The Scouting Report: 1A-District 8

Welcome to another edition of The Scouting Reports. Here, we take a spin through what the entire state of Florida has coming back. More information for you, the readers, is what we’re all about at Matmen. We’re starting with the completely out-of-area teams, as we just ran through each area team in the previous 3 months. The plan is to complete all 48 districts before most schools start. We can only highlight returners from last year based on post-season performances and we can only know so much about transfers. If someone out-of-area was hurt or just didn’t compete, I just won’t know about it (regardless of what may be or have been posted on other forums). One new wrinkle for this year. We’re focusing less on the individual histories of each wrestler and focusing more on their matches with local kids, and we’ll have a couple of tidbits on each team to show that focus.

1A-District 8

2015-16 team finish: 1. Astronaut. 2. Space Coast. 3. Rockledge. 4. Satellite. 5. Cocoa Beach. 6. Titusville. 7. Cocoa.
2014-15 team finish: 1. Astronaut. 2. Space Coast. 3. Rockledge. 4. Titusville. 5. Satellite. 6. Cocoa. 7. Cocoa Beach.
2013-14 team finish: 1. Rockledge. 2. Astronaut. 3. Cocoa Beach. 4. Satellite. 5. Titusville. 6. Cocoa. 7. Space Coast.

Astronaut (Titusville)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 2nd at region. 2015 — 4th at region, 22nd at states. 2014 — 5th at region, T-14th at states.
Individual returners: Carson Kirk (sophomore, 106, district champ, region 4th, 1 match from state podium); Louis Cortez (junior, 113, district champ, region runnerup, state 4th); Connor Kirk (senior, 126, district champ, region runnerup); Luke Landry (junior, 3-6 at 132, district 4th); Jerry Begera (senior, 31-24 at 138, district 4th); Brendan Rubio (junior, 7-11 at 152, 1 match from regions); Nathaniel Newberry (junior, 30-26 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Tyler Storm (senior, 29-25 at 170, district 3rd); Javohn Maravolo (senior, 285, district champ, region runnerup).
Why knowing about the War Eagles matters: Carson Kirk lost by second-period fall to Clay’s Louie Gagliardo in the state quarters, and was knocked out of the tournament by Suwannee’s Brandon Trask (10-3) in the blood round. Cortez also took took two losses against the north, falling to Clay’s Chris Merring in the third period in the quarters, and also in the third period against Wakulla’s Larry Smith in the third-place match. Connor Kirk had more success against northern wrestlers, falling 2016 Clay graduate Dale Browning in the quarters and Florida High’s Bryan Metcalf in the semis. Finally, Maravolo lost by second-period fall in the first round of states to 2016 Clay grad Roland Samec.

Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-24th at region. 2015 — 6th at district, 29th at region. 2014 — 6th at district, T-24th at region.
Individual returners: Dantrous Harris (8th, 12-15 at 113, district 4th); James Griffis (senior, 126, 0-2 at districts); Troy Sawyer (8th, 4-25 at 145, 1 match from regions); Julio Escobar (freshman, 15-24 at 152, district 4th); Joey Smith (junior, 21-13 at 160, district 3rd); Ethan Padrick (freshman, 16-17 at 195, 1 match from regions); Hunter Gfell (8th, 4-14 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Why knowing about the Tigers matters: Smith eliminated Eastside’s Maxwell Tuchman from the Region 2 tournament, winning by second-period fall in consi round 1. Both Harris and Escobar were eliminated from regions by District 5 wrestlers, with Harris knocked out in consi round 1 by Trinity Catholic’s Collin Smith and Escobar falling to Crystal River’s Mathew Vargulish in the same round.

Cocoa Beach
Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-20th at region. 2015 — T-26th at region. 2014 — T-24th at region.
Individual returners (no season records available): Michael Watson (8th, 106, district runnerup, 1 match from states); James Herndon (8th, 113, district 3rd); Aaron Williams (junior, 120, 1 match from regions); David DeRidder (freshman, 126, 1 match from regions); Sean Verner (sophomore, 145, 1 match from regions); Ahmed Bouhali (junior, 152, 1 match from regions); Stephen Carter (sophomore, 220, 0-2 at districts); Cameron O’Conner (senior, 285, 1 match from regions).
Why knowing about the Minutemen matters: Marks the third year without a representative at states, although Watson — still in middle school at the time of the post-season — seems to be an eventual shoo-in to make the show.

Other post-season stats: 2016 — 8th at region, T-63rd at states. 2015 — T-26th at region. 2014 — 6th at region, T-29th at states.
Individual returners: Eriq Reed (junior, 25-17 at 106, district 3rd); Ryan Van Siclen (sophomore, 5-24 at 113, 1 match from regions); Garrett Brackett (senior, 30-17 at 145, district runnerup); Devica Thompson (sophomore, 9-15 at 152, district 3rd); EJ Krajewski (senior, 285, district 3rd, region 3rd).
Why knowing about the Raiders matters: Lot of graduation losses for Rockledge to overcome. Brackett began his region tournament with a first-round fall over 2016 Eastside graduate Niknil Lamba. At states, Krajewski lost in the first round, via third-period fall, to 2016 Episcopal graduate Conor Chepenik.

Satellite (Satellite Beach)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 9th at region, T-51st at states. 2015 — 14th at region, 26th at states. 2014 — 16th at region, T-59th at states.
Individual returners: Anthony Hopkins (junior, 2-11 at 120, 1 match from regions); Trey Ecker (junior, 1-12 at 126, 1 match from regions); Kolin Marsh (senior, 30-19 at 132, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Joe Scherer (sophomore, 17-20 at 145, district 3rd); Noah Mumme (junior, 6-22 at 170, district 4th); Jerome Altvater (senior, 9-11 at 220, district 4th); Joe Schwartz (junior, 25-9 at 285, district champ).
Why knowing about the Scorpions matters: 2016 Satellite grad Christopher Ralston was a three-time state qualifier and placer at 195 in 2015, but made a late drop to 182 for the post-season series. In that series, Ralston’s only intersection with the Matmen coverage area was in consi round 2, when Yulee 2016 grad RJ Adams won by third-period fall.

Space Coast (Cocoa)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 7th at region, T-51st at states. 2015 — 15th at region, T-27th at states. 2014 — T-22nd at region.
Individual returners: Ryan Vite (8th, 12-37 at 106, district 4th); Kristopher Niebrugge (junior, 24-26 at 113, district runnerup); Anthony Minacapelli (junior, 20-24 at 120, district 3rd); Legend Newsome (junior, 21-13 at 126, district 3rd); Jason Amato (sophomore, 24-24 at 132, district champ, region 4th); Reggie Bradley (junior, 19-13 at 138, district runnerup, region 4th); Corey Pepe (junior, 28-25 at 145, district 4th); Quentin Johnson (senior, 13-12 at 160, district runnerup); Johnathon Pankow (junior, 48-12 at 170, district runnerup, region 4th); Zac Viers (senior, 35-10 at 182, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Chris Pistilli (sophomore, 8-32 at 195, 1 match from regions); Isaiah Rivera (senior, 26-16 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Caleb Henzmann (sophomore, 11-13 at 285, district 4th).
Why knowing about the Vipers matters: Amato was 2016 Clay graduate and state champion Derek Miller’s first-round opponent, losing by tech fall in the third period. Bradley began Region 2 action with a first-round, first-period fall over Palatka’s Austin Beauboeuf, as did Pankow against fellow Panther Jason Gullet. Palatka’s Jamar Danzler (152) went the other away against a Viper wrestler, knocking out 2016 grad Pete Hyers by a 12-3 major in consi round 1 at regions. Viers decisioned Eastside graduate Camilo Moraga-Lewy in the first round at regions, 7-1.

Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-24th at region. 2015 — 12th at region, T-40th at states. 2014 — 15th at region, T-66th at states.
Individual returners: Jacob Gullickson (senior, 6-21 at 120, district 4th); Joseph Ramos (senior, 126, district runnerup); CJ Turner (junior, 1-10 at 132, 1 match from regions); Wyatt Swanson (junior, 138, 1 match from regions); Andre Jones (senior, 8-15 at 160, 1 match from regions); Nick Akimenko (junior, 220, 1 match from regions); Alec Valet (junior, 285, 1 match from regions).
Why knowing about the Terriers matters: Gullickson was knocked out of the Region 2 tournament, in a 12-9 loss, against 2016 Palatka grad Shade Ward in consi round 1. Ramos also lost to a Panther graduate, Dean Lowe, by a 9-0 major in consi round 2 at regions.


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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