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 the homestretch of our third round of random selections from the 11 districts, plus our independent teams. Our 32nd team overall and third team out of 1A-District 1 is South Walton.
You can see everything I have on the Seahawks in 2019-20 here –> SOUTH WALTON
Win/loss record: 5-7 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Seahawks’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: South Walton began the year by hosting its seventh annual Border Wars two-day tournament on December 6-7, placing T-16th out of 20 teams. After a midweek dual win on the 12th, the Seahawks placed 25th out of 28 teams at Chiles’ Capital City Classic on the 13th and 14th. The team has often made trips to Louisiana over the holidays, and this past season was no exception, as South Walton traveled to New Orleans for the Trey Culotta Invitational, a two-day roundrobin/IBT, on the 20th and 21st, where it was 24th out of 25 teams. After the holidays, the Seahawks traveled over to Lake City for Columbia’s two-day Tiger Duals on January 3rd and 4th, where they were 2-5 over the course of the weekend. South Walton was 2-1 at the 1A-District 1 dual team tournament on the 9th, taking second and qualifying for Region 1 competition on the 16th, where the Seahawks fell in the quarters. In between those Florida duals rounds, they traveled to Tennessee for the Soddy Daisy Invitational, finishing 12th out of 12 teams on the 11th. The Seahawks then were 17th out of 22 teams at district rival Wewahitchka’s two-day Gator Brawl on the 17th and 18th, and 9th out of 18 teams at the inaugural George Mulligan Invitational, hosted by district rival Bay, on the 24th and 25th. South Walton then wrapped up the regular season by taking 14th out of 20 teams at Wakulla’s two-day IBT on January 31-February 1. The Seahawks duplicated their runnerup District 1 showing in traditional format, and placed 16th out of 30 teams at Region 1, with one state qualifier; South Walton was T-56th at states. The Seahawks will lose just one senior to graduation this year; South Walton can call upon as many as 15 wrestlers with post-season or significant regular-season experience, and all of them will have at least two more years of eligibility. With the coaching staff they have, the Seahawks will be a team to watch over the next couple of seasons.
Note: Records are as compiled by Matmen.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Brett Canut (junior, 7-10 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); CJ Inman (sophomore, 7-27 at 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Randall Yates (sophomore, 9-35 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Canyon Dart (junior, 31-24 at 132, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Ryan Kurfirst (junior, 20-29 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Shane Lane (junior, 6-17 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ashton Nunes (sophomore, 13-23 at 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); John Lopez (junior, 22-27 at 152, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Judah McCoy (sophomore, 6-9 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Seth Marshall (sophomore, 7-35 at 160, 1 match from regions); Chase Maas (sophomore, 6-14 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Payton Ubben (sophomore, 5-14 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Noah Gabbard (junior, 7-13 at 195, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Nick Lee (sophomore, 18-23 at 220, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Thompson (sophomore, 4-27 at 285, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Dylan Garner (26-25 at 182, district champ, 2-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: After transferring from Ft Walton Beach at the conclusion of his freshman year, sophomore Canyon Dart made the most of his new opportunity with the Seahawks, leading the team in victories (31) and reaching the 1A state tournament. Dart had a solid 6-4 tournament at Border Wars and was 2-2 at Capital City. He max-pointed through the district duals tournament and was 7-3 at Gator Brawl, placing seventh, and was eighth at George Mulligan. His best regular-season tournament finish was a fifth at Wakulla, but he was just peaking at the right time, as he followed that Wakulla tournament finish up with a district title at 132 and a fourth at Region 1, with losses at states to a Lake Highland wrestler and a senior in the consis. Given his path this year and coaching behind him, it would not surprise to see Dart challenge for a podium spot next year.
2020-21 captain: It’s not easy for a freshman upper weight to compete at 220; it’s also not easy for freshman 220s to win district titles, but Nick Lee was able to deal with those difficulties and accomplish that task in 2019-20. Lee was 4-4 with four pins at Border Wars and put together a solid 6-3 record at Gator Brawl, placing sixth at that tournament. Even in tournaments where he struggled, like Wakulla, Lee had wins that showed his promise that will be unfurled over the next three years, where he took a win over an eventual state qualifier. He followed that up by bonus-pointing through the District 1 tournament, avenging three earlier losses with his victory in the final. We will see Lee at states before long, perhaps as early as next year.
Zander Laurin Warrior: As we noted in the previous paragraph, it’s not easy for freshman upper weights, and such was the case for the Seahawks’ Andrew Thompson at 285. Tompson lost his first 16 matches, all by fall, before getting his hand raised three times in four matches, including a 2-1 record at the area duals tournament. Thompson then lost his next seven matches by fall, including his first one at the district tournament, sending him into the consis. Instead of just playing out the string, though, Thompson extended his season by one more week, earning his second pin of the year in the district’s version of the blood round, allowing him to qualify out. For persevering in the face of adversity, Andrew Thompson is the Zander Laurin Warrior for South Walton.
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