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 on the downward slide of Round 7 of random selections from the 11 districts (three of those districts will be completed this round). Our seventh team this round and seventh team from 2A-District 1, the 75th team overall, is Crestview.
You can see everything I have on the Bulldogs in 2019-20 here –> CRESTVIEW
Win/loss record: 10-12 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 two midweek duals in the final week of the season and may — we made inquiries — have been missing one more dual from December.
Season in a nutshell: Crestview began the season at area rival South Walton’s two-day Border Wars VII, a pools/IBT-formatted tournament, placing 14th out of 20 teams in that event. After a midweek dual win on the 10th, the Bulldogs went to district rival Gulf Breeze’s one-day duals tournament, winning at least three (possibly four) duals before falling to the hosts in the final. Next up was another trip to a district rival, this time Ft Walton Beach’s two-day Beast of the Beach on the 20th-21st, in which Crestview compiled a 3-6 weekend record. After the holidays, the Bulldogs competed in the two-day The Bash tournament on January 3-4, placing seventh in duals with a 2-2 record on the first day and finishing seventh in the 12-team IBT on the second. Next was competition in the 2A-District 1 dual team tournament on the 7th, as the Bulldogs fell in the quarters. The following week, after a midweek dual win on the 15th, Crestview placed ninth out of 22 teams at area rival Wewhitchka’s two-day Gator Brawl on the 17th and 18th. The Bulldogs stayed in tournament mode the following weekend, placing 12th at area rival Bay’s two-day George Mulligan Invitational on the 24th and 25th. After a midweek dual loss on the 28th, Crestview finished 10th at Wakulla’s two-day IBT, a 20-team event, on January 31-February 1. The rest of the season was all midweek duals, with a loss on the 4th and unreported competitions on the 11th and 14th. The Bulldogs were sixth at the District 1 traditional tournament and placed T-26th at Chiles for Region 1, with no state qualifiers. While Crestview does graduate seven key starters from this past year’s team, including six post-season starters, the Bulldogs can call upon as many as five 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): Tyler Mason (senior, 8-18 at 132, 1 match from regions); Benjamin Gross (senior, 13-22 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Lance Sanders (sophomore, 3-13 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Layne Franks (junior, 26-23 at 160, 1 match from regions); Mathew Sharp (senior, 14-30 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: AJ Richardson (29-20 at 126, 1 match from regions); Andrew Sippos (7-11 at 132, did not compete at post-season traditionals); Easton Flamand (23-28 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Jakob Allen (15-21 at 145, 0-2 at districts); Julio Fernandez (32-10 at 182, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Kennard Madden (35-9 at 220, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Rolando Hernandez (24-15 at 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: 2020 graduate Kennard Madden was our choice as the Bulldogs’ MVP a year ago after falling one match short of states. This past season, Madden was the only Crestview wrestler to get to the second day of region competition, leading the team in wins with 35. Madden started with seven straight wins, max-pointing through reported results at Gulf Breeze, and was 6-2 at Beast of the Beach. After the Holidays, Madden was 4-3 and placed fourth at The Bash, with all of his losses to Alabama-based wrestlers. After the loss in the third-place match, Madden won 16 of his next 17 matches, with a 9-1 runnerup tournament at Gator Brawl and a title at Bay. In taking third at districts — one of two Bulldogs to place third and score points at regions — Madden was 3-1 with two pins. After dropping his first match at Chiles to the eventual third-place finisher, he rallied behind two pins to get to Saturday.
2020-21 captain: With so many seniors graduating from the 2019-20 team, Crestview is going to have to call upon a new set of leaders going forward. The wrestler with the most success on the mat in 2019-20 — and success is a precursor to leadership — is rising junior Layne Franks. Franks was around the .500 mark in most of his tournaments throughout the year, going 4-4 at Border Wars and 3-5 at Beast of the Beach. At The Bash, Franks had his first placing finish, taking third at 160 on the second day after a 2-1 day and 5-2 weekend. Franks went on to collect a 6-4 tournament at Gator Brawl (placing 9th), and was 2-2 at both Bay and Wakulla. With 26 wins in 2019-20, Franks has enough experience with winning. Now, like his returning teammates, the next step will be winning when expected to win, and with more work and time, that will start to happen.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Injuries limited 2020 graduate Rolando Hernandez‘s effectiveness in the lineup; from Beast of the Beach onward, Hernandez lost a lot of time out of the lineup, and that might have kept him from the second day of regions, let alone states, on a team that has typically had more success in the upper weights. Hernandez was 5-4 and placed sixth at Border Wars and was 3-1 at Gulf Breeze, but had just the first day of competition at Beast of the Beach, due to injury. He missed district duals and sustained injury again before completing a full tournament at Gator Brawl. He missed out on Gator Brawl, but returned to the fray at Wakulla, placing fourth. Hernandez fell to a 2019 state placer in the district semis, but rallied back for third. For continuing to battle back from injuries, Rolando Hernandez is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Crestview.
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