The Season 2015-16: Bishop Snyder

Bishop Snyder

You can see everything I have on the Cardinals in 2015-16 here –> BISHOP SNYDER

Win/loss record: 1-21 in dual meets. Please review the attached file above for a review of the Cardinals’ tournament performances.

Season in a nutshell: This was a struggle for the Cardinals, who once again this year were hampered by the FHSAA’s schedule change that bumped wrestling too close to baseball season, meaning that a couple of starters for Snyder’s District 3 title team once again could not wrestle this year. At its fullest, the Cardinal lineup had only eight kids out. By season’s end, that number was down to six, and, of those, four were very green freshmen. Bishop Snyder’s only dual win came against a similarly short-handed Interlachen side at Terry Parker’s Army Duals in January, and the first three IBTs that Snyder wrestled were last-place team finishes. But the Cardinals didn’t finish last at Clay, nor at districts, and at regions there were six teams behind Bishop Snyder. It’s a start. There was a time not long before 2013-14 when the Cardinals were in this very same place. It’s far too soon to tell if the 2018-19 or 2019-20 Cardinals will bring a district title back to Bishop Snyder, but they do have recent history to remind them of the possibility.

2015-16 MVP: There were a couple of events that Azim Hameed didn’t compete in for the Cardinals, this past season, and if he’d just had the opportunity to be in those events I wonder if he could have gotten out. Even as it was, he was one takedown short of the 1A state tournament, which would have been massive for the Cardinal program as a whole. He beat some pretty good kids along the way, taking home a runnerup finish at Bierbaum and Bishop Snyder’s only district title — in fact the only District 3 title not won by a Clay wrestler at Yulee on February 20. A year ago, he’d shown some flashes, and this year, put together a lot more. He should definitely be in the mix for states next year.

2016-17 captain: Brenden Bizier is the last remaining link to the 2013-14 team (if I recall correctly, Hameed didn’t come out for the team until two seasons ago), and so is best-positioned to serve as the team captain for next year. He’ll remember the chemistry that team had (and it was a pretty solid group), the accomplishments that they were able to achieve, and he’s got enough chops on the mat individually to play more than just that role. Bizier did take a lot of losses this year, but he was in one of, if not the, deepest classes locally, with nearly half his schedule matching him up with a region qualifier — or better. Bizier might have a shot at making it into states this coming year, with the right weight class and the right off-season.

Heaton’s Hero: I mentioned earlier that there were four green freshmen that both started and finished the season for the Cardinals. ANy one of them could be the HH winner. But, of those, only one wrestler didn’t get his raised after a contested victory on the mat. And yet, Johnathan Bokros was at North Florida Duals, Westside Kiwanis, Stingray Duals, Army Duals, Bierbaum, 5 Star and Clay, and each of the single duals as well. Twenty-eight of his 30 losses were by fall. Most were very quick. He had just two matches go a full six minutes all year. But he didn’t miss a start all season. That’s, in this day and age, a solid work ethic that a lot more kids should have, and one that will serve him well. For that, Johnathan Bokros is the Bishop Snyder Heaton’s Hero representative.

Returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): JP Vilonueva (sophomore, wrestled 113 this past year, 1 match from regions); Bizier (senior, wrestled 132 this past year, District 3 3rd place); Johnathan Bokros (sophomore, wrestled 138 this past year, 1 match from regions); Thomas Graden (sophomore, wrestled 145/152 this past year, 1 match from regions); Hameed (senior, wrestled 160/170 this past year, District 3 champ, 1 match from 1A states); Mark Morante (sophomore, wrestled 220 this past year, 1 match from regions).

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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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