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 begun our third round of random selections from the 11 districts, plus our independent teams. Our 23rd team overall was randomly selected and Choctaw was the third team chosen out of 2A-District 1.
You can see everything I have on the Indians in 2019-20 here –> CHOCTAWHATCHEE
Win/loss record: 7-11 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: A very young Choctaw group split a pair of midweek duals on the first week before traveling to area rival South Walton’s two-day Border Wars VII, where the Indians were 18th out of 20 teams. After another midweek dual loss, Choctaw traveled to Tallahassee for the Capital City Classic, finishing 22nd out of 28 teams. The Indians then had a shorter hop for their third weekend, going crosstown for Ft Walton Beach’s Beast of the Beach, finishing with a 1-8 duals record just bfore the holidays. After the break, first up for Choctaw was the 2A-District 1 tournament, with a quarterfinal loss. The Indians then had their two best IBT/roundrobin tournaments of the season in mid-January, with top-half finishes at area rival Wewahitchka’s Gator Brawl (11th out of 22 teams) on January 17-18 and at area rival Bay’s inaugural George Mulligan Memorial (8th out of 18) on January 24-25. After splitting a pair of midweek duals, Choctaw closed out its regular season with a solid fourth at Chiles’ one-day Timberwolf Duals, going 4-1 on the day. The Indians then finished seventh out of eight teams at the District 1 traditional meet and 29th at the Region 1 meet. Choctaw will graduate four seniors from this year’s team, but the Indians might have as many as 12 wrestlers in 2020-21 with returning post-season or key regular-season experience, and a few more kids that fell just short of the 15-match level that saw time.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Deagan Kilpatrick (junior, 18-20 at 120, 1 match from regions); Ethan Pfhul (senior, 15-14 at 120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Steven Banfield (sophomore, 16-25 at 126, 1 match from regions); Jacob Johns (sophomore, 6-31 at 132, 0-2 at districts); Eli Devoid (junior, 12-13 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Tristan Grissom (sophomore, 4-19 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ben Semenov (senior, 18-21 at 145, 1 match from regions); Samuel Santos (junior, 17-19 at 170, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Gamaliel Harris (senior, 8-14 at 182, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Peter Skehan (junior, 6-12 at 182/195, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Caden Nimmo (junior, 8-18 at 195, 1 match from regions); Jesse Sarver (junior, 6-23 at 220, 0-2 at districts).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: David Tambula (26-10 at 113, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Sherman Fuller (25-17 at 152, 1 match from regions); Joshua Lizana (2-16 at 160, 0-2 at districts); Michael Barton (15-17 at 285, 1 match from regions).
2019-20 MVP: Senior David Tambula was the only Choctaw wrestler to reach the 2A-District 1 final and was the Indians’ most consistent wrestler throughout the year. After a 2-2 Capital City start in which his losses were to eventual state qualifier, Tambula was 5-2 at Beast of the Beach and 7-3 at Gator Brawl, with a third-place finish and 3-1 tournament finish at George Mulligan. Tambula closed out the regular season with a 4-1 record and then got to the District 1 final after a bye and semifinal pin, falling by a single point there.
2020-21 captain: Sophomore Samuel Santos will be among those for whom Choctaw will look for leadership next year, as Santos made a significant step forward in progressing from a difficult freshman year to a sophomore season where he had a chance for Saturday at regions. His best regular-season tournament was at Beast of the Beach, where he was 5-2 with three pins. He also placed eighth at Geore Mulligan and was 3-2 with three max-point wins at Timberwolf Duals. After a first-match loss by fall, Santos got off the deck and rallied for a pair of pins to medal third at District 1, Choctaw’s top individual finish after Tambula.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Freshman Jacob Johns got his introduction to high school wrestling this past year, and it was an introduction, to be sure. Johns made appearances at 126 and 132 during the year, appearing most often at 132, and until Timberwolf Duals, it was rough. Johns had his hand raised three times prior to that event, always with a win by forfeit, and every contested match ended in a first-period loss by fall. But Johns stuck with the process, and at Timberwolf Duals, sticking with paid off, as Johns not only went 3-1 on the day — his best day of the season on the last day of the regular season. Districts didn’t go so well, but in trusting the process, Jacob Johns made himself the Zander Laurin Warrior for Choctaw.
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