1A-District 4 meet preview
When & where: Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Episcopal School of Jacksonville. FInals are slated to begin 1 hour after prelims are complete.
Team outlook: While the fashion is to pick against Bishop Kenny, the evidence is (all but) indisputable — the Crusaders should three-peat as district champions. What will be most interesting will be the three-team battle for second between Bolles, Pedro Menendez and Bradford, and whether the host Eagles can nab a top-four spot despite having just six for-sure wrestlers in the lineup. Wolfson should finish ahead of University Christian (too few kids in the lineup) and FSDB (too many young kids in the lineup).
Individual projections (unofficial Matmen records added)
Prediction: 1. Jack Delaney, Bishop Kenny (26-8). 2. Kyle Hopkins, Episcopal (32-7). 3. Limuel Mallari, Pedro Menendez (37-16). 4. Cameron Wiley, University Christian (14-11), if he’s at this weight.
Snapshot: I’m thinking Delaney (Matmen #5) might be being overlooked in the state picture, since he spent a lot of time at 113 and 120 this year, but don’t think for a second that Hopkins (Matmen #7, statewide #8) can’t win this title, as he’s performed well in big competitions this season…I think there’s a gap between these two and Mallari, but Mallari should finish third…Not sure if Wiley will be here or 120, as he’s spent about equal time at both weights, but should Wiley be at 120, I would put FSDB’s Christian Miranda-Reyes (17-13) as slightly ahead of Josh Bono of Bolles (10-15) and Wolfson’s Keayon Gray (10-7)…the thing with FSDB though is they have a lot of options in the lowers as well…No 106 for Bradford.
Prediction: 1. Daniel Porter, University Christian (19-6). 2. RJ Iglesias, Pedro Menendez (32-19). 3. Garrett Tirado, Bishop Kenny (19-11). 4. Ty Snow (13-1) / Reynaldo Suero-Perez (4-8), FSDB.
Snapshot: Although Porter’s schedule hasn’t had him see nearly as much local competition as in seasons past, he should still be the class of the bracket…assuming as I do that Iglesias and Tirado are on the same side of the bracket, that could be a very intense semi, Tirado has the experience but Iglesias turned into a solid spot by year-end…Snow has a great record since coming on late, but not a lot of contested matches…with the options FSDB has down low, could also see Miranda-Reyes here…I would take FSDB, but in a tight battle, over Bolles’ Dalton Posick (11-13)…Posick will be a wild-card in this one, but he is ahead of Gavin Carter of Wolfson (4-5) and possibly Murphy Dyess of Bradford (4-8)…I don’t project a 113 for Episcopal, but Hopkins has had many matches at this weight.
Prediction: 1. Antonio Urolia, Bradford (17-5). 2. Reid Hampton, Episcopal (18-19). 3. Robert Lazar, Pedro Menendez (14-16). 4. Johan Valentin-Sarmiento, FSDB (15-16).
Snapshot: Let the hedging begin!…might be the most wide-open weight in the bracket…straight up, Urolia is slightly ahead of the rest of the group, but only slightly so despite the records disparity…I could see Ryan Bell of Bishop Kenny (3-10), Hector Rosado of Wolfson (7-14) or Julian Morris of Bolles (6-16) making a bit of noise, here, too. The real wild-card might be Wiley, who has been at 120 often enough to give me pause; if he came up here, I would be persuaded to tab him as the favorite instead. 120 is the only bracket that has the possibility of being full, but only if Wiley is here.
Prediction: 1. Jason Griffis, Bradford (26-2). 2. Kyle Black, Bishop Kenny (20-8). 3. Bennett Zimmerman, Bolles (18-12). 4. Pedro Menendez representative, either Alex Wanner (3-2), Olivia Bordley (12-21) or Brandon Durham (8-20).
Snapshot: Am pretty sure Griffis (Matmen #8) — a state qualifier in 2014 — will want to rebound from a subpar post-season a year ago, but Black (Matmen HM), too, is going to want to defend his district championship…Pretty sizable gap between these two and Zimmerman for third…and just as sizable a gap between Zimmerman and the rest of the group, which includes UC’s Phillip Wright (6-17) and Connell Mosley of Wolfson (2-6)…As of right now, I don’t project anyone for FSDB or Episcopal, but Hampton could bump up to this weight, theoretically, and the Dragons have enough options from 106-120 that one of the bigger kids could go here.
Prediction: 1. Andrew Slade, Bishop Kenny (27-7). 2. KJ Fagan, Bolles (9-13). 3. Adam Wilson, Bradford (11-12). 4. Tyre Singleton, FSDB (8-17).
Snapshot: Slade (Matmen #4, #16 statewide) is a defending District 4 champ from Duval Charter, so he knows the district, even as a freshman this year…should be well ahead of Fagan, whose experience should be able to get him through to the final…It gets a bit murkier after that, as Menendez has some options it can send up with whoever isn’t at 126, plus Wolfson’s Sai Hassalla (10-10) has won a couple of bigger matches during the season…I don’t have anyone projected for University Christian or Episcopal at this weight.
Prediction: 1. Gray Creed, Bolles (20-9). 2. Sid Madison, Bishop Kenny (22-10). 3. Dylan Drow (11-7) / Andrew Hetler (19-11), Bradford. 4. Collin Tanner, Pedro Menendez (17-27).
Snapshot: The smart play is to go with the most-experienced pick, and while Madison (Matmen HM) has made significant strides from last year to this, Creed (also a Matmen HM pick) has been holding down a varsity spot for Bolles for some time now, could be a very competitive final…the Bradford rep at this weight should be ahead of the group for third, said group also including Cody Beard (2-8) of Wolfson…I don’t have anyone projected for Episcopal, FSDB or University Christian at this weight.
Prediction: 1. Conner Cronk, Bolles (21-5). 2. Hetler / Drow, Bradford. 3. Joey Cusick, Bishop Kenny (9-16). 4. Shane McManus, University Christian (11-14).
Snapshot: Big gap between senior Cronk (Matmen #4, statewide #16) and the Bradford rep, almost as big a gap between the Tornadoes and Cusick. Depending on the seeding and bracketing, could be a little bit of scrap between Cusick, McManus, Menendez’s David Soule (18-18) and FSDB’s 145 rep, either Sean Candelaria (5-27) or Taylor Lufkin (6-6). I project no 145s for Episcopal or Wolfson.
Prediction: 1. Michael Surenyan, Bolles (20-9). 2. Avery Samples, Pedro Menendez (45-9). 3. Mark Harrington, Wolfson (13-10). 4. Derrick Stumph, University Christian (14-12).
Snapshot: More hedging with this weight, though Surenyan-Samples, barring injury, will be the final. They’re pretty close (Surenyan Matmen #5, Samples Matmen #6, plus statewide #8) on the pecking order and might have to face off again next week with state on the line…in a tossup match, I’ll take the wrestler with state experience, but won’t be surprised if it goes the other way…going to do some hedging for the rest of the group, should be Harrington for third, but Stumph might just as easily be at 160 and if so, pencil in Kenny’s Jacob Williams (9-9) as the 4 ahead of Bradford’s rep (either Trevor Jones, 11-12, or Lane Gillenwaters, 6-12), UC’s Zach Oakley (3-8) and then either Lufkin or Candelaria if one of them is moved up here. I don’t project a 152 for Episcopal.
Prediction: 1. Max Worthington, Pedro Menendez (25-11). 2. Nick Beenen, Bishop Kenny (24-11). 3. CJ Grimes, Bolles (6-10). 4. Bradford representative, either Jones, Gillenwaters or possibly Jesse Burch (5-4).
Snapshot: With some time missed during the season, Worthington (Matmen #9, statewide #16) goes a bit more unnoticed in the Falcon lineup, but not by Matmen; his presence has made Menendez a much stronger dual team, and he should have experience to win out over HM-listed Beenen in the finals…those two should be in the final…what would make things interesting is if Stumph moves up here, in which case I would put him in for third and move Grimes down to fourth…we may also see Duray Tisby of Wolfson (4-7) in the bracket as well…I don’t project 160s for Episcopal or FSDB.
Prediction: 1. Christian Rickey, Episcopal (40-10). 2. Forrest Andrews, Bolles (15-7). 3. Chris Freiha, Bishop Kenny (8-14). 4. Pedro Menendez representative, either Brycel Myers (8-13), Carter Payne (7-8) or Alex Cathcart (4-9).
Snapshot: It’s been through sheer force of will that Rickey’s career has skyrocketed to a 40-win campaign in his junior year, as Rickey currently leads the Eagles in victories…Andrews has steadily gotten better, too, and should be the guy to make finals at this weight…I went back and forth for third and fourth, settling on Freiha’s consistent presence in the lineup as the deciding factor, but a good weekend by any of the Menendez kids should be enough get them out, as I see them as ahead of FSDB’s Jason Castillo (3-5), Bradford’s Chris Hart (9-9) and possibly Albert Quintanilla of Wolfson (1-5), who hasn’t been in the lineup since mid-season…I project no 170 for University Christian.
Prediction: 1. Brandan Anderson, Pedro Menendez (25-6). 2. Caleb Calhoun, Bolles (12-8). 3. Michael Marshall, University Christian (16-8). 4. Paxton Driscoll, Bishop Kenny (16-12).
Snapshot: Anderson (Matmen #7, statewide #12) has done all the work necessary to become a district champion and can seal the deal on Saturday, but Calhoun has seen a lot of competition, knows how to win and has been ranked himself before…if Marshall is at 182, I would list him third but he might better off going up, and if so move Driscoll up to third and push in Episcopal’s Freddie Dollison (10-24) for the 4th spot, but there’ll be competition from Grayson Montgomery of Bradford (6-7) and Keethan Seay of Wolfson (5-10)…I project no 182 for FSDB.
Prediction: 1. Justin Van Hoogten, Pedro Menendez (25-4). 2. Addison Glisson, Bishop Kenny (7-3). 3. Rushton Roberts, Bolles (14-11). 4. Anthony Hoyt, FSDB (9-15).
Snapshot: I’ve never gotten long looks at Van Hoogten (Matmen #8) but I think he’s been under-valued on the statewide scene, kind of like Worthington to some degree. I think he’s probably well ahead of Glisson and Roberts, but both of them have had some good efforts during the season (Glisson came on board somewhat later in the season)…what would complicate things is if Marshall is here, I could certainly see him qualifying minimum third and maybe even second, which would make the battle with Glisson & Roberts even more interesting…Hoyt is ahead, I believe, of Bradford’s Clayton Rhoden (12-19) and Wolfson’s Lance Schlecter (8-11). I project no 195 for Episcopal.
Prediction: 1. Scott Dollison, Episcopal (35-3). 2. Eddie McCormick, Bradford (19-7). 3. Joseph Phelts (12-3) / Joshua Hewett (14-6), Pedro Menendez. 4. Justin Mitchell, Bolles (13-9).
Snapshot: Dollison (Matmen #1 and statewide #3) begins his final march for a state title Saturday at home, where the possibility of pinning his way through the bracket is real…I think McCormick has taken great strides from a year ago, but depending on who Menendez sends out at 220 could make things interesting, as Phelts has been in and out of the lineup and we haven’t seen Hewett, who started the year at 220, in several weeks…could even see Jeansiel Candelaria (11-17) here, in which case I would move Mitchell up to third, and Bishop Kenny’s John Alexander (14-14) and FSDB’s Manuel Vargas-Jimenez (11-13) could be in play as well for the last qualifier slot…I project no 220s for Wolfson or University Christian.
Prediction: 1. Conor Chepenik, Episcopal (39-5). 2. Josiah McCallum, Bishop Kenny (29-10). 3. Jordan Luke, Bradford (11-7). 4. Ronald Brunson, Wolfson (10-10).
Snapshot: First, let’s talk about where we don’t have to hedge — Chepenik (Matmen #1 and statewide #3) and McCallum (Matmen #10), barring injury, will be the finalists — there’s that much separation…the hedging starts with Luke, who hasn’t been in the Tornadoes’ lineup for a little while now…also, who will Menendez send out, as either Phelts or Hewett could very easily be third in this bracket, and Candelaria could snag the fourth spot away from Brunson depending on how their matchup goes…even if Vargas-Jimenez is up here and not at 220, he could make an impact…believe Bolles’ Mason Yost (3-14) needs a bit more experience for now…I project no 285 for University Christian.