Matmen Don’t Know: 2A state meet

Wrapping up the MDK Series with 2A, and then we’ll stay in 2A for the Who Won States? series.

Expected final: My projected final of Rubenacker vs. Monos did not come through, as I made the surprising mistake of not only not having a Brandon kid here, but Lane wasn’t even the dark horse pick for the bottom half.
Expected semifinalists: 3-1, with the only miss in the top quarter, as my pick lost in round 1 (more on that in a bit).
First-rounder: Tran v. Lopez at least was a straight decision, but 15-9 isn’t the tightest margin to be found. A lot of offense, so from that standpoint that’s a good thing.
Another good first-rounder: It wasn’t so great from a local standpoint, but DePaola’s 6-2 win over Smith in round 1 was probably the closest match of the round.
Local outlook: Smith was hurt during the first-round match with DePaola, limiting his effectiveness; unfortunate, given that the podium was a very real possibility. Cochran took advantage, winning three times — knocking DePaula out in the third win — to get on the podium. Cerillo got a very difficult draw, with Monos in rd 1 and a 40-match winner either way for the second match, and Vugman was mostly in the same boat, with the eventual finalist as a first-rounder.

Expected final: The projected final of Robles vs. Perry did not come through, as Robles did not compete. Sigh. That left the door open for whoever was willing to push through it, which gave our guy O’Neal his shot.
Expected semifinalists: 1-3, as Pereira — who I might have looked at as a finals pick had he been in the top half — also lost in the first round. Plus O’Neal pinned my semifinal pick. Give the kid credit — he knows how to shred my preconceptions!
First-rounder: As mentioned, Robles didn’t compete (my guess would be due to injury), so the Bond v. Robles did not happen.
Another good first-rounder: Most evenly-matched first-rounder might have been Rubenacker’s 6-3 win over Haase.
Local outlook: It’s still a whirlwind; I only myself started wondering if O’Neal’s title would be possible after he beat Bond in the semi. As one Twitter response I got when I posted his title effort said, “it’s a great time to be alive.” Yep. Sure is. I had hoped Samples would also get on the podium, but Porter was a freight train in that consi rd-2 matchup with him. I don’t know what the Tate kids were told Friday afternoon that had lost, but they were all breathing fire going into the consi rounds. Jackson will be back — state’s a big event and affects kids differently.

Expected final: Half of my projection came through, as Curtis got through the top half, but Irwin lost in rd 1. More on that in a bit. My dark horse for the bottom half, Smallwood, got there instead.
Expected semifinalists: 2-2. Still mostly sucking wind here. Elder, and not his first-round opponent, got out to the semis, and it was Harrington who got out of the bottom quarter.
First-rounder: Any 1vs2 in the first round should be a slam-dunk don’t miss, and Reid’s win (8-4) certainly was a compelling way to start (more in a bit).
Another good first-rounder: In addition to the Reid win, I would say the Adeclat-Opalensky round 1 matchup, which Adeclat won in OT, was also pretty tight.
Local outlook: Reid opened the door to a state finals appearance with his first-round win over Irwin, only to see Harrington shut the door with the overtime win in the quarters. Then he didn’t lose again, winning his second state medal. Curtis did what he was expected to do to get to the finals, but I don’t think many outside Lake City saw him winning — not with the top four kids all in the bottom half of the bracket. Martinson had a solid tournament, getting to Saturday and losing by just one point to the top-ranked kid. Four in the top eight is a pretty solid group.

Expected final: FINALLY a projection comes through. Huzzah!
Expected semifinalists: And a 4-0 on the semis! Huzzah!
First-rounder: The Fan-fan/Nicholls match was pretty solid as I had thought it might be, with Nichols able to pitch a 3-0 shutout.
Another good first-rounder: Both locally and from the score, Lucessi’s first-round win over Darr was a tight contest, with Lucessi winning in double-OT, 3-1.
Local outlook: I was right about Rossetti and Lucessi meeting with Saturday on the line, and that turned out to be a pretty good fight as well. Hendley, also, was projected for Saturday, and got there. And I said the best path for Wood would be to win in the first round, and when that didn’t happen, his route was going to be much harder, and that more or less was right, too.

Expected final: My projection came through. Huzzah! Two for two.
Expected semifinalists: 4-0 once again. Huzzah! Double two for two.
First-rounder: McHale-Chandler turned out to be not all that close…am wondering about the rankings there and how they came to be the way that they were.
Another good first-rounder: Scrivens’ 6-4 overtime win over Ejmali was certainly compelling, Cantwell’s 9-6 win over Yerk, also, drew some extra attention.
Local outlook: Ejmali will be back; I had hoped for more, and I’m sure he hoped for more than an 0-2 appearance…Pickett’s road was about as expected in a tough group…Belden had a tough out in consi-rd 2 and Cantwell also had trouble with the guy who’d eliminated Ejmali the round below. The rankings definitely felt somewhat off based upon some of the performances.

Expected final: My projection did not come through, as Williamson — the dark horse pick — tore through the top half of the bracket with two falls, including a first-period pin of my pick, and a major decision.
Expected semifinalists: Another 1-3 “effort.” Two of my picks lost in the quarters and one lost in the first round.
First-rounder: Well, Hendrix did deliver in a great first-round match with Stewart, winning 7-6. That’s a pretty great match.
Another good first-rounder: Vadyak-Thompson went 9-8, L’Abadie won 17-15 over Bourne. Those are wars also. All in the top half.
Local outlook: Thompson didn’t face Sanchez in consi rd-2, instead he got Sharbono, which was probably an even more-difficult challenge…Tucker battled in his consi rd-1 match, but in the Group of Death was really up against it in this quarter…Kraus got to consi rd-2 also, but Hendrix was very strong…Calonje gave good fight to Sharbono, but ID’d out against Sanchez…This bracket was just unbelievably talented.

Expected final: My projection did not come through, as Brandon’s Ridley knocked off my finals pick in the quarters, with wins in the quarters and semis by a combined total of 3 points.
Expected semifinalists: 2-2. The bottom half, like that of 138, was a bit more “chalk,” but two tight decisions knocked out my top-half picks
First-rounder: Koselke, who had no favors done by the bracketology by going into Lewis’ quarter, finished off the first round more quickly than I thought might happen, so it might have been easy to miss.
Local outlook: Krevatas got to Saturday, but just had no defense to overcome Weeks in the blood round…was glad to see Lee make the show, but he was more than slightly overmatched in this quarter…Jackson rallied nicely from the fall loss to Koselke, but Weeks wouldn’t be denied after his loss to Ridley…Johnson was very close to Saturday; he learned a lot about what will be required to make the podium over the next two seasons.

Expected final: My projection came through. Huzzah!
Expected semifinalists: 4-0! Huzzah!
First-rounder: Febus had the upper hand against Dickman, but it was a solid first-rounder nonetheless, a 9-5 Febus win.
Another good first-rounder: Mathis-Naimi went 5-4 in Mathis’ favor, also in the third quarter. Both of the second matches in that quarter were also competitive, showing how balanced the quarter was.
Local outlook: Grant showed he belonged with the most solid kids, as Ramirez did nothing he didn’t do to everybody else…Leon de la Cruz got farther than anyone else did against Ramirez, but it was a too-short appearance…Dickman showed a good amount of grit to get all the way back to the consi semi after losing in rd 1…Mantuano showed good heart to battle back for a consi rd-1 win and was competitive with a solid Perrow in consi rd-2.

Expected final: My projection came through. Huzzah!
Expected semifinalists: 3-1, with the only miss in the third quarter where my pick lost in the first round and nearly got a shot at revenge for that loss in the consi semis, but lost 9-7 in the blood round.
First-rounder: Nadotti-Burgess is a tough first-rounder, but Nadotti just showed how much farther he is than the rest of the class at this weight.
Another good first-rounder: Matches that might have been a bit more closely-contested were Veigel’s 7-3 over Pyle or Capo’s 8-4 over Jordan.
Local outlook: Rudd did about as much as he could do, both to get to the final and then in the final with Nadotti…Gerlits will have another year to get better and attempt to take a podium spot next year, as his quarter was loaded…Lee’s right there already, a year of weight work and solid offseason activity all spring and summer could get him finals-ready…Jordan had an unbelievably tough second match no matter what and it was just unfortunate he’d already lost once.

Expected final: My projection came through. Huzzah!
Expected semifinalists: 2-2. Can’t do worse than that when you get the final right, although one of my semifinal picks ID’d out and the other was shut out in the quarters and did not even get to Saturday.
First-rounder: Kosoy-Seidl was another 1vs2 matchup in the first round, and Kosoy wrestled like a favorite right from the jump (eventually pinning his way through the bracket).
Another good first-rounder: Hall went 5-4 over Brown in the first round, and Bolesta nearly was knocked off, but held on to take down Bordeau, 10-8. And then there was Shoen’s 8-7 win over Edouard.
Local outlook: I don’t think anybody was going to have answers for Kosoy, who’d cut his teeth against the best 3As for a couple of seasons, and Shoen had a fantastic senior year…Herndon hung in against a very good Parmenter in the first round, but had no answers for Bordeau in consi rd-1…Hoard stands poised to run this class or 182 next year after a solid fourth, with just one match he’d want to have back in the quarters…Brown was extremely competitive with both Hall and Seidl, dropping a pair of one-point losses. Tough way to finish.

Expected final: My projection did not come through, as my top-half dark horse pick, Nevitt, beat my pick in the quarters and then made it stand up in the semi.
Expected semifinalists: 3-1, with Nevitt the only gate-crasher not predicted to get through.
First-rounder: Well, it might have been close between Dennis and Richards before Dennis won the fall late in the third, but Dennis eventually got the separation.
Another good first-rounder: Burgess/Podaras was a 5-2 first-rounder, while Knauer won 3-0 over Kelly in his first-rounder. Thought that one would have more separation.
Local outlook: Dennis had a great tournament, with a solid quarter loss (5-4), two very good wins to earn his medal (including 9-5 over Knauer) and went 9-7 with a very tough Schield…McCalop showed me something with a win in consi-rd 1, as did Stith, but Stith was overmatched in the matches he lost…Lulias was in a tough spot as well without a win in the first round, because Dennis came down to his part of the consi bracket after his loss.

Expected final: My projection did not come through, as my picks — who’d both spent mosgt of the year at 220 — both fell before the finals (They did meet later, and it was tough as nails).
Expected semifinalists: 3-1 with the only miss in the top quarter.
First-rounder: I was right about Davidofsky v. McDonald being a battle, it went McDonald’s way in a 5-3 win.
Another good first-rounder: Castanheira/Norris was also hard-fought, with Matanzas taking a 2-1 win.
Local outlook: After Fischer’s loss, he showed great fortitude to overcome two solid opponents to clinch a medal, hung in 7-6 with the kid who’d been the top-ranked 220 for most of the season and closed out a great District 4 rivalry in his last match…Jackson has two years to put it all together, he looks a lot like where Shoen was two years ago. Could just be unbelievable by 2018…McDonald was just one scoring move from a medal, and Castanheira had — other than one match — nothing but close ones. Particularly the top three were grouped so very closely by the end of it all.

Expected final: My projection did not come through, but for an overtime takedown. I was that close to a huz…
Expected semifinalists: 3-1. Huz…
First-rounder: Northwest local McAnally got more separation than I would have thought, but it was a reasonably close one for a first-rounder.
Another good first-rounder: From the bracket, clearly Higgins-Meeks was a great match, seemingly going into UTB, and Root’s 6-4 win over Rene was another solid one.
Local outlook: Grant performed well, with only a fall to the eventual champion on the front side…Wilds just seemed overmatched in this group, which had some of the best in the class…McAnally was very close to the semis and just ground his way through the consis to get the medal that he’d shown, all season, he had the talent to earn…Meeks did well to score a win on the consi side.

Expected final: My projection came through. Huzzah!
Expected semifinalists: 3-1, with Columbia’s Zeighler defying all the predictions and taking the medal.
First-rounder: The Podaras/Smith match was a good one, with Smith winning 6-3, but there may have been others to join it.
Another good first-rounder: A pair of 2-1s might have rivaled it, with Santos overcoming Singer and Zeighler winning over Ortega.
Local outlook: For my first very good look at Beyer, he’s just incredibly capable of winning the leverage battle; Delago was enormously tall and strong, but Beyer was able to overcome. I will look forward to seeing how he does at Arizona State…Pearson will have gained a great deal of experience and between him and Wakulla’s Marin, could run the northwest…Johnson has been so fun to watch for 3 years, it was great to see him come back dominant after the loss to Delago (JORDAN…give my son some shot pointers, he’s the bigger of the two Stanton freshmen)…Zeighler does not look like much compared to some of the monsters in this weight (even locally, like Beyer and Johnson), but the great thing I’ve seen about him this year is that he was completely unwilling to give anybody anything. He grew a lot.

As for my picking skills…did they grow a lot? No. They did not. 6-8 on finals projections. 38-18 on semifinalist picks. That’s just disappointing.

Say it with me now…

You know nothing, Matman.

So that’s the state tournament. Sort of. I do want to know which region won states and which district won regions. We’ll start that activity up on Wednesday and we’ll stay in 2A to begin.


I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in 2011. But as I thought I had in 1992, I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. New initiative this year is to create a space on my sites where ALL Florida results can be stored, searched, reviewed and used by my readers, with NO COST TO THEM.

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