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.
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.
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.
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