Sometimes I get it right. Sometimes I get it really right. Sometimes I get it wrong. Sometimes I get it really wrong. If you were ready to toss your phone or laptop through a window because I either A) ranked you too low or B) ranked you too high, maybe this will set your mind at ease.
Or not. Perhaps only a healthy dose of tryptophan will do that.
Anyway, let’s set the Wayback machine to a year ago today — give or take a day or two — and see how I did with the Northeast districts last year. Let the laughter ensue! (or not).
Predicted: 1. Wakulla. 2. Florida High. 3. Suwannee. 4. Godby. 5. North Florida Christian. 6. Rickards.
Actual: 1. Wakulla. 2. Florida High. 3. Suwannee. 4. North Florida Christian. 5. Godby. 6. Rickards.
Analysis: All things considered, I did not messer-upper this one too very much. I said it would be Florida High’s balance against Wakulla’s star power, but the War Eagles had more balance than I thought, and the Seminoles’ won enough to make things interesting. Suwannee was a virtual shoo-in for third, but my choice for fourth was flip-flopped.
Predicted: 1. Clay. 2. Yulee. 3. Westside. 4. Raines. 5. Baker County. 6. West Nassau. 7. Fernandina Beach. 8. Bishop Snyder.
Actual: 1. Clay. 2. Yulee. 3. West Nassau. 4. Baker County. 5. Raines. 6. Westside. 7. Bishop Snyder. 8. Fernandina Beach.
Analysis: I did not think West Nassau would be as strong as they were by season’s end. They are definitely on my radar in a more pronounced way this year, as a preseason HM pick and possible top-10er before the year ends. I had hoped for more from Westside with this prediction, and the way the Wolverines came out in December suggested that hope would be fulfilled. Am thinking Baker could be this year’s Nassau.
Predicted: 1. Bolles. 2. Bishop Kenny. 3. Pedro Menendez. 4. Episcopal. 5. FSDB. 6. Wolfson. 7. Bradford. 8. University Christian.
Actual: 1. Bishop Kenny. 2. Bolles. 3. Pedro Menendez. 4. Episcopal. 5. University Christian. 6. Bradford. 7. Wolfson. 8. FSDB.
Analysis: I already apologized to Coach Schloth on that one, but the Bulldogs did get within 5.5 points of the title. We aren’t picking against Kenny again. UC and FSDB basically switched spots, and both Wolfson and FSDB didn’t have key competitors going in the post-season (in the Dragons’ case, their best possible kid from a year ago switched sports; I couldn’t have predicted that).
Predicted: 1. Crystal River. 2. Palatka. 3. Eastside. 4. Interlachen. 5. Trinity Catholic. 6. North Marion. 7. Dunnellon.
Actual: 1. Crystal River. 2. Palatka. 3. North Marion. 4. Dunnellon. 5. Interlachen. 6. Eastside. 7. Trinity Catholic. 8. St. John Lutheran.
Analysis: Have to mostly take a mulligan on this one. I figured Crystal River would win by some margin, but not by as much as they did, as Palatka had one key kid not come back (to be fair, he was the best thrower in Florida for track). Eastside was hampered by a couple of stronger kids, now graduated, not coming back until just before the end of the regular season. And there’s the knowledge gap on North Marion and Dunnellon. My bad guys.
Predicted: 1. Lincoln. 2. Leon; 3. Columbia. 4. Chiles. 5. Gainesville.
Actual: 1. Lincoln. 2. Leon. 3. Chiles. 4. Columbia. 5. Gainesville
Analysis: Same, for the most part, as 1A-2, where I got the bookends right and just had a hiccup in the middle. I thought Columbia would have more wrestlers back on the roster this year, and have them back sooner, while Chiles’ depth surprised me but shouldn’t surprise too many folks this coming year.
Predicted: 1. Middleburg. 2. Ed White. 3. Orange Park. 4. Ridgeview. 5. Englewood. 6. Terry Parker. 7. Stanton.
Actual: 1. Middleburg. 2. Orange Park. 3. Ed White. 4. Ridgeview. 5. Englewood. 6. Terry Parker. 7. Stanton.
Analysis: Had a pretty good handle on this one. OPHS “held serve” pretty well even in the midst of a dogfight with the Commanders, and it wasn’t even entirely clear that Middleburg would emerge victorious until late in the event. Not all of Ed White’s strong Class of 2016 group was able to compete last season, with one key absence due to grades — which might have impacted things however slightly. Teams only six points apart.
Predicted: 1. Matanzas. 2. Creekside. 3. Bartram Trail. 4. St. Augustine. 5. Nease. 6. Ponte Vedra. 7. Paxon.
Actual: 1. Matanzas. 2. Creekside. 3. Bartram Trail. 4. Nease. 5. Ponte Vedra. 6. St.Augustine. 7. Paxon.
Analysis: I did think St. Augustine was going to be stronger in the post-season — as a group, not necessarily any particular individuals — and some of their kids that were listed as pre-season returners didn’t compete in the post-season. I definitely under-rated Nease. I’m wondering if I maybe have again this year. They were right there with Buchholz last week. St Johns Panthers could be a top-10 before it’s all said and done this year.
Predicted: 1. Flagler Palm Coast. 2. Fleming Island. 3. Sandalwood. 4. Buchholz. 5. Robert E. Lee. 6. Oakleaf. 7. Mandarin. 8. Fletcher. 9. First Coast. 10. Atlantic Coast.
Actual: 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. Atlantic Coast.
Analysis: To be fair, although the Golden Eagles did establish in-season upper hand over the Bulldogs, the two teams were only ONE-HALF POINT apart at districts. (Hence why they’re ranked tied this year — let ’em settle it on the mat, I say). Sandalwood had subpar district by their expectations and I don’t think when I wrote last year’s preview that I knew Dee Harris was going to AC. That helped the Stingrays. Otherwise, little shuffles here and there.