Personal Note

Thank You Sponsors And A Wrapup Note

Next year started yesterday. It doesn’t take long to clear out Silver Spurs Arena. This was not even 9 p.m. Saturday night (Photo by Shannon Heaton).

Another year, gone, as is said in the first of the Harry Potter movies. And before I get to the important part of this post, just wanted to lay out some things before I go on vacay tomorrow.

This was a great year to follow along, but also a very hard year to follow. I could sugar-coat things for you, but I believe in being straight, always, with people.

Things will have to change in 2022-23. The things that will have to change will be:

  • Wrestling/work/life balance. My work responsibilities changed in September, which really did a number on my ability to handle wrestling stuff, which did a number on my ability to be able to do things like take care of my physical health, take care of taking care of my place, and occasionally be able to do something in the winter months that isn’t wrestling or work.
  • Coaches follow-through. While a lot did as well as they could under the circumstances, there were instances, that occurred throughout the year, where we either didn’t get anything or coaches didn’t understand what it was that we needed from them (even though I’d laid out every contingency with new coaches preseason). I know that the addition of the girls’ sanctioning, which ended on a very-high note, caused a lot of stress last year, so some of this should get better. But it’s not hard to get results to me.
  • How I present things. This may have to change, too, because the way I’ve done things is very time-intensive. So we may start tinkering with some of that even this off-season with #TheSeason, on which I will start after my return.

I think that’s enough about that for now. If I think of other stuff, I will pass it on. I always will listen to your ideas, too.

Thank you so much to everyone who said so many positive things about what I was able to do this year. It’s gratifying and motivating. Unfortunately, it can’t always be in person, because I can still only go so far and do so much, and as noted above, what I have done has taken me up to the brink.

The following folks have donated to me since my last #ThankYou post on the Florida side:

  • Johan Olarte
  • Kenneth DeFord (there might be one or two who have donated more, but none have come close to donating as often!!) 2x
  • The InspectzJax business (I’m down for talking advertising and sponsorships for any business of any kind within the coverage area or wrestling-themed with a Florida base, at any time).
  • Jason Weslager
  • Bill Pyburn
  • Nichole Smith (2x!!)
  • Steve Howard
  • Darren Glenn
  • Ronnie Rizzuto
  • Taryn Stewart
  • Joe Mobley
  • Mecca Stewart
  • Nikki Beck

Six of these came in these past couple of days, the other six were all before Christmas. My job gets me by for basics. But this effort takes time. Lots of it. Between driving to events, being at events, driving home from events, writing up results of events, writing up events, thinking about writing up events, building website architecture to make it all housed nice and neat and archived (you can find out who was the 2017 2A-District 2 runnerup at 182 pounds in less than two minutes; I can do it in less than one, because, well, I built the thing).

It takes a lot of time to do all of this. We’re at a space where I might have to consider breaking my promise and putting some content on subscription. As I’ve seen, nobody should give away their work 100% for free. I’m donated maybe $1 per hour/year, even with the 14 I’ve noted here that have come in since late September.

If we were the tiny thing we were in 2013-14, it might be different, but I cover 140 teams in two states now, and still try to cover it like I did that first year. It’s not sustainable. I don’t want to do it, but as is it’s not sustainable. I’ll take your ideas on this, too.

I thank you very much if you have donated, and I hope if you read me regularly and haven’t donated yet, that you will rectify that. Easiest ways are via Venmo at shannon-heaton-6 or via PayPal. If you’re not comfortable with those, and want to donate to me, reach out on Facebook Messenger, and we’ll explore other ideas.

By the way, the wrestler was Gus Altenburg. One of my favorite kids to cover. And one of Lincoln’s favoritest of favorite sons.

I’ll be back soon to start #TheSeason, to start engaging with the realities of this thing and what we can change without annoying too many folks, and to start thinking about 2022-23. Next year started yesterday.

JOIN us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen (you can also friend me on my personal page) or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen, or on Instagram at nflamatmen.
Georgia is in off-season mode! We will start #TheSeason there (as here) in mid-March. See the latest on our affiliated site at
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Or if you prefer PayPal, search me at Shannon Heaton (use the site email account to find the correct me).


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