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 nearly halfway through our sixth round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our fifth team up this round and the sixth from 3A-District 1, the 62nd team overall, is Creekside.
You can see everything I have on the St Johns County Knights in 2019-20 here –> CREEKSIDE
Win/loss record: 9-10 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Knights’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Creekside began the season at former district rival Matanzas’ one-day duals tournament on December 7, with a 1-3 record in duals on the day. The Knights then went to St Cloud for the two-day Bulldog Brawl on December 13-14, finishing the duals tournament with a 5-3 weekend record. After a midweek dual win on the 18th, Creekside wrapped up competition for the holidays. In January, the Knights started by hosting the inaugural one-day St Johns County championship, a roundrobin event on the 4th that did not calculate team scores. Next, the Knights traveled to Oakleaf to compete in the 3A-District 1 dual team tournament, finishing fourth in that event with a 2-2 record on the night. After a midweek dual loss on the 14th, Creekside took 11 days off from competition, then returned to new region rival DeLand’s one-day Bulldogs IBT, where it finished fourth out of 17 teams. IBTs were the order of the day in closing out the regular season, as the Knights were 16th out of 33 teams at the Flagler Rotary in Palm Coast on January 31-February 1, then took 17th out of 33 teams at the Clay Rotary on February 7-8. Creekside finished third in its inaugural 3A-District 1 traditional tournament, following that up with a solid 10th at Region 1, where the Knights sent one wrestler to states. At Silver Spurs Arena, Creekside was 48th out of 67 teams. The Knights graduated four key seniors from this past year’s team, all of them post-season starters including their only state qualifier, but the rest of the Creekside group was pretty young, as it can call upon as many as 12 key post-season or significant 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): Andrew Feeks (junior, 17-16 at 106, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Cody Smith (junior, 8-12 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Hunter England (senior, 23-13 at 120, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Nolan Anderson (senior, 18-13 at 132, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Keanan Sexton (junior, 7-8 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season tradiitonals); Lee Leavell (junior, 14-17 at 138, 1 match from regions); Nathan Manning (junior, 15-13 at 145, 1 match from regions); Hunter Brown (senior, 29-14 at 160, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Bryan Fortay (senior, 6-7 at 195, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Robbie Balke (senior, 7-16 at 220, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Wyatt Galloway (junior, 9-8 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Vincent Approbato (junior, 13-14 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Michael Galiani (19-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Zach Johnson (9-21 at 152, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Josh Benavides (17-11 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jalen Hines (38-8 at 182, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
2019-20 MVP: 2020 graduate Jalen Hines proved to be the Knights’ most consistent winner, and at a fairly high level, in 2019-20, becoming Creekside’s only state qualifier; he got to Silver Spurs for the second time with his performance this year. Hines won his first 11 matches of the year while competing at 170, with a 4-0 day at Matanzas and 7-1 weekend at St Cloud. He then took second at county and had a 3-1 night at district duals for Creekside. That district duals loss touched a 10-match win streak for Hines, who bumped up to 182 starting at Flagler, where he reached the final and fell to a 1A state placer. Hines then had four bonus-point wins to reach the final at Clay, and picked up two more in taking the District 1 title, one of just three not won by the district team champ. Hines then had a 4-1 weekend at Region 1, with a loss only to the eventual champ, to get back to Silver Spurs, where he was 1-2 at states. Am guessing we see him in football at the next level, but his energy and scoring capability was always fun to watch.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Hunter Brown was one of two Creekside members of the Class of 2021 to get to blood round at Region 1, and Brown has been steadily climbing toward the possibility of making the show in 2021. This past year, Brown was 3-1 at Matanzas and 6-2 at St Cloud for his larger December tournament work. He was 4-1 and placed second in the inaugural St Johns tournament, and would avenge that loss later on that week at district duals. Brown was third at DeLand and had a 2-2 tournament at Flagler. A district rival proved to be a thorn in his side three times this year, the third of those at districts, but otherwise Brown was 3-1 and took third. He got to the semis behind two max-point wins at Region 1 on Friday, but then fell twice on Saturday. One of those he should convert in February next year.
Zander Laurin Warrior: 2020 graduate Zach Johnson was never able to climb above the .500 mark in starting the entire season at 152 for the Knights, with a 1-3 start at Matanzas and a 3-5 weekend at St Cloud. After two wins in duals, starting in the second round of district duals competition, Johnson hit a significant rough patch in his year, losing nine of 10 matches in January and February, all of them by fall, with 0-2 tournaments at both Flagler and Clay. While it would have been easy for him to mentally pack it in, Johnson rallied at districts, winning with a bonus point in his first match. After a semifinal loss by fall to an eventual state placer, Johnson again rallied, making sure his season would be extended another week, with a decision in the blood round to reach the medal round. For finding a path in the face of on-the-mat adversity, Zach Johnson is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Creekside.
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