Northeast/Northwest Florida Matmen staff report
Fourth in a series of four previews.
Host: Florida State University School, Tallahassee (colloquially known as Florida High). Take Exit 225 from I-10 toward FL-GA Parkway/Monticello/Thomasville, follow County Road 259 to a right on Four Oaks Blvd, then another right on Schoolhouse Road. School will be on the left.
Schedule: Wrestling should start at noon on Friday, with a continuous session going — 2 rounds of championship and 2 rounds of consolation will be completed on that day. Saturday’s first session typically starts at 10 a.m. Finals are scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday evening.
Here’s a look at the 14 weight classes, we’ll be following the same format as the 2A preview published on Wednesday:
Top quarter: Arnold freshman Ethan Pickren (3rd statewide) over Florida High freshman Ikeon Myles.
Second: Bishop Kenny sophomore Jack Delaney over Yulee’s Gavin Loring.
Third: Suwannee junior Brandon Trask (9th statewide) over Pedro Menendez senior Limuel Mallari.
Bottom: Clay freshman Louie Gagliardo (4th statewide) over Episcopal 8th grader Kyle Hopkins.
Best first-round match: Myles vs. Baker County senior Sydney Williams.
Interesting storyline: In several of the weight classes in 1A, one half of the bracket is weighted significantly heavier than the other. In the 106 bracket, it’s the bottom half that has the tougher road, as Gagliardo could face ranked opponents all along the path.
Overall favorite: Pickren over Gagliardo.
Qualifiers 1-4: Pickren; Gagliardo; Delaney; Trask.
Top quarter: Bozeman sophomore DJ Hanson over Bishop Kenny sophomore Garrett Tirado.
Second: Clay junior Chris Merring (2nd statewide) over Suwannee sophomore Chase Clark.
Third: Wakulla junior Larry Smith (3rd statewide) over West Nassau sophomore Jake Blount.
Bottom: University Christian sophomore Daniel Porter (9th statewide) over Arnold junior Alex Zapata.
Best first-round match: Hanson vs. Cole Cushman, Baker County.
Interesting storyline: There are three state qualifiers in the bottom half of the bracket, and like Gagliardo at 106, Smith might have to face ranked wrestlers in successive rounds after the first round.
Overall favorite: Smith over Merring.
Qualifiers 1-4: Smith; Merring; Blount; Porter.
Top quarter: Arnold junior William Pickren (4th statewide) over Yulee junior Dylan Youmans (12th statewide).
Second: Wakulla sophomore Rolin Malik over Raines junior Joseph Haynes.
Third: Clay freshman Dylan Taylor (7th statewide) over Suwannee senior Michael Santangelo.
Bottom: Florida High freshman Max Metcalf (13th statewide) over Episcopal 8th grader Reid Hampton.
Best first-round match: Santangelo vs. Delton Griffin, Bozeman.
Interesting storyline: There’s going (if my projections hold up, and a couple have already weighed in on the likelihood of that) to be a Raines 5 Star rematch heating up on the backside of the bracket at the bottom, where Youmans, Haynes and Metcalf might have to battle through one another in order to get out to state. That was pretty hotly contested a month ago.
Overall favorite: Pickren over Taylor.
Qualifiers 1-4: Pickren; Taylor; Youmans; Malik.
Top quarter: Bradford senior Jason Griffis over Arnold senior Alex Cao (15th statewide).
Second: Clay senior Dale Browning (2nd statewide) over Wakulla junior Jonathan Hunter.
Third: Florida High sophomore Bryan Metcalf (5th statewide) over Raines sophomore Jaquan English (6th statewide).
Bottom: Bishop Kenny senior Kyle Black over Bay junior Damien Stayer.
Best first-round match: Hunter vs. Bennett Zimmerman, Bolles.
Interesting storyline: The possibility of overcoming prior losses looms big for English, in particular, who gets a rematch against Metcalf — to whom he lost at 5 Star — and then if he gets through that a possible fourth meet-up with Browning in the finals.
Overall favorite: Browning over Metcalf.
Qualifiers 1-4: Browning; Metcalf; English; Cao.
Top quarter: Arnold junior Richie McClanahan (1st statewide) over Yulee’s Blaine Dorsey.
Second: Wakulla junior Max Owen (13th statewide) over Bishop Kenny freshman Andrew Slade (16th statewide).
Third: Clay senior Derek Miller (3rd statewide) over Bozeman sophomore Triston Tiller.
Bottom: Mosley junior Shane Ferry over Bolles freshman KJ Fagan.
Best first-round match: Slade vs. Brenden Bizier, Bishop Snyder.
Interesting storyline: I would pencil McClanahan in for all the wins, though the last one — against Miller — wasn’t all that easy to pick up at Clay Rotary. The top half of the bracket does appear to be the stronger one, but I would take the Arnold phenom. He should help pull the Gulfside kids along as well.
Overall favorite: McClanahan over Miller.
Qualifiers 1-4: McClanahan; Miller; Owen; Ferry.
Top quarter: Arnold sophomore Andrew St. Amant (14th statewide) over Suwannee junior Kenneth Foster.
Second: West Nassau sophomore William Tharpe over Bolles senior Gray Creed.
Third: Florida High junior Max Harris (9th statewide) over Wewahitchka senior Austin Malcolm.
Bottom: Clay senior Julian Summa (1st statewide) over Marianna senior Marquez Patterson-Rhodes.
Best first-round match: Foster vs. John Parker, Yulee.
Interesting storyline: Who is coming out of the top half? The chalk pick says St. Amant, and he’s certainly seen some tough kids, but Foster is a former state qualifier, Wakulla’s Ryan Houstan is tough, as is Tharpe, and don’t think that Creed can’t make the semi. It’s a really interesting bracket.
Overall favorite: Summa over St. Amant.
Qualifiers 1-4: Summa; St. Amant; Harris; Malcolm.
Top quarter: Wakulla senior Hunter Royce (7th statewide) over Arnold senior Dylan Tuttle (9th statewide).
Second: Bolles senior Conner Cronk (16th statewide) over Westside junior Delmontae Davis.
Third: Florida High sophomore Jake Richardson over Wewahitchka junior Burley Parker.
Bottom: Clay junior Keath Sawdo (6th statewide) over Marianna junior Max Martinez.
Best first-round match: Davis vs. Terrell Williams, Suwannee.
Interesting storyline: Does the Royce-Tuttle quarterfinal determine an eventual finalist? The rankings say yes. The gut feeling says yes. But that’s why they wrestle it out. There’s six kids that would like to prove that theory wrong, but both Royce and Tuttle have plenty of chops.
Overall favorite: Sawdo over Royce.
Qualifiers 1-4: Sawdo; Royce; Tuttle; Cronk.
Top quarter: Arnold senior Paul Patterson (4th statewide) over Fernandina Beach junior Joseph Helm.
Second: Suwannee junior Joseph Borrell (7th statewide) over Bolles senior Michael Surenyan.
Third: Clay sophomore Connor Green (6th statewide) over Marianna senior Christian McIntire.
Bottom: Pedro Menendez senior Avery Samples (8th statewide) over Godby junior Andrew Thaxton.
Best first-round match: Thaxton vs. Jarred Pitts, Mosley.
Interesting storyline: It’s been a weight class where some kids that started the season hot are finishing much cooler than they should otherwise want to. Who’s going to heat things back up and make a bid to grab their momentum back, and who is going to stop them?
Overall favorite: Patterson over Samples.
Qualifiers 1-4: Patterson; Samples; Green; Borrell.
Top quarter: Mosley freshman Jarkeis Bass over Bishop Kenny junior Nick Beenen.
Second: Suwannee junior Billy Jenkins (7th statewide) over Bishop Snyder junior Azim Hameed.
Third: Godby senior Cornelius Brown (11th statewide) over Westside junior Caleb Gibbs.
Bottom: Florida High senior Drew Hostetter (9th statewide) over West Nassau sophomore Chance Terrell.
Best first-round match: Hostetter vs. Max Worthington, Pedro Menendez (16th statewide).
Interesting storyline: I would guess Hostetter would be ready to go in his final appearance at home; whoever does lose that first-rounder is going to go very, very deep in the tournament. This feels like it could be a District 2 show, but who will make the appearance, or appearances?
Overall favorite: Hostetter over Jenkins.
Qualifiers 1-4: Hostetter; Jenkins; Brown; Bass.
Top quarter: Wakulla senior Chris Surace (5th statewide) over Marianna sophomore Cole Maddox (12th statewide).
Second: Episcopal junior Christian Rickey over West Nassau senior Daniel Hill.
Third: Florida High sophomore Will Haigler (6th statewide) over Rutherford junior Yakeif Duncan.
Bottom: Clay senior Caleb Steinmetz (7th statewide) over Mosley junior Dalton Childs.
Best first-round match: Childs vs. Forrest Andrews, Bolles.
Interesting storyline: Haigler’s convincing victory at Rickards for the District 2 final makes things very interesting at the end of the bracket, as they’ve had quite a battle over the course of the season. Surace should have a tougher road to get to the final, though.
Overall favorite: Haigler over Surace.
Qualifiers: Haigler; Surace; Steinmetz; Rickey.
Top quarter: Arnold senior Brian Girard (3rd statewide) over North Florida junior David Lunn.
Second: Yulee senior RJ Adams (10th statewide) over Bolles junior Caleb Calhoun.
Third: Wakulla senior Josh Strickland (8th statewide) over Marianna sophomore Stephon Gaines.
Bottom: Clay freshman Abbott Taylor over University Christian senior Michael Marshall.
Best first-round match: Taylor vs. Jaden Merritt, Rickards.
Interesting storyline: There are a ton of sneaky wrestlers in this bracket that I wish I knew more about — even the ones at schools I’m close to — Taylor, Merritt, Gaines, Lunn, Calhoun — and they’re going to be in the mix for a qualifying spot.
Overall favorite: Girard over Strickland.
Qualifiers: Girard; Strickland; Adams; Taylor.
Top quarter: Bozeman junior Ryan Kruger over Bishop Kenny junior Addison Glisson.
Second: Clay junior Kaleb Collins (2nd statewide) over Wakulla freshman Andrew Annand.
Third: Florida High junior Cam Brown (3rd statewide) over Marianna sophomore Nick English (12th statewide).
Bottom: Wewahitchka freshman Alex Edwards over Bolles sophomore Rushton Roberts.
Best first-round match: English vs. Jahcoassy Leo, Raines.
Interesting storyline: The projected final should be a Marvel vs. DC storyline — choose your preference wisely there — but what looks interesting to me is how the Gulfside kids might be able to take advantage of the rest of the bracket. Will two District 1s get out?
Overall favorite: Collins over Brown.
Qualifiers: Collins; Brown; Kruger; English.
Top quarter: Arnold senior Randy Koscak (6th statewide) over Bolles junior Justin Mitchell.
Second: Clay senior Jeremy Beaulieu (9th statewide) over Suwannee senior Marcus Mapp.
Third: Baker County senior Corey Paine (14th statewide) over Bradford junior Eddie McCormick.
Bottom: Episcopal senior Scott Dollison (3rd statewide) over Mosley junior Ashon Jackson.
Best first-round match: Mapp vs. Joseph Phelts, Pedro Menendez.
Interesting storyline: The most interesting match of this tournament might be in the semis when Koscak and Beaulieu have the possibility of matching up. Two very different styles, two very different storylines to their season, and there’s obviously the Arnold-Clay battle for the team title. Might be one of the better matches of the tournament. I really could see it going either way…but…
Overall favorite: Dollison over Koscak.
Qualifiers: Dollison; Koscak; Beaulieu; Paine.
Top quarter: Rutherford senior Anthony Hudson over Westside junior Tariq Hookfin.
Second: Wakulla sophomore Jacob Marin (7th statewide) over Bishop Kenny sophomore Josiah McCallum.
Third: Clay senior Roland Samec (9th statewide) over Mosley junior Dylan Rodriguez.
Bottom: Episcopal senior Conor Chepenik (3rd statewide) over Suwannee senior Rossie Williams (8th statewide).
Best first-round match: Rodriguez vs. Christian Patterson, Florida High.
Interesting storyline: In what must appear to be a stunning lack of consistency in the prediction business, the interesting storyline is going chalk on the one side and against chalk on the other. In one match, I’ll go with the one wrestler with a win in hand already, and in the other, I’ll stand that theory on its ear. It’s the heavies, man. Anything can happen.
Overall favorite: Marin over Chepenik.
Qualifiers: Marin; Chepenik; Samec; Williams.