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 at the halfway point of our sixth round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our sixth team up this round and the sixth from 2A-District 1, the 63rd team overall, is Gulf Breeze.
You can see everything I have on the Dolphins in 2019-20 here –> GULF BREEZE
Win/loss record: 26-9 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Dolphins’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Gulf Breeze began the season at area rival South Walton’s two-day Border Wars VII, a 20-team tournament with pools and IBT formats, on December 6-7, placing ninth out of 20 teams in the field. Next for the Dolphins was their hosting of a one-day duals tournament on the 14th, in which they were 5-0 and took first place on the day. Gulf Breeze then went to district rival Ft Walton Beach’s two-day Beast of the Beach, a two-day duals tournament on the 20th and 21st. While the Dolphins were 1-4 in pool competition on the first day, they rallied for two wins to take first in Best of the Rest competition on Saturday. A busy opening month concluded with Gulf Breeze traveling to Wetumpka AL for the two-day Indians Invitational on the 27th and 28th, where the Dolphins — the only Florida team in attendance — were fifth out of 14 teams. Gulf Breeze didn’t take much downtime after the new year, traveling to region rival Mosley where The Bash, a 12-team tournament, was staged. The Dolphins were 2-2 and sixth in duals competition on January 3, the first day, and duplicated the sixth-place finish in IBT action on the 4th. Next up was a trip to the District 1 dual team tournament on the 7th, where the Dolphins were 1-1 and fell in the semifinal round. After that, Gulf Breeze had a little bit of time off until the 17th, when they traveled to the two-day Gator Brawl roundrobin event at Wewahitchka, where the Dolphins were sixth out of 22 teams. They had a new event on their calendar for the 24th-25th, driving all the way to Jacksonville for the two-day Parker Duals, where they were 9-1 in duals competition. After a midweek dual win on the 28th, Gulf Breeze wrapped up regular-season tournament activity with a trip over the Alabama state line and the two-day Dolphin Duals at Gulf Shores on the 31st and February 1st, where it pulled together a 5-1 weekend record. The Dolphins completed the season with a midweek dual win on the 4th, then had 2 1/2 weeks of prep time for districts, where they took 3rd. Gulf Breeze then finished 12th at Region 1, with two state qualifiers, and took T-51st in the 2A meet at Silver Spurs Arena. The Dolphins do graduate six seniors from this year’s team that saw significant time in the lineup, but Gulf Breeze can call upon as many as 12 key wrestlers with either post-season or significant regular-season time, plus a couple more that saw some matches this past year.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Nate Weber (sophomore*, 39-15 at 106, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Elijah Johnson (sophomore, 18-28 at 113, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Logan Merritt (junior, 35-16 at 120, 1 match from regions); Colson Elliott (sophomore, 54-12 at 126, district champ, 1 match from states); Ian Daily (senior, 17-5 at 132, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Brennden Nita (sophomore, 11-6 at 132, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Garret Rudick (sophomore, 37-24 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Sean Jones (senior, 7-3 at 160, 1 match from regions); Hunter Dupont (senior, 12-8 at 170, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Micah Barker (junior, 17-18 at 182, 1 match from regions); Julian McCully (senior, 35-22 at 195, district 4th, 2-2 at regions); Bryson Wick (junior, 23-23 at 220, 1 match from regions).
* — sophomore per Border Wars brackets; Trackwrestling did not note a year in school.
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Dylan Lawrence (49-11 at 138, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Kelly Scanlon (24-14 at 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Wyatt Sise (18-14 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mason Bourgeois (31-28 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Melvin Beganovic (1-12 at 285, 0-2 at districts); Cameron Anderson (12-15 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
2019-20 MVP: Other Dolphins advanced farther in the post-season. Other Dolphins (well, one) had more victories. But the consistent presence of 2020 graduate Dylan Lawrence in the Gulf Breeze lineup this season meant a great deal to the success of the team. Lawrence won his first eight matches — at Border Wars, no easy feat — and took second in the IBT component. He was 3-1 at his home duals tournament and 2-1 at Beast before injury shortened his weekend. Unfazed, he returned to place third at Wetumpka, with a 4-1 record. He ran into some struggles at The Bash, with a 4-3 weekend that included two losses to an out-of-state wrestler, but rallied at Gator Brawl, with a 7-2 weekend and fifth-place finish. Lawrence then bonus-pointed through Parker Duals, with a 9-0 weekend, and was 5-0 with four pins at Gulf Shores. He bonus-pointed through the District 1 tournament, with two pins and a tech fall, and while he struggled at Chiles and the Region 1 weekend, his value to the team was already very well-established.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Ian Daily continued to still struggle with injury, injury that limited his exposure on the mat, but didn’t keep him from returning to states for the first time in 2019-20 after falling a match short in 2018 and missing the second half of 2018-19. Daily had a part-time appearance at Beast of the Beach and one match at Wetumpka, medical-forfeiting after that one. He was then sidelined for virtually all of January, returning for the Gulf Shores tournament, where he was 5-0 with four bonus-point wins. That was part of a 10-match run of victories for Daily, which also included him pinning his way through the District 1 traditional tournament. Daily added a pair of falls to reach the semis at Region 1, taking two losses by decision on Saturday, but coming through in the blood round to secure his space at Silver Spurs at last. Daily drew a two-time state placer in the first round at states, but came back for a win on the back, falling to a fellow Matmen honoree in the final round of Friday consis.
Zander Laurin Warrior: We always like to hear stories about the good that wrestlers are doing off of the mat and in their schools in other capacities. We ESPECIALLY want to hear stories about the good high school journalism that wrestlers are doing with their school papers. So when we first starting hearing about 2020 graduate Wyatt Sise killing it in prep journalism circles, naturally that got on our radar. Sise was one of three Florida Scholastic Press Association finalists statewide, was the wrestling team’s representative on the Pensacola area’s scholar-athlete group, and was a GBHS Hall of Fame finalist. And, while Sise gave way to perhaps more capable wrestlers on his team at tournament time, he was capable on the mats, with a better-than-.500 record in his final year. Wyatt, you have a correspondent’s job with me any time you want it; I can’t pay you anything, but I can write a great reference (your first task is to make sure your now-former coaches get me every dual from the GBHS duals tournament next season). For excelling on and off the mat, Wyatt Sise is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Gulf Breeze.
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