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.
This is the end of our third round of random selections from the 11 districts, plus our independent teams. Our 34th team overall and third team out of 2A-District 2 is Middleburg.
You can see everything I have on the Broncos in 2019-20 here –> MIDDLEBURG
Win/loss record: 13-9 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Broncos’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Middleburg made its traditional season-opener at Bishop Snyder’s North Florida Duals on December 7, with a 4-1 day. The Broncos stayed in duals mode for the rest of December, with another 4-1 performance at Buchholz’s Bobcat Holiday Duals on the 14th and a 1-4 evening at the St Johns River Conference tournament at Matanzas on the 18th. After the holidays, Middleburg competed at county rival Fleming Island’s two-day Keystone Memorial tournament on January 3-4, with a 3-2 duals record on the 3rd and 16th-place IBT finish on the 4th. The Broncos then went to Yulee’s two-day Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border on the 10th-11th, where Middleburg was seventh out of 16 teams. They stayed in IBT mode on the 17th-18th, going to St Cloud for the two-day Milton-Winter Invitational, placing 17th out of 25 teams there. After a short break and a midweek dual win on the 29th, the Broncos then went to Wakulla’s two-day IBT on the 31st and February 1st, placing ninth out of 20 teams there. Middleburg closed out its regular-season tournament schedule by placing 31st at the Clay Rotary on the 7th-8th and its dual schedule with a midweek dual loss on the 12th. The Broncos were sixth at the 2A-District 2 traditional tournament and 22nd at Region 1, with no state qualifiers. Middleburg has one senior with post-season starting experience that has graduated, but the 2020-21 Broncos could call upon as many as 14 returning starters (post-season or significant regular-season) with experience next year, and most of them will have at least two years of eligibility.
Note: Records are as compiled by Matmen.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Caiden Berg (sophomore, 18-4 at 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jeffrey Parker (sophomore, 18-11* at 113, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Riley Girgis (junior, 15-16 at 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Ryan Browning (sophomore, 11-20 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Gabe Burch (senior, 7-25 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Thomas Stokes (sophomore, 8-9 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ephraim Long (junior, 15-13 at 138, 1 match from regions); Aden Thornton (sophomore, 18-14 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Michael Higginbotham (senior, 15-16 at 152, 0-2 at districts); Alex Nayfack (senior, 26-18 at 160, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jaden Lane (senior, 13-8 at 160/170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Brayden Weaver (junior, 17-11 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Ethan Larsen (junior, 17-13 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Nate Hill (sophomore, 5-24 at 220, 1 match from regions).
* — Parker’s season record includes records generated at Englewood.
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Dalton Falana (9-11 at 145, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: Freshman Jeffrey Parker not only solidified the Middleburg lineup by locking down an open spot (113), but also by advancing farther than any other Bronco at the Region 1 tournament. Parker transferred over from Englewood, where he was 7-3 for the Rams in competition through district duals. His first appearance for Middleburg was in the last week of January, and he was 3-2 at Wakulla, placing fourth, in his first tournament with the Broncos. At districts, Parker avenged a regular-season loss, going 3-1 and placing third. Parker then lost by fall to an eventual state qualifier in the first round at Region 1, but then won three matches on the back, becoming Middleburg’s lone wrestler to get to Saturday’s rounds. He got to just one match short of states, and, being a freshman, we should expect to see him there soon, perhaps even next March.
2020-21 captain: One of the clear choices for this spot would be the team’s leader in victories and who also happens to be a rising senior, so junior Alex Nayfack would be the pick here. Nayfack was 3-2 at both Buchholz and St Johns River, and put together a 7-3 weekend at Keystone, where he placed sixth in the IBT portion of the weekend. After taking an injury at Joe Bees, Nayfack didn’t return to the mats until month-end, and was 2-2 at Wakulla and 3-2 at Clay. A model of consistency throughout the year, Nayfack rallied from an opening-round loss by decision to the eventual district champ, taking two consi-side victories to extend his season for another week.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Freshman Nate Hill faced the uphill battle of being an inexperienced 220 — with all of the disadvantages that come with it — in his first year of high school wrestling. Still, though, Hill had a decent start coming out of the chute, with two pins in his first tournament at North Florida Duals. However, those would be the only contested wins that Hill would generate all season. That didn’t deter Hill from showing up and trying to do the work, as he had full appearances at Buchholz, St Johns River, Keystone (both days), Wakulla and Clay, continuing to try to go out there and score points for his team. For persevering in the face of on-the-mat adversity, Nate Hill is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Middleburg.
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