Team Race: A season ago, Jensen Beach dominated the Region 4 field. Winning the team title by 97.5 points over Runner-up Port St Lucie. With the addition of Olympic Heights, that scenario isn’t likely to be repeated this season. Jensen Beach may win it all again in 2016, but it would be a shock if they dominated the field again (especially a field that includes Olympic Heights). The Falcons (Jensen Beach) lose some firepower, but return State Placer Kyle Kirkham, 5 State Qualifiers, and welcome 120 lb. State Placer Andrew Klopman to the team. The Lions of Olympic Heights finished 2nd in a very tough 3A Region 3 a season ago and return some significant pieces that should help them challenge the defending champs. Expect State Placer Laurence Kosoy and their five State Qualifiers to put the Lions in position to claim a title in 2016. Port St Lucie, Merritt Island, and Miami Norland should be competitive, but are likely a step or two behind the top two teams. Keep an eye on Heritage (Palm Bay). The Panthers finished 3rd a season ago and will need to replace their best wrestlers, but they always seem to find themselves in the conversation at the end of the season.
Contenders: Just three Region 4 wrestlers, who return in 2015-2016, finished the 2014-2015 season on the podium in Kissimmee. Laurence Kosoy (3rd at 160 in 3A) of Olympic Heights and Andrew Klopman (4th at 120 in 2A from Region 1) of Jensen Beach will experience Region 4 for the first time in 2016. Klopman, a transfer from Matanzas, is familiar with 2A and should be one of the wrestlers to beat at both the Region 4 tournament and the 2A State Tournament. Kosoy and his Olympic Heights teammates make the move down from 3A in 2015-2016. Kosoy dropped a narrow 9-8 decision to Jordan Tague of Winter Springs in the semifinals a season ago. Look for that to be different in 2016. The only other returning State Placer is Jensen Beach’s Kyle Kirkham. Kirkham finished 4th at 132 and should be considered one of the favorites heading into the 2015-2016 season.
Hunting the Podium: Twenty-three Region 4 wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament in 2015, but failed to make the podium. Nate Podaras of Jensen Beach and David Sanchez of Miami Springs finished the 2015 tournament with two or more wins and are likely candidates to be high on the podium in 2016. Rene Capo of Merritt Island, Dylan Perrow of Palm Bay, Calien Cascione, Konnor McHale, Joey Tufo, and Cole Podaras of Jensen Beach, Kirk Vera of Port St Lucie, Christopher Williams of Northeast, JP Azevedo and Alexi Castro of Olympic Heights, Berthony Aulean of South Broward, and De’Andre Carr of Stranahan finished 1-2 in Kissimmee in 2015. Each will be looking to improve on that mark and find the podium in 2016. Zach Robertson of Sebastian River, Deandre Sims of Port St Lucie, Tyler Deal of South Fork, Brandon Miret of Archbishop McCarthy, Benjamin Asadoorian, Sam Canova, and Stefan Singer of Olympic Heights, Arcia Fernando of Doral, and Gabriel Dihart of Miami Norland finished their 2015 trip to Kissimmee 0-2. Each member of that group will be looking to be on the podium in 2016, but must wrestle much better in 2016 if any is going to medal.
Under the Radar: Many of the following wrestlers finished the 2015 Region Tournament with two or more wins. Don’t be surprised if each punches his ticket to Kissimmee in 2016. Win four matches in a row in Kissimmee and you are a State Champion. That isn’t likely, but each could find the podium if given the opportunity. Better keep an eye on the following from:
District 13: Beau Pickard and Timothy Tran of Bayside, Quentin Cowan of Eau Gallie, Seth Adeclat and Joseph Hokenson of Heritage (Palm Bay), Nick Amicerelli and Caden Norris of Merritt Island, and Darius Darr and Gavin Johnson of Viera.
District 14: Liam Martin of Jensen Beach, Drayton Billie and Justin Drawdy of Okeechobee, Javier West of Palm Beach Lakes, Luke Hanna of Port St Lucie, and Brandon Archibald of South Fork.
District 15: Scott Thrasher of Archbishop McCarthy, Greg Wigley of Olympic Heights, Andrew Valverde, Anthony Valverde, and Robert Valverde of South Broward, Trent Boudreau, Carlin Emmanuel, and Randy Leon of Stranahan, and Alexander Bordeau of West Boca Raton.
District 16: Ariel Jimenez of Belen Jesuit, Anthony Bello and Enrique Kelly of Goleman, Derrod Walker of Miami Carol City, Kahris Blackman of Miami Central, Samuel Alexandro, Dorian Batts, NyKeem Brown, Reshard Donald, and Cednet Jean of Miami Norland, and Randall Sandoval of Miami Springs.