They’re Almost Ready…

I’m not a fan of rankings. Have said it, will say it for the duration.
Look, at best they’re a snapshot in time of the ranker’s opinion — particularly if the last time regular-season rankings were done by said ranker, there was a different US president. At worst, they cause resentments toward the ranker
(I send out a hopeful reminder here about Rule 1A of the site; we don’t trash programs, no matter how gently we think our trashing might be, and we don’t trash the admin).
But, like the preseason picks we make and the post-season tournament previews we write, there’s a reason we folks who do — or think we might — want to make a living at writing about this stuff, and that’s eyes on our work. And nothing draws eyes to our work like a set of rankings.
While we hope they would not, they inevitably motivate. Either they put a target on the back of the kid carrying the #1 seed, as it were, or even the #10, in the eyes of the kids who might have just missed, or they put a chip on the shoulder on all the 2 seeds, the just-misseds and those that have a rival team whose kid at your weight is maybe four spots up but might be….beatable?
We do TEN. TEN’s a good number. You gotta WORK to make this TEN. It’s not the only all-class ranking, probably not the best one, but it was, in its original version several years ago on this little dadblog, the first in some while (and I can claim that over my guy down south, although — Letterkenny voice — to be fair, he brought it back before I did), if not ever, anywhere in Florida.
As I write this draft, the lists are done, but in final-touches mode. And it’s brutal for me. We’re not doing honorable mentions, which is a first for us. Just TEN.
Some of you may wonder, will we do a girls’ poll? Might do a girls’ TEN that’s a pound-for-pound ranking, for this year. I need to decompress some to get to that point.
Either way, it still is just a snapshot in time. Remember that. Snapshot in time.
The real work for all of you is still to be done. Four teams in the coverage area haven’t even wrestled another team yet, at this writing.
But just so you know, I see all of you. I listed a lot of you. My lists are going around 20-30 deep or so. If you REALLY must know where you sit if you didn’t make the list, send me a private message (email the site email address or via Facebook Messenger) and ask NICELY, and I’ll give you a rough idea of how close you are, who the two or three people are above you and below you, etc.
The disclaimers. Always, the disclaimers. I couldn’t run the site without them.
You can’t be missing results with me and get your kids ranked. No bueno. There are three teams (Caveat: that I KNOW OF) that are missing results.
And, you can’t be missing a schedule in my hands. This is how it works. You sit in front of a computer. You call up your schedule that you’ve already sent out to the team and the parents. You attach it to an email. Since you’re a head coach, you have my work email address. Find it. Attach the schedule. Clicky click send button. Go back to your life. Seven programs haven’t done that yet, and tomorrow’s JANUARY, for 2021’s sake.
If you’re a parent in one of these seven programs, take a picture of your son or daughter’s schedule, and do the voodoo your phone does to email a picture to It’s January, it’s a pandemic, and I’m not proud anymore; wrestlers, you could HANDWRITE me what you got and send it by carrier-pigeon if you must (but most of you are more techie than I am). But somebody with your program has to care enough to put a schedule in my hands.
Those ineligible teams can know who they are when the list comes out (clues can be found on the master schedule page already). It’ll be noted at the bottom of the page.
Next. I don’t rank you where you will wrestle the post-season. I rank you where you are now. That’s the lowest weight at which you’ve competed this year. Some of you haven’t made your drops yet. And that’s OK. Remember, snapshot in time. Always in motion is the future. Want an example? Gabe Jacobs did just fine wrestling 182 for a very sizable chunk of the year. Might have won state at 182 for Pace last year. We don’t know with certainty about that, but what we did learn for sure was that he tore through the 2A bracket — at 195.
Last. I try to make last year be last year. You beat a kid last year, doesn’t mean he isn’t doing better this year. I realize a lot of you (I see you, Duval public kids) have very few matches right now. I’ve made state experience a plus factor for many of you. I’ve even, and I NEVER have done this before, once or twice made off-season results a plus factor (but they had better have been Super32 or Michigan Grappler or something on that level).
Will we do another one of these before end of year? I don’t know that yet. Always in motion. But we will do one at end of year, before #TheSeason work starts. It’ll be a snapshot in time for the end of the season.
And, no doubt, will touch off debate for 2021-22 — which, I am certain, we are ALL looking forward to in some way after the craziness of this season.
Some of you will be mad about these. OK, a LOT of you have a lot to be mad about with me, if not for this, than certainly for some other thing I did or didn’t do.
But, just think. Thirty-four kids — THIRTY-FOUR! — that are unbeaten going into 2021, that made my initial set of notes didn’t make the list. I hope they all, and you all, prove me wrong. I really do. (But it’s OK if 14 of you, or more, prove me right).
Be kind to ol’Matmen after these come out. This — the rankings, the record-keeping, the stories, the travel, the time away from family, the 14 hours or more per day just sitting in front of a computer and typing every single damn day 300+ days a year, all of it — is a lot harder than I make it look. Believe that.
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.
South Georgia’s season is five weeks complete! Check out the latest on our affiliated site at
Please support our independent journalism!
We’re on Venmo now: Shannon-Heaton-6
Or if you prefer PayPal, search me at Shannon Heaton and try that. I’m still not fully sure on that one.