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.

District 9

  • Boca Ciega (4, 0)
  • Clearwater (3, 1)
  • Dixie Hollins (10, 8)
  • Dunedin (10, 2)
  • East Lake (13, 2)
  • Largo (1, 0)
  • Mitchell (0, 0)
  • Northeast (8, 0)
  • Osceola (3, 0)
  • River Ridge (4, 1)

District 10

  • Braden River (5, 1)
  • Charlotte (13, 4)
  • Palmetto (11, 2)
  • Port Charlotte (5, 1)
  • Sebring (10, 2)
  • Venice (12, 4)

District 11

  • Cape Coral (2, 0)
  • Ft Myers (8, 2)
  • Ida Baker (7, 1)
  • Island Coast (6, 0)
  • Lehigh (7, 0)
  • Mariner (7, 2)
  • North Ft Myers (5, 0)
  • Riverdale (14, 9)

District 12

  • Barron Collier (7, 2)
  • Cypress Lake (7, 1)
  • East Lee County (5, 1)
  • Estero (3, 2)
  • Golden Gate (8, 1)
  • Gulf Coast (6, 1)
  • Naples (5, 0)
  • Palmetto Ridge (11, 4)
  • South Ft Myers (4, 1)

Team

  • Favorite: Riverdale
  • Contenders:
    • Palmetto Ridge
    • Dixie Hollins
    • Charlotte
    • Venice
    • East Lake
  • Darkhorse: Dunedin
  • Summary: Riverdale advanced all 14 from the District 11 Tournament with 9 Champions and enter the Region 3 Tournament as the favorites. Depending on the how many Raiders advance they should be one of the favorites next week as well.  Dixie Hollins crowned 8 champions and should give the Raiders a run for the top spot.  Palmetto Ridge, Charlotte, Venice, and East Lake will all be in the hunt.  Dunedin, Ft Myers, Palmetto, and others aren't likely to challenge Riverdale, but they will have an impact on who ends up winning the team race.

106 lbs.

  • Favorite: James Monos (Riverdale) - 2nd @ 106
  • Contenders:
    • Dean Nunziato (Golden Gate)
    • Ryan Rubenacker (Charlotte) - 6th @ 106
    • Ryan Fountain (Sebring)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Herring vs. McCallister
  • Darkhorse: Riley Dunn (Braden River)
  • Finals: Monos vs. Nunziato
  • Summary:  After a heartbreaking loss in the State Finals a year ago, there was little doubt that James Monos was going to be the favorite.  The only question was at weight would it be.  He bounced up and down, beating the best at both weight classes.  Rubenacker just might be his toughest challenge, and they will likely face off in the semis unless there is a major upset.  Nunziato is tough as nails but hasn't faced either Monos or Rubenacker.  Sebring's Fountain has a chance at upsetting the apple cart with a challenging but not unbeatable path to the semis.

113 lbs.

  • Favorite: Rocco Pereira (Palmetto Ridge) - SQ @ 106
  • Contenders:
    • CJ Robles (Barron Collier)
    • Jalen Santiago (Riverdale)
    • Bryan Rubenacker (Charlotte)
    • William Ward (Dixie Hollins)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Krebs vs. Joseph
  • Darkhorse: Caleb Poche (Naples)
  • Finals: Robles vs. Perreira
  • Summary:  Pereira was the hard luck kid last year, made it to state and then suffered a dislocated elbow, preventing what I believe was a medal run.  He has had to battle through a lot of roadblocks this year, but he seems to be coming into the State series ready to rock n roll.  Robles is on the verge of taking the next step, went toe to toe with Rocco in the District final.  If he can overcome some inconsistencies he certainly can give Rocco all he wants.  Ward and Robles in the quarters should be one of the best matches of that round.  Riverdale's Jalen Santiago is another wrestler that has faced a ton of adversity but has put together a strong 2016.  He is a 5 pointer waiting to happen, possessing a beastly head and arm.  Do not sleep on the “other” Rubenacker, who has quietly put together a great season in the shadow of his more accomplished wrestling twin.

120 lbs.

  • Favorite: Brent Smallwood (Venice) - SQ @ 113
  • Contenders:
    • Brian Opalensky (Estero)
    • Drew Harrington (Dixie Hollins)
    • Coleby Barnes (Riverdale)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Navarro vs. Monix
  • Darkhorse: Joey Retherford (Island Coast)
  • Finals: Smallwood vs. Opalensky
  • Summary:  The best matchup may be Harrington and Smallwood in the top side semis, but don't expect the guys on the bottom to apologize.  Overall this weight may have more close matches than just about any other bracket in the Region.  Smallwood was a state qualifier a year ago and is looking for much more.  Barnes from Riverdale has been a pleasant surprise for the Raiders, a bulldog with an attitude.

126 lbs.

  • Favorite: Christian Minto (Mariner)
  • Contenders:
    • David Ortiz (Golden Gate)
    • Hunter Moline (Venice)
    • Darquell Pierre (Boca Ciega)
    • Kyle Nesbit (Estero) - SQ @ 120
  • Best 1st Round Match: Pierre vs. Floyd
  • Darkhorse: Ryne Rosenbalm (Palmetto Ridge)
  • Finals: Minot vs. Nesbit
  • Summary: Minto has been the Freshman Sensation and currently is probably the favorite to make the state final against Kyle Norstrem, but he is going to have to get past the “other” Kyle in Estero's Nesbit.  They squared off a few weeks ago with Minto securing the close win, so Nesbit is looking to return the favor.  Nesbit was the only wrestler to avoid being pinned last year by Norstrem at the State tournament.  David Ortiz of Golden Gate has kind of come from nowhere and gave Nesbit an incredible scare in the District 12 final.  East Lake's McGinnis (a state qualifier at 120) can hang with anyone so expect sparks in the quarterfinals with Ortiz.   Nicholls (a State Qualifier at 113 in 1A) and Pierre are part of a strong group from District 9 at this weight. 

132 lbs.

  • Favorite: Colten Thomas (Ft Myers) - 2nd @ 132
  • Contenders:
    • Zack Addis (Dixie Hollins)
    • Raheem Poteat (Port Charlotte)
    • Jalen Soto (Cypress Lake) - 3rd @ 120
    • George Zertoplis (Palmetto Ridge)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Poteat vs. Donovan
  • Darkhorse: Carlos Luna (Island Coast)
  • Finals: Thomas vs. Addis
  • Summary:  Another weight where the semifinals probably has the matchup of the two best wrestlers in the Region.  Colten Thomas suffered through injury in the first half of the season, just being able to return to the mat late in January.  He and Jalen Soto were scheduled to face off in the LCAC Tournament but Thomas inj defaulted the final match, leading to some possible bad blood.  Addis is the cream of the crop on the top side and has a comfortable path to the finals.  Expect the Seniors Poteat and Chandler to challenge for a ticket to Kissimmee in the blood round. 

138 lbs.

  • Favorite: Daniel Williamson (Riverdale)
  • Contenders:
    • Coleman Bryant (Dixie Hollins)
    • Dan Stone (Venice)
    • Joe Cilibrasi (South Ft Myers)
    • Chance Sharbono (Braden River) - SQ @ 126
    • Grant Cardwell (Dunedin) - SQ @ 138 1A
  • Best 1st Round Match: Bolden vs. Cilibrasi
  • Darkhorse: Mitch Hamilton (Palmetto Ridge)
  • Finals: Williamson vs. Vadyak
  • Summary:  Sharbono would be in the finals if he was on the other side of the bracket but the bracket does him no favors, giving him Cardwell and Williamson most likely.  Vadyak got a favorable draw having beat Paull and Cilibrasi at Ippolito and LCAC respectively and finishing over Bolden at Ippolito.  The unassuming Stone could give Bryant more than he can handle, and could pull the upset.  Ramos and Eguluiz will have a tough path, having to get past each other to have a shot at Williamson and then maybe Sharbono.

145 lbs.

  • Favorite: Keaton Koselke (Mariner) - 2nd @ 138 1A
  • Contenders:
    • Brendan Ditro (Dunedin) - 5th @ 138 1A
    • Hunter Weeks (Riverdale) - 6th @ 145
    • Carl Monix (East Lee)
    • Lance Lecuyer (Palmetto Ridge)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Monix vs. Perez
  • Darkhorse: Juan Cruz (Naples)
  • Finals: Koselke vs. Weeks
  • Summary:  Round three of Weeks v Koselke could very well happen, with Koselke undefeated and holding the advantage but Weeks is ready to go anytime and any place.   Koselke is the 1A runnerup from a year ago that has moved up to 2A and hasn't skipped a beat.  The biggest threat to the rematch comes from Brendan Ditro.  Ditro lost a 4-2 decision to Koselke early in the season at Captain Archer and would love another shot.  Weeks is a returning placer at this weight a year ago.  

152 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jacob Mathis (Venice) - SQ @ 152
  • Contenders:
    • Thomas Bujalski (Dunedin) - SQ @ 126 1A
    • Sal Cilibrasi (South Ft Myers)
    • Nelson Ortiz (Riverdale)
    • Devin Price (Golden Gate)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Bass vs. Busch
  • Darkhorse: Ryan Davis (East Lee)
  • Finals: Mathis vs. Price
  • Summary:  This just may be the most wide open bracket in the event with 8 to 9 wrestlers that might be able to get out of other regions but not this one.  Overall, this is the toughest bracket in the Region to pick.  Seven wrestlers with over 30 wins and a couple more with winning percentages over 75%.  Mathis and Bujalski have state experience and both are on the top side.  Ortiz is another Raider that can turn a match around in a second with a big throw, while Cilibrasi is unorthodox but effective. 

160 lbs.

  • Favorite: Joey Nadotti (Palmetto Ridge) - 1st @ 160
  • Contenders:
    • Jensen Rice (Clearwater)
    • Leonel Barboza (Palmetto) - 3rd @ 152
    • Trendon Dunn (Riverdale)
    • Luke Viegel (Venice)
    • Dalton Busch (Dixie Hollins)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Miller vs. Washam
  • Darkhorse: Robby Washam (Dunedin)
  • Finals: Nadotti vs. Barboza
  • Summary:  This looked like a cake walk a few weeks back for defending champion Nadotti, but Barboza decided to come back for his senior season after placing third a year ago.  The potential final took on a whole new look.  Rice of Clearwater has an impeccable record but could struggle with Barboza's strength and athleticism.  Viegel and Busch get the unenviable task of facing Nadotti in the semifinals if they should get that far.  There are going to be 2-3 really good wrestlers getting their season cut a week short. Rice, Busch, Dunn and Viegel could be in the blood round.

170 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jared Galan (Riverdale) - SQ @ 160
  • Contenders:
    • George Hall (East Lake)
    • Phillip Sapp (Sebring)
    • Joey Parmenter (Palmetto Ridge)
    • Winston Buckley (Port Charlotte)
    • Brian Gimenez (Cypress Lake)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Parker vs. Hall
  • Darkhorse: Mike Edouard (Ft Myers)
  • Finals: Galan vs. Parmenter
  • Summary: 2015 State Qualifier Galan has stepped his game up for the 2016 tournament and is riding high.  He could face the 24-1 Buckley, but closer examination of the record shows not a lot of strong competition.  The best opponent he faced was Marzullo, who beat him 7 to 0.  Hall might face one of the toughest paths to the finals.  Parmenter did not get to compete in the state series last year, looks to make up for it with a Finals appearance here at Region 3.

182 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jacob Figur (Sebring)
  • Contenders:
    • Brandon Nevitt (Dixie Hollins)
    • Gage Schield (Riverdale)
    • Spencer Jacoby (Osceola Fundamental)
    • Nick Richards (Ida Baker) - SQ @ 160
  • Best 1st Round Match: Snukis vs. Mills
  • Darkhorse: Dalton Hayes (East Lake)
  • Finals: Nevitt vs. Figur
  • Summary: Schield got knocked from the ranks of the unbeatens this past weekend, and Nevitt is a hammer.  Sets up a really good semifinal.  ON the other side, it could be Sebring's Figur squaring up with Ida Baker's Richards.  Richards move up was a bit puzzling (until he took out Schield last week).  This weight class has the most evenly matched semis.  Keep an eye on Jacoby breaking through, but it's a long shot.

195 lbs.

  • Favorite: Clifton Thomas (Dixie Hollins) - 4th @ 195
  • Contenders:
    • Dalton Mills (Charlotte) - SQ @ 195
    • Najee Jacob (Ft Myers)
    • Nick Vischulis (Venice)
    • Jack Simpson (Barron Collier)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Lawrence vs. Chery
  • Darkhorse: Preston Archuleta (Osceola Fundamental)
  • Finals: Thomas vs. Vischulis
  • Summary:  This weight class got a huge boost when Thomas came down from 220 after wrestling that weight all year, and then another bump when Vischulis moved up from 182.  Dalton Mills went from the Region favorite to probably the third choice as a result of those two moves.  Mills has a very tough route but has the determination to grind his way through.

220 lbs.

  • Favorite: Jesse Pryor (Riverdale) - 3rd @ 220
  • Contenders:
    • Jamel Davis (Barron Collier)
    • Brian Batey (River Ridge)
    • Jakub Stetz (Dunedin)
    • Jordari Rene (South Ft Myers)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cabrera vs. LaCouture
  • Darkhorse: Isaiah Torres (East Lake)
  • Finals: Pryor vs. Davis
  • Summary:  With the defection of Thomas this became a two horse race between Pryor and Davis.  Pryor finished 3rd a year ago while Davis sat out after being a SQ in 2014.  Davis didn't get back on the mat until late in the season but has gone on a great run, with his only loss occurring at the Chase Life tournament.  There isn't a legitimate threat to prevent them being in the Finals, but see a very competitive consolation bracket, with 6 guys having legit shots at the last two spots, including Batey, Stetz, Rene, Torres, Cabrera and LaCouture. 

285 lbs.

  • Favorite: Cole Schneider (Riverdale) - 1st @ 285
  • Contenders:
    • Jesse Smith (Dixie Hollins)
    • Tyrek Richards (Sebring)
    • Michael Delago (Ft Myers) - 4th @ 285
    • Julian Santos (East Lake) - 6th @ 285
    • Bruce Estanislao (Palmetto Ridge)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Beyer vs. Estinislao
  • Darkhorse: Rigoberto Vila (Lehigh)
  • Finals: Schneider vs. Delago
  • Summary:  One of the prime time matches could occur with the third meeting between defending State Champion Schneider and returning 4th place finisher Delago.  They have split their two matchups this year with Schneider nabbing the district title.  The biggest contenders for each come from District 9, with Delago having Smith as a likely quarter opponent and Schneider possibly wrestling Santos in the quarters.  Vila and Richards should be a good quarter matchup as well.  It's a shame that only 4 can go, because there are at least two to three that would advance in other Regions.