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 have completed six rounds of random selections from the 11 districts. Our last team up this round and the sixth from 3A-District 2, the 68th team overall, is DeLand.
You can see everything I have on the Bulldogs in 2019-20 here –> DELAND
Win/loss record: 6-3 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Bulldogs’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen. We were missing three midweek duals from the Bulldogs’ schedule, two against fellow new coverage-area teams and one outside of the area (one in January, two in February).
Season in a nutshell: DeLand’s Lady Bulldogs began the campaign for the team, with a ninth-place finish out of 20 teams at district rival University (Orange City)’s Clash of Lady Titans on December 6. That same weekend, the DeLand boys went to Master’s Academy and its Battle of the Blacktop, where they were seventh out of 16 teams. DeLand brought the group together to conference rival Deltona’s one-day duals tournament on the 14th, and the combined group had their biggest moment of the regular season if not the season as a whole, running the table to go 5-0 and win the event. The Bulldogs then went to Villages for its one-day IBT, the Amanda St John Memorial, on the 21st, placing fifth out of 10 teams there. After the holidays, DeLand went to work right away, going to Lake Mary’s two-day Tournament of Champions IBT on the 3rd and 4th, placing 17th out of 32 teams. Next up was the 3A-District 2 dual team tournament, where the Bulldogs had a 1-2 record on the night. After a midweek dual on the 15th, DeLand went to Citrus’ one-day Ed Kilpatrick IBT on the 18th, where it finished 11th out of 19 teams in that event. A midweek dual loss against a region rival on the 22nd was next, with the Bulldogs then hosting their own one-day IBT on the 25th, placing seventh out of 17 teams. DeLand then had another Saturday IBT, this time on February 1st at Timber Creek’s Wolfpack Invitational, where the Bulldogs were 12th out of 17 teams. After a midweek dual on the 5th, DeLand took sixth out of nine teams at the Five Star Conference one-day IBT on the 8th. Most of the Bulldogs wrapped the regular season with a midweek dual on the 12th; the Lady Bulldogs sent two wrestlers to the girls’ state tournament at Dr Phillips, placing T-32nd out of 117 teams, with one medalist. DeLand was seventh at the District 2 traditional tournament, and placed T-23rd at Region 1, with no state qualifiers. The Bulldogs do graduate four seniors that played key roles in their four years with the program, but DeLand can call upon as many as 12 post-season/key 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): Kellen Chapman (sophomore, 14-11 at 106, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Felix Rivera (sophomore, 10-14 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Rhett Roberts (junior, 6-15 at 120, 1 match from regions); Naobi Lagos (sophomore, 2-7 at 122/126, 0-2 at girls’ state); Noah Falk (junior, 6-14 at 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Lane Wishart (junior, 9-13 at 138, 1 match from regions); Zane Canada (sophomore, 4-7 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Jaylen Wilson (senior, 5-14 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Gavin Rodriguez (sophomore, 11-22 at 160, 1 match from regions); Bryce Minsky (senior, 13-9 at 170, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Gavin Hart (junior, 19-16 at 220, 1 match from regions); Dalen Burns (senior, 12-12 at 285, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Makenzy Garcia (12-11 at 112/113, girls’ state 3rd, 1 match from regions); Jacob Lashinsky (15-8 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Michael Brown (8-10 at 152, 1 match from regions); Aaron Morris (32-5 at 195, district 3rd, 1 match from states).
2019-20 MVP: 2020 graduate Aaron Morris was DeLand’s most-successful performer week in and week out for the Bulldogs, leading the team in wins by a significant margin (32 in all; no other DeLand competitor had more than 19 in 2019-20). Morris won his first 10 matches this past year and 21 of his first 22, with a title at Blacktop and a 5-0 bonus-point day at Deltona. After a loss at Villages, where he placed third, Morris constructed an 11-match win streak that took him from late December to mid-January, during which he won a title at Lake Mary, had two pins at district duals, and got to the finals at Citrus. Morris would get his first loss back in the final at Bulldogs, where he took a title at home. He sustained losses at both 5 Star and districts to the same wrestler, finishing in the runnerup spot at conference and third at districts. At Region 1, he fell in the quarterfinals to the eventual champion (and a state placer), but rallied behind two wins (the second of those over his conference/district rival) to get to the blood round, where he fell to a Matmen captain.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Bryce Minsky is one of three rising 12th graders — and the only one with 2019-20 Region 1 tournament experience — that are eligible to return next year, and was DeLand’s only wrestler to make the District 2 final in their weight class. Minsky was 4-1 at Deltona, and that was probably his best tournament until the home IBT, when Minsky was 3-1, with his only loss to the eventual champion (a later-on state qualifier one weight class up) in the semis. Minsky needed to win just one match to secure a Region 1 space, and in doing so he avenged an earlier-season loss. While he was 0-2 at regions, he has competed in the off-season in past summers, and that work ethic will be needed, as will more in-season matches, in 2020-21.
Zander Laurin Warrior: DeLand did have one state medalist, as it turned out, in the 2019-20 season, as it came from 2020 graduate Makenzy Garcia, who competed in just one girls tournament, on the first weekend of the season, before girls’ states. Otherwise, she competed against boys, with starting stints at Villages, Lake Mary, district duals, and Five Star, where she took an injury-default loss in the consis. Still, though, she rallied for her final appearance at Dr Phillips, pinning her way into the semis, where she lost to the eventual champ. Undaunted, she added two max-point wins in the consi bracket to rally back for third. The following week, she was back in the lineup again for the FHSAA series, but lost by fall one match short of qualifying out for Region 1. For carrying the Bulldogs’ banner to a state medal, Makenzy Garcia is the Zander Laurin Warrior for DeLand.
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