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.
2015-16 team finish: 1. South Dade. 2. Southridge. 3. Palmetto. 4. Killian. 5. Coral Reef. 6. Homestead.
2014-15 team finish: 1. South Dade. 2. Southridge. 3. Palmetto. 4. Coral Reef. 5. Killian. 6. Ferguson. 7. Sunset. 8. Varela.
2013-14 team finish: 1. South Dade. 2. Southridge. 3. Palmetto. 4. Coral Reef. 5. Ferguson. 6. Killian. 7. Varela. 8. Sunset.
Coral Reef (Miami)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 15th at region, T-71st at states. 2015 — 19th at region. 2014 — 13th at region.
Individual returners: Pablo Diaz (sophomore, 19-25 at 106, district 4th); Samantha Smith (senior, 9-21 at 113, 1 match from regions); Qifeng Zhu (sophomore, 11-22 at 120, 1 match from regions); Brandon Maloney (junior, 15-18 at 126, district 4th); Zach Polumbo (junior, 6-13 at 132, 1 match from regions); Leonel Hernandez (junior, 13-26 at 138, district 4th); Matthew Porry (sophomore, 18-18 at 145, district 3rd); Leonard Wooten (junior, 25-19 at 182, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Timothy Whiddon (senior, 15-18 at 220, district 4th).
Why knowing about the Barracudas matters: No returning state qualifiers for Coral Reef, with Wooten losing in the first round and then winning three in a row to give himself a shot at Kissimmee. The Barracudas were represented there by 2016 graduate Jason Kaercher, who was 0-2 in the tournament, with no matches against Region 1 opposition.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 31st at region. 2015 — 2nd at 2A-District 16, 6th at 2A-Region 4, T-27th at 2A states. 2014 — 2nd at 2A-District 16, 3rd at 2A-Region 4, 16th at 2A states.
Individual returners: Travon Brown (junior, 9-9 at 106, 1 match from regions); Taderius Robinson (senior, 4-7 at 170, district 4th).
Why knowing about the Broncos matters: Moving into 3A was very much a downer for Homestead, which was beaten well out of sight even for fifth place and only scored two points at regions. 2016 graduate Jaelin De Lee had the Broncos’ only win at Region 4, with a first-round win by decision. Numbers are a very big problem for this program.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 10th at region, 24th at states. 2015 — 20th at region, T-68th at states. 2014 — 22nd at region.
Individual returners: Ryan Boncamper (senior, 34-9 at 106, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 4th); Alejandro Torrez-Cortez (senior, 24-12 at 113, district 4th); Ryan Barrios (senior, 16-14 at 120, district 4th); Giancarlo Fuentes (sophomore, 11-12 at 126, 1 match from regions); Ryan Garcia (sophomore, 12-14 at 132, district 4th); Eric Torres (senior, 13-16 at 152, 1 match from regions); Alejandro Gil (junior, 10-21 at 160, district 4th); Marshal Sweet (senior, 27-8 at 182, district 3rd, region 4th); Giovanny Mentor (senior, 32-9 at 220, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1 match from state podium); Trayvonne Jackson (junior, 28-7 at 285, district 3rd).
Why knowing about the Cougars matters: Killian should be the favorite for third in 2016-17, with three returning state qualifiers. Boncamper lost in the first round to eventual finalist Chris Fragale of Palm Harbor, but then didn’t lose again until the third-place match. Along the way, he pinned Fleming Island’s Albie Snedaker in the second period of states’ blood round. Sweet was 0-2 at 182 at states, dropping a first-round loss by tech fall to eventual placer Steven Mercadante of Sarasota, with no Region 1 matches. Mentor was 2-2 at 220, dropping a first-round 4-3 decision to eventual finalist Raimello Jackson of Wekiva; that was his only match against a Region 1 wrestler.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 16th at region, T-45th at states. 2015 — 8th at region, T-30th at states. 2014 — 9th at region, T-60th at states.
Individual returners: Carlos Flores (senior, 15-13 at 106, district 3rd); James Findlay (senior, 19-10 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); William Barrows (senior, 9-7 at 120, district 3rd); Jonathan Gonzalez (senior, 4-7 at 126, 1 match from regions); Cardeionte Wilson (junior, 25-9 at 132, district runnerup); Raftain Cain (sophomore, 3-16 at 145, district 4th); AJ Turner (sophomore, 5-7 at 170, 1 match from regions); Eric McCarthy (junior, 1-13 at 182, 1 match from regions); Keneth Spiller (senior, 10-14 at 285, district 4th).
Why knowing about the Panthers matters: Findlay led the charge among the Panthers’ returning wrestlers, but it was 2016 Palmetto graduate Romoan Chester (152) who picked up their points at states, going 2-2 and finishing one match short of the state medal podium. Chester lost to eventual state champion James Nereim of Winter Springs in the quarters, 12-3, but rallied in consi round 2 with an 11-3 major over Region 1’s Nick Sala of Oviedo.
South Dade (Homestead)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 1st at region, state CHAMPIONS. 2015 — 1st at region, state CHAMPIONS. 2014 — 1st at region, state CHAMPIONS.
Individual returners: Elijah Varona (senior, 60-2 at 106, district champ, region champ, state champion); Arie Reyes (senior, 54-11 at 113, district champ, region 4th); Peter Webb (junior, 46-9 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Christian Morales (junior, 14-7 at 126, district runnerup); Brevin Balmeceda (sophomore, 59-5 at 132, district champ, region 3rd); Joel Ramirez (senior, 29-11 at 138, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Todd Perry (sophomore, 46-11 at 152, district champ, region 4th); Corey Harvey (junior, 37-8 at 182, district champ, region champ); Chei Hill (senior, 195, district champ, region champ); Jason Geffrard (senior, 21-7 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Kyron Taylor (senior, 285, district champ, region champ).
Why knowing about the Buccaneers matters: Still the pre-eminent 3A team in Florida, and with seven returning state qualifiers (plus three that were just a match away), South Dade is still well-positioned to dominate the 3A scene again in 2016-17. Here’s a summary of the state qualifiers’ weekends:
Varona — Controlled the bracket to bring home the state championship without seeing any Region 1 wrestlers, but won three times against Region 2 kids, including 6-2 in the semis over Osceola’s Malyke Hines and 11-4 in the final over Palm Harbor’s Fragale.
Reyes — Went 1-2 at states, with a first-round loss by major against 2016 Lake Mary graduate Jeremiah Costen, 10-1.
Balmeceda — Lost only in the semis to runnerup John Locksmith of Osceola, 6-5, in an absolute war. He’d edged Winter Springs’ Cole Mitchell in the quarters, 3-2, then got one more match against Region 1 in the third-place battle, decisioning 2016 Fleming Island graduate Xaiver Sampsel, 2-0.
Perry — Was 0-2 in the state tournament, with no matches against Region 1 competition.
Harvey — Went 0-2 at states, with a 4-3 loss in double OT in the first round. Harvey was knocked out of the tournament by Region 1’s George Schanck with a late third-period fall in consi round 1.
Hill — Had two pins and two decisions en route to the state championship at 195, with two wins over Region 1 opponents. He decisioned Atlantic Coast’s Narek Stepanyan, 8-5, in the first round, and later pinned Fleming Island’s Jason Davis in the second period of the semifinals, winning the title with a 5-2 decision over SW Miami’s Adolfo Sotolongo.
Taylor — Like Hill, won twice by fall and twice by decision, pinning Region 4 rival Kyle Mann in the second period to take the championship. Taylor decisioned Region 1’s Tahj Glemaud, a 2016 Dr Phillips grad, by a 1-0 count, and then similarly downed 2016 Atlantic Coast graduate DeAngeles Harris in the semis, 7-4, to get to the final.
Ozzy Lugo (2016 Buccaneer grad, 145) — Scored bonus points at every round of the tournament, taking the final by fall in 1:09 over Orlando Freedom 2016 graduate Kurtis Aimable. Lugo’s only non-fall also was against a Region 1 wrestler, as he majored 2016 Winter Springs grad Xavier Maxwell, 10-2, in the quarters.
Aaron Flores (2016 grad, 160) — Flores lost in the quarters by fall to Osceola 2016 graduate Giovanny Bonilla, and then didn’t lose again until the third-place match. Flores pinned Region 1’s Kendrik Koller of Apopka in the first period of the first round.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 2nd at region, state runnerup (South Dade). 2015 — 4th at region, 6th at states. 2014 — 6th at region, T-28th at states.
Individual returners: Sebastian Sanchez (senior, 29-8 at 113, district 3rd); Alberto Mendoza (senior, 31-15 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Anthony Kinsey (senior, 49-7 at 138, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Johnny Lovett (sophomore, 27-15 at 145, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Luis Rios (senior, 46-10 at 160, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Zachery Mickle (junior, 10-12 at 182, district 4th); Darius Hamilton (senior, 44-1 at 220, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Melchisede Juedy (senior, 37-12 at 285, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 6th).
Why knowing about the Spartans matters: In just about every other region or class, a lineup like Southridge’s would bring home much more championship hardware. Even still, the Spartans should return enough firepower to pull together a top-five team finish next year, if not repeat as runners-up. Like South Dade, here’s a summary of Southridge qualifiers’ state performances:
Kinsey — Lost a tight 7-6 semifinal to Gateway’s Justin Camacho, and that was his only loss of the tournament. Kinsey’s lone win against a Region 1 foe was in the quarters, when he downed Winter Springs’ Dimitri Alicea, 11-6.
Rios — Reached the semis, where he lost to Region 1’s Max Wohlabaugh by fall in the first period. Rios also had a first-round win over a local competitor, decisioning 2016 Flagler Palm Coast grad Eric Vigo, 6-3. In the fifth-place match, Rios downed 2016 Boone graduate Jonathan Gomez, 3-1.
Hamilton — Dominated all wrestlers in his path but one in finishing third. Hamilton decisioned DeLand’s Raymond Hauerty, 12-5, in the first round, but then found himself on the wrong end of domination in the semis against Region 1 and eventual state champion Dylan Meeks of Dr Phillips, who pinned Hamilton in the third period.
Juedy — Went 3-3 in the tournament, with two of those three losses coming in double overtime. Juedy was 1-1 against Region 1, decisioning Winter Springs’ TJ Boyd 2-0 to clinch his podium spot, but then lost by fall in the second period of the consi semis against AC’s Harris.
Randy McCray (2016 Spartan grad, 120) — Brought home the state championship with three successive wins over Region 1 wrestlers. McCray majored 2016 DeLand grad Omar Garcia, 16-6, in the quarterfinals, then decisioned 2016 Lyman graduate Jake Semrad, 8-4, in the semis. In the title match, McCray held off Flagler Palm Coast’s Michael DeAugustino, 5-3, for the state win.
Jordan Marshall (2016 grad, 126) — Closed out a second state title in style, with a fall in the finals over SW Miami’s Franco Valdes. Marshall majored Buchholz’s Gant Moore, 15-5, in the first round, in his only Region 1 match of the weekend.
Marcos Perez (2016 grad, 152) — Went 2-2 in the tournament, losing in the quarters. He had no Region 1 opposition during the weekend.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — no postseason results per FHSAA. 2015 — 26th at region. 2014 — 17th at region, T-52nd at states.
Individual returners: None.
Why knowing about the Vipers matters: Hopefully this program can reboot successfully.