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 48th installment for this season, and sixth from 1A-District 3, is Raines.
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 Vikings in 2018-19 here –> RAINES
Win/loss record: 1-13 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Vikings’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: After the tragic death of former coach Onice B. Gilbert literally on the eve of the season, the Vikings regrouped — as they must — and began competition with Villages’ St John Memorial IBT just before Christmas, finishing ninth of nine teams with the short-handed crew they’d have all season (just five of the eventual six wrestlers they would have). Next up was Raines’ annual road-trip to Pembroke Pines for the Somerset Scuffle on the first weekend of January, where Raines was 16th out of 16. Raines did pick up one dual win in five in their duals debut at Suwannee’s Billy Saylor Invitational, but the Vikings would have their most successful tournament to date with a T-8th at Gateway. The following weekend, Raines would close out January with a 19th-place finish at the 27-team George Jenkins IBT. The Vikings would finish 27th at Clay’s Green Cove Springs Rotary, a 37-team event, and kicked off the post-season traditional series with a seventh at 1A-District 3, due mainly to being so short-handed. The Vikings would duplicate that finish, finishing T-7th at the 1A-Region 1, and qualifying three wrestlers out for state. In Kissimmee, Raines was T-23rd, with one medalist, who’ll return next year. No graduation losses this year, six wrestlers (five with post-season experience) have eligibility to return. Let’s hope for more kids coming out in 2019-20.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): DaQuan King (sophomore, 30-16 at 106, district runnerup, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Damari Williams (sophomore, 5-14 at 113, 1 match from regions); Raynarde Thomas (junior, 24-11 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Jamari Watson (sophomore, 19-16 at 182, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Jamon Goodwine (senior, 33-4 at 285, district champ, region champ, state 3rd).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: None.
2018-19 MVP: Rising senior Jamon Goodwine took an early loss in the St John Memorial, facing the eventual state champion (whom Goodwine would see again in the semis at Kissimmee), but he then won 17 matches in a row, which included a 5-0 day (all with bonus points) at Billy Saylor, a Gateway title and en route to reaching the George Jenkins final, where Goodwine fell by a single point to the 3A state runnerup. Goodwine would drop a one-point loss in the Clay semis to the 1A state runnerup, but would get that loss back at regions. He powered his way to district and region titles, losing just once in the post-season traditional tournament, in the state semis. The state champ returns as well next year, so Goodwine will have to find another level to push past him, but Saturday night should be a very real possibility.
2019-20 captain: Rising junior Raynarde Thomas had a confidence to him right from the first in his time with the Vikings, but it took a second season on the varsity for his wrestling to more closely catch up to that confidence. Thomas had a nice 24-win sophomore season, which saw him get out to a 7-1 start with a third at St John Memorial. He won seven matches in a row in mid-January and reached the Gateway 170 final, where he lost to a fellow team captain. He won another seven matches out of eight down the homestretch, with a run that included Raines’ second of three district titles that the Vikings would earn. He reached the Region 1 final as well, and that tournament was really where he had a fine moment. Thomas got three matches at states, and could very well be a threat to medal in 2019-20.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Rising senior 285 Keshon Lockett had an unenviable task this season. Lockett had to battle a state place-winning competitor every single day in the room, compete in several tournaments as a full-fledged competitor in his own right, only to have to sit on the sidelines at the crucible part of the post-season series. But Lockett suited up alongside Goodwine for the St John Memorial, George Jenkins and Clay Rotary, and was the solo starter for the Vikings at Somerset Scuffle. One hopes that Lockett might be able, in a perfect world, to back down to 220 and thereby get to earn points in his own, but his willingness to serve the team, give Goodwine a quality room partner and, at the same time, score some points from time to time, Keshon Lockett is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Raines.
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