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#TheSeason2019-20: Robert E Lee

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 18th team overall was randomly selected and Robert E Lee was the second team chosen out of 2A-District 3.

ROBERT E LEE

You can see everything I have on the Generals in 2019-20 here –>  ROBERT E LEE

Win/loss record: 17-6 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Generals’ performance in IBT events.

ROBERT E LEE LOGO Season in a nutshell: Robert E Lee’s best season in the past seven as a program opened with the Generals taking a midpack finish at Gateway Conference rival Terry Parker’s Arlington Optimist Invitational on December 6-7 (6th out of 12 teams). After two midweek dual wins, the Generals were 18th at the two-day Capital City Classic IBT in Tallahassee on the 13th and 14th. After the holidays, Robert E Lee returned to competition with a second-place finish at region rival Columbia’s Tiger Duals, with a 7-1 weekend record on January 3-4. The Generals then won two of three duals to finish true second in the 2A-District 3 team dual tournament at Parker on the 7th, and returned to Parker that same weekend, with a third-place finish at the USMC Duals and a 6-1 tournament record. After a midweek regular-season dual loss, the Generals fell in the Region 1 quarterfinals at Fletcher. Robert E Lee then took a near two-week break from competition, with a midweek dual loss on the 29th. That weekend, at the Gateway Conference meet at Fletcher, the Generals finished second as a team, their top team finish in the past seven years. After a midweek dual win on February 5, Robert E Lee placed T-19th at the Clay Rotary, a two-day, 33-team IBT on the 7th and 8th. The Generals duplicated their second-place effort in the District 3 traditional tournament, and then finished in the top 10 at regions (10th out of 32 teams), with two state qualifiers. At states, Robert E Lee had its best finish in at least the past seven years, taking T-16th out of 77 teams thanks to one state runnerup individual finish. While the Generals will lose four post-season starters to graduation, Lee will have as many as seven potential returning starters from this past year’s team, with the possibility of a couple of others who saw part-time roles this year.

Note: Records are as compiled from all Lee results, all of which were reported to Matmen.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Ricky Hicks (Jr.) (sophomore, 22-16 at 106, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jamal Burkes (senior, 28-15 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Ty’Juan Jones (senior, 25-13 at 138, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Ahmahd Denmark (senior, 38-4 at 160, district champ, region champ, state runnerup); Keshawn Waters (senior, 25-14 at 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jeremy Porter (senior, 17-6 at 195/220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Craig Harper (senior, 34-13 at 220, district runnerup, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jeramiah Stevens (26-12 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Savion Johnson (25-12 at 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Vincente Waugh (27-17 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Edward Peterson (11-18 at 285, 1 match from regions).

2019-20 MVP: One of the Generals that benefited the most from the move to 2A this past year was junior Ahmahd Denmark, who had his only 2A loss of the season in the state finals at Kissimmee. Denmark won his first four matches of the season, including a title at Arlington Optimist. He took a loss to a Georgia state qualifier in his second match at Capital City, and that would be the last loss he would sustain until the Clay Rotary two months later. Denmark rallied to place third at Capital City, had a max-point weekend in finishing 7-0 at Tiger Duals, and won his second Gateway Conference title by pinning or teching through the field at 160. He then finished fourth at Clay Rotary, with his losses coming to the eventual runnerup as well as in the third-place match. That would catapult Denmark into the post-season, where he pinned his way through districts and had three bonus-point wins en route to the Region 1 title as well. Denmark powered through three wins to reach Saturday night, with wins in the quarters and semis over highly regarded 160s from Brandon and Barron Collier to get to the final. Denmark should certainly have another Saturday night chance in 2020-21.

2020-21 captain: We saw inklings from junior Craig Harper‘s sophomore season that a state appearance could be in his future, but I honestly thought it might be next year, not this year, and while Denmark will certainly be a captain for the Generals next year, we do look for a second wrestler in this space, and Harper is the clear choice. Harper won his first five matches, including an Optimist title during that run, and placed fourth at Capital City. He was 6-1 at Tiger Duals and 5-2 at USMC Duals, placing third at Gateway at 220. While he had some struggles at Clay Rotary, with his two losses by a combined total of three points, Harper bounced back at districts, with two pins to reach the 220 final. He then had his best tournament of the year at regions, going 4-1 with three pins and losing only to the eventual region champ, a state placer. Harper then won his first match at states in Kissimmee before falling in the quarters to the eventual champion.

Zander Laurin Warrior: We didn’t list freshman Akira Roberson as a key returner for 2020-21 because she didn’t have enough appearances this year, but she would have been listed had she competed as planned at districts. But, because life happens when you’re busy making other plans, Roberson didn’t compete. An unexpected allergic reaction to a pain medication taken on the Friday night before districts hospitalized Roberson, who sustained brief cardiac arrest and, at the time, partial paralysis on her left side. We reached out to Coach Hicks last night for an update on Akira’s condition, and didn’t receive one before publication (we’ll update this if we get one after the fact), but Akira Roberson is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Robert E Lee.

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