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 24th team overall was Belleview, the third team chosen out of 2A-District 4.
You can see everything I have on the Diamondbacks in 2019-20 here –> BELLEVIEW
Win/loss record: 24-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. We were missing a midweek dual from the final week of the regular season and all duals (but one) from Belleview’s regular-season finale duals tournament at Villages. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Another very young team, the Diamondbacks opened in dual competition at Weeki Wachee, where they finished 5-3 on the weekend of December 6-7. The following weekend, at Hernando’s, 33-team, two-day Kiwanis Invitational IBT on the 13th and 14th, Belleview was 31st. That would be the Diamondbacks’ last competition of 2019; they’d open January with a trip up to Lake City and Columbia’s two-day Tiger Duals, where they finished 4-3 in varsity competition on the 3rd & 4th. The following Saturday, at the 2A-District 4 dual team tournament, Belleview was 1-2 on the day. On the 18th, the Diamondbacks visited nearby Inverness for Citrus’ one-day IBT, the Ed Kilpatrick Invitational, finishing 13th out of 19 teams. From there, it was all duals the rest of the season for Belleview, beginning on the 25th at district rival Seabreeze’s Ray Hollingsworth Duals, where it was 2-3 on the day. After a midweek dual loss on the 29th, the Diamondbacks next went to Dade City for the one-day Pasco Duals on February 1, where they were 3-2 as a team. Belleview then placed second at the MCIAC tournament on the 5th, with a 2-1 duals record in that four-team event. It then hosted the Diamondback Duals on the 7th-8th; on that weekend, the hosts were 7-1 as a team and placed second. Belleview was sixth at the 2A-District 4 traditional tournament and placed 24th at Region 1 at Chiles, with no state qualifiers. The team will graduate just one senior with significant match time this year, but might be able to call upon as many as 15 returners next year with either post-season starts or significant regular-season time, plus a couple more that just fell short of the matches needed for inclusion. And most of those returners have at least two more years of eligibility remaining.
Note: Records as shown here do not match what was reported to the FHSAA district host, due partially to missing results and partially due to factors beyond Matmen’s control, as some records did not mesh with what we could construct based on the missing results.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Zackery Young (sophomore, 29-13 at 106, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Mark Willis (junior, 38-14 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Michael Ventre (senior, 30-21 at 120, 1 match from regions); Andrew Davis (sophomore, 30-16 at 126, 1 match from regions); Zachary McLaughlin (sophomore, 24-22 at 132, 1 match from regions); Tyler Gerard (sophomore, 9-16 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Morgan Cole (senior, 15-8 at 138/145, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Valentino Morales (sophomore, 2-18 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Eric McLaughlin (sophomore, 30-21 at 152, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Cornelius Bentley-Greene (sophomore, 20-27 at 160, 1 match from regions); Julian Flores (sophomore, 9-22 at 182, 0-2 at districts); Nathan Halstead (senior, 30-18 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Andrew Dunn (sophomore, 25-15 at 220, 1 match from regions); Titus Bailey (junior, 10-14 at 285, 1 match from regions); Ke’aundre Solomon (sophomore, 7-10 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: Shaun Young (23-25 at 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: While we didn’t get a chance to record the 49 wins that were filed by sophomore Mark Willis in 2019-20, even the data we had suggested Willis was the far-and-away team leader in victories, with his reaching Saturday’s round at Region 1 making him the MVP for the season. Willis won his first seven matches at Weeki Wachee, then won nine in a row after Hernando Kiwanis, going 5-0 at Tiger Duals and winning twice at district duals. Willis grabbed a fourth at Ed Kilpatrick, then, after a pair of Saturdays where he struggled a bit, he would win 11 of 12 duals between (mainly) Marion County and Diamondback Duals, with max points in all of those wins. Willis had three pins at District 4, with his only loss to an eventual state qualifier, and then won two matches at regions, one of just two Diamondback wrestlers to get to Saturday at Chiles for Region 1.
2020-21 captain: Junior 195 Nathan Halstead was a quietly-consistent performer for the Diamondbacks this past year, eclipsing the 30-win mark (in both ours and reported results), and his position as a senior next year will be key for Belleview’s progress in 2020-21. Halstead was 4-3 at Weeki Wachee and 5-2 at Tiger Duals, with three wins at district duals. Halstead was 3-2 at Hollingsworth Duals and Pasco Duals, with eight wins in nine matches between MCIAC and Diamondback Duals. He was one of two Belleview wrestlers to take third at districts, with a 3-1 record, losing at Region 1 to a pair of seniors. From a leadership standpoint, his presence will be as important as his wins in 2020-21.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Freshman Valentino Morales entered the lineup in late January as a solution to a lineup issue at 145. Morales took on several kids, during the course of the rest of the regular season, that had much more experience than he did, and the results reflected it, as he lost his first 11 matches by fall. But Morales got a chance to get his hand raised with a pair of forfeit victories during the course of the weekend at Diamondback Duals, and battled to try to score points for the team through the end of the season and districts. Even in the face of significant adversity — the 145 weight class is often a home for the most experienced light-weight seniors — Morales kept working and persevering, and for that, Valentino Morales is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Belleview.
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