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 beginning our sixth round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our first team up this round and the sixth from 2A-District 3, the 58th team overall, is Stanton.
You can see everything I have on the Blue Devils in 2019-20 here –> STANTON
Win/loss record: 9-17 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Blue Devils’ performance in IBT events. All records were as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Stanton began the season at conference and district rival Terry Parker’s Arlington Optimist Invitational IBT, finishing ninth out of 12 teams on December 6-7. After splitting a pair of midweek duals on the 11th, the Blue Devils made their longest trip of the season prior to Region 1, going to Fernandina Beach’s Dual in the Dunes on the 14th, where Stanton was 2-3 and placed seventh out of 10 teams. After the holidays, the Blue Devils began competition with the 2A-District 3 dual team tournament back at Parker, with a quarterfinal loss. That weekend, the 10th-11th, Stanton returned to Parker for the two-day USMC Duals, placing 13th with a 2-6 record. Next on the agenda was a trip to conference and district rival Westside for its one-day roundrobin on the 18th, finishing sixth out of 11 teams. Stanton then made its fourth trip to Parker for the two-day Parker Duals on the 24th-25th, finishing 2-6 as a team. The Blue Devils then competed in the two-day Gateway Conference IBT at Fletcher on January 31-February 1, finishing ninth out of 15 teams, and wrapped up the regular season with a midweek tri-meet split on February 11. Stanton was seventh out of eight teams at the District 3 traditional tournament, and was 32nd at Region 1, with no state qualifiers. Stanton graduated five post-season starters from this past year’s team; the Blue Devils can call upon as many as six key post-season or regular-season starters in 2020-21.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Artin Rezaei (senior, 21-19 at 126, 1 match from regions); Matthew Mock (senior, 10-24 at 132, 1 match from regions); Liam Salem (senior, 16-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Jesse Liu (junior, 11-11 at 152, 1 match from regions); Seth Parks (sophomore, 9-23 at 220, 0-2 at districts); Connor McLoon (sophomore, 6-12 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Kenneth Caldeo (16-15 at 106, 1 match from regions); Gabe Navarro (26-18 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Avery Debelen (14-13 at 170, 1 match from regions); Timothy Sinclair (19-16 at 182, 1 match from regions); Charles Woo (21-11 at 195, 1 match from regions).
2019-20 MVP: 2020 graduate Gabe Navarro led Stanton in victories this season (26) and was the Blue Devils’ only wrestler that placed at Gateway and qualified out of districts, competing mostly (and in the post-season) at 138 during the year. Navarro also placed at Optimist (4th) and was 5-3, with four pins, at USMC Duals. He reached the final at Westside and was 5-3 at Parker with three pins. After losing his first match at Fletcher during Gateway, Navarro stormed back through the consis, with three pins to secure a place finish Saturday afternoon. At districts, Navarro was 2-2 on the weekend, with two pins, to qualify out for Chiles and Region 1, where he took two losses by decision, the second by just one point. The team’s only four-year starter among the senior graduates, Navarro has been a point of consistency for Stanton during his time there.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Liam Salem was Stanton’s only other region qualifier and is the only returning Blue Devil to have reached the Region 1 meet, competing most often at 145 (but occasionally at 152 as the situation required). Salem was 3-2 at Fernandina Beach and 2-2 at Westside. He put together a solid 6-2 weekend at Parker Duals, but had his share of struggles as well, with an 0-2 Gateway tournament. At districts, Salem was able to qualify out after falling in the semis at 145 (to the eventual champ and state qualifier), with a fall in the blood round to get him to the third-place match. At a weight class that makes sense for him in 2020-21, Salem should be a solid contender for second-day competition at Region 1 at least.
Zander Laurin Warrior: We were looking forward to some good things from the junior season of Grant Kelsey; perhaps even a state appearance might have been in the offing. We saw him take two preseason pins in the middle of the Blue Devil lineup, the portion that was Stanton’s strongest. But there were no regular-season results to be had, save other than one forfeit victory in the Blue Devils’ only home meet of the year. I have no information on why this was the case, but what earns Kelsey this nomination was not what he did — or even what he might have done — on the mats. As it so happened, I was at Stanton’s only home meet, and there Kelsey was, running the scoreboard. Doing what he could to help the team. For being a team player for the Blue Devils, Grant Kelsey is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Stanton, and we hope he’ll be back in the lineup for his senior season in December.
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