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). Our second team up this round and the seventh from 1A-District 3, the 70th team overall, is Raines.
You can see everything I have on the Vikings in 2019-20 here –> RAINES
Win/loss record: 7-5 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Vikings’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Raines spent most of its season as it traditionally does, in roundrobin or IBT events, and the first three weekends of December were little different. First up for the Vikings was a Tallahassee trip to Florida High for the Cam Brown Seminole Classic on December 6-7, where Raines finished seventh out of 12 teams. Raines would go back to Tallahassee, this time Chiles, for the Capital City Classic two-day IBT on the 13th and 14th, placing 13th out of 28 teams in that event. The Vikings closed out the month with a sixth-place finish in the 10-team Amanda St John Memorial, a one-day IBT at Villages on the 21st. After the holidays, Raines made of its two longer trips to south Florida, first going to Pembroke Pines for the Somerset Scuffle on the 3rd-4th of January. That event, with pooled competition on the first day and a seeded IBT on the second, saw the Vikings place ninth out of 17 teams. After midweek dual wins on the 8th and 15th, Raines next traveled west to Wewahitchka’s two-day Gator Brawl, a roundrobin event, and placed eighth out of 22 teams on the 17th and 18th. Travel remained the name of the game the following weekend, the 24th-25th, as the Vikings went to South Fort Myers’ two-day Wolfpack Duals, with a 5-5 weekend record, where they placed 22nd out of 30 teams. Raines then had their only in-town regular-season tournament of the season, going to Fletcher (OK, technically Neptune Beach) for the Gateway Conference two-day IBT, where the Vikings were third out of 15 teams on January 31-February 1. They next traveled to the Clay Rotary on the 7th-8th, placing 10th out of 33 teams. Most of the team wrapped up the regular season at Clay, with a contingent further heading to the girls’ state tournament at Dr Phillips, placing T-68th out of 117 teams with entries. Raines was third in the 1A-District 3 traditional tournament, and placed fifth at Region 1, sending five wrestlers to states. At Silver Spurs Arena, the Vikings were 13th out of 66 teams, with four podium finishes. While Raines graduated two of their state medalists, the Vikings can call upon as many as nine key post-season/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): Shanice West (junior, 10-24 at 106, 1-2 at girls’ state); DaQuan King (junior, 56-5 at 113, district champ, region runnerup, state 3rd); Javon Richo (junior, 7-13 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jada Arnold (junior, 16-27 at 154, 1-2 at girls’ state); Raynarde Thomas (senior, 47-7 at 170, district champ, region champ, state 4th); Christian McNair (senior, 8-11 at 182, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Jamari Watson (junior, 26-10 at 195, district champ, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Jalen Graham (senior, 10-8 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Timothy Hall (junior, 2-17 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Kyle Hopkins (43-6 at 120, district champ, region champ, state 6th); Jamon Goodwine (48-4 at 285, district champ, region champ, state 6th).
2019-20 MVP: This past season was the year that rising junior DaQuan King turned himself from a solid state-qualifying wrestler in the north to a statewide force, as he made it to states for the second time and lost only to the eventual state champion while there. King, who competed exclusively at 113 this season, won his first 10 matches of the 2019-20 season, with a title at Cam Brown and runnerup showing (he fell to a Georgia 7A state placer in the final) at Capital City. That loss would trigger a 23-match win streak, in which King won brackets at Villages (3 bonus-point wins), Somerset (5 pins in a 7-0 weekend) and Wewahitchka (9-0, 8 max-point wins). At South Ft Myers, King lost to a 3A wrestler, but otherwise was 8-0 on the weekend, and he would pin his way to his second Gateway Conference title. King was third at Clay, with a loss to a 3A state placer there, and used that loss to build a seven-match win streak that carried him to a District 3 title and the finals in Region 1. At states, King avenged that Region 1 loss, going 5-1 on the weekend to place third. With two more years of eligibility, expect King to make Saturday night before he’s through.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Raynarde Thomas made himself into a statewide force to be reckoned with in his junior season, taking another step in his progress by adding a Region 1 title to his list of accomplishments after qualifying out for states as a runnerup (and district champ) in 2019. Thomas won a title at Cam Brown and was second at Somerset Scuffle, with two losses to a 2019 state champion during the weekend. After a 7-0 start at Gator Brawl, he did wind up sixth after a three-way pool tie sent him to the fifth-place match, but the second loss he took in Wewahitchka touched off a 17-match win streak in which Thomas was 10-0 in South Ft Myers (nine wins by bonus) and won perhaps the most competitive weight class (170) at Gateway in some years, where he knocked off two Matmen MVPs en route to the title. The win streak carried Thomas to the Clay final, where he fell to a third Matmen MVP. He pinned his way through districts and through the first day at Region 1, avenging a Gator Brawl loss in the semis and beating a fourth MVP in the final. At states, Thomas reached the semis to earn his first medal in Silver Spurs and wound up fourth with a 3-2 weekend record. He has a very good chance of reaching Saturday night in March 2021.
Zander Laurin Warrior: I certainly salute the work of the Raines 2020 graduates, both of whom also podiumed at states (multiple times in both cases). I’ve interviewed both of them multiple times over the last few seasons, and made sure, in other publications where I am responsible for generating all-area teams, that their hard work has been honored. Both have been MVPs and captains in this space in prior years (and in one case with prior teams). That being said, I’m going to take a different tack in this paragraph. Rising junior Timothy Hall was never going to displace one of those two graduates from the FHSAA traditional tournament series at 285, and in the results I saw, he only had his hand raised twice, after forfeits. Yet, Hall made a trip to Tallahassee in December, to Pembroke Pines and Wewahitchka in January and Clay in February, to begin the process of getting ready for being placed in a starter’s role, perhaps, next year, knowing all the while that the hard work needed to be a wrestler came without the payoff of getting to start at districts. For being a solid team player for the Vikings, Timothy Hall is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Raines.
JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.
#TheSeason project has been completed in south Georgia! Check out the latest on our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com
Please support our independent journalism!