#RoadToTheShow: 1A-Region 2 Preview

OK, so it’s Wednesday and — minus a couple of missing Pacesetter pieces — we are CLEAR of District Week. Huzzah.

So, it’s time to do some region previews. Like last week, there’s NO WAY they’ll be as long as previous years. I got four I got to finish between now and some time in the early hours Friday morning (preferably a LOT sooner than that).

As always, we start with 1A-Region 2. Not because we want the other regions to be mad, but because it’s tradition for me (if three years can be called a tradition).

As my friend Brant is quick to caution with his, these are for entertainment purposes only. Prove me wrong, or prove me right. I am good either way.

106: 1. Dylan Kohn (The Master’s Academy). 2. Jake Wohltman (Lake Highland Prep). 3. Carson Kirk (Astronaut). 4. Devin Horton (Weeki Wachee).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Ryan Vite (Space Coast).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Jason Freda (Gulf).
First-round match worth price of admission: Anyelo Aybar (Bishop Moore) v. Jacob Tihoni (Satellite).
My too-short take: I’m pretty comfortable with this top four. I have Vite and Freda meeting in the last round of consis on Friday, and the winner of that could push Horton in the blood round, maybe.

113: 1. Ryan Chauvin (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Chase Bunts (Crystal River). 3. Michael Watson (Cocoa Beach). 4. Brice Arlt (Anclote).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Francisco Gener (Hudson).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Austin Carter (Astronaut).
First-round match worth price of admission: Gener v. Dominick Maloney (The Master’s Academy).
My too-short take: Gener’s ranked, but Arlt has a fall in hand at last week’s district final at Hernando. Other than that maybe reversing — I have them meeting in the bottom-half consi semi — the rest of the qualifiers are pretty solid here.

120: 1. Vincent Menozzi (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Louis Cortez (Astronaut). 3. Josh Hulse (Hernando). 4. Thomas Driscoll (Space Coast).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Evan Simonson (Gulf).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Ryan Cody (The Master’s Academy).
First-round match worth price of admission: Driscoll v. Simonson.
My too-short take: I do like the Hulse-Cortez semi potential matchup. In my mind, the winner of the Driscoll-Simonson match might almost suffer more for it, because neither will get past Menozzi in the quarters, pushing that wreestler into a much-tougher bottom consi half, while the loser of Driscoll-Simonson’s toughest match might be in the blood round.

126: 1. Devin Kohn (The Master’s Academy). 2. Noah Castillo (Lake Highland Prep). 3. Jake Wheeler (Bishop Moore). 4. Nick Marsh (Weeki Wachee).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Kevin Rochon (Villages).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Yovanny Rodriguez (Hernando).
First-round match worth price of admission: Alex Roberds (Anclote) v. Rochon.
My too-short take: Great final here. This is looking to shape up like a District 7 replay. I’m not entirely convinced with my fourth spot choice, as — in addition to Marsh — Rochon could take it, Roberds could take it and Space Coast’s Anthony Minacapelli has a shot at it as well. Top quarter of the consi bracket is gonna be brutal to get out.

132: 1. Joey Silva (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Legend Newsome (Space Coast). 3. Dakota Ellerbee (Hernando). 4. Nick Tomesko (Bishop Moore).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Kolin Marsh (Satellite).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Lucas Cianfarra (Atlantic).
First-round match worth price of admission: Marsh v. David Kesicki (Weeki Wachee).
My too-short take: I’d be OK with flipping Tomesko and Newsome in their respective positions, to be sure, but sometimes there’s something to be said for a first-rounder that tests you right out of the chute, and Newsome gets one of those. I just don’t see Ellerbee losing again after facing Silva in the quarters Friday night.

138: 1. Mason Wohltman (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Logan Flanagan (Bishop Moore). 3. Nathan Napolitano (Gulf). 4. Jason Amato (Space Coast).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Boston Tafelski (Hernando).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Hunter Gibson (Weeki Wachee).
First-round match worth price of admission: Tafelski v. Kyle Shaw (Dunnellon).
My too-short take: I’m mostly good with the top four, although there could certainly be mix-and-matching in the 2-4 spots. I expect the blood-round matches to be good at every weight class, but they could be particularly intensely-fought in this one, as there’s not a lot of gap between 3-8 here. Got to be on your toes, boys, when Saturday ticks over.

145: 1. Kai Bele (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Timothy Rideout (Atlantic). 3. Reggie Bradley (Space Coast). 4. Devin Hernandez (Bishop Moore).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Jerry Begera (Astronaut).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Bronson Tafelski (Hernando).
First-round match worth price of admission: Rideout vs. Begera.
My too-short take: I have Rideout making it out, but he’s got tough ones at every turn: Begera, Gulf’s Austin Agazarm and then Hernandez in the semi. Three solid kids. The Bele-Bradley semi matches up the two strongest kids in the bracket. Neither of them will lose to anyone else this weekend. Top half of the consi bracket could be a real fight.

152: 1. Max Cosmides (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Codey Maniates (Hernando). 3. CJ Lawson (Crystal River). 4. Garrett Brackett (Rockledge).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Joshua Coley (Weeki Wachee).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Jacob Carbonell (Bishop Moore).
First-round match worth price of admission: Sean Verner (Cocoa Beach) v. Yusef Mostafa (Gulf).
My too-short take: The Verner-Mostafa winner should have a very good shot at the semis, and additionally, a very good shot at wrestling for states. Lawson injury-defaulting out last week at District 5 makes me soft-pedal him for the final in the bottom half of the bracket, although he would be the chalk pick based on ranking number alone. Maniates is tough, though.

160: 1. Jake Brindley (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Brad Kata (Bishop Moore). 3. Jordan Gibson (Nature Coast). 4. Ryan Hatcher (Villages).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Nathaniel Newberry (Astronaut).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Jamar Danzler (Palatka).
First-round match worth price of admission: Danzler v. Ryan Pletcher (Cocoa Beach).
My too-short take: My local kids from District 5 are gonna struggle in this tournament at least up until this point, but from here through 220 there will be locals in the mix. Danzler has a very good shot at Saturday, but his first-rounder could be a tough out. I do have a soft spot for good Nature Coast kids (even though the coaches I knew, I believe, are no longer with the program), and I think Gibson has a good shot for third.

170: 1. Erich Byelick (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Wilbur Thomas (Atlantic). 3. Devin Dennis (Hernando). 4. Patrick Webb-Melton (Weeki Wachee).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Tyler Storm (Astronaut).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Joey Smith (Cocoa).
First-round match worth price of admission: Thomas v. Storm.
My too-short take: Byelick will largely have a light road going into the final, as the other ranked kids at this weight are all in the other half. It could be possible to see any of Thomas, Dennis or Storm making the final against Byelick, but at most only two of those three will move on. The road that Titusville’s Andre Jones has could get him to Saturday.

182: 1. Bryce Rogers (Lake Highland Prep). 2. James Buehrig (Hudson). 3. Harry Williams (Hernando). 4. Nathanial Carter (Astronaut).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Zack Jordan (Atlantic).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Ashton Harding (Nature Coast).
First-round match worth price of admission: Carlos Wilson (Crystal River) v. Foster Hawthorne (Central, Brooksville).
My too-short take: This is another bracket where, other than the 1 and 3 spots (Williams is the clear #2 in this bracket, but meets Rogers in the semi), there are lots of possibilities out there. This bracket actually will have a bye into the consi third round. The loser of the top quarterfinal has a walkover into Saturday.

195: 1. Zaqueri Viers (Space Coast). 2. Justus Sheppard (Gulf). 3. Bryan Smith (Palatka). 4. Corey Adkins (Interlachen).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Joseph Gurley (Weeki Wachee).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Austen Herres (Atlantic).
First-round match worth price of admission: Fernando Valdez (Hernando) v. Josh Graham (Villages).
My too-short take: Homer pick, with two locals making it out? Maybe, but if I had to pick two locals from District 5 to make it out, those picks would be these two kids. Yes, it does require me to pick Smith losing to Gurley and then Adkins beating Gurley, with Smith then beating Adkins. That’s not impossible. Some gymnastics involved, but not impossible.

220: 1. Ben Goldin (Lake Highland Prep). 2. Matt Whitehouse (Atlantic). 3. Michael Weston (Nature Coast). 4. Brian Henderson (Crystal River).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Isaiah Polanco-Rivera (Space Coast).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Christopher O’Neal (Astronaut).
First-round match worth price of admission: Henderson v. O’Neal.
My too-short take: Along with Kohn/Castillo at 126, the final here has a chance to be repeated again next week at states. Bracket’s looking about six deep, though, in terms of guys with a real shot of making it out. I’m pretty comfortable with these picks. Hudson’s Damien Hay is another one that is an under-the-radar dark horse selection.

285: 1. EJ Krajewski (Rockledge). 2. Javohn Maravolo (Astronaut). 3. Jason Graham (Crystal River). 4. Curtis Ruff (Lake Highland Prep).
Dark horse (top half of bracket): Travis Myrick (Hudson).
Dark horse (bottom half of bracket): Keegan O’Rourke (Hernando).
First-round match worth price of admission: O’Rourke v. Trent Thurn (Space Coast).
My too-short take: With Krajewski only winning 1-0 over Maravolo at districts last week, with a very solid Graham and a dramatically-improved Ruff, this is a group of four kids that, quite honestly, could finish in almost any order come Saturday evening. Very balanced group at the top, and there’s another two-to-four kids chasing (have to add in Atlantic’s Vernon Hamilton as another possible dark horse). Don’t tune out of this bracket too soon.

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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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