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.
Today, we’re in the homestretch of a project we started even before the season ended. We’re not quite halfway through the final round of random selections from the 11 districts. Our third team this round, the eighth/final team in 1A-District 4 and 82nd team overall, is Clay.
You can see everything I have on the Blue Devils in 2019-20 here –> CLAY
Win/loss record: 28-5 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Blue Devils’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen. We were missing two girls’ events for the Blue Devils, one in December and one in January. We’ll do better with girls’ results in 2020-21 when we get coach contact info.
Season in a nutshell: The Blue Devils began the year at Bishop Snyder’s North Florida Duals, a one-day duals tournament on December 7 and an event in which they’ve participated from time to time, going 5-0 on the day. Clay then stayed in duals mode the following weekend, with a 5-0 and first-place performance at Buchholz’s Bobcat Holiday Duals on the 14th. After a midweek dual win on the 17th, the Blue Devils went to Valdosta for the Allstate Wildcat Invitational, beating several solid south Georgia clubs and taking first in a 25-team IBT field on December 20-21. They then took a handful of kids to the Knockout Christmas Classic at Osceola on December 27-28, where a five-man group was 39th out of 40 teams. After the new year holiday, Clay made a trip to South Florida, going to Bradenton for Manatee’s Kelly Duals on January 3-4, taking second in the event with a 7-1 weekend record. Next up for the Blue Devils was the 1A-District 4 dual team tournament, which Clay took with two dual wins, securing their third consecutive district dual title. Clay then went to Yulee for two rounds of Region 1 action on January 16, winning both to reach the final for the third consecutive year. In the first day of the dual state tournament, held at Osceola on the 24th and 25th, the Blue Devils fell in Friday’s Region 1 final. Clay stayed in duals mode for one more weekend, taking its longest trip of the year to Punta Gorda for Charlotte’s Gene Gorman Showcase, finishing third with a 6-2 weekend record on January 31-February 1. The Blue Devils then hosted their annual Rotary two-day IBT on the 7th and 8th, placing third out of 33 teams in that event. After wrapping up the regular season with a midweek dual loss, Clay won its 21st consecutive district title with a District 4 win, and placed second at Region 1, sending seven wrestlers to states. At Kissimmee, the Blue Devils placed 12th out of 66 teams. Clay’s girls team kicked things off at University (Orange City)’s Clash of Lady Titans on December 6, placing 10th out of 20 teams in that one-day IBT. The Blue Devil girls next competed in the Lady Pirate Classic, hosted by Matanzas, on the 21st, in an event that did not have team scores. After the holidays, Clay took a T-16th finish at the one-day Lady Panther IBT at Dr Phillips on January 11th, and finished 16th at Cypress Creek’s one-day Lady Bear IBT on the 18th. The Blue Devils also competed at Freedom’s Let Freedom Ring Duals on December 14 and Celebration’s Lady Storm roundrobin on January 24. At Dr Phillips for girls’ state, the Blue Devils placed T-23rd out of 117 teams in the two-day tournament on February 14-15. While the combined boys and girls teams lost seven wrestlers in all to graduation, Clay can call upon as many as 17 key post-season or significant regular-season returners in 2020-21, plus a couple of others that were short on matches.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Maverick Rainwater (junior, 17-9 at 106, district 3rd, region champ, 1-2 at states); Savanna Huckelberry (sophomore, 0-7* at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state); Dalton Huckelberry (senior, 25-21 at 113, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Kayla Haines (sophomore, 6-7* at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Josh Kumpf (junior, 9-13 at 126, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Abdiert Escobar (senior, 32-5 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Madisyn Blackburn (junior, 20-6* at 128, 3rd at girls’ state); Jaidyn Vinson (senior, 2-11 at 128, 1-2 at girls’ state); Aiden Mayo (junior, 10-11 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Harley Jundt (junior, 0-6 at 134, 0-2 at girls’ state); Luke Boree (junior, 37-16 at 138, district champ, 1 match from states); Dominic Martin (sophomore, 33-18 at 145, district runnerup, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Cale Hoskinson (senior, 51-7 at 152, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Luca Fiannaca (junior, 20-12 at 160/170, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Kaylee Waxler (junior, 0-11 at 172, 0-2 at girls’ state); Garrett Tyre (junior, 42-16 at 220, district champ, region champ, state 5th); Derrek Mosley (junior, 41-8 at 285, district champ, region 3rd, 1-2 at states).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Tazz Hampton (19-4 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Luke Davis (40-14 at 120, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Stevi Outtin (2-8* at 122, 1-2 at girls’ state); Tucker Reape (11-11 at 160, district champ, 1 match from states); Isaiah Clifford (24-16 at 170, district champ, 1 match from states); Jordan Bell (31-15 at 182, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Joe Grelli (31-13 at 195, district champ, 1 match from states).
2019-20 MVP: Rising senior Cale Hoskinson was the team leader for Clay in 2019-20, and his success — district and region titles, plus the Blue Devils’ top medal at states — matched that leadership. Hoskinson won his first 14 matches in 2019-20, with 5-0 days at both North Florida Duals and at Bobcat Holiday, as he reached the final at Valdosta before losing to a Georgia wrestler. He was 2-2 at Knockout, with the second loss touching off a 19-match win streak that saw Hoskinson go 8-0 (including six bonus-point wins) at Kelly Duals. Hoskinson bonus-pointed through the FHSAA dual team tournament series, and it took a match with a multiple-time state champ at Gorman Showcase for Hoskinson to have his streak broken. He was 7-1 in Charlotte, with four pins, and reached the final at Rotary, with four bonus-point wins. In the first two levels of the traditional tournament series, Hoskinson max-pointed his way to both District 4 and Region 1 brackets. At states, Hoskinson took an overtime loss in the quarters, but rallied in the consis, methodically pushing past four different opponents to wrestle all the way back to third. Hoskinson stans a very good chance to make it to Saturday night in his senior season next March.
2020-21 boys’ captain: While Hoskinson will also be a captain on the mats for the Blue Devils in 2020-21, we select a second wrestler for this space, and the season that rising junior Garrett Tyre had — which ended with a state podium appearance, the second of what should be three before his high school career ends — was too strong to ignore. Tyre had an early loss at Bishop Snyder, but then won 10 matches in a row — during which he max-pointed at Buchholz and got to the Valdosta semis enroute to placing fifth at 220. Tyre was 7-1 with five pins and a tech at Manatee, and took fifth at Clay, with a 5-2 weekend record on four pins. He then took two wins for the District 4 title and pinned his way into the final at Region 1, adding the region bracket to his district one. At states, Tyre secured his podium finish with two Friday wins, but he proved he could be among the 1A’s ultimate best, going 1-0 with a nationally-ranked sophomore in the consi semis en route to taking fifth.
2020-21 girls’ captain: With Clay starting a girls’ team this past year, it seemed appropriate to select a captain for next year’s team, which we’re only expecting to get significantly bigger and better. And the perfect choice to captain the Blue Devil girls is rising junior Madisyn Blackburn. Blackburn took third at girls’ state this past year and had 20+ wins (20 that were reported to us) this past year. Blackburn was fourth at Clash of Lady Titans on the first weekend, then won an area weight-class title at 128 (it was a second full group of 128s) at Matanzas, with five wins (three of them pins). Blackburn then reached the final at 128 at both Lady Panther and Lady Bear in January, with three pins en route at Dr Phillips (before falling to the eventual state champ) and another three in making the final at Cypress Creek. At states, Blackburn won four matches (three by pin) on the front to get to the semis, with her only loss to the eventual runnerup. She then rallied for two bonus-point wins on the back to take third.
Zander Laurin Warrior: We didn’t list 2020 graduate Eli Montalvo in this recap otherwise, so this might be something of a surprise for you. He had only six matches, and none were in the post-season. But there was a time where Montalvo did something for me, personally, that no other current wrestler has done. We’re closing in on the three-year “anniversary,” for lack of a better term, for Hurricane Irma. It did damage to my at-the-time home, as San Marco sustained substantial flooding. When those I thought were very close to me refused to help me and turned me aside, even departing from my life, it was one Clay wrestling family that said they would help. And they brought Montalvo with them. He could have done anything else that Saturday. Instead he drove an hour into Jacksonville, and came to clean Matmen’s apartment and clear debris from our yard. He’ll never be forgotten by me or my youngest son. That is why Eli Montalvo is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Clay.
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