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#TheSeason2019-20: Matanzas

Hey guys!

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 a third of the way through the sixth round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our fourth team up this round and the sixth from 2A-District 4, the 61st team overall, is Matanzas.

MATANZAS

You can see everything I have on the Pirates & Lady Pirates in 2019-20 here –>  MATANZAS

Win/loss record: 15-10 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the War Eagles’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.

MATANZAS LOGO  Boys’ season in a nutshell: Matanzas opened the year at home with its traditional season-opener, the Matanzas Duals, on December 7, taking second with a 4-1 record on the day. Next up was the Pirates’ traditional trip to Tallahassee for the Capital City Classic on the 13th-14th, in which Matanzas finished sixth out of 28 teams. The Pirates then hosted the St Johns River Conference dual tournament on the 18th, taking second with a 4-1 record on the night. Matanzas then wrapped up a busy December with a trip to Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals on the 20th and 21st, finishing with a 3-4 record in the two-day duals tournament. After the holidays, Matanzas’ first competition was a road trip to Jensen Beach’s Cradle Cancer IBT with a smaller group, in which the Pirates placed T-14th out of 30 teams, on January 3-4. After a midweek dual win on January 8, the Pirates hosted the 2A-District 4 dual team tournament on the 11th, placing second and reaching the Region 1 round for the third straight year. In the region round, contested at Fletcher on the 16th, Matanzas fell in the quarterfinals. The Pirates then dropped a pair of midweek duals on the 22nd and 29th, then made the crosstown hop to Flagler Palm Coast’s Flagler Rotary, a two-day IBT on January 31-February 1, placing T-12th out of 33 teams. After a midweek dual win on February 5, the Pirates wrapped up the regular season with a trip to Clay’s two-day Rotary IBT, placing 13th out of 33 teams. Matanzas would go on to win the District 4 traditional tournament, and placed second at Region 1 at Chiles, sending five wrestlers to states. The Pirates finished T-16th out of 77 teams in the 2A state field at Silver Spurs Arena, with one medalist. Matanzas graduated seven seniors from this past year’s team; the Pirates can call upon as many as nine post-season/key regular-season starters in 2020-21.

Girls’ season in a nutshell: The Lady Pirates began the season at University (Orange City)’s Clash of Lady Titans on December 6, placing third out of 20 teams in that one-day IBT event. Next up was projected to be a trip to St Cloud for its Lady Bulldog Brawl; we received no results for that one. Matanzas then hosted the one-day Lady Pirate Classic, which had both pools and bracketed competition, on the 21st (that event did not have team scores). After the holidays, Matanzas’ next competition was at Dr Phillips’ Lady Panther on January 10-11, in a two-day, 47-team IBT, in which the Lady Pirates placed third. They returned to the Orlando area on January 18 to compete at Cypress Creek’s Lady Bear Classic, placing fourth out of 35 teams in that one-day IBT. In February, Matanzas sent a contingent back to Dr Phillips for the girls’ state tournament on the 14th and 15th, placing fourth out of 117 teams, with four individual medalists. The Lady Pirates graduated two seniors, both medalists this past year, but can call upon as many as 10 wrestlers that had state-tournament appearances in 2020-21.

Note: Records for Lady Pirate wrestlers are marked with asterisks due to missing results.

Boys’ key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Carter Wilder (sophomore, 6-13 at 106, 1 match from regions); Braden Hawley (junior, 9-17 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Henson White (sophomore, 7-29 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Sam Russo (senior, 26-11 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Tristian Williams (junior, 22-16 at 160, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Drew Castanheira (senior, 15-6 at 160/170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Sean LeBeau (senior, 6-7 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Vincent Iuliano (sophomore, 3-11 at 195, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Robert Elder (senior, 29-21 at 285, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states).

Girls’ key returners (15+ matches or state appearance this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Brittany Lipka (sophomore, 1-4 at 100, 0-2 at state); Sierra Kemp (junior, 0-7* at 112, 0-2 at state); Riley White (senior, 15-5* at 117, state runnerup); Marissa Roberts (sophomore, 6-10* at 117, 0-2 at state); Maddie Torres (sophomore, 0-10* at 128, 0-2 at state); Angelina Gonzalez (junior, 12-9* at 134, 2-2 at state); Isabella Tietje (sophomore, 6-6* at 140, 2-2 at state); Abrielle Molina (sophomore, 2-10* at 140, 0-1 at state-injured); Morgan Morrison (senior, 15-3 at 162, state runnerup); Julianna Bogdanov (sophomore, 0-2 at 184, 0-2 at state).

Boys’ graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Ethan Goodman (34-11 at 120, district champ, 1 match from states); Shaun Culbreth (48-7 at 126, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); George Joanos (28-14 at 132, district champ, 1 match from states); Griffin Wilder (25-8 at 145, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Noel Alicea (27-14 at 152, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Quenteen Robinson (41-4 at 170, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Pete Grimm (11-17 at 220, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).

Girls’ graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or state appearance) from this year’s team: Angelina Bermudez (14-7 at 154, state 6th); Klarissa Appiah (13-7 at 184, state 6th).

2019-20 boys’ MVP: 2020 graduate Quenteen Robinson finished his high school career with the team’s only state medal, the second in his career. Robinson started the year winning his first nine matches, with a 5-0 day at Matanzas Duals and a runnerup finish at Capital City, with his only loss to a Georgia state placer. That loss touched off a 20-match win streak, in which Robinson won first-team all-St Johns River honors, was 7-0 at Hagerty and max-pointed through the FHSAA dual tournament series. Robinson took fifth at Flagler, then used the final two weeks to prepare for the traditional tournament series. He bonus-pointed through the District 4 field, and won a Region 1 title behind three pins and a quarterfinal decision. At state, Robinson made sure of his second medal with two pins in 95 seconds to get to Saturday. After a semifinal loss to the eventual runnerup, Robinson powered through to two decisions to rally back for third. We’ll get to see him continue to develop at the #NextLevel this winter.

2019-20 girls’ MVP: Rising senior Riley White was one of two Lady Pirates to reach the state final at Dr Phillips. White’s journey to that final match saw her wrestling two weights up from her final weight at 117. She took second at both Orange City and at home, competing at 128 in those tournaments, then dropped to 122, where she won the Lady Panther title. White went back to 128 for the trip to Cypress Creek, where she took fourth. At states, she was at her final weight, and won four matches to reach the final. It was White’s third appearance in the state tournament and her second medal (she was sixth in 2019), and she’ll have one more shot at a state title in February.

2020-21 boys’ captain: I don’t believe we saw rising senior Robert Elder in the Matanzas lineup prior to last season, and certainly not as a regular starter, so the way it wound up turning out — with Elder reaching the state tournament at 285 — was something of a surprise to some veteran wrestling observers. He was 10-11 through December, but won five matches in a row to kick off the first full week of January. That was just a prelude to Elder’s best regular-season tournament at Clay, where he was 5-2 and placed fourth, with both of his losses to just one wrestler. Elder was one of the Pirates’ eight district champs (and one of just two returning champs). At Region 1, he took a loss in the quarters, but fought back with three wins to punch his ticket for Silver Spurs.

2020-21 girls’ captain: Rising senior Morgan Morrison made her third appearance at state and earned her second medal, getting to the final at 162. Morrison won the Clash title at Orange City behind three bonus-point wins, and was 3-1 at home, again with three bonus-point wins. She placed third at Dr Phillips in January, with a 4-1 tournament record, and won the title at Cypress Creek behind two pins. At state, Morrison pinned her way into the final, where a matchup that, as it turned out, was 50-50 went against her. But Morrison had two earlier wins against that state champion, and she’ll have one more chance next March.

Zander Laurin Warriors: On the boys’ side, rising sophomore Henson White got off to a reasonably good start, at 5-5 midway through St Johns River duals, with one pin included in the group, but White struggled the rest of the way of the regular season at 113, getting his hand raised just one more time, at district duals. White took losses in 20 of his next 21 matches, and it would have been easy for him to pack it in at districts, particularly after losing by fall in his first match. But, instead of packing it in, White found a way to extend his season another week, taking a decision in the blood round to ensure he would reach the medal round and move on to regions. On the girls’ side, the Lady Pirates team would likely not be as strong as it is without the leadership of 2020 graduate Angelina Bermudez. Bermudez was a four-time placer at the state tournament, taking fifth in 2017, fourth in 2018, and reached the final in 2019. In February, Bermudez reached the semis for the fourth time. That she placed sixth isn’t evidence of a failure. Very, very, very few wrestlers ever place at their state tournament four times, and, at the same time, serve as a building block for a program. Angelina Bermudez did both. For their accomplishments in the clutch, or over a career, Henson White and Angelina Bermudez are the Zander Laurin Warriors for Matanzas.

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