The Season 2015-16: Gainesville

Gainesville

You can see everything I have on the Hurricanes in 2015-16 here –> GAINESVILLE

Win/loss record: 10-12 in duals. See attached file for a rundown of the Hurricanes’ tournaments this year.

Season in a nutshell: We never saw a full team from Gainesville this year, mainly because it never seemed as though there was ever a full lineup available. As the season unfolded, all of the parts were out there on display, but this kid or that kid would be out of the lineup. That occasionally made for some interesting lineup shifts. Having a logjam in the 160-182 range — with kids appearing at two or three different weights routinely throughout the season — also made lineups something tricky for prognosticator types to lock down. However, considering that the Hurricanes were just one of four Matmen teams to leave states with a bracket Saturday night, it was in many ways still a very successful year.

2015-16 MVP: Easy choice here, and in many ways, senior Trae-von O’Neal (113 pounds) was an individual exhibit of the Gainesville season as a whole. He didn’t wrestle at King of the Hill first weekend of the year, so from a parts-missing-from-the-lineup standpoint, he fits. He had some interesting losses over the course of the year, with just one tournament win prior to regions (Timberwolf roundrobin) and nine losses — six of those via fall. But after losing by one point in the District 2 title match, O’Neal would not lose again, with six of his eight victories in regions and states coming via fall and usually pretty quick falls at that. O’Neal shocked a lot of people by winning 2A state at 113, I’m completely glad for him, since he could not wrestle states as a junior due to injury.

2016-17 captain: The actual captaincy might go elsewhere, but what I am looking for is the “leader on the mat,” and it looks to me — among the kids eligible to come back next year — that Scotty Tacinelli is going to be a solid choice, with a district title in hand — leaders on the mat lead by winning, and there are no other returning district champs, with both O’Neal and Tahj Brennen graduating. I’ve also been impressed with some of the results that Jacob Hake has put together over the past couple of seasons, and while I wondered why he didn’t wrestle the post-season this year, full disclosure compels me to admit I had the same wondering about O’Neal last year — and look what happened for him.

Heaton’s Hero: I could go in a number of different directions on this one, but I’m going to go with one of the two guys that was in the lineup for every event on the schedule for Gainesville this year, and of those two was not a region qualifier. That would be Corey Ryan, who had the unique distinction at competing in four different weights for the Hurricanes — with a contested match at 195 at King of the Hill, then 170 for Capital City, back up to 182 for Timberwolf, 170 and 182 for the Astronaut Duals, 182 for Cities, 170 for the Ed Kilpatrick IBT in Inverness and the two duals after, and then finally cutting to 160 for the TD Talbott Legion tournament at The Villages and for districts.

Returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Tacinelli (sophomore, wrestled 106 this past year, district champ); Elijah Keselowsky (senior, wrestled 132 this past year, 1 match from regions); Justin Harbilas (junior, wrestled 152 this past year, district 4th); Ryan (junior, wrestled 160/170 this past year, 1 match from regions); Carlos Wilson (senior, wrestled 182/195 this past year, district 4th); Jackson McLendon (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, district 4th); plus Hake (junior, wrestled 170/182 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Mike Lundgren (sophomore, wrestled 195 this past year, did not compete in post-season).

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in 2011. But as I thought I had in 1992, I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. New initiative this year is to create a space on my sites where ALL Florida results can be stored, searched, reviewed and used by my readers, with NO COST TO THEM.

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