Class 3A, District 6
Today at St. Petersburg. First match 2 p.m.; finals at 6.
Teams: Countryside, East Lake, Largo, Mitchell, Palm Harbor University, Pinellas Park, Sarasota Riverview, St. Petersburg, Sarasota
If the PCAC tournament is any preview to the postseason, Countryside coach Mark Prince might want to bring a comfortable chair for the first nine matches at districts. There is a good chance he will have the best seat in the house for most of the championship round.
At the PCAC tournament, Countryside had seven champions. From 103 through 152, Prince barely budged. Among his champions were Kyle Grueninger (112), Tyler Parry (130) and Eric Deupree (135), who were 2007 state representatives. Oklahoma transfers Dalton Dennis (103) and Dillon Dennis (125) won county titles.
If any team can come close to the Cougars, it's Sarasota. Also watch out for East Lake heavyweight Alex Dinielli, who is 27-0. At 119, East Lake's Dave Dougherty pinned Countryside's Jordan Frease in the PCAC semifinals and went on to place second. Dougherty may get a chance to face Frease again.
Class 2A, District 9
Friday, Boca Ciega. First match 11 a.m., finals at 7.
Teams: Boca Ciega, Clearwater, Dixie Hollins, Gibbs, Lakewood, Northeast, Osceola, Seminole
In this district, there are no unfamiliar opponents.
"It's going to be close between us and Northeast," Dixie Hollins coach Nick Spataro said. "Our kids are wrestling tough right now."
The Rebels could have as many as eight in the finals. Tom Sullivan (189) and Jaron Cole (215) have the best shots at titles because their toughest county competition will be elsewhere. Northeast could have six finalists and Osceola five.
At 140, Dixie Hollins' Jake Lawhead and Northeast's Ryan Moore were expected to meet for the PCAC championship. Instead, they were upset in the semifinals and ended up fighting for third. They should be on target to meet again - this time in a district title bout.
At 103, Dixie Hollins' Jordan McKenzie and Northeast's John Miller should square off in the first head-to-head title meeting of the night between the Rebels and Vikings.
Doug Kates - Times Correspondent
The top four in each weight class advance to regionals.
Class 2A, District 5
Saturday at Ridgewood. First match at 11 a.m., finals at 4.
Teams: Central, Dunedin, Land O'Lakes, Ridgewood, River Ridge, Groveland South Lake, Springstead, Tarpon Springs, Wesley Chapel
Dunedin coach Marc Allison adjusted his regular-season schedule to better prepare his kids for district competition. At a tournament at Land O'Lakes, the Falcons were team champions and beat five competitors they will face at districts: Central, Land O'Lakes, South Lake, River Ridge and Wesley Chapel. The one opponent the Falcons have not faced this season is Springstead, the defending district champion.
"We know plenty about them," Allison said. "We've been able to track them. We know they are strong, but we're going to work hard to make it a competitive tournament."
Last year Springstead had five district champions and Dunedin four. Two of those champs are back for the Falcons. Antonio Talley will compete at 160 and Danny Miller at 171. Others with good shots at titles are Jonte Graham (145), Justin Zeedyk (189) and Gideon Levy at (215).
Class A, District 10
Saturday at Admiral Farragut. First match at 11 a.m., finals at 6.
Teams: Admiral Farragut, Berkeley Prep, Calvary Christian, Clearwater Central Catholic, Indian Rocks, Northside Christian, Robinson, St. Petersburg Catholic
During a Berkeley Prep tournament this season, CCC coach Scott Stern was impressed with Robinson, but the Marauders were lacking 20 football players and didn't have enough to contend for a team title. Stern hopes the district tournament will prove different.
"The finals will be a lot of head-to-heads between us and Robinson," Stern said. "St. Petersburg Catholic doesn't have as much depth as us, but their kids are good and they'll be third."
CCC's title contenders include Cory List (103 pounds), Bobby Vagers (140), Alex Paige (171) and Kyle Rettig (285). SPC should be led by Nick Travis (112), Ricky Niger (119) and Spencer VanBuskirk (145).