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 fifth round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our second team up is out of 1A-District 5, the fifth from the district and 48th team overall, is Pedro Menendez.
You can see everything I have on the Falcons in 2019-20 here –> PEDRO MENENDEZ
Win/loss record: 12-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Falcons’ performance in IBT events. All records were as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Pedro Menendez began the season with a trip to conference rival Orange Park’s midweek Raider 8-Way on December 4, with a 3-2 record that night. The Falcons stayed in duals mode two weeks later, this time for the St Johns River Conference duals tournament at Matanzas on the 18th, finshing with a 1-4 record there. After the holidays, Menendez competed in the St Johns County Championships, a one-day scramble on January 4 in which no team scores were kept. Next was the 1A-District 5 dual team tournament on the 7th, in which the Falcons were 3-1 and advanced to Region 2 for the first time in school history. Next was a weekend trip to Terry Parker for the USMC Duals on January 10-11, where the Falcons were 4-3 on the weekend. After a quarterfinal loss in the Region 2 duals tournament on the 16th, Menendez had a midweek dual loss on the 21st, then went back to Orange Park the very next day for the Orange Park Duals midweek event, where it was 1-4 on the night. Another midweek dual loss on the 23rd wrapped up the Falcons’ duals season; Pedro Menendez then placed 23rd out of 33 teams at the Flagler Rotary on January 31-February 1 and T-27th at the Clay Rotary on February 7-8. The Falcons were third at the 1A-District 5 traditional tournament, and qualified one wrestler out of Region 2, where they were 17th out of 31 teams. At states, behind one medal-winning effort, Pedro Menendez was 28th out of 66 teams. The Falcons graduated two key post-season starters (with two or three more 12th graders that were just short of our matches requirement, but were names with which we were familiar), but Pedro Menendez could call upon as many as 10 returners in 2020-21.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Joseph Lepera (sophomore, 3-12 at 120, 1 match from regions); Gavin Rosario (junior, 12-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Logan Meehan (junior, 17-20 at 132, district 4th, 0-1 at regions-injured); Lukas Allen (sophomore, 7-8 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jose Ruiz (senior, 12-17 at 145, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Nathan Luckadoo (senior, 16-12 at 152, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jared Howard (sophomore, 9-24 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Connor Spossey (senior, 44-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Dane Litzinger (senior, 17-16 at 182, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Jon London (sophomore, 8-14 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: Alex Binkiewicz (8-17 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Logan Parham (17-17 at 195, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: Rising senior Connor Spossey had had two good seasons already for the Falcons in 2017-18 and 2018-19, but made himself into a rising statewide presence in his junior year. His first event was at St Johns River Conference; after an early loss to a fellow Matmen MVP, Spossey would win his next 14 matches, a streak that would bring him the inaugural County title at 170 and would last into USMC Duals midway through January. After his second loss — also to a fellow Matmen MVP — Spossey won 13 straight, with a 5-0 night at Orange Park Duals. After a 4-2 weekend and one match short of placing at Flagler, Spossey ran the table at Clay Rotary, a tournament that touched off a third double-digit streak of wins and got him to the Region 2 final, where he lost only to the eventual state champion. In taking fifth at states, Spossey was 4-2 on the weekend, with a quarterfinal loss to the eventual runnerup (and 2019 state champ) and three convincing consi-side wins on the back to earn a medal. He should be in line for a second medal in 2021, and could be a candidate for Saturday night.
2020-21 captain: While Spossey is certainly the unquestioned team leader and should be again in 2020-21, we select a second wrestler for this space, and we’re tabbing rising senior Dane Litzinger for the job. Litzinger had some solid tournaments up a weight or two from his finishing weight of 182, going 4-1 at Orange Park in December and 3-1 at area duals, competing at either 195 or 220. For the past couple of seasons, Litzinger has been a model of consistency for the Falcons, and that consistency will serve Pedro Menendez’s younger wrestlers well in 2020-21. If he can find the right weight, he could be in the mix for states in March.
Zander Laurin Warrior: While a lot of the middleweights in the Falcon lineup shared time with at least one if not two others, rising sophomore Jared Howard grew into the regular starter’s role at 160. His freshman season took the tack of a lot of freshmen as high up as 160, as he did not pick up a single contested win other than in the consis at Flagler, and he did not compete in the second day there. Every loss that Howard sustained was by fall, including a run of eight straight that started at Raider 8-Way and continued until County, and six more between Parker and Orange Park in January. But, even though, there were more losses for Howard than any other Menendez wrestler, he continued to suit up and try to score points, with attempts at Flagler, Clay and districts, in a run of matches that saw Howard win just one of his last eight. For battling through on-the-mat adversity, Jared Howard is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Pedro Menendez.
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