Welcome back to our annual series of season wrap-up posts, which we cleverly titled as “The Season (20xx-xx).” Your donation dollars at work, folks.
This year, we’re not following a rotation scheme. We’re keeping it a bit more random this go-round. Using a highly scientific line of inquiry for the first change, our next installment in the series is Englewood, our first team out of 2A-District 3. I believe now that all 10 districts have had at least one team profiled thus far, plus our independents.
Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past four seasons. At the request of a reader last season, we will note the accomplishments of each team’s senior class that will be moving on to new goals in May or June.
You can see everything I have on the Rams in 2017-18 here –> ENGLEWOOD
Win/loss record: 9-12 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Rams’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Under new management this year, the Rams got to a solid start at Terry Parker’s Arlington Optimist, placing fourth there, but then stepped up in competition — with a corresponding result — at Fletcher’s Preudhomme Duals on the second Saturday of December. Rallying from a winless tournament, the Rams closed out 2017 on a winning note, with three wins in the third and fourth weeks of December, coming back to competition at Army Duals, also at Parker, the second weekend of January. That kicked off a tricky month for Englewood, as it was 2-5 at Army and just outside the top half at Gateway. But the Rams were able to rally somewhat, taking fourth at Parker Duals with a 2-2 mark, dual wins over Stanton and Mandarin to close out the dual season, and a fourth at the 2A-District 3 traditional tournament. The Rams have a fair amount of starters returning (11 with post-season experience), losing just two seniors from this year’s group, with only one of those having multiple years at Englewood.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2018-19 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Cameron Courtenay (junior, 19-10 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Raequan Staples (sophomore, 5-4 at 113, 1 match from regions); Hunter Padgett (junior, 11-14 at 120, 1 match from regions); Dairo Guerra (senior, 16-14 at 132, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Benjamin Paramo (senior, 22-10 at 138, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Tamer Fakhouri (senior, 18-11 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Kelly Charles (junior, 6-14 at 152, 1 match from regions); Jordan Mitchell (junior, 6-18 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Eric Moore (junior, 2-7 at 182, 1 match from regions); Colin Williams (senior, 4-8 at 195, 1 match from regions); Christopher Lands (senior, 18-8 at 285, district champ, 1-2 at regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Tyler Crawford (13-11 at 126, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Ehab Fakhouri (11-18 at 160, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
2017-18 MVP: Chris Lands spent half of the year at 220 and half the year at 285, and if the way his season came to an end is any indication, we’ll see more of Lands at heavyweight next year. Lands was second at Optimist, at 220, and did take a couple more losses the following week at Fletcher, but he slowly started to figure some things out, with a 5-1 showing at Army Duals. At 220 for Gateway, Lands wound up placing fourth, but he wouldn’t lose again after Gateway until the Region 1 tournament. Lands pinned his way through districts at 285, then won his first match by fall at Region 1 before dropping matches to two eventual state qualifiers. Winning that district title was a definite stage of improvement for Lands, one which may propel him perhaps to becoming a state contender next season.
2018-19 captain: One of the pleasant surprises — and there were a few — in watching the Englewood season play out was the development of first-year Rams starter Ben Paramo. Paramo reached the finals of the Optimist Invitational, and lost just one match at the Preudhomme Duals the following week. From there, Paramo won 10 of 11 matches to run his record out to 16-4 at one point. Although he had what might have been a subpar Gateway Conference tournament (fourth), Paramo did come back to finish fourth at the 2A-District 3 traditional tournament — getting closer against a Gateway rival in the process — and had a solid Friday at the Region 1 tournament, where two District 1 rivals took decisions by a combined total of six points. Englewood’s got a nice group of seniors returning, and Paramo will be one of those that could send the Rams to some new heights in 2018-19.
Heaton’s Hero: Eric Moore was a first-year wrestler this year, starting in the lineup at 160 where he saw time at Arlington Optimist, and in a pair of mid-December duals. His only win at 160 was by forfeit. He was out of the lineup, then, until Gateway, this time up at 182. The conference meet wasn’t a whole lot better in terms of outcomes, but Moore stayed in the lineup throughout the entire season, finishing it at districts. That he’s a thrower in track and field is of course a plus in his favor, but his dedication to finishing the year makes Eric Moore the Heaton’s Hero for Englewood.
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