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 into Round 7 of random selections from the 11 districts. During this round, three of the 11 will be completed. The first of those three is 1A-District 5, and our seventh team from the district, the 71st team overall, is FSDB.
You can see everything I have on the Dragons in 2019-20 here –> FSDB
Win/loss record: 5-14 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Dragons’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen. We were missing one midweek dual according to the Trackwrestling schedule.
Season in a nutshell: FSDB began the season on December 4 with a trip to Orange Park’s Raider 8-Way, with a 2-3 record in duals on the night. Next up for the Dragons was a trip to Yulee for a midweek quad on the 11th, in which FSDB was 1-2 on the night. After the holiday break, Florida Deaf & Blind opened January with the 1A-District 5 dual team tournament on the 7th, a tournament in which the Dragons were 0-4 on the night. FSDB went back to competition the next night, falling in a midweek dual. It went back to Yulee on the 10th and 11th for the Joe Bees Memorial Battle of the Border, placing 14th out of 16 teams in the two-day IBT. From there, it was all midweek duals on the FSDB calendar. The Dragons swept to a pair of wins on the 22nd, then had nearly two weeks off until their next dual on February 5, which resulted in a dual loss. FSDB then had two tri-meets in the final week of the regular season, losing a pair of duals on the 11th and losing the one reported dual known to us on the 12th. The Dragons placed fifth out of six District 5 teams competing in the traditional tournament and finished 26th at the Region 2 tournament, with no state qualifiers. FSDB graduated one senior from this past year’s team; the Dragons can call upon as many as seven post-season or key regular-season starters in 2020-21, plus the possibility of a couple more that saw early time as starters in December.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Lance Gardenhire (senior, 19-8 at 120, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Ty Snow (senior, 8-15 at 126, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Joshua O’Connor (freshman, 10-13 at 138, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jason Lubin (junior, 3-6 at 145, 1 match from regions); Tre’Shaun Faison (senior, 7-9 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Max Veloz (senior, 9-10 at 170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); David Chinchilla (freshman, 6-16 at 182, district 4th, did not compete at regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Sean Meyers (18-10 at 132, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: 2020 graduate Sean Meyers advanced the farthest of any Dragon in the post-season, getting to the second day of the Region 2 tournament. Meyers started the season with a 4-1 tournament at Orange Park. He struggled some in the midweek quad at Yulee, but started off with a solid performance at district duals, taking three pins on the night. In the midweek dual meets. After the Joe Bees Memorial, Meyers won five of six matches by max points to prepare for the FHSAA traditional tournament series. In the District 5 tournament at Pedro Menendez, Meyers lost his opening match, but rallied for two pins to place third and qualify out for regions. The same thing occurred in the Region 2 tournament at Palm Bay, as Meyers lost his opening-rounder, but had two pins to get to Saturday’s round. Meyers’ enthusiasm and willingness to work made him popular with wrestlers on other teams, and he’s expressed interest in wrestling at the #NextLevel. Whatever he does, he will do it well.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Lance Gardenhire jumped out to a 10-0 start to his season before the quality of later-season competition brought his record back to a still-decent 19-8 in his junior year, as Gardenhire led the Dragons in victories this past year. Gardenhire max-pointed though each of those first 10 wins, with seven pins between Orange Park, Yulee and district duals. Gardenhire struggled some at Joe Bees, and had four forfeit wins in his next six matches after that tournament. Gardenhire then took a loss in his first match at the District 5 tournament, but rallied for a pair of bonus-point wins to secure the first of the Dragons’ third-place finishes at that level.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Gardenhire showed us some glimmers in his freshman year, and made himself into a capable region qualifier by virtue of the offseason work he did, going to the North Florida Wrestling Academy, among other places. He’s still quite young yet, but rising freshman Joshua O’Connor just might have shown me, at least, some of the same glimmers that Gardenhire had two years prior. Despite competing in a weight class that often has the most-experienced wrestlers in it, O’Connor held his own, taking over the 138 weight class after dropping down from 145, where he competed in December. O’Connor was 2-2 at district duals with a pin and picked up another fall in late January. At districts, he had his best tournament of the year, with pins over two experienced opponents en route to placing third. I look forward to seeing more from O’Connor in the coming years.
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