group at this weight, McCulley’s experience should be the difference over Haigler (whom I hadn’t seen before Tricounty) and Rickards’ Kyren Hasford.
Prediction: 1. Drew Hostetter, Florida High. 2. Billy Jenkins, Suwannee (26-8). 3. Cornelius Brown, Godby. 4. Tyler Cordle, Wakulla. No 160 for Rickards.
Snapshot: Hostetter (#9 statewide) has a win in hand over Jenkins (Matmen #3 and #7 statewide) at Raines, and home-mat advantage should come into play here…Jenkins has made a solid junior season after missing all of 2014-15, but it would be a very intense semi with Brown (11th statewide)…the trio is well ahead of Wakulla’s Cordle, who in turn is well ahead of North Florida Christian’s Jack Marsh.
Prediction: 1. Chris Surace, Wakulla. 2. Will Haigler, Florida High. 3. Logan Montemurro (9-16) / Charles Votava (7-21), Suwannee. 4. Aaron Hutcheson, Godby. No 170 for Rickards.
Snapshot: This should shape up to be a great final between #5 Surace and #6 Haigler, especially since we didn’t see that at Tricounty (Haigler wasn’t there). These two have a significant gap between themselves and the rest of the 170 group, I think the Suwannee representative might just edge out Hutcheson and North Florida Christian’s Phil Garner, but there’s room for surprises here.
Prediction: 1. Josh Strickland, Wakulla. 2. Jaden Merritt, Rickards. 3. DeJay Robinson, Florida High. 4. David Lunn, North Florida Christian.
Snapshot: First (and only) full bracket in the district, and the only thing that’s somewhat settled is that Strickland (8th statewide) will make it out…right now, on the strength of his Lincoln Invite performance, I’m tabbing Merritt for second, but Robinson can’t be overlooked and Lunn, too, has had a couple of very solid performances. They’ll be ahead of Suwannee’s rep (Votava or Montemurro) and Godby’s Jeff Jean-Louis.
Prediction: 1. Cam Brown, Florida High. 2. Andrew Annand, Wakulla. 3. Henry Smith, Rickards. 4. Nolan Kelly, North Florida Christian. No 195s for Suwannee or Godby.
Snapshot: Brown (3rd statewide) should be healthy enough to win this bracket, even if less than 100 percent…Annand did make the Tricounty final, and that performance is evidence enough for me to make him the 2…Smith should be ahead of Kelly for third.
Prediction: 1. Austin Beaulieu, Wakulla. 2. Marcus Mapp, Suwannee (14-14). 3. Brendunn Mills, Florida High. 4. James Williams, Godby. No 220s for North Florida Christian or Rickards.
Snapshot: This could be one of the more wideopen weights in the group…Beaulieu has the team pedigree, but Mapp was one match short of placing in a very solid Clay Rotary field…what could further complicate things is if North Florida Christian’s Jonathan Wainwright joins the party at this weight; if so, he would have a fair chance at the final or even winning. It’s certainly more open than 285.
Prediction: 1. Jacob Marin, Wakulla. 2. Rossie Williams, Suwannee (20-9). 3. Jonathan Wainwright, North Florida Christian. 4. Christian Patterson, Florida High. No 285 for Rickards.
Snapshot: This could be a fantastic final between Marin (#7 statewide) and Williams (Matmen #3, #8 statewide)…Marin’s the favorite, but Williams has closed with a fury and proven he can win in “on the road” situations…Wainwright should be ahead of Patterson and Godby’s De’Vaughn Stephens for third, but he could also be at 220 as well.