So next up is the 2A-Region 1 preview.
We’ll have slight twists to this preview and the 1A-Region 1 preview coming later. If there is both a Northeast and a Northwest “dark horse” pick that I can choose, I will include two dark horses for each half of the bracket. There may not always be one for both sites. Also, the Northeast dark horse will be listed first for purposes of convenience. It does NOT mean necessarily that I feel the NE kid will go further in the bracket.
As my friend Brant is quick to caution with his preview picks, these are for entertainment purposes only. Prove me wrong, or prove me right. I am good either way.
106: 1. Jacob Cochran (Tate). 2. Luke Davis (Creekside). 3. Mark Munroe (Lincoln). 4. Gabe Jacobs (Gulf Breeze).
Top half dark horse: Gavin Riccobono (Ponte Vedra).
Bottom half dark horses: Cameron Broughton (Orange Park), Austin O’Gara (Pace).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Gabe Guzman (Ridgeview) v. Riccobono.
My too-short take: Cochran should control this bracket. I don’t know that Davis is a for-sure pick, he will have to mind his Ps and Qs in both the quarter against O’Gara and the semi against Jacobs. I tend to go chalk with a lot of these, where the chalk picks are aligned that way, but I really think Riccobono and O’Gara, in particular, will push the top four hard for slots into states.
113: 1. Leland Knoch (Pace). 2. Dominic Cerillo (Niceville). 3. Frank Sawyer (Orange Park). 4. Sean Arnold (Nease).
Top half dark horses: Scotty Tacinelli (Gainesville), Noah Kryfka (Tate).
Bottom half dark horses: Nicholas Vugman (Bartram Trail), Ikeon Myles (Lincoln).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Vugman v. Jerson Cabiao (Choctaw).
My too-short take: I am going with District 1 reprising their final from last weekend, but I won’t be surprised with any one of five kids winning the whole bracket. Margin of error is really, really fine here. I will be curious to see how the Knoch-Tacinelli and Vugman-Sawyer quarterfinal matches, in particular, play out. That may tell much more about how Saturday will unfold.
120: 1. Marcus Reid (Ridgeview). 2. Michael Crowder (Lincoln). 3. Alex Porter (Tate). 4. Zach Hartzog (Niceville).
Top half dark horses: Jake Summers (Creekside), Levi McConnell (Gulf Breeze).
Bottom half dark horses: Gannon Janssen (Nease), Tyler Tran (Pace).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Tran v. Dean Ganci (Orange Park).
My too-short take: Reid and Porter are the strongest two kids in the bracket, but will meet in the semis. Crowder’s making a late push after injury held him out early this season. Janssen, Tran and Ganci are all solid kids. I will be curious to see how the Hartzog-Janssen match goes in the bottom quarter of this bracket. Matanzas’ Stone White could be in the mix also. This group could go eight deep.
126: 1. Chace Curtis (Columbia). 2. Lawrence Russo (Matanzas). 3. Kevin Green (Pace). 4. Tanner Belden (Ridgeview).
Top half dark horse: Tyree Young (Lincoln).
Bottom half dark horses: Timothy Alalla (St. Augustine), Christopher Burch (Middleburg). Logan Myer (Choctaw), Mathew Blalock (Tate).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Blalock v. Alalla.
My too-short take: This is a hard one to pick, I’m not at all sure about it and everything seems up in the air. Our champ is the clear class of the field but hasn’t wrestled in a month before last week, there are new kids that have gone from OK to pretty solid, and kids who started the year looking solid have fallen back to OK or maybe not even that. The Belden I saw at the start of this year can get to fourth. We’ll just have to see if the new wave of kids solidifies itself this weekend.
132: 1. Noah Losievsky (Gulf Breeze). 2. Jacob Satterfield (Nease). 3. Logan Mellor (Chiles). 4. Matt Ross (Columbia).
Top half dark horse: James Mueller (Bartram Trail).
Bottom half dark horse: Owen Moore (Pace).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Ross v. James Stanton (Ponte Vedra).
My too-short take: Don’t overlook Satterfield. I went back and forth on this one for a while before settling on what looks to be the safe pick. If I had to guess, though, I would have to say that Satterfield just might prove himself to be the class of the field this weekend. I can think of a number of a different kids who, with things clicking their way this weekend, that they’ll make it out to states.
138: 1. Matt Pickett (Bartram Trail). 2. Kendall Townley (Tate). 3. Saeid Ejmali (Ridgeview). 4. Daniel Mann (Columbia).
Top half dark horses: Harrison Crowley (Ponte Vedra), Marcus Petersen (St. Augustine).
Bottom half dark horses: Elliott Crum (Lincoln), Cameron Bennett (Pace).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Bennett v. Andrew Tychsen (Chiles); Crum v. Marc Casey (Choctaw).
My too-short take: I think Pickett is the slight favorite here, although I’m inclined to favor whoever comes out of the bottom half between him and Ejmali. It’s the stronger half of the bracket. By contrast, the top half might not be quite so deep. Whoever makes it from the top half of the consi could be one of three different kids.
145: 1. Diego Calonje (Crestview). 2. Bailey Howes (Niceville). 3. Austin Nolan (Chiles). 4. Kishma Davis (Pace).
Top half dark horses: Jacob Linden (St. Augustine), Christian Crews (Bartram Trail).
Bottom half dark horses: Malachi Martin (Ridgeview), Jacob Cooney (Creekside).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Nolan v. Nathan Gunn (Choctaw).
My too-short take: Can District 1 take three kids out to states? We’ll obviously start to find out on Friday, but there’s an experience advantage there. I would expect that the winner of the Calonje-Nolan semifinal should have a leg up on the bracket, but after that I do see several kids on the Northeast side attempting to chase down Northwest ones. One of the dark horse kids needs to step up and have a quality two days.
152: 1. Jeremy Burke (Lincoln). 2. Sullivan Gerlits (Pace). 3. Juan Alvarez (Tate). 4. Alex Jacobs (Gulf Breeze).
Top half dark horses: Kevin Williams (Bartram Trail), Jaquenez Madison (Leon).
Bottom half dark horses: Brendan Jones (Creekside), Evan Merry (Ponte Vedra).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Madison v. Tanner Hill (Nease).
My too-short take: Again, experience is counting. Both of the Northeast district champs are fairly inexperienced, while the Northwest ones — Burke and Gerlits — are veterans. Jacobs isn’t ranked, but he’s been right in there against former state qualifiers and district champs. Jones could push some folks and make the show, however. Watch the quarterfinals in this weight. Looks to me like we could have four good ones.
160: 1. Justin Grant (Lincoln). 2. Jack Johnson (Niceville). 3. Tavian Whitehead (Englewood). 4. Bradley Miller (Gulf Breeze).
Top half dark horses: Cody Eastwood (Middleburg), Connor Cleveland (Ft. Walton Beach), Tracey Beshara (St. Augustine).
Bottom half dark horses: D’Angelo Johnson (Terry Parker).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Cleveland v. Beshara.
My too-short take: I’m pretty sure about the final. I could be talked into a few different kids for third and fourth. I can see a lot of intense matches in the quarterfinals and in the consi rounds. There’s some very strong athletes in this bracket, and I don’t know that the rankings reflect fully the quality of the kids that are here.
170: 1. Brandon Dickman (Creekside). 2. Christopher Mixan (Matanzas). 3. Nartorian Lee (Orange Park). 4. Jared Newhall (Lincoln).
Top half dark horses: Dylan Hanna (Middleburg), Justin Lopeman (Chiles).
Bottom half dark horse: Ethan Billhimer (Pace).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Mixan v. Landon Dains (Terry Parker).
My too-short take: Pretty confident with the top pick, I think there’s a couple of different possibilities for the runnerup but my pick is battle-tested. Pretty confident with the three and the four, but there are another three good ones that should make the consi matches very exciting to watch and verys stressful on the kids. The quarterfinal round on Friday afternoon will be full of intensity.,
182: 1. JT Grant (Leon). 2. Reed Danielson (Orange Park). 3. Tannen Slack (Gulf Breeze). 4. Bryan Heflin (Middleburg).
Top half dark horse: Michel Augustin (Englewood).
Bottom half dark horses: Trey Chesser (Creekside), Jordan Hines (Niceville), Seth Martin (Milton).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Augustin v. Jarrod Case (Nease).
My too-short take: Grant is the heavy, if not outright overwhelming, favorite to win the bracket. Can Danielson make the final? I believe so, but there will be challenges in both the quarters and the semis. The back side of this bracket is again going to be a battleground. Just making it to Saturday is going to be a difficult challenge.
195: 1. Henry Segura (Leon). 2. Key Nettles (Pace). 3. Corey Grower (Creekside). 4. Brooks Harp (Bartram Trail).
Top half dark horse: Jacob Neales (Tate).
Bottom half dark horses: Nick Thoresen (Nease), Andrew Drollinger (Gulf Breeze), Nick Woodward (Ft Walton Beach).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Thoresen v. Drollinger.
My too-short take: I feel like the top four in this weight class are pretty solid. Who can challenge them? I have two of the District 1 dark horses just one match away from state, but the two District 4 kids take the day in the “blood round.” Should Segura and Nettles meet in the finals, it should be a matchup of contrasting styles that will be fun to see how it plays out.
220: 1. Josh Martin (Lincoln). 2. Kolton McDaniel (Bartram Trail). 3. Bobby Williams (Chiles). 4. Tyler Dehart (Orange Park).
Top half dark horse: Jacob Tisdale (Gulf Breeze).
Bottom half dark horses: Coleman Young (Crestview), Jacob Nowling (Tate).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Nowling v. Jon Walter (Nease).
My too-short take: Like the 195 group, I feel like the top four are pretty solid, and in the order of finish as projected. There are a couple of District 1 kids that will have long tournaments and make challenges to push their way in to Kissimmee, but I think the experience of the top four is sufficiently grounded to see them through.
285: 1. Joseph Pearson (Ft. Walton Beach). 2. Thomas Moss (Lincoln). 3. Bailey Barnard (Middleburg). 4. Weston Tew (Crestview).
Top half dark horse: Donnie Wilburn (Gainesville).
Bottom half dark horses: Murphy Bennett (Pace), Karam Hill (Englewood), Justin Thompson (Bartram Trail).
First-round match worth the price of admission: Bennett v. Hill.
My too-short take: I think the final of Bennett vs. Moss is pretty solid, but there may be some possibilities out there. Bennett-Barnard’s consi semi should be a war. The bottom half of the bracket has, I think, a little bit more depth to it, but I think the top half of the consi bracket will be where the most difficult challenges lie.