The Season 2015-16: Mandarin

Mandarin

You can see everything I have on the Mustangs in 2015-16 here –> MANDARIN

Win/loss record: (At least) 25-2 in dual meets. I never got results from Mandarin’s last dual against Atlantic Coast. Please review the attached file above for a review of the Mustangs’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: In several respects, this was a solid season for the Mustangs, with dual-tournament victories at Stingray Duals in December and Parker Duals in January, plus a second-place Gateway Conference finish and a top-half finish at Clay Rotary. However, the post-season was a much different situation, with no state qualifiers and only one wrestler eligible to return that competed in the tournament series. Mandarin has lots of returners that have known some winning. To crack on through to the next level, the Mustangs will need to upgrade their schedule, with only one regular-season appearance this season outside of Jacksonville and none outside the corner of the state.

2015-16 MVP: Max Beavor earned third-team all-FTU honors at 170 — as annoucned earlier today — and he made his case for the award as early as the Clay Rotary, losing only to the eventual champion (and the only wrestler in the field not to get pinned by him) and winning four matches in the consi rounds to take third, with a win at Optimist and a third at Gateway and, later, districts. Beavor had a breakout season in his second year, and when his strength catches up to his technical capability, he will be a force to contend with in the next two years. Most of his losses came as a result of being overpowered — in matches where technique counted, he was able to grit his way through them. It’s a rare skill for a sophomore upper-weight wrestler to have.

2016-17 captain: At one point, after losing in the finals of the Optimist Invitational in week 1, Chase Mattox didn’t lose another match until the final dual in the Army Duals — as it turned out, it was against the same opponent. I had him with just five losses on the season, but two of those came at districts, and the second one came before the medal round — which ends your season. Mattox embodies what the Mustang program is and what it might become with a stronger variety of competition around the area. He’ll be a senior next year, and was oh-so-close to a win before getting pinned in the Gateway finals, plus how close he was at districts. I have a feeling that will motivate his final season and that on-the-mat presence should rub off on the other Mustangs in the lineup.

Heaton’s Hero: Almost every starter in the Mandarin lineup had a better than .500 record, making the usual criterion for HH recognition a bit more of a struggle. But one starter that finished the year did (at least by the numbers I have) flirt with that line. After a solid start that began with the Neptune Duals out at Fletcher, going 7-3 in December, Jake Kamins found the going a bit rougher in January and February, as the marathon sessions at Terry Parker and the stress of competing at Gateway and Clay took their trail. But, Kamins persevered through the entire season, taking his shot at the post-season. I salute that stick-to-itiveness, and eventually it will lead to successes. Jake Kamins is the Mandarin Heaton’s Hero representative.

Returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Jamison Harris (sophomore, wrestled 113 this past year, 1 match from regions); Mattox (senior, wrestled 120 this past year, 1 match from regions); Kamins (sophomore, wrestled 138 this past year, 0-2 at districts); Blake Pruitt (senior, wrestled 152 this past year, 1 match from regions); Gavin Miles (junior, wrestled 160 this past year, 0-2 at districts); Beavor (junior, wrestled 170 this past year, District 1 3rd place); Mateo Drury (senior, wrestled 182/195 this past year, 1 match from regions). Also: James Knox (junior, wrestled 120 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Ryan Timmons (senior, wrestled 132 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Adam Spikes (senior, wrestled 152/160 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Andrew Hudgins (senior, wrestled 182 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Ben Watkins (senior, 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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