#TheSeason2018-19: Columbia

Welcome back to our annual series of season wrap-up posts, which we cleverly titled as “The Season (2018-19),” because we’re creative like that. Your donation dollars at work, folks.

Teams are being selected on a random basis. Our first installment for Round 2 (11th overall), and second from 2A-District 2, is Columbia.

Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past five seasons.



You can see everything I have on the Tigers in 2018-19 here –>  COLUMBIA

Win/loss record: 21-2 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Tigers’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Had we done team rankings this year, the Tigers would certainly have been a fixture in the top 10 in north Florida throughout the season. Columbia started the year in Georgia, winning Cook County’s Hornet Duals with a 9-0 record, then followed that solid dual start with sixths at both Capital City in Tallahassee and Allstate Wildcat in Valdosta. The Tigers finished 2018 unbeaten in duals, going 5-0 to win their own one-day duals tournament just before New Year’s. Columbia was second only to Fleming Island at the Golden Eagles’ Keystone Invitational, and took second only to Lincoln — which handed the Tigers both of their only dual losses of the season — at district duals. Columbia got to the 2A-Region 1 semis before the second loss to the Trojans, coming back to finish third at Gator Brawl and 11th at Clay’s Green Cove Springs Rotary. In the February post-season, the Tigers were second at District 2, eighth at regions and was T-42nd, behind four state qualifiers, at Kissimmee. Don’t expect much of a, if any, dropoff in 2019-20 from the Tigers, who have 17 post-season or key contributors (most of whom were regular starters prior to season-ending injury) returning next year, including two state qualifiers, with only three post-season starters/key contributors graduating.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Brett Millard (junior, 31-28 at 106, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Braxton Abbott (sophomore, 14-8 at 106/113, did not participate in post-season traditionals); Thomas Greene (sophomore, 36-20 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Ian McGuigan (senior, 56-11 at 126, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Alex McGuigan (senior, 51-13 at 132, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Daveyon Brown (senior, 28-8 at 138, did not participate in post-season traditionals); Kaleb Davis (junior, 12-13 at 145, did not particpate in post-season traditionals); Trevon Patterson (junior, 14-7 at 145/152, did not participate in post-season traditionals); Obie Smith (junior, 28-19 at 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Preston O’Quinn (senior, 33-19 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Joseph Rice (sophomore, 20-15 at 170, 1 match from regions); David Thompson (senior, 17-9 at 170, did not participate in post-season traditionals); Shawn Raggins (sophomore, 15-16 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Noah Stubblefield (senior, 7-12 at 182, did not participate in post-season traditionals); Julius Moreland (sophomore, 23-23 at 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Zhaquez Griffin (senior, 9-6 at 220, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Jaycob Jones (sophomore, 16-13 at 285, did not participate in post-season traditionals).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or prior/current post-season experience) from this year’s team: Matthew Arango (36-19 at 138, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Matt Ross (41-14 at 145, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states); Chad Sapp (21-5 at 195/220, did not participate in post-season traditionals).

2018-19 MVP: I can’t say for sure if senior Matt Ross will be 100% happy with his final season in the Tiger lineup, but Ross’ end results wound up being pretty good from our standpoint, as he both qualified for states and also signed to wrestle at UNC-Pembroke for 2019-20. Ross was 7-1 in Georgia at Hornet Duals, then placed fourth at Capital City, and went 7-0 after a tournament-opening loss at Keystone. Ross won nine matches in a row at one point, with a third-place finish at Gator Brawl, sixth at Clay Rotary, a district title and losses only to one specific wrestler at regions (3rd) and a 1-2 finish at states. Columbia was at its best when Ross was in the lineup, and he will be missed.

2019-20 captains: Judging solely by the pictures alone post-tournaments, I am guessing juniors Ian and Alex McGuigan hate to lose. I wish my son hated losing as much as they seem to hate to lose, but that’s a story for another time. We normally only pick one captain per team per year, but you’ll indulge me if I pick the identical-twin McGuigans, one of whom I know has spoken to me a few occasions but I can’t tell them apart (Editor’s Note: The one with more hair, which is a closer call than you’d guess given that both go very close-cropped, this past season). They combined for 107 individual wins by my count this past season, two district titles, two region thirds, and one near-miss at a state medal (Ian, at 126). The McGuigans will be the headliners of a nice senior class in 2019-20.

Heaton’s Hero: The team that had depth for days at the start of the season needed a bit of a pick-me-up from its middles to fill a hole in the post-season lineup at 170. Not sure how that process all went down, but when it was said and done, freshman Joseph Rice was the guy who bumped up two weight classes (three from his lowest weight of the year) to fill the spot. He took two losses by fall against pretty experienced 170s at districts, but he gave the Tigers a chance at the weight class in a district where most of the 170s were far more talented and experienced, so it couldn’t have been an easy challenge to accept. But he did, and that’s what makes Joseph Rice the Heaton’s Hero for Columbia.

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