Sometimes as we’re looking toward the future of a new season, it’s helpful to look back at the past.
We did that for a couple of months in the spring with our “The Season” recaps. No one in Florida recaps every team within their given coverage area, and we even learned a couple of additional lessons along the way there.
But one thing that often informs any preview of an upcoming season — even one as crazy as this one promises to be, between the impact of the FHSAA state duals series and the impact of “open” enrollment — is the tradition of what has gone before.
Area bragging rights are one such thing.
With that said, who — or better yet, which district — won 2A-Region 4? (our third of eight non-local posts, and I decided I would keep the same format as for the ones closer to me).
There are a few ways to figure this out. I’ve tried a couple in the past. This year, I’m going to try to keep it simpler. Maybe. I’ve been told I over-complicate things at times, most often by myself.
1. Points scored at the region (staged in Jensen Beach). This is now our fifth one of these (that are published, I have #NotesToSelf on all 12) and this one so far is the most even from first to last, but in the end it was having three teams in the top six that propelled District 13 to top honors, with 493 overall, third-most among 2A districts statewide. With two top-six teams, District 15 narrowly outpointed District 14, 415.5-392.5, with host Jensen Beach putting up a little more than half of the 14s’ points. District 16 was fourth, with 306.
2. Region champions. With only 14 to go round, one would expect this race to be tighter, and it was, but it ended again in District 13’s favor, as the 13s picked up firsts at 120/126/132/160/170/220. District 15 was close behind, with five champions at 106/113/138/152/285, and District 14 picked off the other three at 145/182/195, with no champions coming out of District 16.
3. State qualifiers. This wound up being a three-district horserace of sorts, with the 13s edging out both 14 and 15. District 13 finished with 17 state qualifiers (four runners-up, four 3rds and three 4ths), while both District 14 (four runners-up, five 3rds and three 4ths) and District 15 (four runners-up, three 3rds and three 4ths) each earning 15 state berths. District 16 advanced nine qualifiers (two runners-up, two 3rds and five 4ths) to states.
4. Wins earned at the region. I checked each kid’s region performance. Wins were based upon contested matches (brackets that gave kids byes meant those kids did not receive wins, but brackets that listed forfeits, where the forfeiting wrestler was still on the bracket, did get a +1 for those). Kids that did not compete for whatever the reason but qualified out and were listed on the bracket were given 0-2 records. Based upon that, while District 13 wasn’t the only district with better than a .500-record, it did have the most wins (111) and best winning percentage (111-88 win-loss record). District 14 edged out District 15 in both as well, with 89 wins to the 15s’ 86 and both had 85 losses. District 16’s win total wasn’t that far back in fourth, as they finished with 79 on the weekend.
All told, in a competition between areas, District 13 definitively “won” Region 4. Here’s a couple of notes on each district:
Best weight class: The 13s had quite a few solid weights, but none perhaps more so than the 120 group, led by champion Seth Adeclat of Heritage and third-placer Zachary Robertson of Sebastian River (who won four on the backside), with all four kids contributing at least one win to a 12-5 overall weekend.
Toughest struggle: There weren’t many weights where the 13s struggled, but one where the group had some setbacks was 145, where the four wrestlers went 4-8 as a quartet, with district champ Mike Alberico of Palm Bay reaching the semis and blood round.
Best weight class: There were two weights where the 14s were 8-5 as a group, but the one where they achieved the most on the weekend was 145, where Jensen Beach’s Kyle Kirkham and Okeechobee’s Kallen Pinerio swept the top two spots for seven of those eight wins.
Toughest struggle: As a group, the 132s had the toughest weekend, going 3-8 as a foursome. Okeechobee’s Austin Scee picked up all three of those wins in taking fourth to qualify out.
Best weight class: The 15s had just two wrestlers at 106, but the tandem of South Broward’s Anthony Valverde and Olympic Heights’ Michael Butler combined to go 1-2, respectively, as a pair, leading the district to finish 6-1 on the weekend.
Toughest struggle: As a group, the 120s probably had the toughest weekend, finishing 3-8, with just one Saturday qualifier in 2016 Region 4 runnerup and eventual state placer Paul Steger of Olympic Heights, who got to the semis and reached the blood round.
Best weight class: The 16s had a few weights where they had one more win than loss, but the most hardware was collected at 195, where the group was 8-7, with a pair of qualifiers in runnerup Deznel Addison of Norland and fourth-place finisher Devonte Wellons of Northwestern, with all four wrestlers contributing at least one win.
Toughest struggle: 106 was probably the most uphill part of the weekend for the 16s, as the district had a 1-8 weekend.
It’s tough for any kid to lose a match in the blood round, but the seniors who fell in the blood round deserve a special bit of kudos — particularly since many of them are now off doing other things (college, work, military, and the like). So this space will give props to them, in order of ascending weight class:
Jose Monterrey (Stranahan, 113)
Paul Steger (Olympic Heights, 120)
Adrian Gill (Mourning, 126)
Drayton Billie (Okeechobee, 138)
Kevin Martinez (Doral Academy, 138)
Mike Alberico (Palm Bay, 145)
Dylan Pereira (Olympic Heights, 145)
Andrew Hansen (Eau Gallie, 152)
Tyree Parks (Heritage, 152)
Daniel Shelley (Okeechobee, 160)
Aslet Jean (Norland, 160)
William Bazin (Boyd Anderson, 170)
Bryce Hess (Sebastian River, 182)
Jermaine Anderson (Northwestern, 182)
Ricardo Edwards (Dwyer, 285)
Sharod McBride (Boyd Anderson, 285)