The Season 2015-16: Rickards


You can see everything I have on the Raiders in 2015-16 here –> RICKARDS

Win/loss record: 0-1 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a review of the Raiders’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: From the results I have, the season was definitely a short one, with the first (and as it turned out, only) dual set for January 12, with no wrestling scheduled prior to that date. The Raiders also had a numbers issue, with no wrestlers smaller than 152 in the lineup. That makes overall competitiveness a difficult issue. It’s difficult to know with certainty who will be coming back, as four wrestlers saw varsity action during the year, but just one weighed in for districts. We were missing one set of results from Godby, which may partially explain the discrepancies in records I had and what was reported to FHSAA, but I wonder if there wasn’t another event that didn’t make it on to the Trackwrestling schedule.

2015-16 MVP/2016-17 captain: Jaden Merritt, by season’s end, was a one-person team for the Raiders this past year. Merritt had the most individual success during the regular season, finishing second at the Seminole Wrestling Classic, with a couple of solid wins along the way. Merritt did hit some struggles at the very competitive Wakulla Challenge. Still, though, Merritt was able, at 182, to qualify out of District 2 and then avenged one of his district losses, against NFC’s MVP, with a win at regions. It’s difficult for a one-man show to get far in the post-season — the need to see different kids and different situation is critical — but Merritt got to Saturday at Region 1, winning three matches on the back side. Assuming the program remains intact and assuming Merritt stays with the sport, going to state next year is a very real possibility, given that three of the four 182 qualifiers were seniors this past year. Let’s hope those assumptions become facts in 2016-17.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Merritt (senior, wrestled 182 this past year, District 2 4th place, 1 match from 1A states).

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