#TheSeason2018-19: Valdosta

One of the things we’ve done on our Florida site is something that no other journalist — that we know of — does in covering this sport, and that is recapping, in highlight form, a team’s season.

Because we’re super clever, we’ve called this recurring series with a really catchy title. We call it: #TheSeason, and we add the current school year.

We’ve been doing these for five years over there, and wee’re going to do it here. We’ll get to every team, eventually, but our 11th team — as randomly selected by my crack investigative staff (my nearly 18-year-old non-wrestling, but Division I athlete, son) and first out of Region 1-6A is the defending dual and tournament state champion, Valdosta.

So, without further ado, we bring you #TheSeason.

VALDOSTA

You can see everything I have on the Wildcats in 2018-19 here –>  VALDOSTA

Win/loss record: 13-4 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Wildcats’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: It was a season worthy of the team that comes from Titletown, but because several projected starters were playing football, it was also one that was initially slow to develop. The Wildcats were solid if unspectacular in November (3rd at Lowndes’ Viking Challenge, 2nd at the Gulf Coast Clash in Alabama) and were 3-2 at a pair of duals tournaments in December, but from Buford forward — mid-December on — we started to get greater and greater glimpses of what was to come. Valdosta was sixth at Buford, won its own Allstate Wildcat Invitational and placed in the top half at an elite Florida tournament, the Knockout Christmas Classic, with a top-third (despite a severely short-handed side) finish at north Florida’s Keystone Invitational. From there, with a full lineup, the Wildcats did nothing but win as a team, with dual region and state titles in January and traditional region and state titles in February. Valdosta will have 12 starters with either post-season or significant regular-season starting experience in 2019-20, nine of those that were state qualifiers, seven that were medalists and one champion. The Wildcats will be very tough once again next year.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Darrell Rochester (sophomore, 54-6 at 106, region champ, section champ, state runnerup); Kaleb Davis (sophomore, 27-24* at 113, region 3rd, section 6th, 1 match from state medal); Jordan Hampton (senior, 30-5 at 120, region champ, section runnerup, state 3rd); Tyler Lamon (sophomore, 40-11, region 3rd, section 4th, state 4th); Cameron Bradley (sophomore, 18-25* at 132, region runnerup, section 6th, 0-2 at states); John Walsh (junior, 23-19 at 132, did not comepte in post-season traditionals); Jordan Brown (senior, 13-21* at 145, region runnerup, 11th-12th at section); Sam McFarland (senior, 22-15 at 160, region runnerup, section 6th, state 6th); Katie Walker (junior, 2-10 at 176, girls’ section champ, state 6th); Antoine Scott (senior, 23-9 at 182, region champ, section runnerup, state 4th); Noah Pettigrew (sophomore, 34-0* at 195, region champ, section champ, state CHAMPION); LB Neloms (junior, 14-6 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Aushaud Evans (40-11 at 138, region runnerup, section 4th, state 5th); Javari Lester (18-11 at 152, region runnerup, section 4th, 1 match from state medal); Dominique Dale (51-8 at 170, region champ, section champ, state 3rd); Demetrius Allen (36-8 at 285, region champ, section 3rd, state runnerup).

* — Matmen’s compiled records. Only individual results missing were from Grapple on the Gridiron and a mix of results from Region 1-6A duals. Most records, where it made sense to do so based upon later reports, were adjusted to reflect these.

2018-19 MVP: Freshman Noah Pettigrew was listed throughout January, in tournaments where records were added, with two losses. I can’t find those losses. The only possibility is if the Wildcats counted his second-day two forfeits at Knockout, Florida’s strongest in-season tournament, as actual losses. That’s an unusual record-keeping moment. I have Pettigrew at 34-0, with title wins at Buford, Allstate Takedown, region, section and state titles. That’s a fantastic freshman year. It’ll be fun to see how the next three years evolve, who’s already on national radar as one of the elite bigs of the Class of 2022.

2019-20 captain: On a team that is going to return a ton of talent next year, it’s tough to pick from one of about five non-seniors (Pettigrew included) who could more than capably fill this role. And there are two rising seniors that particularly stand out in this capacity, one of them being Jordan Hampton. Hampton had five losses in 2018-19, all of them to either state champions or runners-up, and only one of them (the first one) led to bonus points. He had nearly a month where he was out of the lineup, but once he returned, he went undefeated up until the section final, where he lost to the eventual state champion.

Heaton’s Hero: Sophomore L.B. Neloms was the starter at 285 for the Wildcats in November, while the erstwhile starter was still in football, and won the Viking Challenge and took just one loss at the Gulf Coast tournament in Alabama. Thereafter, Neloms — with two exceptions — was in a backup role for the rest of the season and would not appear in the varsity lineup after December. But, he won a match at Knockout and finished fifth at Allstate Wildcat. Neloms was a solid team player for the Wildcats, and has already in this off-season competed in several events to get ready for next year. That’s what I like to see, and that makes L.B. Neloms the Heaton’s Hero for Valdosta.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

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#TheSeason2018-19: Cairo

One of the things we’ve done on our Florida site is something that no other journalist — that we know of — does in covering this sport, and that is recapping, in highlight form, a team’s season.

Because we’re super clever, we’ve called this recurring series with a really catchy title. We call it: #TheSeason, and we add the current school year.

We’ve been doing these for five years over there, and wee’re going to do it here. We’ll get to every team, eventually, but our tenth team — as randomly selected by my crack investigative staff (my nearly 18-year-old non-wrestling, but Division I athlete, son) — and second out of Class 4A is Cairo. That will wrap up 4A…for this year.

So, without further ado, we bring you #TheSeason.

CAIRO

You can see everything I have on the Syrupmakers in 2018-19 here –>  CAIRO

Win/loss record: 5-12 in dual meets reported to Matmen. The only duals we were missing were from the region duals in January. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Rebels’ performance in IBT events (we didn’t have two IBTs — Cairo’s own Syrupmaker Invitational, where we got a list of placers, but no results, and the Region 1-4A traditional tournament.

Season in a nutshell: We got a full set of results through December, as Cairo was 1-3 at Tift’s Blue Devil Duals (they did not wrestle a crossover dual per the tournament manager) and went 2-7 at Cook’s two-day Hornet Duals in early December. The Syrupmakers were 17th at a larger Florida IBT, the Capital City Classic in Tallahassee, and we lost sight of them until state duals, when Cairo qualified second out of Region 1-4A, finishing only behind Columbus. The Syrupmakers finished 9-12 at state duals, going 1-2 in the tournament. We didn’t get anything on how they fared as a team at Region 1-4A traditionals (which is why some kids don’t have precise region finishes on their bios), but Cairo got two kids to states, both of them returning in 2019-20, and have 13 kids back that saw significant time last year.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season, where verifiable, or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Antranon Hadley (sophomore, 17-17 at 106, region 2nd, 0-2 at section); Micheal Dangler (sophomore, 106/113, did not compete in post-season traditionals); James Cartwright (sophomore, 113, region 3rd, 0-2 at section); Miguel Bastida (junior, 126, region 4th, 0-2 at section); Kason Sellers (senior, 33-7 at 132, region champ, section runnerup, 1-2 at states); Pierce Galvan (senior, 145/152, did not qualify for section tournament); Zachery Cash (sophomore, 145/152, did not qualify for section tournament); Devlin Duvenhage (145/152, did not qualify for section tournament); Likobe Teal (senior, 25-16 at 160, region runnerup, section 6th, 0-2 at states); Brandon Green (junior, 15-18 at 182, region 3rd, 0-2 at section); Eli Pyrz (senior, 195, region 3rd, 1-3 at section); Matthew Dodson (senior, 220, did not qualify for section tournament); Gabeial Elias (sophomore, 285, did not qualify for section tournament).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jerrell Hardy (26-10 at 120, region 4th, 0-2 at section); Johnny Doyle (31-4 at 138, region runnerup, 0-2 at section); Sterling Dekle (170, did not qualify for section tournament).

2018-19 MVP: For the Syrupmakers, junior Kason Sellers was the top performer down the stretch and excelled in large portions of the regular season as well, as Cairo’s lone region champ. He hung in for a wild ride against one of Woodward Academy’s superstar wrestlers in the 132 section final and won a match at states, getting into the second day of competition.

2019-20 captain: Junior Likobe Teal, like Sellers, was a state qualifier last year, and that advancement in this year’s post-season tournament series will be a key point to point to for a still-young Cairo team in 2019-20. With a third-place showing at regions, Teal was something of a longshot to get out, but he reached the semis at sections, which was a pretty solid accomplishment.

Heaton’s Hero: Sophomore Miguel Bastida hadn’t shown much through his first two tournaments, going 2-6 at Cairo’s first two duals tournaments — with both wins by forfeit — and didn’t compete at state duals. But he persevered enough to get out at regions and had a shot to go further at sections, and that’s all the Syrupmakers could ask for. For rallying from a slow start, Bastida is the Heaton’s Hero for Cairo.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

Weekend Wrestling — April 13

I got a new (to me) laptop and it seems to not like the fact that I am trying to snip out results to post for y’all, so I have just typed out the local ones from the 1st Chance USA Wrestling qualifier meet at Hiram on Saturday.

At Hiram
1st Chance Qualifier

(South GA results only, where known with some certainty)
Junior FS
145: 5. Cameron Jackson — L-VSU1, Allen Stone (Sonoraville), 14-4; L-VFA, Thomas Zenga (Factory), 2-0; W-VSU, Daniel Bennett (Patriot), 10-0; L-VSU, Jaxon Smith (Woodland HS), 10-0; L-VFA, Micah Osterink (Level Up), 8-8.

Cadet FS
100: 1. Darrell Rochester — VSU1, Davis Dendy (Level Up), 13-2; VSU, Braden Sauls (Complex TC), 12-0; VSU1, Cole Hunt (Grindhouse), 15-4; VSU1, Robert Westbrook (Level Up), 15-4.
100: 6. Dominic DiTomasso — VSU1, Sean Mulvany (Icon), 16-3; L-VSU, Robert Westbrook (Level Up), 10-0; L-VPO1, Reese Jones (Compound), 6-5; L-VSU, Sean Mulvany (Icon), 10-0.
126: 4. Cameron Bradley — L-VPO1, Joseph Bertrand (Wrestling Center), 18-17; L-VSU1, David Panone (Level Up), 13-2; VSU1, Daviel Abreu (ATL Wrestling Academy), 14-4; VSU1, Connor Phillips (Woodward), 13-2; VSU, Jack Irwin (Team Wicked), 10-0.
138: 2. Jeremy Paradice — VPO1, Garrison Dendy (Level Up), 8-6; VSU1, Devin Stone (Icon), 12-1; L-VPO1, Sam Johnson (CMP), 7-4.
195: 1. Noah Pettigrew — VSU1, Connor McHugh (Grind WC), 13-2; VSU1, Connor McHugh (Grind WC), 10-0.
285: 1. LB Neloms — VSU, William Dickerson (Independent), 11-0; VPO1, Francisco Valle (Level Up), 8-6; VSU1, Brandon Maina (Hiram HS), 12-2.d

Schoolboy FS
102-106: 1. Logan Paradice — VSU1, Nicholas Dempsey (Warrior WC), 12-1; VSU1, Ely Raines (Team Assassin), 14-4.

Intermediate/Novice FS
108-120: 3. TJ Lockett — L-FALL, Matthew Fletcher (Lions WC), 1:15; L-VSU1, Raymond Mullins (Dragons Junior WC), 12-2; VSU, Noah Horton (Team Wicked), 10-0.

Junior GR
145: 1. Cameron Jackson — VSU, Daniel Bennett (Patriot WC), 10-0; VFA, Micah Osterink (Level Up), 11-4.

Cadet GR
100: 1. Darrell Rochester — VPO1, Cole Hunt (Grindhouse), 12-8; VSU, Dominic DiTomasso (SGAC), 9-0.
100: 2. Dominic DiTomasso — VSU, Kenneth Shope (Complex TC), 10-0; VSU1, Sean Mulvany (Icon), 12-2; L-VSU, Darrell Rochester (SGAC), 9-0.
126: 2. Cameron Bradley — L-VFA, David Panone (Level Up), 6-4; VSU, Jack Irwin (Team Wicked), 12-0; VSU, Connor Phillips (Woodward), 10-0.
138: 2. Jeremy Paradice — L-VSU, Garrison Dendy (Level Up), 12-0; VFA, Devin Stone (Icon), 4-0; VSU, Ethan Bennett (Patriot WC), 10-0.
195: 1. Noah Pettigrew — VIN, Connor McHugh (Grind WC).
285: 1. LB Neloms — VFA, Brandon Maina (Hiram HS), 7-0; VFA, Francisco Valle (Level Up), 4-0.

Schoolboy GR
102: 1. Logan Paradice

Intermediate/Novice GR
108-120: 1. TJ Lockett — VFA, Noah Horton (Team Wicked), 11-0; VFA, Noah Horton, 6-0.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

#TheSeason2018-19: Turner

One of the things we’ve done on our Florida site is something that no other journalist — that we know of — does in covering this sport, and that is recapping, in highlight form, a team’s season.

Because we’re super clever, we’ve called this recurring series with a really catchy title. We call it: #TheSeason, and we add the current school year.

We’ve been doing these for five years over there, and wee’re going to do it here. We’ll get to every team, eventually, but our ninth team — as randomly selected by my crack investigative staff (my nearly 18-year-old non-wrestling, but Division I athlete, son) is Turner in Class 1A, our second 1A team.

So, without further ado, we bring you #TheSeason.

TURNER

You can see everything I have on the Rebels in 2018-19 here –> TURNER COUNTY

Win/loss record: 14-7 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: We were missing a few results from Turner this past season, but what we did get revealed the Rebels as one of the strongest 1A teams in the state, with thirds at both state dual and traditional tournaments this past season. With a short-handed side, Turner was 5-3 at the Yellow Jacket Duals, hosted by Jeff Davis, in its first weekend of the season, and went 6-3 at Cook’s Hornet Duals the following weekend. Then we didn’t hear much from Turner (Harris County Invite, Fitzgerald Invite, Gary Silva Invite, a home quad in early January and area duals at Irwin). Turner lost only to eventual champion Commerce at state duals, taking third with a 3-1 record there, then won the area traditional title back at Irwin. While the Rebels do lose three state medalists, including one 2019 champion, Turner will be solid, particularly in the lowers, with seven returners, five of those state qualifiers and three of those medalists.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Zech Layfield (senior, 20-20 at 106, area champ, section 4th, 0-2 at states); Jaevon Jordan (junior, 5-10 at 113, area 3rd, 0-2 at section); Aushyon Duraudis (junior, 30-13 at 120, area champ, section runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Jalias Smith (senior, 21-20 at 126, area 3rd, section 4th, state 6th); Roy’Onovious Wilson (senior, 12-20 at 138, area 3rd, section runnerup, state 6th); Yaki Whitsett (senior, 32-18 at 152, region 3rd, section 3rd, state 6th); Rodney Stythan (senior, 14-22 at 182, area 3rd, 0-2 at section).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: William Priest (26-13 at 132, area runnerup, section 3rd, state 6th); Joshua Layfield (17-23 at 145, area runnerup, 1-2 at section); JaCorian Prater (38-5 at 160, area champ, section runnerup, state 3rd); Corey Morrow (36-8 at 170, area champ, section champ, state 3rd); Zykeith Wimbley (9-15 at 195, area 3rd, 0-2 at section); Tray King (19-9 at 220, area runnerup, did not compete at section); Zion Blackshear (30-3 at 285, area champ, section runnerup, state CHAMPION).

2018-19 MVP: Senior Zion Blackshear missed Turner’s season-opening event, but no matter, as he settled in right away during Hornet Duals, losing only to a 7A state qualifier in that event. I don’t know who gave Blackshear his second loss, but his third certainly got his attention, as he dropped an overtime loss in the section final. Unshaken, Blackshear continued his quest for a state title the following week, with a bye, two second-period falls and a 2-1 win in the final — a rematch of the section final — to take the state gold medal. That made Blackshear the clear choice as the Rebel MVP for 2018-19.

2019-20 captain: Whither Whitsett, or Whisett? Seemed like however his last name was spelled, junior Yaki Whisett (as spelled during the GHSA tournament series)/Whitsett (as spelled during regular-season events) was a reliable source of points for the Rebels at 145 or 152. Whisett/Whitsett was 7-1 at Yellow Jacket and 7-2 (losses by one point and on a rideout) at Hornet Duals. Early losses in the post-season traditional series, at each level, seems to have made him stronger as tournaments wore on. He’ll be needed to anchor a much-younger Turner upper half in 2019-20.

Heaton’s Hero: Think season records mean anything? Just ask junior Roy’Onovious Wilson if his 12-20 record in 2018-19 meant he shouldn’t be competitive in the post-season series. Wilson was 5-15 at the start of area, and that kind of record doesn’t strike a lot of fear in people. No matter. Wilson lost only to the eventual area (and section) champ at area, then ripped off 3 wins by fall to get to the section finals. With a bye in hand as the runnerup, Wilson needed just one win — over a section rival he’d already pinned once before — at states to secure a medal, and he did just that. For defying expectations, Roy Wilson is the Heaton’s Hero for Turner.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

#TheSeason2018-19: Lowndes

One of the things we’ve done on our Florida site is something that no other journalist — that we know of — does in covering this sport, and that is recapping, in highlight form, a team’s season.

Because we’re super clever, we’ve called this recurring series with a really catchy title. We call it: #TheSeason, and we add the current school year.

We’ve been doing these for five years over there, and wee’re going to do it here. We’ll get to every team, eventually, but our eighth team — as randomly selected by my crack investigative staff (my nearly 18-year-old non-wrestling, but Division I athlete, son) — and second out of 7A is Lowndes.

So, without further ado, we bring you #TheSeason.

LOWNDES

You can see everything I have on the Vikings in 2018-19 here –>  LOWNDES

Win/loss record: 10-3 in dual meets reported to Matmen*. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Vikings’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: If you look just at Lowndes’ traditional tournament performance at regions (last of four), you might be surprised that the Vikings were 10-3 in duals (there were two tournaments we didn’t get, one of which we know was a duals event) reported to Matmen, or that they finished eighth or better in every tournament in which they competed prior to states. This was a very solid season, but injuries proved to be a major issue. Lowndes won its own Viking Challenge IBT on the first weekend of the season, then finished mid-pack (sixth out of 10) at Buford’s November tournament. Lowndes won Tift’s Blue Devil Duals tournament to start December, going 5-0 on the day, and then finished a solid seventh at a very strong Florida tournament, the Danny Byron Invitational. In January, the Vikings were fourth at Colquitt’s Packer Invitational and took third at the region dual tournament, going 1-1. Lowndes had another mid-pack finish at Brookwood’s North Metro IBT and finished in the middle of the pack at states (21st out of 44 teams). Lowndes will have 12 starters with either post-season or significant regular-season experience, with several other kids right on the cusp on at least 10-14 matches last year. The Vikings will be a team worth watching in 2019-20.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Dominic DiTomasso (sophomore, 38-14 at 106, region runnerup, section 9th); Ethan Gilbert (junior, 29-20 at 113, region 4th, section 8th, 0-2 at states); Cole Chandler (senior, 23-12 at 113/120, did not compete in post-season traditional series); Nathan Lawson (junior, 31-16 at 120, region runnerup, section 7th, 0-2 at states); Andrew Adams (senior, 39-20 at 126, region runnerup, section 5th, 1 match from state medal); Williams Thigpen (sophomore, 7-13 at 132, region 4th, 0-2 at sections); Jackson Lawson (senior, 46-11 at 138, region runnerup, section runnerup, 3rd at states); Canyon Hebb (sophomore, 19-15 at 145, region 3rd, section 10th); Gareth Chaney (senior, 37-14 at 152, region runnerup, 0-2 at sections); Kade Clark (junior, 7-14 at 182, did not compete in post-season traditional series); Peyton Gunn (sophomore, 12-12 at 195, did not compete in post-season traditional series); Tyler McKinnon (senior, 16-13 at 220/285, did not compete in post-season traditional series).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Colby Strawder (26-30 at 160, region 3rd, 0-2 at sections); Brandon Gutierrez (12-5 at 220, did not compete in post-season traditional series).

2018-19 MVP: Junior Jackson Lawson was the Vikings’ only wrestler to leave Macon with a state medal in February. After starting the year at 152, Lawson eventually dropped down to 138, with a 15-match win streak in January as well as region and section runnerup finishes. At states, Lawson lost to a region rival in the quarters, but then won four matches on the back side to wrestle back to third, finishing as the highest Region 1 wrestler on the Macon podium.

2019-20 captain: I could go in one of a few directions here, but I’ll tap junior Andrew Adams for the captaincy in 2019-20. Adams didn’t win a single tournament this past year, but very nearly pulled off a state medal at Macon, with two bonus-point wins at the state tournament after a solid fifth at Section B.

Heaton’s Hero: After the first weekend, senior Colby Strawder was only above the .500 mark once in 2018-19, and bounced around between 170 and 152 before landing at 160. In two substantial tournaments (Valdosta’s Allstate Wildcat and Colquitt’s Packer Classic) Strawder would lose his opening match and then not lose again. That ability to bounce back is what I look for in this category, and Colby Strawder is the Heaton’s Hero for Lowndes.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

#TheSeason2018-19: Irwin

One of the things we’ve done on our Florida site is something that no other journalist — that we know of — does in covering this sport, and that is recapping, in highlight form, a team’s season.

Because we’re super clever, we’ve called this recurring series with a really catchy title. We call it: #TheSeason, and we add the current school year.

We’ve been doing these for five years over there, and we’re going to do it here. We’ll get to every team, eventually, but our seventh team — as randomly selected by my crack investigative staff (my nearly 18-year-old non-wrestling, but Division I athlete, son) is Irwin in Class 1A.

So, without further ado, we bring you #TheSeason.

IRWIN

You can see everything I have on the Indians in 2018-19 here –>  IRWIN COUNTY

Win/loss record: 2-2 in dual meets reported to Matmen. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: We didn’t get any regular-season results for the Indians this past season, but, on the other hand, Irwin only had three on their schedule (according to Trackwrestling). Irwin was second at Area 1-1A Duals in January and went 2-2, placing 7th-8th at the Class 1A state dual team tournament in Macon. According to Track, state duals was the last competition for the Indians until the traditional tournament series, where Irwin took third at Area 1 in 1A and tied for 10th at states. Most of the Indians who competed in the area tournament will be back in 2019-20

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Jordan Dunlap (sophomore, 17-11 at 113, area runnerup, section 4th, 0-2 at states); Peyton Pierce (sophomore, 10-6 at 120, area 3rd, section 7th); Seth Pilcher (senior, 15-9 at 132, area 3rd, section 4th, 1-2 at states); Wright Walker (senior, 29-4 at 138, area champ, section champ, 3rd at states); Rolland Williams (sophomore, 17-20 at 152, area 4th, section 6th, 1 match from state medal); Davione Cockfield (junior, 2-5 at 195, area 5th); DJ Lundy (36-0 at 220, area champ, section champ, state CHAMPION).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Will Tucker (22-11 at 126, area runnerup, section runnerup, 5th at states).

2018-19 MVP: It’s pretty simple, really; you run the table, you win area, section and state titles, go undefeated while doing so, and then follow that up with a national third-place finish at NHSCA junior folkstyle nats, the case for MVP makes itself. Junior DJ Lundy, the 1A state champion at 220 pounds, was the Indians’ team MVP last year in pretty much every way possible, and I have to believe that the combination of state title and high NHSCA finish ought to make Lundy a solid recruit at the #NextLevel for the 2020-21 season.

2019-20 captain: While Lundy will no doubt serve as a team captain this coming year, I will also look to Indian junior Wright Walker as captain material during the course of the 2019-20 season. Walker was 4-0 at state duals, with three of those wins a weight class up, and only lost once in February, with that loss coming in the state semis (to the eventual runnerup). Walker had area and region titles, and that winning experience will prove crucial for the Irwin lower weights next season.

Heaton’s Hero: Freshman Rolland Williams started the season two weights up, at 170, from where he would finish it. He had a pretty good state duals tournament at 170, with a pin over a 170 traditional state qualifier along the way, but dropped two weights downward between mid-January and the traditional post-season series. After taking two losses at the area tournament to place fourth, which is usually a tough way to get to states, Williams just kept on doing enough to advance, with his losses to the eventual runnerup and fifth-place wrestlers at states. I like that kind of grit, and for that, Rolland Williams is the Heaton’s Hero for Irwin.

Find us on Facebook at South Georgia Matmen or on Twitter at @SouthGAMatmen.

Which north Florida team will be NEXT UP on #TheSeason? Check out our affiliated site at http://northeastfloridamatmen.wordpress.com.

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

Weekend Wrestling: April 5-6

We have snipped results from the Paulding County event from last weekend. Those can be found here:

FREESTYLE: FREESTYLE

GRECO-ROMAN: GRECO ROMAN

We’ll be posting our next installment of #TheSeason sometime during the afternoon as well.

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