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. Let me know via DM in Twitter or Facebook instant message or at email@example.com.
2015-16 team finish: 1. Fleming Island. 2. Flagler Palm Coast. 3. Buchholz. 4. Sandalwood. 5. Atlantic Coast. 6. Oakleaf. 7. Robert E. Lee. 8. Mandarin. 9. Fletcher. 10. First Coast.
2014-15 team finish: 1. Flagler Palm Coast. 2. Fleming Island. 3. Buchholz. 4. Sandalwood. 5. First Coast. 6. Mandarin. 7. Fletcher. 8. Atlantic Coast.
2013-14 team finish: 1. (tie) Flagler Palm Coast & Fleming Island. 3. Buchholz. 4. Fletcher. 5. Atlantic Coast. 6. First Coast. 7. Sandalwood. 8. Mandarin.
(Individual records are Matmen-generated except for Atlantic Coast/Mandarin/Robert E. Lee, due to missing results; using records reported to FHSAA)
Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 13th at region, 25th at states. 2015 — T-28th at region. 2014 — 22nd at region, T-44th at states.
Individual returners: Marco Hunter (junior, 8-22 at 113, 0-2 at districts); Austin Penrod (junior, 7-14 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Christian Knight-Banker (junior, 3-17 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Tywaine Rocheburn (senior, 18-14 at 145, 1 match from regions); Seth Stratton (sophomore, 8-13 at 152, 0-2 at districts); Uriah Ford (junior, 13-15 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Kurk Jackson (senior, 22-8 at 220, district 3rd).
Key losses: Sir Isaac Demps (5-8 at 138, 1 match from regions); Narek Stepanyan (see below for stats and discussion); DeAngeles Harris (285, district champ, region runnerup, state 3rd).
Program strengths: Decent amount of returners back. Hosts one of the better single-day duals events (from a hosting standpoint). Middleweights will be the strongest focal point for Atlantic Coast.
Program needs: Program needs to go outside the greater Jacksonville area more in order to push the level of competition (only weekend competition outside city was Bartram Trail’s 1-day duals event). Needs at least one more IBT event. More off-season wrestling is needed as well.
Why Florida should know about the Stingrays: As for returners, Jackson was it, going 1-2 at Palm Coast and the Region 1 meet. At states, Harris was 4-1 in placing third, decisioning St. Cloud’s Graham Sokolovic 9-5 in the first round and then Fort Pierce Central’s Will Davis, 6-4, in the quarters. Harris fell in the semis to multiple-time and eventual champ Kyron Taylor of South Dade, 7-4, but rallied with a consi-semi fall over Southridge’s Melchisede Juedy. In the third-place match, Harris needed double-overtime to turn back Glemaud, 2-1.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 15th at region, T-61st at states. 2015 — 13th at region, T-30th at states. 2014 — 11th at region, T-62nd at states.
Individual returners: Bryan Perkins (sophomore, 12-17 at 106, 0-2 at districts); Andrique Broughton (senior, 32-17 at 120, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Gant Moore (senior, 48-11 at 126, district runnerup, region 3rd); Ben Hogan (senior, 21-17 at 138, district 4th); Amani Self (sophomore, 0-7 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Khauriee Sullivan (senior, 34-17 at 152, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Dylan Lewis (senior, 26-18 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Aaron Menden (junior, 15-24 at 195, 1 match from regions); Jose Romero (senior, 7-7 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Key losses: Tommy Howell (42-15 at 132, district 4th); Erik Kverneland (39-12 at 160, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Gerald Rushing (30-17 at 170, district 4th).
Program strengths: Program has become fairly solid, while competing in some isolation among 3A district teams, given the meets Bobcats attend. Solid, dedicated coaching staff takes team to find best competition north of the Orlando corridor. Solid, if not spectacular, off-season commitment helps key wrestlers get better.
Program needs: Bobcats could use some more consistent upperweight presence to compete more fully with titans of the district. Some younger blood will be needed, particularly after this upcoming season.
Why Florida should know about the Bobcats: In addition to Moore, the Bobcats had three wrestlers (two of them returning in Broughton and Sullivan) that were just one match short of states. At Kissimmee, Moore drew multiple-time state champion Jordan Marshall of Southridge in the first round, falling there by a 15-5 major. Moore rallied in consi round 1, downing Melbourne’s Gabe Etienne, 7-2, but fell in consi round 2 to Coral Gables’ Anthony Vizcaino, 13-5.
First Coast (Jacksonville)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — T-35th at region. 2015 — 12th at region, T-23rd at states. 2014 — 23rd at region.
Individual returners: Jason Schwartz (sophomore, 22-17 at 106, 1 match from regions); Quentin Jones (junior, 11-22 at 132, 0-2 at districts); Tyshawn Anderson (sophomore, 4-14 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Jacob Gaskell (senior, 5-31 at 170, 0-2 at districts); Trever Bruce (senior, 11-23 at 182, 0-2 at districts).
Key losses: Joshua Rivers (34-12 at 152, district 4th); Joshua Story (11-13 at 285, 0-2 at districts).
Program strengths: Has some tradition, and has a pool of athletic talent with which to recruit new blood into the program. Energetic coaching staff that is “in the building,” which can be a key component. In between his freshman and sophomore years, Schwartz got in some good off-season work.
Program needs: Needed to overcome a lot of regular-season injuries this year. More experience with winning, as lone region qualifier graduated in May. New blood is needed to come in, with just five kids that wrestled in the post-season returning, but there were others who had extensive regular-season mat time.
Why Florida should know about the Buccaneers: Their only region qualifier, Rivers, was 0-2 at regions.
Flagler Palm Coast (Palm Coast)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 3rd at region, 8th at states. 2015 — 1st at region, 5th at states. 2014 — 3rd at region, 20th at states.
Individual returners: John Johnson (sophomore, 25-22 at 106, district 4th); Avery Holder (junior, 43-6 at 113, district runnerup, region runnerup, state 5th); Michael DeAugustino (junior, 57-3 at 120, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Trace Insalaco (sophomore, 40-18 at 126, district 4th, 1 match from states); Nathan St. Pierre (junior, 24-14 at 132, district runnerup); Eddie Bryant (senior, 31-22 at 170, district runnerup); Steve Canidate (senior, 33-16 at 182, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Anthony Mascraella (junior, 16-9 at 195, district 3rd); Justin Haaf (senior, 31-15 at 220, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Vincent Ebanks (senior, 35-17 at 285, district 3rd).
Key losses: Tariq Johnson (41-15 at 138, district 3rd, region 4th, 1 match from state podium); Evyn Insalaco (55-7 at 145, district champ, region 3rd); Kaz Maia (52-2 at 152, district champ, region runnerup, state runnerup); Eric Vigo (37-9 at 160, district champ, region 4th).
Program strengths: One of the strongest schedules wrestled in the coverage area has created a room and atmosphere where success is measured in titles. Flagler is one of three teams in the Northeast coverage area that is far ahead of the rest of the group. Excellent attention given to hosting events in-season and to off-season work.
Program needs: Some graduation losses in the middleweights will have to be overcome, but FPC has tons of talent (that saw solid time even this past season) in the room that will make that happen. Continued waves of new blood will be needed for depth purposes, and eventually to become the new starters, and the Bulldogs can probably handle that as well.
Why Florida should know about the Bulldogs: Florida knows about Flagler Palm Coast, and if anybody doesn’t, just dual them. You’ll know you’ve been in a fight after that. In addition to the six state qualifiers, FPC had three wrestlers just one match from state (T. Insalaco, Canidate and Haaf), and Bryant & Mascraella both got to Day 2, the consi quarters, at regions. That’s 11 kids through to Day 2. Here’s a run-through on the Bulldogs’ state weekends:
Holder — Was 4-2 at state, having to win three times to ensure a podium spot after dropping a first-round 7-2 decision to Hollywood Hills’ Anthony Silvestre. He pinned Gianni Guerriero of St. Thomas in consi round 1 and then Jared Abramson of Wellington in consi round 2 to get to Saturday, decisioning district and region rival Jacques Hale of Sandalwood (more later in the preview), 9-4, in states’ version of the “blood round,” the consi quarter. Holder lost to Manatee’s Marshall Craig, 6-2, but rallied in the fifth-place match with an 8-0 major over Atlantic’s Edward Barrett.
DeAugustino — Didn’t even surrender a point until the final, when he took on Southridge’s Randy McCray. DeAugustino won by forfeit in the first round over Osceola’s Luis Pena, then shut out Seminole Ridge’s Francisco Farr in the quarters, 1-0, and then blanked Gateway’s Lucas Rodriguez, 7-0, in the semi. The title match was nearly a 50-50 battle for most of it, but eventually went McCray’s way, 5-3.
Johnson — Went 2-2 at Kissimmee, having to rally back after a first-round loss by fall to eventual champion Grant Aronoff of St. Thomas. Rally he did, decisioning Southwest Miami’s Jesse Acedo, 12-8, in consi round 1, and falling Palm Beach Central’s Ivan Pena in consi round 2. In the blood round, though, Columbus’ Chris Bentley was too strong, taking a 9-2 win.
E. Insalaco — Was 4-2 in taking fifth, reaching the semifinals along the way. On Friday, Insalaco pinned Wellington’s Jacob Treanor in the first round, following that up with a 6-4 decision over Manatee’s Charles Small in the quarters. Multiple-time and eventual state champion Ozzy Lugo, of South Dade, won by fall over Insalaco in the semis, and he could not overcome Southwest Miami’s Angel Delcueto, falling 5-3 in the consi semis. In the fifth-place match, Insalaco had a rematch with Small, taking that one by a 9-4 score.
Maia — Won three times by decision to get to the finals and a potential state-final and region-final rematch with Winter Springs’ James Nereim. Maia decisioned Gateway’s Miguel Vasquez, 13-6, in the first round and then downed Seminole Ridge’s Jarrod Smiley, 7-2, in the quarters. On Saturday in the semis, Maia decisioned Osceola’s Gavin Arnold, 11-5, to get to that rematch, but midway through sustained injury and was forced to default to Nereim.
Vigo — Was 0-2 at Kissimmee, falling 6-3 in the first round to eventual placer Luis Rios of Southridge. In the consi round, Vigo couldn’t get enough offense going against Sickles’ Hamid Salahutdin, falling in that match, 8-2.
Fleming Island (Orange Park)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — . 2015 — 3rd at region, 12th at states. 2014 — 2nd at region, 7th at states.
Individual returners: Albie Snedaker (junior, 45-10 at 106, district champ, region 4th, 1 match from state podium); Deandre Demus (sophomore, 44-6 at 113, district champ, region 4th); Jacob Sandoval (junior, 40-16 at 120, district runnerup, region 4th); Paul Detwiler (junior, 52-9 at 138, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state podium); Ian Kincaid (sophomore, 10-9 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Gabe Lear (junior, 25-14 at 160, 1 match from regions); Ryan Smenda (senior, 54-6 at 182, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Jason Davis (senior, 51-2 at 195, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Jose Concepcion (junior, 45-9 at 220, district champ, region runnerup); Brandyne Mackey (senior, 32-14 at 285, district runnerup).
Key additions: Briar Jackson (sophomore, 113, 2A-District 3 champ, 2A-Region 1 3rd).
Key losses: Tracy Davis (51-7 at 126, district champ, region champ); Xaiver Sampsel (46-9 at 132, district champ, region runnerup, state 4th); John Martorano (35-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th).
Program strengths: As mentioned above with FPC, Fleming Island is one of the three programs that is ahead of the rest of the coverage area (Clay being the third). Titles are the bar of success, and Fleming’s titlists often carried them to team wins. Golden Eagles, also, wrestle a very tough schedule that makes them battle-tested for post-season. Off-season work at home gets Eagles ready for Disney and for the season ahead.
Program needs: Like FPC — and also like FPC, the Eagles have this — young blood, for depth purposes, is always needed. Again, like FPC, there are some middles that will need to be replaced, added (the Golden Eagles ran without a 152 most of the year) or tightened up.
Why Florida should know about the Golden Eagles: While Fleming Island established itself as last year’s #1 team in the coverage area — eventually — holding on to that spot will continue to be a battle, but one that the Golden Eagles will continue to look forward to winning. Here’s a look at the Fleming Island state weekends:
Snedaker — Finished with a 2-2 record at Kissimmee, losing in double-OT, 11-10, to Treasure Coast’s Dennis McNeal, an eventual placer, in the first round. Snedaker rallied with two wins on Friday, pinning Everglades’ Charles Pierre Nadhelo in consi round 1 and decisioning Region 1 rival Jayden Bradshaw of Boone, 6-4, to get to Saturday. There, he lost by fall to another placer, Killian’s Ryan Boncamper, in the blood round.
Demus — Sustained injury in the Region 1 semis, and was unable to continue after that. That required him to medical-forfeit out of states.
Sandoval — Finished with a 1-2 record at states, both losses against eventual placers, falling 16-2 to Gateway’s Rodriguez in the first round. Sandoval would rally with a major of his own in consi round 1, winning 13-2 over Nicholas Chitty of Coral Glades. However, St. Thomas’ Stephen Moreno was too strong for Sandoval, winning 9-4 in consi round 2.
Detwiler — Was 2-2 at states, taking a narrow 4-3 loss in the first round to Palm Beach Central’s Pena. Detwiler rallied, however, with an 11-5 win over Western’s Vincent Garcia in consi round 1 and a 9-0 major over North Port’s Cody Henson in consi round 2. In the blood round, though, Detwiler had another narrow decision go against him, falling 3-2 to Kiesean Stephens of Coral Springs.
Smenda — Completed states with a 4-1 record, reaching the semifinals, where he fell to runnerup Johnny Raich of Palm Beach Gardens, 4-3. Before that, Smenda pinned Seminole Ridge’s Sean Edwards in the first round and Anthony Didden of Palm Harbor University in the quarters. After that semifinal loss, Smenda downed Region 1 rival Darrell Wallace of Freedom, 7-4, in the consi semis and decisioned Cypress Bay’s Glen Eisman, 4-2, for third.
Jason Davis — Had a similar tournament path to Smenda’s, going 4-1 in taking third. On Friday, Davis pinned Cooper City’s Jozef Macugoski in the first round and majored Devin Gouveia of North Port, 17-4, in the quarters. The semis weren’t so forgiving, as Davis lost by fall to eventual champion Chei Hill of South Dade, but he rallied with a 3-1 overtime win over Macugoski in the consi semis and decisioned Region 1 rival Jackson Saffold of Timber Creek, 6-4, for third.
Concepcion — Went 1-2 at states at 220, with both losses coming to eventual placers. He started solidly, with a 7-2 first-round win over Cooper City’s Nick Guzman, but then fell 8-3 to George Jenkins’ Darrius Mosley in the quarters. In consi round 2, North Port’s Josh Baker knocked Concepcion out of the tournament with a 9-3 decision.
Jackson — Was 0-2 at 2A states for Middleburg, losing by fall in the first round to eventual placer Paul Steger of Olympic Heights. On the consi side, Jackson fell in consi round 1 to Palmetto Ridge’s Rocco Pereira, 7-1.
Tracy Davis — Also went 1-2 at states with both losses coming to eventual placers, falling 4-3 to Coral Gables’ Vizcaino in the first round. He had a solid consi round-1 major over Kristian Perez of Osceola, 9-0, but couldn’t get any offense going against St. Thomas’ Vinny Sessa, falling 3-0.
Sampsel — Went 3-2 in taking fourth in the bracket, reaching the semifinals along the way. On Friday, he decisioned 68-match winner Dylan Cameron of Lakewood Ranch, 3-1, in the first round, and then decisioned Wellington’s Tyler Difiore, 4-2, in the quarters. He gave good fight to eventual state champion Kizhan Clarke of Riverview before falling, 7-5, and avenged a region-final loss in the consi semis, with a fall over Winter Springs’ Cole Mitchell. Sampsel couldn’t score in the third-place match against South Dade’s Brevin Balmeceda, however, falling 2-0 there.
Martorano — Was 3-2 in finishing fifth, reaching the semifinals. On Friday, Martorano pinned Coral Springs’ Kaelan Jones in the first round and followed that up with a 10-6 decision over Manatee’s Connor Morang in the quarters. Eventual state champion Dacoda Flenard of North Port had enough offense in the semi, though, decisioning Martorano 9-4, and he then lost by fall in the consi semis to North Miami’s Deandre Chery. However, Martorano was able to put together a 13-9 win over Region 1 rival Nathan Ferkovich of Lake Brantley in the fifth-place match.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 31st at region. 2015 — 22nd at region, T-68th at states. 2014 — 14th at region, T-62nd at states.
Individual returners: Trent Dalldorf (senior, 21-12 at 113, 0-2 at districts); Rayquan Piper (senior, 24-11 at 120, 1 match from regions); Ivante White (sophomore, 16-14 at 126, 1 match from regions); Vince Hauser (sophomore, 13-11 at 132, 0-2 at districts); Conner Smith (junior, 8-5 at 138, 1 match from regions); Joshua Taylor (senior, 6-24 at 152, 0-2 at districts); Owen Beining (senior, 30-14 at 160, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Donovan Tompkins (junior, 4-8 at 170, 1 match from regions); Matthew Strong (sophomore, 9-13 at 195, 1 match from regions); Bryce Bednarski (senior, 8-9 at 220, 1 match from regions); Stanley Hollenbach (sophomore, 3-12 at 285, 0-2 at districts).
Key additions: Narek Stepanyan (senior, 31-6 at 195, district runnerup, region 4th, 1 match from state podium).
Key losses: Brandon Cuevas (20-10 at 106, 1 match from regions); Dominick Belew (26-10 at 145, district 4th).
Program strengths: Strong sense of program identity, even in the face of more difficult results of late. Numbers in the program, as a result of that program identity, are pretty good. Injections of new blood might help to bring about more positive results going forward.
Program needs: Just good results are needed right now. Perhaps Stepanyan’s move might be the shot in the arm the program needed. There’s been a off-season club in place in Neptune Beach, but other than Stepanyan not a lot of wider attention being paid to wrestling at the state/Fargo levels.
Why Florida should know about the Senators: Other than transfer Stepanyan, who came over from Atlantic Coast, just two Fletcher wrestlers — one of them returning — got to regions at all, and no wrestlers got to states for the first time in at least four seasons. That should change in 2017, as Beining was just one match from states in his first extended region trip. As for Stepanyan, he was 2-2 in Kissimmee, going 8-5 with South Dade’s Hill in the first round and then winning twice in the consi rounds to get to Saturday, both by major. Those wins came over Newsome’s Tyler O’Brien in consi round 1 (15-4) and Cypress Bay’s Carlos Osterling in consi round 2 (11-1), but Cooper City’s Macugoski got him in the blood round, 3-0.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 33rd at region. 2015 — 27th at region. 2014 — T-30th at region.
Individual returners: Jamison Harris (sophomore, 23-13 at 113, 1 match from regions); Chase Mattox (senior, 25-5 at 120, 1 match from regions); Jake Kamins (sophomore, 19-15 at 138, 1 match from regions); Blake Pruitt (senior, 19-12 at 152, 1 match from regions); Gavin Miles (junior, 23-8 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Mateo Drury (senior, 6-4 at 182, 1 match from regions).
Key losses: Tanner Brown (31-13 at 126, district 3rd); Josh Harris (16-4 at 132, 1 match from regions); Derek Elian (32-8 at 145, district 3rd); Max Beavor (36-8 at 170, district 3rd); Mark Sweat (24-10 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Program strengths: Program has a lot of kids out — a lot, and has systematically — if a bit slowly — gained more and more regular-season success, which is often helpful in generating those kinds of numbers.
Program needs: Having a lot of numbers can be a blessing and a curse, in that there is often a drive to get kids mat time at the potential risk of lost mat time for kids that compete in the post-season. Schedule needs tweaking to reflect a 3A sensibility.
Why Florida should know about the Mustangs: No returners had region experience in 2015-16, as all region competitors were lost either to graduation or transfer. Brown and Beavor each had one win on the consi side of the Region 1 bracket.
Oakleaf (Orange Park)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 17th at region, T-54th at states. 2015 — 3rd at 2A-District 3, T-7th at 2A-Region 1, 32nd at 2A states. 2014 — 3rd at 2A-District 3, 10th at 2A-Region 1, T-34th at 2A states.
Individual returners: Ryan Rosano (junior, 36-9 at 106, district runnerup, region runnerup); Kyle Tairovski-Romeu (sophomore, 20-10 at 113, 1 match from regions); Vince Karl (junior, 25-14 at 120, district 4th); Ethan Gustilo (junior, 20-13 at 126, 1 match from regions); Trenton Carroll (sophomore, 9-16 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Luke Karl (senior, 27-9 at 152, district runnerup); Isaiah Graham (junior, 16-15 at 160, 1 match from regions); David Thompson (senior, 24-13 at 182, district 4th); Jesse Jennette (senior, 5-15 at 285, 0-2 at districts).
Key losses: Anthony Quinones (7-21 at 170, 0-2 at districts).
Program strengths: Similarly to Fletcher (but in a very different way), self-identity is very much a strength for the Clay Knights. Having a sizable number of returning wrestlers should be a strength as Oakleaf navigates Year 2 of being a 3A school. As befitting a Clay County program, the Knights have a very competitive schedule. Off-season work was solid; the Knights went in and battled throughout the summer.
Program needs: Program does have holes to fill, particularly in the upper weights, where either 182, 195 or 220 (depending on where Thompson was at that point in the year) went unfilled. There were a couple of pretty solid kids who had good regular-season experience that didn’t wrestle in the post-season, getting those for a full year will be helpful.
Why Florida should know about the Knights: In addition to Rosano, the older Karl also got to Day 2 of regions, falling there in the consi quarters. Rosano was Oakleaf’s only representative at the state tournament, however, going 1-2 there. He lost in the first round to Coral Springs’ Raiden Johnson by fall, but rallied for an 11-0 major in consi round 1 over Steinbrenner’s Anthony Vitale. In consi round 2, a rematch of the Region 1 final, he couldn’t overcome Freedom’s Marcus Jean Baptiste, falling 4-3 there.
Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville)
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 29th at region. 2015 — 6th at 2A-District 3, 13th at 2A-Region 1, T-67th at 2A states. 2014 — 9th at 2A-District 3, T-28th at 2A-Region 1.
Individual returners: Jacob Anderson (sophomore, 8-18 at 106, 0-2 at districts); Jaren Jefferson (senior, 24-9 at 113, district 4th); Lamar Geter (junior, 25-13 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Darius Wells (junior, 34-12 at 132, 1 match from regions); Dorian Bowden (junior, 13-10 at 145, 1 match from regions); Caleb GaGe (junior, 24-13 at 152, 1 match from regions); David Johnson (senior, 36-9 at 182, district 3rd); Christopher Telusma (sophomore, 31-15 at 195, district 4th); William Morton (senior, 18-12 at 220, 0-2 at districts); Jordan Belle (senior, 23-7 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Key losses: Tony Belle (20-7 at 160, district 4th); Isaiah Mervin (32-13 at 170, 1 match from regions).
Program strengths: Another program with the blessing/curse of lots of numbers that see time in the lineup. Athleticism on the mat is very strong across the board. After only Sandalwood, Lee has possibly the strongest fan base of any team in the Gateway.
Program needs: If a post-season lineup can be sorted out sooner and those kids get more matches, it would probably help that group in the post-season race. Schedule does take team out of city once, one more tournament that did that — even if a duals event or round-robin event — would be helpful.
Why Florida should know about the Generals: Lee had no wrestlers get to the state tournament, but had two wrestlers get to Day 2 of regions in Jefferson and Tony Belle; both of them fell in the consi quarters, two matches out from states.
Other post-season stats: 2016 — 10th at region, T-45th at states. 2015 — 10th at region, T-25th at states. 2014 — T-30th at region.
Individual returners: Leon Cruz (junior, 8-22 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Cameron Bell (senior, 37-12 at 138, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Chandler Bell (senior, 18-11 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Cole Friend (senior, 18-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Leonardo Alonzo (sophomore, 11-24 at 220, district 4th).
Key losses: Alex Barie (35-14 at 106, district 3rd); Jacques Hale (43-12 at 113, district 3rd, region 3rd, 1 match from state podium); Hayden Raulerson (28-15 at 132, district 3rd); Blake Delapaz (33-14 at 145, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Dominick Porcella (6-20 at 195, 0-2 at districts); Chris Shauman (22-10 at 285, district 4th, 1 match from states).
Program strengths: Has the momentum of back-to-back Gateway Conference championships behind it. Strong fan base and committed, enthusiastic coaching staff combine to bolster Saints. Schedule is strong and includes trips to Orlando — something other local 3A programs should emulate.
Program needs: Significant graduation losses will be difficult to overcome — including the loss of four Gateway individual champs that competed in the post-season. Hopefully the injury bug will stay away — only First Coast seemed to be hit harder by it than Sandalwood this past year among 3A teams.
Why Florida should know about the Saints: Among returning wrestlers, only Cameron Bell had wins at regions. He, Delapaz and Shauman all were one match short of states, while Barie and Raulerson also both got to Day 2 at Palm Coast. But just one Sandalwood wrestler qualified out, as Hale went 2-2 at Kissimmee. He lost to Southwest Miami’s Angel Perez, 6-4, in the first round, and had to win twice just to get to Saturday. Hale was able to do that, decisioning North Port’s Braydon McLellen 4-3 in consi round 1 and falling Sarasota’s Yosbiel Garcia in consi round 2. However, FPC’s Holder ended his run with a 9-4 decision in the blood round.