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.
I’ve heard about a few transfers locally (on the Northeast side) that supposedly have already taken place, and a couple others that I’ve heard about that may be in process. What I hear about, and what I can report, are two very different things, however. And there are probably others that I haven’t even heard about yet. So if the information here is not 100% correct because of a transfer, it’s because it hasn’t been confirmed to me. Upon confirmation from a coach or from the kid transferring, I would be happy to correct the record — one of the pleasant upsides of doing these over the Internet as opposed to a newspaper-based format.
Remember also: “Returners” are those who wrestled in the post-season only. There are a lot of kids who were listed as “returners” in the individual school recaps that aren’t listed here. Just had to be consistent across 48 different district scouting reports.
Pro Tip: This would be a good time to tell me you’re officially transferring. You’ve got some time — either a few hours or a few days, as these will all be done before the end of the month — to let me know via DM in Twitter or Facebook instant message or at email@example.com.
2015-16 team finish: 1. Arnold. 2. Marianna. 3. Mosley. 4. Bozeman. 5. Wewahitchka. 6. Bay. 7. Rutherford. 8. South Walton. 9. North Bay Haven.
2014-15 team finish: 1. Arnold. 2. Marianna. 3. South Walton. 4. Wewahitchka. 5. Rutherford. 6. North Bay Haven. 7. Bay. 8. Bozeman. 9. Rocky Bayou CHristian.
2013-14 team finish: 1. Arnold. 2. Marianna. 3. Bay. 4. Rutherford. 5. South Walton. 6. Bozeman. 7. Rocky Bayou Christian.
(Individual records are as reported to FHSAA)
Arnold (Panama City Beach)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 2nd at region, 3rd at states. 2015 — 2nd at region, 5th at states. 2014 — 5th at region, T-16th at states.
Individual returners: Ethan Pickren (sophomore, 68-4 at 106, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Alex Zapata (senior, 31-8 at 113, district runnerup); William Pickren (senior, 51-6 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Richie McClanahan (senior, 60-5 at 132, district champ, region runnerup, state 3rd); Andrew St. Amant (junior, 40-24 at 138, district champ, region runnerup); John Lee (sophomore, 12-19 at 160, district 4th); James Woodham (senior, 12-27 at 285, district 4th).
Key losses: Alex Cao (22-14 at 126, district champ, 1 match from states); Dylan Tuttle (61-14 at 145, district champ, region runnerup); Paul Patterson (61-5 at 152, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Brian Girard (60-9 at 182, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Randy Koscak (60-7 at 220, district champ, region champ, state 4th).
Program strengths: A lot of talent remains in the tank for Arnold, which has a string of at least four district titles to defend and had pushed its way up to a top-3 state finish in March. Team members worked extensively on their craft this off-season, from Disney to New Orleans to J Robinson Intensive camps. Strong coaching staff in place.
Program needs: A LOT of wins graduated in 2016, and without an infusion of young blood into the lineup, the 2017-18 Marlins could struggle from a team standpoint. Upperweights, in particular, need some shoring up.
Why Florida should know about the Marlins: Arnold has pushed its program into the conversation as one of Florida’s elite 1A teams. There’s enough talent there to keep it in the conversation this forthcoming season. Here’s a recap of each Marlin’s state-qualifying weekends:
Ethan Pickren — Had his first post-season go undefeated through districts, regions and up until Saturday night at states, where he lost via major decision to Lake Highland’s Ryan Chauvin, 13-4. On the plus side in Kissimmee, Pickren had a tech fall over Gibbs’ Danya Jones in the first round and falls over Villages’ Kevin Rochon (quarters) and Evangelical Christian’s Matthew Malavsky (semis).
William Pickren — Went 3-2 in placing fourth at states, opening up with a fall over Astronaut’s Nick Lebeau in the first round. Pickren then decisioned Somerset’s Colby Singletary, 4-2, in the quarterfinals, but had less success in the semi against eventual state champion Mason Wohltman of Lake Highland. Pickren rallied in the consi semis, with a 9-0 major over Clay’s Dylan Taylor, but couldn’t overcome Bishop Moore’s Devin Kohn for third, falling 3-1.
McClanahan — Went 5-1 in the tournament to take third place at 132. He began the invite with a fall over Hernando’s Dakota Ellerbee in the first round, but then couldn’t find points in a double-overtime loss to eventual finalist Ashton Habeil of Tampa Prep, falling 2-0. After that, McClanahan didn’t lose again, with a 3-2 decision over Hallandale’s Kameron Maynard in consi round 2, fall over Indian Rocks’ Jack Pohler in states’ “blood round” or consi quarters and 5-0 overtime win in the consi semis against Lake Highland’s Kai Bele. He then outlasted American Heritage-Delray Beach’s Frankie TalShahar, 1-0, for third.
St. Amant — Started solidly, with a 7-4 decision over Northside Christian’s Nicholas Carbone in the first round, but then ran into eventual champ Alex Perez of Monsignor Pace in the quarters, losing by fall. Nature Coast’s Keegan Davis then eliminated St. Amant from the tournament with a fall in consi round 2.
Tuttle — His tournament at 145 unfolded largely like St. Amant’s at 138, as he went 1-2 with a first-round win over Indian Rocks’ Mitchell Kerr, 9-2. American Heritage-Plantation’s Dominick Venturi sent Tuttle into the consi rounds with an 8-3 quarterfinal win, and Cardinal Gibbons’ Osani Ley knocked him out on the backside in round 2, winning 9-4.
Patterson — Was 4-1 at states in taking third, reaching the semifinals behind falls in the first round over Satellite’s Brock Grant and in the quarters over Admiral Farragut’s Trayvon Taylor. In the semi, eventual champion Erich Byelick decisioned Patterson, 9-5, but Patterson would rally with 3-2 decisions in the consi semis over Somerset’s Juan Vernaza and in the third-place match over Indian Rocks’ Michael Gingras.
Girard — Like Patterson, went 4-1 at Kissimmee and took third, with the tournament largely unfolding similarly to Patterson’s. Giard pinned Lake Wales’ Willie Knighton in the first round and then decisioned Edward Bennis of Crystal River, 7-3, in the quarters, before dropping a 10-4 semifinal loss to eventual champion Conner Allshouse of Indian Rocks. Girard decisioned Coconut Creek’s Benson Dorvil, 6-1, in the consi semis, and downed Bennis a second time, 7-2, for third.
Koscak — Finished states with a 4-2 tournament record in taking fourth, with all of his matches but the last one decided by fall. Koscak pinned Somerset’s Andrew Vazquez in the first round, but then lost by fall in the quarters to eventual champion Ben Goldin of Lake Highland. On the back side, Koscak pinned his way into the third-place match, falling Mater Lakes’ Cole Schwartzberg in consi round 2, Clewiston’s Jared Escorcia in the blood round and Dunbar’s Judas McKenzie in the consi semis, but couldn’t stop Atlantic’s Matt Whitehouse from a takedown in sudden victory, resulting in a 9-7 overtime loss.
Bay (Panama City)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 26th at region. 2015 — 28th at region. 2014 — 22nd at region, T-69th at states.
Individual returners: Caitlyn Koller (junior, 1-6 at 106, 1 match from regions); Gabriel Meyer (senior, 15-8 at 120, district 4th); Damien Stayer (senior, 24-8 at 126, district runnerup); Aaron Retherford (junior, 5-16 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Davis Whitfield (sophomore, 6-14 at 152, 1 match from regions); Alex Palacious (senior, 3-16 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Matthew Sanders (sophomore, 6-16 at 170, 1 match from regions); Andrew Luzny (junior, 16-10 at 182, 1 match from regions); Danterius Ghant (senior, 9-7 at 220, district 3rd).
Key losses: Jordan May (15-12 at 132, 1 match from regions).
Program strengths: Good number of returners should help improve things in 2016-17. Not a bad duals schedule, with time spent at a couple of larger events. Did move up a couple of spots in the region standings.
Program needs: Kids could stand a look at more wrestlers outside the Gulf area. Program needs to engage in off-season work in order to push the pace on getting better. Could use a couple more bigs in the lineup.
Why Florida should know about the Tornadoes: While Bay didn’t get a wrestler out to states, it did get one wrestler to Day 2 at Florida High, Stayer, who was 2-2 and lost in the consi quarters to eventual qualifier Max Metcalf of Florida High. Bay had just one other win at Region 1, however.
Bozeman (Panama City)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 19th at region. 2015 — T-32nd at region. 2014 — 17th at region, T-66th at states.
Individual returners: DJ Hanson (junior, 32-6 at 113, district champ, 1 match from states); Delton Griffin (senior, 32-11 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Brian Zerr (sophomore, 14-22 at 126, district 4th); Triston Tiller (junior, 27-18 at 132, district runnerup); Hunter Kruger (sophomore, 36-17 at 145, district 4th); Michael Stout (senior, 28-17 at 160, 1 match from regions); Ryan Kruger (senior, 39-9 at 195, district champ, 1 match from states); Joey Delarosa (junior, 20-22 at 285, district 3rd).
Key losses: None.
Program strengths: No graduation losses among 2015-16 post-season starters means Bucks should have a good amount of continuity. Some good quality, with seven of eight post-season starters getting to Week 2 of the post-season. Bozeman does leave the Gulf for an IBT event during the year, which is helpful.
Program needs: While there is one off-area event, more will be needed to test the Bucks more completely. Again (and there will feel like a theme to this), more off-season work is needed to keep up with teams in other parts of the north and throughout Florida.
Why Florida should know about the Bucks: Three kids got within a match of states and a fourth (Tiller) got to Day 2 as well. Hanson and Ryan Kruger both were semifinalists, while Griffin had to win two matches on the back side to get himself a shot. Expect Bozeman to have some presence at states this coming season.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 6th at region, T-36th at states. 2015 — 17th at region. 2014 — 4th at region, 19th at states.
Individual returners: Neal Smith (sophomore, 10-35 at 106, district 3rd); Hunter Hutton (junior, 13-31 at 126, district 3rd); Ethan Ellis (junior, 18-21 at 132, district 4th); Max Martinez (senior, 29-18 at 145, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Gunner Nebel (junior, 26-23 at 160, district 3rd); Cole Maddox (junior, 37-13 at 170, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state podium); Stephon Gaines (junior, 24-15 at 182, district runnerup); Nick English (junior, 32-19 at 195, district 3rd, region 4th).
Key losses: Marquez Patterson-Rhodes (22-15 at 138, district 3rd, state 4th); Christian McIntire (41-16 at 152, district runnerup, region runnerup); Alvin Castillo (3-6 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Program strengths: Lot of returners, not only for the upcoming season, but for the next as well. All but one Marianna wrestler moved on at least to regions, which is a good thing. Several Bulldogs competed in off-season competitions. Very solid schedule. This is a team that is very close to breaking out as it did in 2014.
Program needs: Could use a couple of bigs to fill out the lineup, and middles will need some filling, but there should be enough returning depth in the lowers to make that happen.
Why Florida should know about the Bulldogs: Marianna sent four wrestlers to states in March, and a fifth, Martinez, was right on the cusp of going. Three of those five return, and all are juniors this fall. Here’s a look at the Bulldogs’ state weekends:
Maddox — Was 2-2 in Kissimmee, with both losses coming to eventual placers. The first came in the first round, when Maddox fell to Southeast’s Stephen Kelle, 14-5, but he rallied on the back side of the bracket with two wins, majoring Westminster Christian’s Anthony Machado, 21-9, in consi round 1, and downing Miami Jackson’s Brandon Petit 8-4 in consi round 2. On Saturday morning, however, Weeki Wachee’s Donte Young knocked Maddox out of the tournament with a fall in the blood round.
English — Was paired with multiple-time and eventual state champion Ryan Thomas of American Heritage-Delray Beach, and sustained an injury during that match, requiring him to default out of that match and then medical-forfeit his consi round 1 match against Interlachen’s Lance Hastings.
Patterson-Rhodes: Went 0-2 at states, with two losses by fall, first to Oasis Charter’s Greg Krempski in the first round and then to eventual placer Max Cosmides of Lake Highland in consi round 1.
McIntire: Was 2-2 at states, both losses against eventual placers, with a first-round win over Weeki Wachee’s Alex Gomez, 9-5. In the quarters, McIntire fell by a 13-5 major decision to Indian Rocks’ Michael Gingras, but made it into Saturday with a consi round 2 fall over Cardinal Gibbons’ Devon Nelson. In the blood round, however, Somerset’s Juan Vernaza knocked McIntire out of the tournament with an 8-4 decision.
Mosley (Lynn Haven)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-17th at region. 2015 — 8th at 2A-District 1, 27th at 2A-Region 1. 2014 — 8th at 2A-District 1, 20th at 2A-Region 1, T-51st at states.
Individual returners: Gavin Krisco (junior, 18-17 at 113, district 4th); Shane Ferry (senior, 41-21 at 132, district 3rd); Caleb Schultz (senior, 46-25 at 138, district 4th); Bailey Boakes (senior, 37-29 at 145, 1 match from regions); Jarred Pitts (junior, 39-27 at 152, district 3rd); Jarkeis Bass (sophomore, 48-15 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Dalton Childs (senior, 54-19 at 170, district 3rd); Noah Shoemaker (senior, 7-11 at 182, 1 match from regions); Ashon Jackson (senior, 41-16 at 220, district runnerup); Dylan Rodriguez (senior, 28-15 at 285, district runnerup).
Key losses: Chase Atkinson (18-28 at 195, district 4th).
Program strengths: Dolphins have a lot of returners off a team that had some regular-season success (including first tournament win in program history). Team does travel away from the Gulf on occasion and isn’t afraid of the larger tournaments on the Gulf, which is necessary for program success.
Program needs: Needs off-season work at state/national level to make a push past the Arnold/Marianna block at the top of District 1. Team did have lowers wrestle in regular season, but only Krisco competed in post-season.
Why Florida should know about the Dolphins: No Mosley wrestlers were able to get to state this year, but four were close. In addition to Bass — who had a great post-season run, reaching the semis at Florida High — Ferry, Childs and Jackson all got to Day 2 at regions, each of them falling in the consi quarters.
North Bay Haven (Panama City)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-30th at region. 2015 — 26th at region. First-year program in 2014-15.
Individual returners: Micheal Freeman (freshman, 4-4 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Micheal Toro (sophomore, 1-3 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Aidan Campbell (junior, 6-31 at 132, 1 match from regions); Dillon Fuder (senior, 16-15 at 138, 1 match from regions); Dagon Womack (senior, 27-14 at 145, 1 match from regions); Jackson Emery (senior, 11-22 at 170, 1 match from regions); Garrett Hester (junior, 24-20 at 182, district 3rd).
Key losses: Brandon Hays (27-19 at 160, district runnerup).
Program strengths: Program kept almost all of its returners from a year ago, which is always tough to do for a new team. Team will travel, even going to Jacksonville for one two-day dual event. Hester is perhaps going to point the way for the future of the program.
Program needs: Numbers still continue to struggle, which is unsurprising for a new team. Wrestlers need to step up off-season work, as Buccaneers took a step backward at region tournament.
Why Florida should know about the Buccaneers: North Bay Haven went 0-4 on the first day of regions at Florida High, as both Hays and Hester went 0-2.
Rutherford (Panama City)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 23rd at region, T-63rd at states. 2015 — 27th at region. 2014 — 20th at region.
Individual returners: Ethan Shover (sophomore, 1-27 at 120, 1 match from regions); Keivontie Logan (sophomore, 10-27 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Yakeif Duncan (senior, 170, district runnerup, region 4th); Calvin Coleman (senior, 10-27 at 182, 0-2 at districts).
Key losses: Anthony Hudson (33-5 at 285, district champ).
Program strengths: Program has some skilled kids in it, with a state qualifier (first one since 2013) and a district champ among its numbers this past year. Rams also took steps in the right direction in the region classification. Some good events on the schedule.
Program needs: Numbers are an issue, with just five post-season starters. Program needs to mix in some in-season travel out of the Gulf, in order to improve its competitive balance, and off-season work needs to happen as well.
Why Florida should know about the Rams: Duncan was 0-2 at states for Rutherford, getting paired in the first round with eventual finalist Jake Walker of Sarasota Military, losing by fall there. He didn’t fare much better in consi round 1 against Hernando’s Harry Williams, taking a second loss by fall.
South Walton (Santa Rosa Beach)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 24th at region. 2015 — 5th at region, T-17th at states. 2014 — 14th at region, 22nd at states.
Individual returners: Minh Nguyen (sophomore, 33-28 at 106, district runnerup); Seth Weinthal (sophomore, 43-22 at 120, district 3rd); Joseph Gajewski (sophomore, 16-22 at 126, 1 match from regions); Tristan Combs (sophomore, 5-26 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Jaden Page (sophomore, 3-4 at 152, district 4th); Aaron Sears (sophomore, 4-16 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Gavin Lizana (sophomore, 7-25 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Gus Delgadillo (sophomore, 7-27 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Eldrich Trinidad (sophomore, 1-20 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Key losses: None.
Program strengths: Seahawks had to rebuild from the ground up, and they have, with nine 10th graders all taking lumps together, which can make for good chemistry later on. Although not much larger tournament experience, South Walton is getting after it in off-season. Team is willing to travel great lengths for good competition.
Program needs: Youth is a problem now, one that does go away over time. 2017 off-season needs to see some Disney work or something of that level.
Why Florida should know about the Seahawks: Nguyen and Weinthal were both Day 2 advancers for South Walton, going 2-2 at Region 1, combining for three falls.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 11th at region, T-63rd at states. 2015 — T-22nd at region. 2014 — 30th at region.
Individual returners: Tyler Dubray (freshman, 10-20 at 106, district 4th); Johnathan Harvey (sophomore, 22-17 at 113, district 3rd); Mathew Laster (freshman, 5-6 at 120, 1 match from regions); Dylan Jacobs (sophomore, 5-29 at 126, 1 match from regions); Burley Parker (senior, 46-18 at 145, district runnerup); Delinger Chance (senior, 10-17 at 152, 1 match from regions); Jackson Vines (senior, 43-22 at 160, 1 match from regions); Dylan Edwards (sophomore, 8-33 at 170, district 4th); Malachi Davenport (junior, 23-23 at 182, district 4th); Alex Edwards (sophomore, 195, district runnerup, region 3rd); Claeton Horne (freshman, 4-20 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses: Austin Malcolm (40-16 at 138, district runnerup); Bubba Brogdon (12-24 at 220, district 4th).
Program strengths: A solid number of returners come back in 2016-17, most of them still quite young and able to grow together. Rallied from a so-so district tournament to nearly crack top 10 at regions. Wrestlers did get to travel quite a bit, both to Tallahassee and out of state, to get ready for the post-season.
Program needs: Need full complement of kids to take advantage of schedule (at one tournament, less than half the starters made the trip). Off-season work will be needed at state/national level to make gains on the top teams in district.
Why Florida should know about the Gators: In addition to Alex Edwards, Wewahitchka had two additional wrestlers reach the second day of regions in middles Malcolm and Parker. At states, though, Edwards was the Gators’ lone qualifier, losing by fall in the first round to eventual placer Christopher Williams of Cardinal Gibbons. Edwards had a much closer match in consi round 1, but fell to Lely’s Brandon Isnardi in consi round 1, 3-0.