#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.


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.

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