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 #TheSeason — a project we started back on March 11, when these times were a lot more certain than they are now — comes to an end. We had our guest picker make random selections from the 11 districts and two independent teams. 87 teams in all. One had to start it. One had to finish it. Our final team for this spring and summer, the
eighth/final team in 1A-District 1 and 87th team overall, is Arnold.
You can see everything I have on the Marlins in 2019-20 here –> ARNOLD
Win/loss record: 9-11 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Marlins’ performance in IBT events. All individual records are as compiled by Matmen.
Season in a nutshell: Arnold began the season at district rival South Walton’s two-day Border Wars VII on December 6-7, placing 15th out of 20 teams. After sweeping a midweek quad meet on the 12th, Arnold trekked to Tallahassee for Chiles’ two-day Capital City Classic IBT on the 13th and 14th, placing 21st out of 28 teams. Arnold stayed closer to home in the third weekend, going to area rival Ft Walton Beach’s Beast of the Beach duals tournament on the 20th and 21st, compiling a 3-4 weekend record and placing 18th out of 24 teams. After the holidays, the Marlins made the first of two trips to Clay County, competing in Fleming Island’s two-day Keystone Memorial tournament on January 3-4. Arnold was 0-5 in first-day duals and placed 11th out of 20 teams in second-day IBT competition there. Next up was the 1A-District 1 dual team tournament on the 9th, which Arnold won with three wins on the night. The Marlins fell in the Region 1 quarterfinals on the 16th, but Arnold hit the road right away for a grueling stretch of weekend IBTs/roundrobins. First up was district rival Wewahitchka’s two-day Gator Brawl on the 17th and 18th, in which the Marlins placed seventh out of 22 teams. The following weekend, the 24th-25th, Arnold went to district rival Bay’s George Mulligan Memorial IBT, placing T-4th out of 18 teams there. The Marlins then went to region rival Wakulla’s two-day IBT on January 31-February 1, placing 11th out of 28 teams, and completed the tournament run with a trip to Clay’s two-day Rotary IBT, placing 21st out of 33 teams. After a midweek dual loss wrapped up most of Arnold’s regular season, the Marlins had one wrestler bring a state title from the Florida girls’ state meet at Dr Phillips; her points were enough for the team to place 26th out of 117 teams. Arnold doubled up on District 1 titles with the traditional title, and placed 12th out of 30 teams at Wakulla for Region 1, with one state qualifier. At Silver Spurs Arena, Arnold finished T-56th out of 66 teams in 1A state field. The Marlins graduated four post-season starters from this past year’s team, including their only FHSAA state-tournament qualifier, but Arnold can call upon as many as 12 key starters at one point or another in 2020-21.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season) for 2020-21 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Porter Beach (junior, 20-17 at 106, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Alex Starling (sophomore, 16-19 at 106, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Lucas Biddle (sophomore, 40-21 at 113, district champ, did not compete at regions); Konstantin Lekov (sophomore, 3-17 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Joseph Beggs (sophomore, 6-28 at 132, district 4th, did not compete at regions); Trevyn Slik (senior, 4-19 at 138, 1 match from regions); John Starling (junior, 16-28 at 145, 1 match from regions); Nick Kendrick (senior, 51-18 at 152, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Max Gaylord (senior, 28-29 at 160, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Skyler Jarrell (senior, 2-23 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Henlee Haynes (sophomore, 20-26 at 182, girls’ state CHAMPION, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Tyler Lewis (junior, 19-26 at 195, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Tanner Lewis (senior, 13-15 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Will Ashby (31-19 at 120, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Spencer Korol (28-22 at 126, district champ, 0-2 at regions); Justin Harry 34-24 at 220, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
2019-20 MVP: Rising senior Nick Kendrick was recognizable from the tape it took to hold his upper body together, and the work he put in was recognized with him earning a state-qualifying berth in his junior year. Kendrick was 5-3 and placed fifth at Border Wars, and was 3-2 and took fourth at Capital City. He had a 6-1 tournament at Beast of the Beach, with three pins and his only loss to a multiple-time Georgia state placer (and 2019 champ). Kendrick was 7-2 at Keystone to kick off January, with a 4-1 duals day and a finals appearance in the IBT at 152; he had six pins and a seventh bonus-point win. At Gator Brawl, Kendrick was 6-2, all wins with bonus, in placing fourth, and he was among the inaugural weight-class champions at George Mulligan Memorial, winning the 152 bracket behind three victories. He reached the final at Wakulla, and wound up fourth — with a 5-2 record, both losses to just one fellow competitor — at Clay. Kendrick would bonus-point his way through the District 1 tournament, and had to battle back from a quarterfinal loss to a Matmen captain at regions, taking three consi-side victories — two of them over fellow Matmen MVPs — to qualify out. His state experience was too quick, as he drew the eventual champion in the first round, but Kendrick was the top guy in wins, advancement and leadership for the Marlins in 2019-20, and that will serve him well next season.
2020-21 captain: Rising senior Max Gaylord‘s junior year was a story of battling back from setbacks at tough tournaments, but it ended solidly, with Gaylord taking one of the Marlins’ six individual titles at districts. After a 2-5 start, Gaylord got back to .500 by the end of December, then had to overcome a string of five straight losses at Keystone, where he did not compete on the second day. Gaylord was 5-4 at Gator Brawl and 3-3 in placing sixth at Bay, with his top regular-season finish a fifth at Wakulla, where he was able to avenge one of his two losses in the tournament. Gaylord had a solid post-season, however, with three district wins en route to the bracket. We would expect Gaylord to be in the mix for second-day competition at Region 1 next February, and his senior leadership will be useful for what should be a younger team in 2020-21.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Perhaps the wrestler who made the biggest statewide impact in 2019-20 was rising sophomore Henlee Haynes, who pinned her way to a girls’ state title in her freshman year, competing at 182. I would have to think that Haynes was not only Arnold’s first girls’ state champion, but the Panhandle’s first girls titlist (I don’t know that I have a full set of history to confirm this, but I can confirm at least the last seven years on it). In her only girls’ event of the season, Haynes pinned four opponents in 9:22, the last over a multiple-time state placer from the host team, the state’s pre-eminent program. And Haynes proved she could hold her own in the area as well, which isn’t all that easy to do for girls in the upperweight classes. While she struggled in the run-up to girls’ state, with losses in 12 of her 14 matches immediately prior, Haynes did take two pins to reach the District 1 final, and battled to within one scoring move of getting a third match at regions. We will see a lot of Haynes over the next three years.
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