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.
- Celebration (5, 0)
- Gateway (10, 2)
- Haines City (2, 0)
- Lake Nona (9, 2)
- Melbourne (8, 0)
- Osceola (13, 10)
- Ridge Community (3, 0)
- St Cloud (6, 0)
- Bartow (1, 0)
- Durant (13, 2)
- George Jenkins (11, 5)
- Kathleen (5, 1)
- Lakeland (7, 2)
- Newsome (5, 2)
- Plant City (6, 0)
- Strawberry Crest (8, 2)
- Alonso (2, 0)
- Bloomingdale (7, 1)
- East Bay (3, 2)
- Freedom (7, 1)
- Steinbrenner (8, 2)
- Plant (6, 1)
- Riverview (Riv) (10, 3)
- Sickles (4, 1)
- Wharton (7, 3)
- Wiregrass Ranch (2, 0)
- Countryside (5, 0)
- Lakewood Ranch (8, 2)
- Manatee (8, 3)
- North Port (11, 4)
- Palm Harbor (9, 4)
- Pinellas Park (2, 0)
- Riverview (Sar) (2, 0)
- Sarasota (7, 1)
- Seminole (1, 0)
- St Petersburg (3, 0)
- Favorite: Osceola
- George Jenkins
- North Port
- Palm Harbor
- Darkhorse: Durant
- Summary: Osceola has the horses and should be the team to beat this weekend in 3A Region 2. George Jenkins, North Port, and Palm Harbor should challenge the Kowboys, but it will be tough to overcome their 10 district champions. Gateway, Durant, Lake Nona, Riverview (Riverview), and Manatee should all be banging on the door of a top 5 finish (perhaps a top 3 finish).
- Favorite: Malyke Hines (Osceola)
- Chris Fragale (Palm Harbor)
- Anthony Vitale (Steinbrenner)
- Jaylon Andrews (Kathleen)
- Michael Bush (Sarasota) - SQ @ 106
- Best 1st Round Match: Seaman vs. Navarro
- Darkhorse: Jake Seaman (Lakewood Ranch)
- Finals: Hines vs. Bush
- Summary: Hines is one the top 106's in the state regardless of classification ... Fragale is one of the top 6 in 3A. The two best of the bracket should meet in the top semifinal. That leaves the bottom open for returning State Qualifier Michael Bush of Sarasota. Both district champions on the bottom side, Andrews and Vitale, went 0-2 at last year's regional tournament. Keep an eye on Navarro and don't be surprised if a freshman from the top side of the bracket claims the #4 spot.
- Favorite: Marshall Craig (Manatee) - SQ @ 106
- Payton Stewart (Lakeland)
- Saul Mayorga (Osceola)
- Jordan Forrest (Riverview - Riverview)
- Yosbiel Garcia (Sarasota) - SQ @ 113
- Best 1st Round Match: Hoffman vs. Davenport
- Darkhorse: Braydon McLellan (North Port)
- Finals: Garcia vs. Craig
- Summary: Returning State Qualifier Marshall Craig of Manatee beat fellow returning qualifier Yosbiel Garcia in the District 8 finals last week (3-1) ... expect the two of them to go at it again in the finals this weekend. That is making several big assumptions ... #1 Garcia must beat Mayorga (not an easy feat) and #2 Craig beats Stewart in the bottom semifinal (again not an easy feat). Keep an eye on the potential quarterfinal between McLellan and Forrest. The winner of that match could punch his ticket ... the loser of the Mayorga vs. Garcia quarterfinal will likely need to beat Stewart (assuming he loses to Craig) to qualify. Bout 340 should be a very good match.
- Favorite: Hunter Reed (Lakewood Ranch) - 3rd @ 113 2A
- Gage Hollingsworth (Lakeland) - SQ @ 120
- Lucas Rodriguez (Gateway) - SQ @ 120
- Brett Behers (Steinbrenner) - SQ @ 113
- Elijah McColister (Strawberry Crest)
- Best 1st Round Match: McColister vs. Pena
- Darkhorse: Luis Pena (Osceola)
- Finals: Reed vs. Hollingsworth
- Summary: Reed headlines a very good weight class that features 3 other returning qualifiers (and each won their district) ... meaning that we should see some very good semifinal bouts. Rodriguez vs. Hollingsworth is a toss up on the top side with Reed getting the edge on Behers in the bottom semifinal. Someone could upset the party, but it looks like these four are the most likely to make a return trip to Kissimmee.
- Favorite: Cullen Telfer (Strawberry Crest) - 1st @ 113
- Joe Capone (Palm Harbor)
- Kristian Perez (Osceola) - SQ @ 126
- Johnathan Brabazon (Plant)
- Best 1st Round Match: Patterson vs. Barger
- Darkhorse: Daniel Haley (Plant)
- Finals: Perez vs. Telfer
- Summary: Telfer vs. Capone should be a good semifinal bout on the bottom side ... Capone missed the post-season last year with an injury and looks to punch his ticket this year (but the Telfer match is going to be a tough one). Perez, a 2015 State Qualifier, returns on the top side and should be the man to beat. Keep an eye on the 2nd quarter of the bracket ... losing in the quarters on the top side makes getting to Kissimmee very difficult (likely having to beat either Capone or Telfer to advance).
- Favorite: Kizahn Clarke (Riverview - Riverview) - 2nd @ 132
- John Locksmith (Osceola)
- Dylan Cameron (Lakewood Ranch) - 4th @ 126 2A
- Chas Waller (Strawberry Crest)
- Spencer Phillips (Steinbrenner)
- Best 1st Round Match: Darr vs. Buchanan
- Darkhorse: Jacob Darr (Sickles)
- Finals: Locksmith vs. Clarke
- Summary: Three outstanding wrestlers that could all be on the step, not just a regions, but at the state tournament. Locksmith returns and has looked fantastic. Clarke fell to Jared Prince in last year's 132 lb. final and Cameron was 4th in a very tough 2A 126 lb. bracket. It would be a shock to see any of the three not on the podium this weekend (or next weekend for that matter). Waller, Darr, Phillips, and others will battle it out for the 4th a final spot. The 2nd quarterfinal looms large ... the loser will likely have to beat either Clarke or Cameron to advance.
- Favorite: Gavin Mitchiner (Palm Harbor)
- Justin Camacho (Gateway)
- Levi Rate (Bloomingdale)
- Kyle Marshall (George Jenkins)
- Best 1st Round Match: Dwyer vs. Espinal
- Darkhorse: Brandon Espinal (Lake Nona)
- Finals: Mitchiner vs. Rate
- Summary: A wide open weight class that features no returning State Placers or State Qualifiers, a rarity in 3A Region 2. Mitchiner has had the best season thus far, but the favorite spot could really go to any of the 4 District Champions. Keep an eye on the #2's and #3's (Schramm, Tyree, Dwyer, etc.) ... one of them will likely qualify.
- Favorite: Charles Small (Manatee) - SQ @ 132
- Leandro Velazquez (Osceola) - SQ @ 138
- Tony Hernandez (Riverview- Riverview)
- Na'Gee Rivera (Durant)
- Nick Gust (Palm Harbor)
- Best 1st Round Match: Brown vs. Graham
- Darkhorse: Ryan Brown (Lakewood Ranch)
- Finals: Small vs. Gust
- Summary: Returning State Qualifiers Velazquez and Small enter as the favorites and both are on the top side of the bracket. Each should take care of business in the quarters and move onto the top semifinal. The bottom side is fairly wide open. Keep an eye on Nick Gust, Ryan Brown, and Owen Graham ... any of the three could beat the district champs down there and advance. The winner of Hernandez vs. Gust is the likely representative from the bottom side.
- Favorite: John Cruz (North Port) - 3rd @ 145
- Gavin Arnold (Osceola)
- Joe LeBarre (Newsome)
- Carlos Rodicio (Freedom)
- Miguel Vasquez (Gateway) - SQ @ 152
- Best 1st Round Match: Praesel vs. Gregory
- Darkhorse: Devin Praesel (Wiregrass Ranch)
- Finals: Arnold vs. Cruz
- Summary: Returning State Placer John Cruz headlines a deep and talented bracket. Gavin Arnold and Joe Lebarre look to be the wrestlers to beat on the top side, but there are a # of 2's and 3's that can pull the upset ... be sure to watch the quarters. Carlos Ridicio should get returning State Qualifier Miguel Vasquez of Gateway in the quarters ... winning that match will be important because the loser will have to beat either Arnold, LeBarre or a #2 or #3 for a ticket to Kissimmee.
- Favorite: Giovanny Bonilla (Osceola) - 2nd @ 152
- Matt McAleer (Manatee) - SQ @ 145
- Hamid Salahutdin (Sickles)
- Christian Bounce (George Jenkins)
- Scott Nutting (Lakeland)
- Best 1st Round Match: Nutting vs. Flenard
- Darkhorse: Ty Flenard (North Port)
- Finals: Bonilla vs. McAleer
- Summary: The 1st round matches at 160 are some of the best of the tournament ... Sapanara vs. Molle-Clark, Flenard vs. Nutting, Gonzalez vs. Deffenaugh, and Bakken vs. Knowles. If I were in the stands, I'd be paying close attention to those matches. Bonilla is the favorite ... easy. The other three quarterfinals should all be interesting. McAleer looks like the best on the bottom side, but there will be some tough matches ... can someone knock him off?
- Favorite: Dacoda Flenard (North Port) - 5th @ 160
- Jarred Hardinger (Sarasota)
- Bryan Beriguete (Osceola)
- Matthew Moskowitz (George Jenkins) - SQ @ 160
- Gamaniel Calderon (East Bay)
- Best 1st Round Match: Morang vs. Fields
- Darkhorse: Connor Morang (Manatee)
- Finals: Flenard vs. Hardinger
- Summary: Some of the best 170's in Florida are in this bracket and several very good wrestlers will likely be sitting at home the last weekend of the season. Flenard vs. Beriguete in the top semifinal could be a preview of the state final a week later. Add in Hardinger, Moskowitz, and Calderon on the bottom and you have a great bracket.
- Favorite: Steven Mercadante (Sarasota)
- Ethan Delong (Osceola)
- Jashley Ulcena (Durant)
- Moises Yela (Wharton)
- Brandon Dossey (Manatee)
- Best 1st Round Match: Didden vs. Sleeter
- Darkhorse: Anthony Didden (Palm Harbor)
- Finals: Mercadante vs. Dossey
- Summary: No returning State Qualifiers, but this bracket isn't as open as one might believe. Sarasota's Steven Mercadante is the favorite and should handle the bracket. DeLong and other will look to challenge him on the top side, but the way he has been wrestling it doesn't seem likely. The bottom side could end up a battle of District 8 ... with Didden and Dossey. Both will have to beat some good wrestlers, but their appearance in the semi's (should it happen) should not be a surprise.
- Favorite: Devin Gouviea (North Port)
- Kevin Clayton (East Bay)
- Isaiah Dawson (Lake Nona)
- Tyler O'Briwn (Newsome)
- Trevor Albers (Alonso)
- Best 1st Round Match: Johns vs. Nava
- Darkhorse: Daniel Nava (Sarasota)
- Finals: Clayton vs. Gouviea
- Summary: Again no returning State Qualifiers, but this weight class does look wide open. Each of the District Champs have had good seasons, but none have been to the big dance before. Devin Gouviea was 3-2 and one match from qualifying a season ago. Dawson was 2-2 and Clayton and O'Brien were 1-2. Last year is last year and it doesn't mean much in predicting what will happen this season. As a fan watch those 4 District Champions along with Albers and Sharp ... it means this weight class will probably have some tight back-and-forth matches.
- Favorite: Darrius Mosley (George Jenkins) - SQ @ 220
- Josh Baker (North Port)
- Mykail Robinson (Wharton)
- Armando Caceres (Lake Nona)
- Best 1st Round Match: Brown vs. Hampton
- Darkhorse: Andrew Hampton (Durant)
- Finals: Robinson vs. Mosley
- Summary: Mosley enters as the favorite over a fairly open weight class. The top side is wide open and could feature Caceres, Hampton, Brown, Robinson, Lancaster, or Tice in the finals. Countryside's Brown was the top seed at last week's District 8 tournament before falling to Baker. Don't be surprised if he makes a run for the spot in the finals. Baker should be a tough out on the bottom, but given his past performance it looks like Mosley will be the representative from that side of the bracket.
- Favorite: Samuel Harrison (George Jenkins) - SQ @ 285
- Nick Parsons (Osceola)
- Jaden Vilvert (Wharton)
- Matthew Westbay (Palm Harbor)
- Sean Behrens (Newsome)
- Best 1st Round Match: Bautista vs. Miller
- Darkhorse: Jonathan Miller (Pinellas Park)
- Finals: Harrison vs. Behrens
- Summary: Harrison is the best of the bracket ... Parsons might be #2, but it won't matter because the two will meet in the top semifinal (assuming they both win). The bottom side is wide open and it wouldn't be a surprise to see a #2 or #3 from that side in the finals. Vilvert is the likely choice, but both Sokolovic and Behrens could make life difficult for those on that side of the bracket.