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 now starting the fourth round of random selections from the 11 districts, plus our independent teams. Our first team up this round, 37th team overall and fourth team out of 2A-District 3, is Westside.
You can see everything I have on the Wolverines in 2019-20 here –> WESTSIDE
Win/loss record: 12-16 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Wolverines’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Westside began the season at Ridgeview’s two-day Panther Prowl on December 6-7, finishing with a 3-4 weekend record. The Wolverines stayed in duals mode the second weekend, traveling to Oakleaf’s inaugural Friday Knight Lights on December 13, with an 0-5 record there. Westside had its first IBT of the season on December 20-21, placing 17th out of 25 teams at the Allstate Wildcat Invitational in Valdosta. After the holidays, the Wolverines went out to new region rival Columbia’s two-day Tiger Duals, finishing 3-4 against weekend varsity competition on January 3-4. After an appearance and quarterfinal loss at the 2A-District 3 team dual tournament at Terry Parker on the 7th, Westside returned to Parker, finishing 6-2 and placing second at the USMC Duals on January 10-11. From there, it was all roundrobin/IBTs for the Wolverines, starting with their own on January 18, which had both roundrobin and IBT formats. Westside was second out of 11 teams there. After a weekend off, the Wolverines were sixth out of 15 teams at the Gateway Conference on the 31st and February 1. They wrapped up the regular season with a 14th-place team finish at the 33-team Clay Rotary on the 7th and 8th. Westside was fifth at the District 3 traditional tournament and took 11th at Region 1, with two state qualifiers. At states, the Wolverines were T-28th as a team, with one medalist. Westside graduated two post-season starters, including its one state medalist, but can call upon as many as 11 key starters in 2020-21, so should still be a force in the Gateway and could move up in District 3.
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): Deshawn Reaves (sophomore, 16-24 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Olleon Hickman (sophomore, 10-8 at 120, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Jacare Johnson (junior, 19-10 at 120, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Nathan Williams (sophomore, 21-22 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Donovan White (junior, 15-23 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Kristopher Fleming (sophomore, 8-19 at 138, 1 match from regions); Steven Millikin (senior, 12-19 at 145, 1 match from regions); Emma Smith (junior, 4-19 at 152, 0-2 at districts); John Merritt (senior, 35-14 at 182, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Elijah Williams (sophomore, 11-21 at 220, 1 match from regions); Ray Bolden (senior, 38-5 at 285, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Angelo Philpot (50-7 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Terrance Alexander (16-28 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: Senior Angelo Philpot achieved his goal of getting on the state podium this year. Philpot won his first nine matches, including a 5-0 night at Oakleaf, before falling to a Georgia wrestler in placing third at Allstate Wildcat. That loss started a 12-match win streak — in which Philpot was 7-0 against varsity competition at Columbia — that lasted until USMC Duals, when he lost in overtime to another Matmen MVP. That loss kicked off a 12-match win streak that ran for the rest of the month, during which Philpot won a title at Westside and was the Gateway runnerup at 170. After falling to his Gateway opponent again at Clay, where he rallied to place third, Philpot came back to win 10 more matches in a row, taking a District 3 title in dominating fashion and reaching the Region 1 final, where he lost to another Matmen MVP. At states, Philpot couldn’t solve one opponent, but otherwise won four matches on the weekend, proving himself with decisions against very solid competitors. At my last check, he’s still looking to play football at the #NextLevel — where he’s a tackling machine on the defensive side of the ball, and would be an asset as a safety in anyone’s defensive backfield — but he could find a home in college wrestling if he were to want to.
2020-21 captain: Junior 285 Ray Bolden had one of the season’s longer win streaks, as Bolden won his first 28 matches of the season, with a 6-0 tournament at Panther Prowl, a 7-0 weekend at Tiger Duals and an 8-0 tournament at USMC Duals. Bolden also ran the table at Westside for his first IBT win, then reached the Gateway finals, where he fell to a 3-time state placer by a single point. Bolden repeated the feat in the Clay Rotary final, taking second there, then max-pointed through five traditional series matches in winning the District 3 title and reaching the Region 1 final. Bolden struggled some at states, with a 1-2 record, but should be on line to make podium in March 2021 as Northeast Florida’s — if not all of the north — most capable heavy.
Zander Laurin Warrior: It’s not easy for any first-year senior to come in and make a huge impact. Senior Terrance Alexander held down a starting spot from the beginning of the year at 195 or 220 (it was 195 from Oakleaf onward), and the first three events were struggles, with just two wins and one contested one. Alexander had a better tournament in Columbia, going 5-2 with two pins and a decision, and was fourth at Westside and one match short of placing at Gateway. At districts, after a first-period loss by fall in his first match, Alexander picked up two bonus-point wins. The second of those avenged three earlier losses by fall to the same wrestler, and it allowed Alexander to extend his season by another week. By persevering in the face of adversity, Terrance Alexander is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Westside.
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