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 one more recap to wrap up Round 7 of random selections from the 11 districts, and we are also completing work in 3A-District 2 today, our third district that’s finished. Our 10th team this round is Seminole, the seventh team in 3A-District 2 and 78th team overall.
You can see everything I have on the Noles in 2019-20 here –> SEMINOLE
Win/loss record: 7-6 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Noles’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: The Noles began the season at The Master’s Academy for the two-day Battle for the Blacktop IBT on December 6-7, placing 12th out of 16 teams with a short-handed group. Seminole stayed in IBT mode on the second weekend, with a fourth-place finish out of eight teams at Merritt Island’s William Nutter Memorial on the 14th. After opening their dual season with a midweek win on the 18th, the Noles then went to region rival Hagerty’s Johnny Rouse Duals on the 20th and 21st, compiling a 4-4 record (4-0 on the second day) and placing 21st out of 25 teams. Seminole sent two wrestlers to Osceola’s two-day Knockout Christmas Classic on the 27th-28th, and the two scored enough to finish T-29th out of 40 teams. After the holidays, the Noles’ first competition was on January 9 with the 3A-District 2 dual team tournament, in which they were 0-2 on the night. After a midweek dual win on the 14th, most of the Seminole team went to St Cloud’s two-day Milton-Winter Invitational, placing T-10th out of 25 teams. The Lady Noles went to Cypress Creek’s Lady Bear Classic on the 18th, placing 30th out of 35 teams. After a midweek dual win on the 21st wrapped up Seminole’s duals season, the Noles next competed at region rival Flagler Palm Coast’s two-day Flagler Rotary IBT on January 31 and February 1, placing 10th out of 33 teams. The following weekend, Seminole competed in the Seminole Athletic Conference one-day IBT on the 8th, placing fifth out of eight teams, wrapping up their regular season. The Noles were fourth out of seven teams in the District 2 traditional tournament, and placed seventh out of 30 teams at Region 1, with two state qualifiers. At Silver Spurs Arena, Seminole had both wrestlers medal, with one champion, to place T-12th out of 67 teams. The Noles graduated six key seniors from this past year’s team, but they’ll also be capable of calling upon as many as 12 post-season or significant regular-season starters, plus a couple more that saw 10+ matches last year.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Noah Barbour (junior, 7-14 at 106, 1 match from regions); Isabale Hernandez (sophomore, 3-15 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Corry Sanchez (senior, 20-8 at 113, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Darian Raines (sophomore, 14-7 at 113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ethan Gorospe (senior, 20-15 at 126, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Ryan Culbertson (sophomore, 3-5 at 132, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Anshuman Singh (senior, 6-20 at 138, 1 match from regions); Benjamin Bohring (senior per district bracket/junior per Track roster, 7-20 at 152, 1 match from regions); Justin Shima (senior, 5-13 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Mike Frederick (sophomore, 3-5 at 170, 1 match from regions); William James (junior, 12-18 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Garrett Thornton (junior, 0-4 at 195, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Cesar Marquez (6-7 at 120, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Isaac Epperson (12-18 at 145, 1 match from regions); Gabriel Lacrosse (16-6 at 145/152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Clifford Pinthieve (2-16 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jordan Smith (36-6 at 220, district champ, region runnerup, state runnerup); Curtis Ruff (38-1 at 285, district champ, region champ, state CHAMPION).
2019-20 MVP: The outstanding high school career that 2020 graduate Curtis Ruff had came to a close in March with his second district, second region, and second state title as a member of the Noles lineup. He started the season with a 22-0 record after missing Battle on the Blacktop, going 4-0 to win the 285 bracket at Will Nutter. He was 7-0 at Rouse Duals and pinned his way into the final at Knockout, where he decisioned the eventual 2A state runnerup to take the coverage area’s only weight-class win. Ruff then pinned his way through competition in January until the finals at St Cloud, where he lost in double overtime to the eventual 2A state champ, a wrestler he’d beaten in the ultimate tiebreaker at states in 2019. He then had three first-period falls to get to the final at Flagler, with a win by decision there. He pinned three opponents — including a fellow Matmen MVP and 3A placer in his own right — to take the District 2 title, with a fall over another Matmen MVP in the semis en route to a Region 1 title. Ruff then sealed the deal on a second title with two wins each day (in both cases, a fall in the first match and decision in the second). We enjoyed our interview with him on Saturday night in Kissimmee, and we’re more than happy to track his progress at North Carolina at the #NextLevel.
2020-21 captain: With six seniors graduated from this past year’s team, including both of their state medalists and their two most successful competitors, next year’s group will be much different in composition. They’ll need the leadership of a multi-year starter like rising senior Ethan Gorospe, who was one match from states this past year at 126. Gorospe was 4-1 at Merritt Island and had a 5-3 weekend at Rouse. He was 2-2 at Flagler and placed third at Seminole. In the traditional tournament series, Gorospe was the only returning wrestler to reach the finals and one of four returning Region 1 qualifiers. After dropping his first match at Fleming Island to an eventual state qualifier, Gorospe had two pins to get to Saturday and won another match to get to the blood round, but then fell to that same qualifier. He should be in the mix once again in March.
Zander Laurin Warrior: 2020 graduate Jordan Smith established pretty early on that he was the second-best 3A wrestler at 220, where he competed throughout the season. Smith won his first 14 matches of the season, going 5-0 at Merritt Island and 8-0 at Rouse, with a solid 3-2 tournament at Knockout. He was 4-2 and placed fourth at Flagler, with his losses to a 2A placer and 1A state champion, and pinned his way through Seminole Athletic, where he avenged two earlier losses against that 2A placer. Smith would also pin his way through districts and had two pins in reaching the Region 1 final, where he lost to the eventual state champion and Division I signee. Smith then powered his way through the bottom half of the bracket at states, getting to Saturday night there, too. I’m not sure what his college plans were — football, if I remember my interview correctly, was the plan — but Smith certainly did more than enough to earn the Zander Laurin Award for Seminole.
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