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 have completed second round of random selections from the 11 districts. Starting now and for the next two rounds, we add our two independent teams into the mix. Our 22nd team overall was randomly selected and Lincoln was the second team chosen out of 1A-District 4.
You can see everything I have on the Trojans in 2019-20 here –> LINCOLN
Win/loss record: 12-8 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Trojans’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Lincoln began the season with three weekend tournaments in December, with a second-place finish at crosstown rival Florida High’s Cam Brown Seminole Classic on December 6-7. The Trojans then co-hosted the Capital City Classic on December 13-14, placing fourth of 28 teams in that event, and then closed out the month with a short trip over the border to Valdosta GA for the Allstate Wildcat Invitational, finishing eighth out of 25 teams in that two-day IBT. After the holidays, Lincoln traveled down I-75 to Bradenton for Manatee’s two-day Kelly Duals tournament, its first duals of the season, and the Trojans finished with a 3-5 record. They’d rally the following weekend in the 2A-District 2 dual team tournament, winning their third consecutive district duals title with a 2-0 record. The following week, Lincoln qualified for the 2A dual state tournament for the third time, with two wins in the Region 1 quarters and semis. In between dual regions and states, the Trojans hosted their annual one-day tournament. This year, it was duals in format, and Lincoln placed second with a 4-1 record. At dual states in Osceola, Lincoln won its second Region 1 title, falling in the 2A state semis. After a two-week break from competition, the Trojans traveled to Lake Gibson for the two-day Braves Invitational on February 7-8, where they were ninth out of 24 teams with essentially two-thirds of their lineup. Lincoln’s B group competed at crosstown and district rival Chiles’ one-day Timberwolf Duals on the 8th, taking fifth out of 12 teams, and the team wrapped up their regular season with their lone midweek dual on the 13th. The Trojans were second at the District 2 traditional tournament, but rallied the following weekend to defend their Region 1 title, advancing six wrestlers to states. At Silver Spurs, Lincoln was T-32nd as a team. While the Trojans will lose a sizable group, nine seniors in all — including five post-season starters — Lincoln has always demonstrated a talent to overcome the odds and find a way. They’ll do it next year behind as many as 10 returners with either 15 matches or post-season experience, plus a bevy of kids right on the doorstep in terms of match numbers.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Elijah Hendley (senior, 40-12 at 106, district champ, region champ, 1 match from state medal); Wesley Suta (junior, 4-13 at 126, 1 match from regions); Mekhi Williams (junior, 6-20 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Zaire Fernanders-Jackson (sophomore, 3-13 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mason Kirkland (senior, 5-16 at 145, 1 match from regions); Patrick Blanca (senior, 24-15 at 152, 1 match from regions); Cayden Bevis (junior, 26-16 at 160, district 3rd, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Wyatt Yown (senior, 28-18 at 182, district 3rd, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Omarion LaRoach (junior, 17-16 at 220, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Nic Weaver (junior, 7-8 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jimmy Martin (35-14 at 113, district runnerup, region champ, 0-2 at states); Adam Barnes (22-20 at 120, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Steven Leger (11-12 at 126/132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Curtis Jones (11-20 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Geiger (5-10 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Evan Taylor (10-15 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Andrew Collins (19-14 at 170, 1 match from regions); Tanner Washburn (39-9 at 195, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Tyler Moss (39-6 at 285, district champ, region champ, 0-2 at states).
2019-20 MVP: Senior Tanner Washburn didn’t get the state medal he’d hoped for after being left one match short at last year’s state blood round, but Washburn’s value to this team as a leader was incalculable through the course of the season, particularly at the times when things didn’t go Lincoln’s way during the year. Washburn was in a 3-way tie, record-wise, at Cam Brown Seminole Classic, but won the 195 title on points. He then added a second runnerup finish at Capital City and closed out December with a title at Allstate Wildcat. That was all part of a run in which Washburn won 13 out of 14 matches (the same opponent that won at Capital City also won at Manatee), a run that was stopped with a loss in Region 1 duals to the eventual state champion at 195. From there, Washburn would win 16 of his next 18 matches, with a 4-1 record at Trojan Duals and a third-place team effort at Lake Gibson. At season’s end, Washburn avenged two of his earlier losses to close out the year, then bonus-pointed through the District 2 tournament and reached the Region 1 final, again with a loss to the eventual state champion. At Kissimmee, Washburn lost to the eventual runnerup, and then took a 1-point loss in the consis, but his value to the Lincoln team was far greater than the one takedown needed to get to Saturday.
2020-21 captain: Junior Elijah Hendley was one of Lincoln’s three region champions and the only Trojan wrestler to get to Saturday at states this past season. Hendley started the year at 113 and went 6-1, with the lone loss in the final to an eventual state placewinner. Hendley went 4-2 and placed fourth at Capital City Classic, then made his drop to 106, going 3-2 and placing fifth at Allstate Wildcat. After a 5-3 tournament at Manatee, Hendley won 11 of his next 12 matches, sweeping through the dual state series at all levels and going 3-1 at Trojan Invitational, with a third-place finish after a 4-1 tournament at Lake Gibson (with his only loss in the semis in sudden victory. He then pinned his way through the District 2 traditional tournament, and then won three matches by pin or tech, with a shutout decision in the Region 1 final, for his title. At states, Hendley’s two losses were to two eventual placers, and he should certainly be among that group in 2020-21.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Sophomore Wesley Suta spent most of the season, including the post-season at 126, but otherwise was the Swiss army knife for the Trojans from late December through the end of the season. Suta was the starter for Lincoln at 120 at Allstate Wildcat when not all of the eventual lowers had gotten down to weight just yet, then returned to the lineup for Region 1 duals, this time at 126 after all of the lowers from 106 through 120 were down. During all that time, Suta had just one contested victory. It wasn’t until Timberwolf Duals until Suta was able to wrestle at his natural weight of 113, but he was called upon to go back up to 126 for districts. Even though he’d faced a lot of adversity in his contested matches, Suta was able to add to the Trojan team score with his win by fall in his first match there. For persevering and being a good team player for the Trojans, Wesley Suta is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Lincoln.
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!