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#TheSeason2019-20: Keystone Heights

Hey guys!

The work continues. We are bringing back, for its sixth year, #TheSeason. We didn’t do these first year, but have ever since. It’s something nobody else does. We compile all season records and write a wrapup for each team.

We are into our second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 17th team overall was randomly selected and Keystone Heights was the team chosen out of 1A-District 5.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS

You can see everything I have on the Indians in 2019-20 here –>  KEYSTONE HEIGHTS

Win/loss record: 6-21 in dual meets reported to Matmen. It appears that we were or may have been missing, according to the Trackwrestling schedule, a mid-January dual and two duals contested at FSDB in the final week of the season. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.

KEYSTONE HEIGHTS LOGO Season in a nutshell: In its second year as a FHSAA-sanctioned program, Keystone Heights competed in duals-only events in 2019-20. That started at Bishop Snyder’s North Florida Duals on December 7, where the Indians were 2-3 as a team. After a midweek dual win on the 11th, that was Keystone’s last appearance in December. The Indians’ first January appearance was in the 1A-District 5 dual team tournament on the 7th, a roundrobin event where they finished fourth with a 1-3 event record. That weekend, Keystone Heights went to Terry Parker for the USMC Duals on the 10th and 11th, with an 0-7 record. The next event reported to us was a return trip to Parker for the Parker Duals; there, the Indians were 1-8 as a team. The only February event on the Keystone schedule, per Track, was a quad meet at FSDB on the 12th; we got a report on one of three duals the Indians contested (and won). Keystone Heights placed fourth at the 1A-District 5 traditional tournament and finished T-23rd in the always highly-competitive Region 2 weekend, with no state qualifiers. Keystone will lose only one graduating senior with key match experience, and may be able to call upon as many as 10 wrestlers with post-season or key regular-season (15+ match) experience in 2020-21; the Indians had a couple more that were just short of those marks, so they’re certainly moving upward.

Note: All records asterisked due to missing results.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Samuel Ulsch (sophomore, 8-13* at 120, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lorelei Tarvit (senior, 1-3* at 126, 1 match from regions); Canyon Hayes (sophomore, 13-12* at 132, 1 match from regions); Jonas Cole (sophomore, 14-10* at 138, 1 match from regions); Sheppard Wingate (junior, 12-13* at 160, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Eliyah Cole (senior, 21-3* at 182, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Steven Raab (sophomore, 10-14* at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Brandon Rodriquez (8th, 9-12* at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gabe Adams (senior, 10-10* at 220, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Cody Saley (junior, 3-10* at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Kayla Elliott (10-7* at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals).

2019-20 MVP: I don’t recall seeing junior Eliyah Cole‘s name before this year, so I don’t know if he’s a first-year wrestler or a move-in from elsewhere, but either way Cole was the clear leader on the mats for the Indians from the jump in 2019-20. Cole won his first 14 matches at 182 for Keystone Heights, with max-point efforts in every match, including a 5-0 day at North Florida Duals and 4-0 day at district duals. Cole took his first loss to another team MVP (once that team’s randomly selected) at USMC Duals, and then didn’t lose again until the region tournament, making history by becoming the first district champion at Keystone Heights after pinning both of his opponents at the District 5 traditional meet. His region losses were to two multiple-year starters, both state qualifiers (the second loss was to the eventual runnerup in 1A at Kissimmee).

2020-21 captain: Another new name — and there were several this past year — that we saw in the Keystone lineup in 2019-20 was sophomore Sheppard Wingate, who, like Cole, made it to the second day of the Region 2 tournament. That’s not an easy task. Wingate had a part-time starting appearance at North Florida Duals, but was the full-fledged starter by district duals, where he was 2-2. Wingate also was 5-3 at Parker Duals and was a finalist for the Indians at the District 5 tournament, with two max-point wins to get to Saturday. Both of his losses at regions were to eventual state qualifiers as well; with some offseason work (and this applies to most of the lineup), Wingate could be a threat to get out to states in 2020-21.

Zander Laurin Warrior: We have a soft spot for middle-school upper weights in this space, particularly when we know we probably mis-spelled their name in our results throughout the season. While 7th-grader Brandon Rodriquez didn’t compete in the post-season at either 195 or 220 (where he had regular-season appearances), he still got 21 high-school varsity matches as a seventh-grader. Most of his wins (eight of nine) were by forfeit, but he did win by major decision in one match at USMC Duals. The leg up he received by competing this year will no doubt help him personally, but the fact that the Indians got him and kept him throughout the year bodes well for their future as a program. For persevering through inexperience throughout the season, Brandon Rodriquez is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Keystone Heights.

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

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#TheSeason2019-20: Nease

Hey guys!

The work continues. We are bringing back, for its sixth year, #TheSeason. We didn’t do these first year, but have ever since. It’s something nobody else does. We compile all season records and write a wrapup for each team.

We are into our second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 16th team overall was randomly selected and Nease was the team chosen out of 3A-District 1.

NEASE

You can see everything I have on the Panthers in 2019-20 here –>  NEASE

Win/loss record: 19-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Panthers’ performance in IBT events.

nease Season in a nutshell: With a new head coach, the St Johns Panthers had just one regular-season tournament that wasn’t duals in format — at least one in which boys competed. Nease began with a 2-3 night at the season-opening Raider 8-Way at Orange Park on December 4; after a midweek win on the 10th, the Panthers struggled at Oakleaf’s Friday Knight Lights on the 13th, going 1-4 as a team. A midweek loss on the 18th was the last boys’ wrestling of the year, but Panther girls did travel to Matanzas to compete in the Lady Pirate Classic on the 21st. Nease met up with the rest of the St Johns County teams to contest the first county championship, a roundrobin event that did not include team scores, on January 4. It finished 1-2 at the 3A-District 1 dual team tournament on the 8th, and the Panther girls were T-26th out of 47 teams at Dr Phillips’ Lady Panther event on the 11th and T-25th out of 35 teams at Cypress Creek’s Lady Bear Classic; both of those were IBT in format. Nease then had two duals tournaments in late January, winning the Orange Park Duals on the 22nd with a 5-0 record. Its A group then was 5-4 at the Parker Duals, hosted by former region rival Terry Parker, on the 24th and 25th. After a midweek loss to open February wrestling on the 5th, Nease rallied with a first-place team finish and 4-1 duals record at Englewood’s Rams Classic on the 7th. The regular season closed out with Nease taking a midweek loss and then finishing in the top half of the girls’ state tournament (T-45th out of 117 teams). The St Johns Panthers then finished fifth while hosting the 3A-District 1 traditional tournament, and wrapped up the season with a 21st-place finish at Fleming Island for Region 1, with no state qualifiers in March. While Nease will graduate four post-season starters, all of them region qualifiers, the Panthers could have as many as 11 returning starters with at least 15 matches in 2020-21, including a handful of kids that were in the 10-14 match area as well.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Brielle Bibla (sophomore, 44-18 at 106, girls’ state 5th; district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Parker Stamschror (sophomore, 17-13 at 120, 1 match from regions); Jhon Olivar (sophomore, 11-13 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Olivia Drayton (sophomore, 5-17 at 122/126, 0-2 at girls’ state); Wilson Whitehead (junior, 4-16 at 132, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Andrew Ryan (junior, 11-3 at 145, district 3rd, did not compete at regions); Chad Severt (junior, 22-14 at 152, 1 match from regions); Kobe Ross (senior, 24-6 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Donald Haraway (sophomore, 15-15 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Brandon Almaria (sophomore, 9-14 at 285, 1 match from regions); Hunter Moser (senior, 5-11 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Trevion Demus (41-3 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Jalon Lumar (36-6 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Colin White (18-17 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Mario Powers (18-9 at 182, district 4th, 2-2 at regions).

2019-20 MVP: Injuries had often slowed down the career of senior Trevion Demus, who announced his presence right from the jump when he won his first high school tournament back in December of 2017. This year, Demus ran the table in the regular season at 113, winning his first 36 matches (as we had recorded them) prior to the post-season traditional tournament. That string included 5-0 days at Raider 8-Way, Friday Knight Lights, Orange Park Duals and the Rams Classic at Englewood, plus a St Johns County championship and a 7-0 weekend at Parker Duals. During the regular season, Demus had 34 max-point victories (including 22 pins), with just one opponent able, on two occasions, to make him go six minutes. Demus was one of Nease’s two finalists at districts, but injury struck there too. He rallied for the Region 1 tournament, where he advanced farther than any other Panther. Demus got to the blood round before falling by a single point there, with three victories on the weekend.

2020-21 captain: If there are two words to describe freshman Brielle Bibla‘s approach to the sport, “old school” might be those words. Take a minute to observe her at tournaments, and she’s most likely warming up, taking instruction from older teammates, watching opponents or — more often than not — throwing them. There might have been girls in north Florida who’ve won more in a single season than Bibla’s 44 matches in 2019-20 at either 100 or 106, but I can’t say I recall any in the previous seven years, and Bibla might be the first girl I’ve covered with a shot at 150 wins in three years, let alone a career. Bibla took fourth at Matanzas for Lady Pirate and had thirds at both Lady Panther and Lady Bear, with a runnerup finish at county and four dual wins at four different one-day tournaments, plus an 8-1 weekend at Parker Duals. Bibla reached the traditional district final as well. It’s going to be fun to watch her progress.

Zander Laurin Warrior: We didn’t get a long look at senior Mario Powers — he didn’t enter the lineup at all until the Orange Park Duals in late January — but when he was there, he solidified the Panther lineup at 182 and certainly played a key role in Nease’s title win at Englewood, where he was 4-1 with his lone loss to a state placer. Powers was also 7-2 at Parker Duals and bumped up a weight to try to help his team win a rivalry dual at season’s end. In a very solid 182 weight class at districts, he took two losses, but then got to the second day at regions. Not a bad amount of work for six weeks of season; for that, Mario Powers is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Nease.

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

The school year has come to a conclusion in Georgia. But our work has not. Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

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#NextLevel2020-21: Pace’s Lancero Makes Seven

lancero
Pace senior Derrick Lancero prepares to sign his letter of intent to attend Huntingdon (AL) College and wrestle for the Hawks in the 2020-21 academic year (Photo submitted by Robbie Lee).

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

The school year has come to a conclusion in Georgia. But our work has not. Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

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#NextLevel2020-21: Milton’s Nicholson Makes Six

nicholson (2)
Milton senior Brandon Nicholson (seated) signs his letter of intent to attend Huntingdon (AL) College and wrestle for the Hawks in the 2020-21 academic year. With Nicholson, from left, are Panthers assistant coach Eric Shaffer, mom Jada Nicholson and dad Eric Nicholson (Photo submitted by Eric Nicholson).

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

The school year has come to a conclusion in Georgia. But our work has not. Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

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#TheSeason2019-20: Tate

Hey guys!

The work continues. We are bringing back, for its sixth year, #TheSeason. We didn’t do these first year, but have ever since. It’s something nobody else does. We compile all season records and write a wrapup for each team.

We are into our second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 15th team overall was randomly selected and Tate was the team chosen out of 2A-District 1.

TATE

You can see everything I have on the Aggies in 2019-20 here –>  TATE

Win/loss record: 5-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. We were missing at least one dual from Tate at the Gulf Breeze Duals on December 14; we were missing the February 11th dual between Pace and Crestview, and it appears there would have (most likely) one or two duals missing from the Aggies’ appearance at the Gulf Shores (ALA) Dolphin Duals on January 31-February 1. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Aggies’ performance in IBT events.

TATE LOGO Season in a nutshell: Tate kicked off with two midweek dual wins on December 5 against 2A-District 1 opponents, but then dropped a pair of duals against Alabama opponents on the 12th. In the Gulf Breeze Duals on the 14th, in results we got, Tate was 1-2 as a team. The Aggies then competed in district rival Ft Walton Beach’s Beast of the Beach, finishing 16th as a team with a 2-6 win-loss record. After the holidays, Tate began with FHSAA dual team tournament competition, falling in the quarters. After a midweek dual loss to a district rival, the Aggies were 14th out of 22 teams at area rival Wewahitchka’s two-day Gator Brawl on January 17-18. After a pair of midweek dual losses, Tate then went to area rival Bay’s inaugural George Mulligan Memorial, placing 13th out of 18 teams. That would be it for regular-season IBTs for the Aggies, who next went to Gulf Shores for two days of duals, going 0-3 in duals reported to Trackwrestling. Tate had its best tournament of the season at districts, placing fifth out of eight teams there, and the Aggies were 30th at 2A-Region 1. While the results never fully came together for Tate this past season, the Aggies were still a very young group, and graduate no one from this past season’s team that had post-season traditional experience in 2020. Tate could call upon as many as 12 kids with that kind of experience, or 15+ matches, for next year, and the Aggies had a couple of others that just fell short on the matches side.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Daniel McGaha (sophomore, 22-13 at 120, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Marcus Virgin (senior, 23-7 at 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Caiden Stone (sophomore, 5-14 at 132, 1 match from regions); David Luckey (sophomore, 6-8 at 138, 1 match from regions); Logan Drummond (senior, 10-16 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Chad Luckey (senior, 21-19 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Michael Higgins (senior, 12-22 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Kaden McDonald (sophomore, 6-17 at 170, 1 match from regions); Jacob Turner (sophomore, 9-17 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Ashtyn Allen (senior, 13-5 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gabriel McKinley (senior, 19-13 at 220, 1 match from regions); Landen George (sophomore, 16-16 at 285, 1 match from regions).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: None.

2019-20 MVP: We’ve seen some flashes of brilliance in spots from junior Marcus Virgin over the previous two seasons, and this year Virgin showed us enought to claim team MVP honors. Virgin didn’t start until Beast of the Beach just before Christmas, and took a loss in his first match (to an eventual Georgia state qualifier), but then won 13 in a row, a streak that extended into Gator Brawl, where Virgin placed fourth at 126. Virgin then added a third-place finish at George Mulligan, losing only to an eventual Georgia state placer. At districts, Virgin had three victories by pin to take third, the Aggies’ highest individual finish in the 2A-District 1 field, and then had Tate’s only front-side win at regions. With off-season work, Virgin could be a state-qualifier threat in 2021.

2020-21 captain: While Virgin will be back next year and surely will be a captain on the mats, we do select a separate wrestler in the captain slot, and junior Chad Luckey was a consistent presence in the Tate lineup throughout the year, even when the Aggies didn’t have many others suiting up. Luckey spent most of the season wrestling at 160, and hdd a particularly solid tournament at Beast of the Beach, with a 6-2 tournament and his two losses against a pair of 1A state qualifiers. Luckey was 4-4 at Gator Brawl and 3-2 at George Mulligan, winning his final two matches in that tournament. While his traditional-tournament run wasn’t ideal after dropping down to 152, Luckey did extend his season by one additional week, and his experience as a multi-year starter should be key next year.

Zander Laurin Warrior: Freshman Caiden Stone was the early starter at 138 for the Aggies, but then moved into the 132 spot for the team by the middle of January, taking his only contested victory of the season with a midweek decision victory over an Alabama wrestler. Stone would have his hand raised at least five times (in results we got), but the other four times were in forfeits. All but one of his losses ended by fall — starting at Beast of the Beach, where he got an eventual Georgia state champion to kick off his HS career, but he kept battling, scoring points for his team at districts. For his perseverance in the face of adversity, Caiden Stone is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Tate.

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

The school year has come to a conclusion in Georgia. But our work has not. Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

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#TheSeason2019-20: Mainland

Hey guys!

The work continues. We are bringing back, for its sixth year, #TheSeason. We didn’t do these first year, but have ever since. It’s something nobody else does. We compile all season records and write a wrapup for each team.

We are into our second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 14th team overall was randomly selected and Mainland was the team chosen out of 2A-District 4.

MAINLAND

You can see everything I have on the Buccaneers in 2019-20 here –>  MAINLAND

Win/loss record: 6-7 in dual meets reported to Matmen. There was one date on the Trackwrestling schedule that I don’t think Mainland contested (2/13 against Lyman). Please review the attached document for a summary of the Buccaneers’ performance in IBT events.

mainland Season in a nutshell: Mainland’s second season as a program showed progress in numbers and — at least for a couple of individual Buccaneers — some significant region-wide competitiveness. Mainland was 17th at the Clash of Lady Titans (a 20-team one-day IBT) on December 6 and 15th out of 17 teams in the boys’ IBT the following day. After a midweek loss, the Lady Buccaneers were scheduled to go to St Cloud for Bulldog Brawl (but we didn’t get results from the host). Mainland was 13th at Lyman’s Bill Scott Memorial on December 20-21 (14-team IBT) and competed in the non-scored Lady Pirate Invitational at district rival Matanzas. After the holidays, the Buccaneers went to Fleming Island for the Keystone Memorial, winning three of five duals on the first day (January 3) and finishing 19th in the 20-team IBT on the 4th. Mainland was 0-2 at the 2A-District 4 dual team tournament at Matanzas on the 11th and took 32nd out of 35 teams at Cypress Creek’s Lady Bear Classic on the 18th. After a midweek dual win on the 22nd, the Buccaneers were off until January 31, when they competed in conference rival Flagler Palm Coast’s Flagler Rotary, finishing 28th out of 30 teams in the two-day IBT. Mainland won two of three midweek duals, then finished ninth at the 5 Star Conference at New Smyrna Beach on February 8th. After closing out their dual season on the 12th, Mainland was T-86th at girls’ state (117 teams) and finished sixth out of seven teams at Space Coast’s Vipers Roundrobin to wrap up the regular season. The Buccaeers were eighth at the 2A-District 4 traditional tournament and 23rd at Region 1, with one state qualifier. While Mainland will lose two seniors to graduation, the Buccaneers will have as many as 11 returners with post-season experience, including all of their region qualifiers and their lone state qualifier. They may not be ready to contend as a full team for top spots in tournaments in 2020-21, but more of their individuals should be next season, particularly if they can get some off-season work.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Abby Couillard (junior, 2-12 at 100/106, 0-2 at girls’ state, 0-2 at districts); Hayden Heilman (sophomore, 11-12 at 113, 1 match from regions); Brian Harris (sophomore, 10-13 at 120, 1 match from regions); Sean Baughman (senior, 9-10 at 126, 0-2 at districts); Isaias Davila (senior, 11-11 at 132, 1 match from regions); Heath Hilado (junior, 2-9 at 138, 1 match from regions); Avery Duffy (sophomore, 5-8 at 140, 1-2 at girls’ state); Xavier Logan (junior, 11-9 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Brady Howe (junior, 14-5 at 170, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Doug Dittmer (senior, 30-13 at 195, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Jordan Colubiale (senior, 10-10 at 220, 1 match from regions).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Fred Bowen (6-18 at 160, 1 match from regions); Tommy Short (11-13 at 182, 1 match from regions).

2019-20 MVP: Junior Doug Dittmer showed a year ago, in Mainland’s first season, that he was a wrestler capable of making #TheShow, but I thought it might happen in 2021, not this year, so that’s a testament to both his individual progress and his team’s as well. Competing almost exclusively at 195 (he had two dual appearances at 220), Dittmer reached the final at Clash of the Titans and pinned his way to a Bill Scott title at Lyman. He was 7-1 and placed third at Keystone Memorial, and placed fourth at 5 Star, with a double-overtime loss in the medal match. Dittmer won his second title of the year at Space Coast, max-pointing his way to that title, and was one of two Mainland finalists at the district traditional tournament. At regions, Dittmer’s only losses were to multiple-time state qualifiers, including in the quarters to the eventual state champion, but he battled back with three wins in the consis to make it out to Kissimmee. With some off-season work, he has a podium chance in 2021.

2020-21 captain: Normally I’m leery of selecting captains kids that qualify for regions but don’t wrestle, but I’m guessing, given who sophomore Brady Howe matched up against in the district final, that injury may have been the reason he didn’t contest at Chiles. Howe had some good stretches for the Buccaneers and finished second on the team in victories for the season. Howe was 5-0 in the first day at Keystone and placed third at 5 Star, with three pins in the tournament, wrestling up a weight class. Howe then won twice against two experienced starters in the district tournament, falling to an eventual state placer in the final. With two more years of eligibility, Howe should be in the mix for Kissimmee before he leaves.

Zander Laurin Warrior: We know that sophomore Abby Couillard was a bit under-sized while competing against boys at 106, because she wrestled at 100 in girls tournaments, but she battled nevertheless for the Buccaneers, competing at 5 Star, girls’ state and the post-season traditional series, taking her best shots at all three high-profile tournaments for Mainland. We don’t know if she competed at St Cloud, but we did have her at Lady Bear and as the 106 starter in late January and February duals. She didn’t get her hand raised after February 4, but she didn’t give up even after taking nine straight losses for a Buccaneer team that needed her presence. For her determination in the face of adversity on the mat, Abby Couillard is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Mainland.

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

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#NextLevel2020-21: First Coast’s Culberson Makes Five

culberson signing
FIrst Coast senior Hakeem Culberson signs and sends his letter of intent to attend Itasca (MN) CC and wrestle for the Vikings in the 2020-21 academic year (Photo submitted by Deborah Schrepper).

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

The school year has come to a conclusion in Georgia. But our work has not. Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

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#NextLevel2020-21: McGuigan Twins Make Four

ian

alex
Columbia seniors Ian (top picture) and Alex McGuigan sign their letters of intent to attend Lander (SC) University and wrestle for the Bobcats in 2020-21 (Photos submitted by Gary McGuigan).

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#TheSeason2019-20: Wewahitchka

Hey guys!

The work continues. We are bringing back, for its sixth year, #TheSeason. We didn’t do these first year, but have ever since. It’s something nobody else does. We compile all season records and write a wrapup for each team.

We are into our second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 13th team overall was randomly selected and Wewahitchka was the team chosen out of 1A-District 1.

WEWAHITCHKA

You can see everything I have on the Gators in 2019-20 here –>  WEWAHITCHKA

Win/loss record: 0-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Gators’ performance in IBT events.

WEWAHITCHKA LOGO Season in a nutshell: If you just look at the team stats, it’s a tough year. A look at the individual numbers (see the PDF) tells a different picture. You try winning duals or tournaments with four kids and see how that goes. Wewa didn’t win a single dual this year, competing in three duals tournaments (Panther Prowl on December 6-7, The Bash on January 3, Timberwolf Duals on February 8), plus the district round of the FHSAA dual team tournament series. But the Gators had two of three kids with better than .500 records at Panther Prowl, three kids that were 3-1 at The Bash (duals) and the group of four was 15-5 in individual matches at Timberwolf Duals. The Gators traveled all over the Southeast to get their quartet matches, with appearances at nine IBT/roundrobin events. Wewa was 23rd at Swede Umbach in Alabama and 16th of 22 teams at Lone Survivor in Shreveport LA. In Florida, the Gators were 12th at The Bash and Joe Bees Memorial (hosted by Yulee) in back-to-back weekends, finished 19th of 22 while hosting Gator Brawl, and finished 17th at the inaugural George Mulligan Memorial (hosted by Bay) and 20th at Wakulla. The Wewa team finished mid-pack at girls’ state (T-56th out of 117 teams), and placed eighth at 1A-District 1 and 26th (out of 30 teams) at Wakulla for Region 1. The Gators will lose one senior from this year’s team, and could return as many as three starters that combined to get 173 matches this past year; each of those three has at least two years of eligibility, so they’re only going to get better and better. Quantity, not quality, has always been the biggest need for Wewa, and if that gets solved, this team can start moving up the table in the district and region.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Justin Johnson (sophomore, 20-34 at 106, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Conner Roberts (sophomore, 45-23 at 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Kaylee Easter (junior, 17-34 at 126/128, 3-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from boys regions).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jaden Moseley (39-25 at 132, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions).

2019-20 MVP: Senior Jaden Moseley was a four-time region qualifier, and a model of consistency for the Gators over his four years in the varsity lineup. That was no less true in his final year, as he was the only Wewa wrestler to reach the district final round on the right side of the bracket, competing at 132. Moseley was 4-3 at Panther Prowl and at Swede Umbach, with one of his better tournaments of the season coming at Lone Survivor, where Moseley was 6-2 over the two days. Another solid regular-season tournament was his final Gator Brawl at home, where Moseley was 7-3 and placed fifth, with his final two wins coming against a former district champ and a former state qualifier, respectively. At George Mulligan, Moseley was 4-3, and wrapped up his regular season with a 4-1 effort (only loss a weight class up) at Timberwolf Duals. He had two pins to reach the District 1 final, where he lost to an eventual state qualifier, and then fell to an eventual state qualifier in the first round at Wakulla. With 124 career victories, Moseley was an important contributor in continuing the longevity of the Wewa program.

2020-21 captain: Freshman Conner Roberts is poised to be the Wewa team leader for the next three seasons, and before he’s done he might get the Gators back to the boys’ state tournament, as he led Wewa in wins this year with 45, competing mainly at 120. Roberts was the top performer at Panther Prowl, going 5-2 for the Gators there (only losses to state qualifiers); after struggling in a solid Umbach field, he was 7-2 at Lone Survivor and 7-3 at The Bash. Roberts got to the finals of the Joe Bees Memorial, pinning his way through the draw up to that point, and took just two losses against eventual state placers in placing fifth at Gator Brawl with a 7-2 record. After .500 tournaments at George Mulligan and Wakulla, Roberts closed out with a 5-0 day at Timberwolf Duals, and finished the traditional tournament series with a 4-3 overall record, placing third at districts.

Zander Laurin Warrior: I think we’re going to see sophomore Kaylee Easter on the girls’ state podium sometime in the next two years, and not just because she was 3-2 at this year’s girls tournament at 128 (and 6-3 in the two tournaments I have records for her). Although Easter did take more than her share of defeats this year — as she had a year ago — she had at least one pin in every boys tournament in which she competed except her first one and her last one, and pinned three different boys at Gator Brawl. She made the trip all the way from Wewa over to Matanzas for the Lady Pirate, and if she can add a couple more girls’ tournaments in the mix next year, I think she’ll have the body of work to threaten to place in girls state — sanctioned or not — in 2021.

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Ouch. Just. Ouch.

We take a quick break from our next stat generation to bring not great news from the AAU national chairman today.

Best-case? “Disney Duals” get held in Virginia Beach in August.

Worst-case? See everyone in 2021.

The news follows below. Key text in blue, my highlighting.

<<**ATTENTION COVID-19 UPDATE/ LETTER FROM AAU NATIONAL WRESTLING CHAIRMAN**

Good Morning,

Hello Coaches, Wrestlers, and Fans.
“May you live in interesting times”
That quote is attributed to Ancient Chinese Proverbs or to the movies in the early 1900’s. No one knows for sure. It seems to fit our situations this spring.
The past two months have been very interesting. With the news each day and the predictions each week, not sure, when or if, these “interesting times will end soon”.
I hope everyone has heard that the AAU Tournaments listed below have been cancelled or rescheduled.

1) CANCELLED-National Elementary Duals in Kingsport, Tennessee, Scheduled for May 1-3

2) CANCELLED- Middle School Duals, Freshman- Sophomore National Duals, Twin Rivers Junior -Senior duals and Girls Dual tournament, Scheduled for May 8-10, 2020.

3) AAU Black Hills Nationals on cancelled for May 1-3, have been rescheduled for Oct. 21-23, 2020. New flyers will be sent.

The big question for AAU Wrestling, at this point in time, is the National
Scholastic Duals at Disney, in Orlando during June 18 – 24th, 2020.

I have spoken with many of the coaches and the concerns seem similar.

With each state having their own restrictions in place, it adds to the uncertainty with building a Team, or if they will be allowed to travel.

1. Loss of fundraising opportunities for clubs due to the virus.

2. The unemployment situation which affects parents abilities, as well as, and including local businesses that help in sponsoring the athletes.

3. Concerns over the travel to Orlando, and participants close contact with 1500 to 2000 athletes and fans. Will parents feel comfortable with travel there.

4. With many schools and training centers closed , the time it takes to build a team, training a team, organizing and paying for the trip. Not knowing for sure if the tournament will be allowed to happen with 6 – 8 weeks from now.

I could wait to announce on May 1st the final decision for the Duals, but I think the best solution is to, postpone it, and combine our National Folkstyle with the Junior Olympic Freestyle duals in Virginia Beach.
The Junior Olympics are during the first week in August.

Our first concern is for our athletes. If there is a chance or a risk of exposure, we need to cancel.
We obviously haven’t figured out the details for the JO Games tournament, but will have some idea by May 1st.

Any questions, Please feel free to contact me. I hope you all stay safe and Family stays healthy.

Wes Creason
National AAU Wrestling Chairman
Iowa AAU Wrestling Chairman
1217 East Franklin Ave.
Indianola, Iowa 50125>>