We are excited to once again bring you "A Fan's Guide" to the FHSAA Regional Tournaments that are taking place this coming weekend across Florida. We are pleased to provide the casual fan an insider's look into each bracket and what may (or may not) happen over the course of the weekend. We make no predictions about who will win or qualify for next week's state tournament. For each weight class we provide a few bulletpoints to watch and then a copy of the bracket (which you can see for yourself on trackwrestling.com). Each weight class features:
- Favorite: Our favorite to win the weight class based on this past season and past performance.
- Contenders: A list of wrestlers that should challenge the favorite for the top step on the podium.
- Best 1st round match: The match we believe will be the closest during the 1st round of action.
- Darkhorse: A wrestler that did not finish 1st or 2nd in his/her area, but has all the tools to knock off everyone and take the top step.
- Predicted Finals Match: Obviously who we believe will be in the finals.
Team Notes: School (# = # of qualifiers, # = # of District Champs)
Individual Notes: SQ = 2015 State Qualifier; 1st = 2015 State Champ; 2nd = 2015 State Runner-up, etc.
- Choctawhatchee (6, 2)
- Crestview (5, 0)
- Ft Walton Beach (6, 2)
- Gulf Breeze (8, 2)
- Milton (3, 0)
- Niceville (7, 1)
- Pace (11, 1)
- Tate (10, 6)
- Chiles (10, 2)
- Columbia (10, 2)
- Gainesville (8, 1)
- Leon (11, 5)
- Lincoln (14, 4)
- Ed White (8, 4)
- Englewood (9, 1)
- Middleburg (10, 5)
- Orange Park (10, 3)
- Ridgeview (9, 0)
- Stanton (1, 0)
- Terry Parker (6, 1)
- Bartram Trail (11, 2)
- Creekside (10, 4)
- Matanzas (12, 5)
- Nease (8, 1)
- Paxon (3, 0)
- Ponte Vedra (8, 1)
- St. Augustine (4, 1)
- Favorite: Matanzas
- Darkhorse: Ed White
- Summary: Lincoln has owned the team title in 2A Region 1 for the last several years and will not willingly take a step back to 2nd or 3rd ... Matanzas will need to push them there. This should be a very competitive region with as many as 5 teams with a legitimate shot at the team title. Matanzas gets the slight nod because of 5 District Champions, but Lincoln counters with all 14 qualifiers. If Lincoln can get all 14 to score points they will be tough to beat. Tate leads the way with 6 Champions and Middleburg and Leon each have 5 ... those 3 teams will make the race tight. Creekside, Ed White, and Orange Park will fight for a top 5 finish.
- Favorite: Kris Smith (St Augustine) - SQ @ 106
- Jacob Cochran (Tate)
- Robert Sheridan (Middleburg)
- Scotty Tacinelli (Gainesville)
- Nicholas Vugman (Bartram Trail)
- Jerson Cabiao (Choctawhatchee)
- Best 1st Round Match: Cabiao vs. Arnold
- Darkhorse: Sean Arnold (Nease)
- Finals: Smith vs. Sheridan
- Summary: Returning State Qualifier Kris Smith is the man to beat at 106. The bottom side of the bracket should be the most interesting to watch with several wrestlers having a legitimate shot at escaping that side and being in the finals. Don't forget about Tate's Jacob Cochran.
- Favorite: Rocky Samples (Matanzas)
- Michael Crowder (Lincoln)
- Alex Porter (Tate)
- Trae'von O'Neal (Gainesville) - SQ @ 113
- Briar Jackson (Middleburg)
- RJ Leon (Ft Walton Beach)
- Best 1st Round Match: Walker vs. Leon
- Darkhorse: Chris Walker (Terry Parker)
- Finals: O'Neal vs. Samples
- Summary: Fantastic weight class that features several wrestlers that could take the top step. Crowder was one match from Kissimmee a year ago and beat State Qualifier O'Neal in the District 2 finals last weekend. Samples missed out on the post-season in 2015, but has come back with a vengeance. Porter could surprise anyone in the bracket and take the top step. Keep an eye on O'Neal vs. Jackson in the quarters and the winner vs. Porter in the top semi. Crowder vs. Samples in the bottom semi should be the best 113 lb. match of the tournament.
- Favorite: Marcus Reid Jr (Orange Park) - 6th @ 113
- Nelson Elder (Choctawhatchee)
- Chace Curtis (Columbia)
- Dylan Martinson (Nease)
- Tony Giordano (Ponte Vedra)
- Best 1st Round Match: Scott vs. Young
- Darkhorse: Houston Scott (Tate)
- Finals: Curtis vs. Reid Jr
- Summary: Reid is a returning State Placer and is looking for the top step in 2016. Elder and Curtis are on the top side of the bracket and should battle it out to see who is opposite Reid in the finals. Keep an eye on Tony Giordano of Ponte Vedra. The bottom quarter fo the bracket is open and it will be up to Martinson to hold off Young or Scott.
- Favorite: Dylan Rosetti (Middleburg) - SQ @ 106
- Tanner Wood (Tate) - SQ @ 126
- Sean Hendley (Lincoln)
- Carter Goodman (Matanzas)
- Tristan Lucessi (Nease) - SQ @ 126
- Tahj Brennen (Gainesville) - SQ @ 120
- Best 1st Round Match: Lucessi vs. Ross
- Darkhorse: Matt Ross (Columbia)
- Finals: Rossetti vs. Goodman
- Summary: Great weight class with 4 returning State Qualifiers and Hendley and Goodman. Rossetti is the favorite, but this could go to any of the 6 mentioned. Hendley, Goodman, Lucessi and Brennen make this one of the most competitive brackets in Region 1.
- Favorite: Logan Mellor (Chiles)
- Noah Losievsky (Gulf Breeze)
- Saeid Ejmali (Orange Park)
- Matthew Pickett (Bartram Trail)
- Michael Cantwell (Crestview)
- Best 1st Round Match: Lampkin vs. Russo
- Darkhorse: Darrell Lampkin (Ed White)
- Finals: Mellor vs. Ejmali
- Summary: Mellor has region experience and is ready to punch his ticket to Kissimmee. The weight class is very wide open and could go to as many as 6 different wrestlers. Be sure to watch this one throughout ... there might be a few surprises.
- Favorite: Darien Tucker (Ed White) - SQ @ 138
- Travis Thompson (Pace)
- Tristan Kraus (Matanzas)
- Will Vickers (Columbia)
- Diego Calonje (Crestview)
- Best 1st Round Match: Thomson vs. Calonje
- Darkhorse: Nicholas Thomsen (St Augustine)
- Finals: Thompson vs. Tucker
- Summary: Tucker is the only returning qualifier and gets the nod as the favorite after taking the District 3 title. Thompson vs. Kraus (assuming the both advance) should be a good semi on the top side. The 3rd quarter of the bracket is wide open and any of the four could advance to the semi's.
- Favorite: Jack Johnson (Niceville)
- David Jackson (Lincoln)
- Anthony Krevatas (Pace) - SQ @ 138
- Juwan Lee (Ed White)
- Steven Stanton (Creekside)
- Best 1st Round Match: Koike vs. Simmons
- Darkhorse: Eric Simmons (Milton)
- Finals: Johnson vs. Jackson
- Summary: Tough to pick a favorite. Johnson beat returning State Qualifier Krevatas meaning he gets our nod. The 3rd quarter with Jackson and Krevatas should be a good one to watch. Juwan Lee at the bottom of the bracket is also one to watch.
- Favorite: Brandon Dickman (Creekside) - SQ @ 152
- Justin Grant (Leon) - SQ @ 152
- Logan Womack (Tate)
- Tavian Whitehead (Englewood)
- Eddy Leon De La Cruz (Matanzas)
- Best 1st Round Match: Eastwood vs. Mauney
- Darkhorse: Aaron Mantuano (Gulf Breeze)
- Finals: Grant vs. Dickman
- Summary: Two returning State Qualifiers return and should be considered the favorites. Both Grant and Dickman should advance to the finals and both should be looking for a spot on the podium in Kissimmee. Keep an eye on the 1st and 3rd quarters of the bracket ... both should be very competitive. The backside of this bracket should be fun to watch.
- Favorite: Jaycie Rudd (Lincoln) - SQ @ 160
- Natorian Lee (Orange Park)
- Juan Alverez (Tate)
- Christopher Mixen (Matanzas)
- Austin Chapman (Columbia)
- Best 1st Round Match: Sermons vs. Gerlits
- Darkhorse: Brett Latimer (Gulf Breeze)
- Finals: Rudd vs. Lee
- Summary: This is Rudd's weight class ... with relative ease. He has routinely been one of the best 160's in state for much of the past 2 years and this year he is looking for the top step on the podium in Kissimmee. Lee has region experience (with region wins) and is your probable finalist from the top side. Chapman could give him a go in the quarters ... be sure to watch that match. Latimer is tough and drew a tough bracket in getting Rudd in the quarters.
- Favorite: Gavin Hoard (Chiles)
- Jon Shoen (Middleburg) - 6th @ 170
- Tannen Slack (Gulf Breeze)
- Brooks Harp (Barttram Trail)
- Heath Herndon (Tate)
- Best 1st Round Match: Bourget vs. Tucker
- Darkhorse: Reynaldo Bourget (Leon)
- Finals: Slack vs. Hoard
- Summary: Chiles' Gavin Haord headlines this weight class after hammering Shoen earlier this season. Jon Shoen, a returning State Placer, will look to get back at Hoard in the bottom semi and into the finals. Slack has wrestled well all season and looks like the most likely candidate to make the finals from the top side. Keep an eye on quarters 2 ... there are some very good wrestlers in there that can pull an upset or two.
- Favorite: Maverick Dennis (Matanzas) - SQ @ 170
- Aquana McCalop (Terry Parker)
- Thirkeal Lightsey (Leon)
- Sam Mason (Choctawhatchee)
- William Lulias (Creekside)
- Isaac Gutierrez (Lincoln)
- Best 1st Round Match: Stith vs. Miller
- Darkhorse: Anthony Stith (Bartram Trail)
- Finals: Dennis vs. Lulias
- Summary: Dennis is the best of the bracket and should control the top side. Keep an eye on Mason vs. Gutierrez in the top quarter. The bottom side is wide open and could easily go to Willy Lulias of Creekside. McCalop is 25-1, but we don't have much info on who he has beaten thus far in 2015-2016. Keep an eye on Lulias vs. McCalop in the quarters. Lightsey could also emerge from the bottom side, but will need to beat either Stith or Miller to get to Lulias or McCalop. Wide open.
- Favorite: Atryus McDonald (Ed White) - SQ @ 195
- Gus Fischer (Creekside)
- Brian Haynes (Ft Walton Beach)
- Henry Segura (Leon)
- Jordin Castanheira (Matanzas)
- Best 1st Round Match: Wilson vs. Newhall
- Darkhorse: John Wilson (Bartram Trail)
- Finals: McDonald vs. Fischer
- Summary: McDonald returns for one more shot at the top step ... he took 3rd at the 2015 Region 1 Tournament and went 1-2 at the state tournament. He will be looking to be on the podium in 2016. His main competition should come from Gus Fischer of Creekside. Wilson and Newhall will look to challenge him in the quarters and either Castanheira or Haynes in the semi's, but none looks like they will knock him off. The bottom side is more open, but Segura, Jackson, Staviski, and others will need to wrestle well to knock off Fischer.
- Favorite: Johnathan Grant (Leon) - SQ @ 220
- Ammon Meeks (Middleburg)
- Robert Grower (Creekside)
- Gavan McAnnally (Tate)
- Robert Williams (Chiles)
- Best 1st Round Match: McDaniel vs. Norton
- Darkhorse: Mycah Sutton (Choctawhatchee)
- Finals: McAnnally vs. Grant
- Summary: Meeks, McAnnally, McDaniel, Norton and Williams make the top side interesting. Any of the five could advance. Grant is the lone returning State Qualifier and should be the representative from the bottom side of the bracket.
- Favorite: Gabe Beyer (Leon) - 2nd @ 285
- Joseph Pearson (Ft Walton Beach)
- Kelton Johnson (Ed White)
- Taylor Montroy (Ponte Vedra)
- Marcus Zeighler (Columbia)
- Best 1st Round Match: Spencer vs. Hall
- Darkhorse: Yessic Spencer (Gainesville)
- Finals: Beyer vs. Zeighler
- Summary: One of the best weight classes in Region 1. Beyer, a future Penn State Nittany Lion, is easily the best 285 in Region 1 and in 2A ... be sure to watch 2A 285 in Kissimmee. Great weight class. Anyway ... Pearson draws the short straw and gets Beyer on the same side of the bracket. Pearson will need to beat Moss and then either Hudson or Leonard to get to the semi's vs. Beyer. Being in the semi's will be important to punching his ticket to Kissimmee. The bottom side features Kelton Johnson (unbeaten in 2015-2016), Marcus Zeighler (one match from qualifying in 2015), Montroy Taylor, Yessic Spencer, Hunter Hall, and Murphy Bennett.