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 the second round of random selections from the 11 districts (in round 3, we’ll include independents in the mix). Our 19th team overall was randomly selected and Buchholz was the second team chosen out of 3A-District 2.
You can see everything I have on the Bobcats in 2019-20 here –> BUCHHOLZ
Win/loss record: 19-8 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Bobcats’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Buchholz began the season at the high-powered Danny Byron Invitational, a two-day unscored roundrobin/IBT at Osceola on December 6-7. The Bobcats then opened their dual season at home on the 14th, with a 3-2 varsity record at the Bobcat Holiday Duals. Buchholz then ventured to region rival Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals before Christmas, finishing T-9th in the two-day duals tournament with a 3-4 weekend record. It then went back to Osceola to compete in the Knockout Christmas Classic, where the Bobcats were 25th out of 40 teams in the two-day IBT, the Southeast’s toughest in the regular season. There were no breaks after the new year, as Buchholz started 2020 at Lake Mary’s Tournament of Champions on January 3-4, finishing seventh out of 32 teams in the two-day IBT. The Bobcats, in their first 3A-District 2 dual team tournament, placed second on January 9th, advancing to the Region 1 quarterfinals on the 16th. Buchholz then took a break from competition for eight days, returning for the Parker Duals at Terry Parker on the 24th and 25th, where the varsity squad ran the table with a 9-0 record. It then competed in IBTs the final two weekends of the regular season, taking third at Timber Creek’s Wolfpack Invitational, a 17-team event, on February 1, and finishing fifth out of 33 teams at the Clay Rotary on February 7-8, closing out the regular season with its lone midweek dual, a victory. The Bobcats repeated as runners-up in the 3A-District 2 traditional tournament and then finished fifth at Region 1 at Fleming Island, sending five wrestlers to states. At Kissimmee, Buchholz — thanks to one state medalist — was T-24th as a team in the 67-team 3A field. While the Bobcats lose five key seniors, including four post-season starters and three state qualifiers (and their lone podium finisher), Buchholz had a pretty deep squad, and can call upon as many as 16 wrestlers to return in 2020-21 that had post-season or key regular-season experience, with just three of those being seniors in 2021. That number didn’t reflect the six additional Bobcats that had between 9-14 matches this year, so this is a team that will be just fine for the next couple of years at least, if not far longer.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Siddharth Bianchi (junior, 12-25 at 106, 1 match short of regions); Venumadhava Mirel (junior, 32-14 at 113, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Aiden Moore (junior, 42-15 at 120, district champ, did not compete at regions); Jeffrey Lynch (junior, 3-4 at 126, 1 match short of regions); Alexis Gonzalez (junior, 12-21 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kason Nichols (sophomore, 33-20 at 132, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Malcolm Brown (sophomore, 9-6 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Cole Nixon (junior, 23-29 at 138, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Timothy Bowen (senior, 30-27 at 145, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Liam Buchanan (senior, 20-14 at 152, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Max Szabo (sophomore, 15-19 at 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Daniel Rattner (junior, 3-12 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Holden Mitrione (sophomore, 10-5 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jason Martin (senior, 41-15 at 195, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Drew Lewis (senior, 16-11 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Bryon Diehl (sophomore, 7-8 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: David Sampson (5-11 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Matthew Vann (46-16 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Armando Acosta (50-4 at 182, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Nevan Burney (30-12 at 220, district 3rd, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jacob Robinson (39-21 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: The way that senior Armando Acosta has competed in the 182 weight class — he was at that weight as a freshman and as a senior (at 170 as a sophomore), something of a rarity — it still seems surprising that this year was his first year finishing with a state medal. It took Knockout to give Acosta his first loss of the year — he was 5-0 at Bobcat and 7-0 at Rouse — where he fell in sudden-victory time in the final. That loss kicked off what would become a 33-match win streak, which led to titles at Tournament of Champions, Wolfpack and Clay, plus a 9-0 weekend at Parker Duals. The Clay win was Acosta’s third, no easy accomplishment for that event, either. This year, though, Acosta closed out his post-season on a mission. An elusive Region 1 title stayed away from him, but he made sure of his podium with two wins on Friday at Silver Spurs, and closed out his Buchholz career with a fall in the medal round, capturing a 50-win season to boot. No question, he’s been one of Buchholz’s best ever in the modern era.
2020-21 captain: We saw flashes in 2018-19 of what we’d see on a consistent basis from junior Jason Martin this past year, as Martin positioned himself to be perhaps the next Bobcat upper weight to make the 3A state podium in 2021. Martin would have consistent finishes in his tournaments throughout the year, rallying from a tough start at Danny Byron to go 3-2 on the weekend. That was followed by a 5-0 day at Bobcat, 6-1 at Rouse and a solid 2-2 at Knockout. In January, Martin was fifth at Lake Mary, 9-0 at Parker Duals and third at Wolfpack, plus a 2-2 weekend at Clay. Martin then pinned his way through the District 2 traditional event and took three wins to qualify out at Region 1. Martin went into overtime with an eventual placer in the first round at states, and the experience will certainly have prepared him for what’s to come this year.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Sophomore Siddharth Bianchi had his first season as a full-time starter this year, and it was a rough introduction to varsity wrestling, as Bianchi lost his first seven matches and was 3-15 through the district duals tournament. But, from mid-January onward, Bianchi pulled things together and had a solid if unspectacular 12-10 second-half slate. Being a good teammate and being coachable has its rewards, and Bianchi started to reap some of them from January onward, with two wins on region duals night, a 5-4 tournament at Parker Duals (where Bianchi had three pins) and contested wins at both Wolfpack and Clay. Although he didn’t get out of districts, the lessons Bianchi learned started to come together on the mat, and for that, Siddharth Bianchi is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Buchholz.
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
Please support our independent journalism!