3A-District 1 meet preview
When & where: Saturday starting at 10 a.m. at Flagler Palm Coast High School in Palm Coast. Finals are scheduled to start 1 hour after prelims.
Team outlook: Last year (and I did the math on this) this was the toughest district in what was — top to bottom — the toughest region in 3A. So it’s going to be a brutal day for some kids and a brutal day for some teams. It’s going to be a two-way fight for the top between Matmen #1 and statewide #4 Fleming Island and the hosts, Matmen #3 and statewide T-5th FPC. There will be lots of opportunities for the other eight teams in the field to move wrestlers move through, but from a team standpoint it’s going to start with Fleming and Flagler. Sandalwood (Matmen #6) projects to be the third, with #8 Buchholz, #9 Mandarin and HM Oakleaf all probably running close behind. Expect Robert E. Lee to be in contention for the top half, and a strong day from Fletcher might result in a top-half team score. The only teams that might struggle, at least as far as team scores go, would be rebuilding First Coast and Atlantic Coast, but even there expect a couple of wrestlers to get out and shine, so everybody should take something away from the day, even though many high-quality kids’ seasons will come to an end Saturday.
Individual projections (unofficial Matmen records added, note that Lee records will be off by a few due to missing results)
Prediction: 1. Albie Snedaker, Fleming Island (37-6). 2. Alex Barie, Sandalwood (29-11). 3. Ryan Rosano, Oakleaf (31-5). 4. Brandon Cuevas, Fletcher (19-8).
Snapshot: It gets started right from the beginning here, as I’m not expecting any quarter being shown to some good kids, like HM-listed Jason Schwartz of First Coast (23-15), assuming he’s here, FPC’s John Johnson (18-18), Buchholz’s Bryan Perkins (12-15), Lee’s Jacob Anderson (19-19) or Atlantic Coast’s Zion Bradley (5-13), if he’s there…a Barie (Matmen #4)/Rosano (Matmen #6, statewide #13) semifinal would be very interesting, as Barie (according to sources) was up on Rosano at Clay Rotary, but then wound up being DQ’d out for stalling…I think Cuevas has enough to get in the door and move on, but if there’s a next best, look for Schwartz…I don’t think anyone is going to get past Snedaker (Matmen #2, statewide #8), who is probably one of the coverage area’s most improved wrestlers from last year to this…I do not project a 106 for Mandarin.
Prediction: 1. Avery Holder, Flagler Palm Coast (34-2). 2. Deandre Demus, Fleming Island (38-4). 3. Jacques Hale, Sandalwood (34-8). 4. Jaren Jefferson, Lee (20-6).
Snapshot: Assuming this holds up, straight up, this is what I see happening…should be a great fight between Holder (Matmen #2, statewide #4) and Demus (Matmen #1, statewide #3), and yes I do realize I have Demus higher, just feel experience counts in these moments, but won’t be surprised to be wrong…Hale (Matmen #7, statewide #13) and Jefferson are tops among the rest of the group, but I do wonder if Jefferson isn’t better served at 120, where he’d have a solid shot at third…if he were to move up, I would pencil in Fletcher’s Trent Dalldorf (HM listed, 21-10) or perhaps Kyle Tairovski-Romeu of Oakleaf (19-9, also HM-listed) as next-strongest…Schwartz of FCHS could also be here, as should Mandarin’s Jamison Harris (20-14), Buchholz’s William Green-Church (17-18) and either Marco Hunter (8-17) or Austin Penrod (7-12)…if Schwartz is at 106, expect La’kiyyah Steney (8-21) for First Coast…this would be a fantastic title match between states-placer level kids.
Prediction: 1. Michael DeAugustino, Flagler Palm Coast (47-2). 2. Jacob Sandoval, Fleming Island (33-11). 3. Vince Karl, Oakleaf (22-11). 4. Andrique Broughton, Buchholz (27-15).
Snapshot: Another Flagler-Fleming final projected, and while Sandoval (Matmen #4) has been exceptionally solid in his first year with the Golden Eagles, this bracket is DeAugustino’s (Matmen #1, statewide #4) to lose, and I don’t see that happening on the home mat…Karl and Broughton (both Matmen HM picks) have done well this year, but they would struggle with Jefferson, were he to be slotted in at 120…however, playing it straight, the next-best competition will be Mandarin’s rep (either 14-3 James Knox or 21-3 Chase Mattox) and Fletcher’s Rayquan Piper (20-7), making for some very solid consi-round semis. Sandalwood’s Leon Cruz (5-14), Lee’s Tavian Randall (3-10, assuming Jefferson’s at 13) and either Hunter or Penrod should also be here…Solid final, Sandoval can get out to states, DeAugustino though is looking to go high-podium…I do not project a 120 for First Coast.
Prediction: 1. Tracy Davis, Fleming Island (43-5). 2. Gant Moore, Buchholz (40-7). 3. Erik Sirmans, First Coast (14-3). 4. Trace Insalaco, Flagler Palm Coast (35-14).
Snapshot: Last year, two 126s got out from this district and all four went deep, and that should happen again next week, when FPC hosts Region 1…look for a great finals match between Davis (Matmen #1, statewide #6), and Moore (Matmen #5, statewide #7)…yes, I have Sirmans at #4 in the rankings, but this would be his first action back (IF HE’S BACK), and I think getting through is the primary concern…the schedule that Insalaco (Matmen #9) wrestles, plus home turf, puts the Flagler freshman ahead of Mandarin’s Tanner Brown (HM listed, 24-8), Oakleaf’s Ethan Gustilo (20-11), Fletcher’s Ivante White (15-12) and Lee’s Lamar Geter (20-22)…have not seen Atlantic Coast’s Christian Knight-Banker (4-14) for awhile, he’d need more experience to hang in this district…if Sirmans can’t go due to injury, I would probably put Brown in as the 4…I do not project a 126 for Sandalwood at this point.
Prediction: 1. Xaiver Sampsel, Fleming Island (37-6). 2. Tommy Howell, Buchholz (39-12). 3. Nathan St. Pierre, Flagler Palm Coast (23-10). 4. Hayden Raulerson, Sandalwood (23-12).
Snapshot: This is definitely going to be one of those weights where some really decent kids will be watching as the final and third-place matches take place, as there’s a lot of depth here…Sampsel (Matmen #2, statewide #6) is the solid favorite, but Howell (Matmen #3, statewide #13) has proven he can compete at a statewide level this year…still, with all of that, I wouldn’t be surprised if St. Pierre finds a way to make the final…Gateway champ Raulerson should get out, but will face some tough outs in whoever Mandarin puts out (15-4 Ryan Timmons, 10-3 Josh Harris or 7-1 Noah Colbert-Santana), whoever Fletcher puts out (14-9 Vince Hauser, 8-5 Conner Smith or 7-9 Matt Moffitt), 30-match winner Darius Wells of Lee (32-10), as well as Oakleaf’s Trenton Carroll (10-14), First Coast’s Quentin Jones (14-24) and Atlantic Coast’s Sir Isaac Demps (6-8)…it’s a full bracket and it’s pretty deep.
Prediction: 1. Paul Detwiler, Fleming Island (43-6). 2. Tariq Johnson, Flagler Palm Coast (32-10). 3. Cameron Bell, Sandalwood (33-9). 4. Ben Hogan, Buchholz (18-13).
Snapshot: Just some great matches in this one, starting as soon as a possible semi between Johnson (Matmen #3) and Bell (Matmen #5, statewide #15), with the winner likely to get Detwiler (Matmen #1, statewide #4) in the final…it’s possible that all three might get out to state…compared to 132, the depth isn’t quite all the way there, with the next best option of moving on being probably Lee’s representative, either Christopher Champine (28-17) or Aaron Base (14-14)…also in the bracket should be Mandarin’s Jake Kamins (13-14) or Jarad Chino (5-1), either Moffitt or Smith for Fletcher, either Carroll or possibly Tyler Digiacomo (5-4) for Oakleaf and Tremajae Johnson of First Coast (3-24)…I do not project a 138 for Atlantic Coast and possibly not Oakleaf as well.
Prediction: 1. Evyn Insalaco, Flagler Palm Coast (44-4). 2. Blake Delapaz, Sandalwood (29-10). 3. Dominick Belew, Fletcher (25-8). 4. Derek Elian, Mandarin (23-6).
Snapshot: There’ll be a slew of Gateway guys coming after Insalaco (Matmen #1, fifth statewide), but I think that Insalaco should have a pretty solid chance to repeat as a district champion…expect a tightly-contested semifinal between Delapaz (Matmen #6) and Belew (Matmen #5), as Delapaz won at Gateway and Belew returned the favor with a win at Clay Rotary…that one will be a monster…Elian (Matmen T-10) doesn’t have a locked-down trip to regions, what with Atlantic Coast’s Tywaine Rocheburn (20-10) right there ready to pounce on any mistakes…there’s going to be a potentially-full bracket, with girls’ state runnerup Christine Goff in for Buchholz (5-15), Oakleaf’s representative (either 7-5 Donovan Gray or 4-8 Elias Magloire-Martinez), Lee’s rep (Base, 6-12 William Guyton or 6-11 Dorian Bowden) and then either Daquan Wells (4-7) or Shelton Jackson (6-12)…one thing that has put Fleming at a disadvantage is not having a 145 or 152, if Ian Kincaid (10-7) can come back, he should at least be able to score some team points.
Prediction: 1. Kaz Maia, Flagler Palm Coast (42-0). 2. Luke Karl, Oakleaf (23-7). 3. Joshua Rivers, First Coast (33-8). 4. Khauriee Sullivan, Buchholz (28-15).
Snapshot: Like Insalaco at 145, Maia (Matmen #1, statewide #1) will be the class of the field in this weight class…however, Karl (Matmen #4) and Rivers (Matmen #10) could put on a monster of a semifinal…there will probably be some gap between the projected region qualifiers and the rest of the group, but should anybody stumble, Mandarin’s Blake Pruitt (17-13) or possibly Adam Spikes (10-14) might be best-positioned to take advantage of that stumble…filling out the rest of the bracket will be Fletcher’s Thomas Taylor (7-21), one of three possibilities for Lee (7-7 Caleb Zaccheo, 9-6 Caleb GaGe or 4-5 James Davis) and Atlantic Coast’s Seth Stratton (8-9). I do not project a 152 for Sandalwood.
Prediction: 1. Eric Vigo, Flagler Palm Coast (31-5). 2. Erik Kverneland, Buchholz (33-11). 3. Chandler Bell, Sandalwood (11-7). 4. Owen Beining, Fletcher (24-11).
Snapshot: Is this going to be the weight where one or possibly more Matmen-ranked wrestlers won’t make it out? There’s five ranked kids at this weight, led by Vigo (Matmen #1, statewide #3), who should be the solid favorite to win the bracket…Kverneland’s name has been mis-spelled all season, but everybody in the Matmen area knows him (Matmen #4, statewide #14)…one big question will be whether Bell (Matmen #5) is able to come back from injury; let’s hope so…if not, slide Beining (Matmen #6) up to 3 and move Fleming’s Gabe Lear (Matmen #7, himself coming off injury) into the 4 spot…and that still doesn’t account for a very solid Isaiah Mervin of Lee (32-10), assuming he isn’t moved up to 170 in favor of (likely) 2015 region qualifier Tony Belle (12-3)…we haven’t even GOTTEN to Mandarin’s Gavin Miles (21-8), Oakleaf’s Isaiah Graham (15-13), Atlantic Coast’s Uriah Ford (13-15) and First Coast’s Tyshawn Anderson (5-12)…this bracket is full and will be, maybe, the most brutal of them all.
Prediction: 1. John Martorano, Fleming Island (26-4). 2. Eddie Bryant, Flagler Palm Coast (27-19). 3. Julian Fix, Fletcher (18-0). 4. Max Beavor, Mandarin (29-6).
Snapshot: This is a bracket that just gave me headaches trying to figure it all out…Martorano (Matmen #1, #4 statewide), even hurt, has to be the favorite, but how healthy he’ll be is an open question…even just somewhat healthy, he’ll make it work…then it’s just a puzzle. Bryant (Matmen #9) is very physical, it’s easy to see why he spent a lot of time at 182…Fix (Matmen #3 and the only unbeaten wrestler left in the area) looked great in December when he was still in the lineup, but missed most if not all of January and the early part of this month, and how fit he’ll be is a question…Beavor (Matmen #4) has closed the season with a fury and could do enough to make the final with a good seed…Lee will have talent here with either Belle or Mervin…Sandalwood has Gateway champ Dillon Morency (Matmen #10) here, and Oakleaf could throw out Matmen #8 Austin Gibson (13-2), and we haven’t gotten to Buchholz’s Gerald Rushing (HM, 28-13) or First Coast’s Jacob Gaskell…for sure, at least three Matmen-honored wrestlers will not get out. I do not project a 170 for Atlantic Coast.
Prediction: 1. Ryan Smenda, Fleming Island (43-5). 2. Steve Canidate, Flagler Palm Coast (32-14). 3. David Johnson, Lee (27-6). 4. David Thompson, Oakleaf (22-10).
Snapshot: Smenda (Matmen #1, #7 statewide) should be the favorite to win the bracket, and I’m pretty good with how the rest of it shakes out, too…Smenda vs. Canidate (Matmen #4) would be the fifth Fleming-Flagler final if all of these hold up…still, though, do not be surprised if Johnson shakes up this bracket to some degree, as he’s shown the capability to dominate matches…if Thompson is here, he should be the fourth, although he might be able to place higher if he moves up to 195…should that happen, look for Buchholz’s Dylan Lewis (26-16) to be the fourth…Sandalwood’s Cole Friend (20-17), Mandarin’s rep (either 11-3 Andrew Hudgins or 2-4 Alex Watson), Trevor Spratling (2-7) for Fletcher and First Coast’s Trever Bruce (11-23) will provide depth in the bracket…I do not project a 182 for Atlantic Coast.
Prediction: 1. Jason Davis, Fleming Island (40-1). 2. Narek Stepanyan, Atlantic Coast (22-1). 3. Anthony Mascraella, Flagler Palm Coast (11-6). 4. Leonardo Alonzo, Sandalwood (14-13).
Snapshot: There’s not, necessarily, a huge amount of depth in this weight, and that happens when there’s a solid favorite in the bracket like Davis (Matmen #1, statewide #3)…Stepanyan, though, should pose an interesting challenge, as both wrestlers are most comfortable with a full-on frontal assault…from there, it will take somebody stepping up…Mascraella has the home-mat advantage and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes, and that should help…Alonzo reminds me a little bit of Scott Dollison when he was a freshman, and he should be the best of the rest of the group, but there will be some challenges from Mandarin’s rep (probably 3-2 Mateo Drury, but possibly 9-6 Ben Watkins), Fletcher’s Matthew Strong (9-11), Lee’s Christopher Telusma (26-20) and Buchholz’s Aaron Menden (15-22)…if Oakleaf’s Thompson winds up here, I could very easily put him in the 3 spot and be OK with that projection…I do not project a 195 for First Coast.
Prediction: 1. Jose Concepcion, Fleming Island (38-6). 2. Justin Haaf, Flagler Palm Coast (27-12). 3. Garret Aby, Mandarin (28-5). 4. Kurk Jackson, Atlantic Coast (20-5).
Snapshot: Looks very strongly like there will be another Fleming-Flagler final here, and lately it has seemed like Concepcion (Matmen #2, statewide #8) might have the momentum going his way…Haaf (Matmen #4) started the year strongly, and still has an excellent chance of getting out and going to state; I wouldn’t be surprised if he pulls together a title run…Aby (Matmen #6) might be better known on the football field, but he’s put together a solid season as Mandarin’s 220…Jackson has taken a lot of strides, too, enough to push past Lee’s William Morton (17-13), Sandalwood’s Dominick Porcella (8-17). Buchholz’s representative (either 5-6 Danny Lewis or 7-6 Jose Romero) and Fletcher’s rep (either 7-7 Bryce Bednarski or 3-10 Stanley Hollenbach)…I do not project a 220 for either Oakleaf or First Coast.
Prediction: 1. DeAngeles Harris, Atlantic Coast (19-3). 2. Brandyne Mackey, Fleming Island (31-11). 3. Vincent Ebanks, Flagler Palm Coast (32-14). 4. Demetris Harris, Lee (18-5).
Snapshot: I do foresee another Fleming-Flagler matchup, but this one could be in the semis, rather than in the title match, as everyone is going to have to figure out a way to get through or past AC’s Harris (#4 statewide), a two-time state medalist already…but it ought to be a very interesting question on whether Mackey (Matmen #5) or Ebanks (Matmen #6, statewide #15) will join him…Mackey’s won more recently, but Ebanks does have the home-mat advantage…Lee’s Harris — assuming he makes it out of the wrestleoff for the spot at 285, as he’s had some intense battles with Jordan Belle (23-5) — should be the fourth, but there are some very good competitors we haven’t mentioned yet, like Matmen #8 Chris Shauman of Sandalwood (17-6, who we haven’t seen since Gatewway or around there), or HM-listed Mark Sweat of Mandarin (22-8). First Coast’s Joshua Story (12-10), Fletcher’s Reid Odom (3-9) or Hollenbach, and Oakleaf’s Jesse Jennette (5-16) round out the bracket, as might either Romero or Danny Lewis for Buchholz. This could be a full bracket, and there’s the potential for ranked kids not to make it out.