The Season 2015-16: N FLA Christian

North Florida Christian

You can see everything I have on the Eagles in 2015-16 here –> NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN

Win/loss record: Unknown. Through Flagler Duals, the Eagles were 2-7, but I have no results from their performances at the Diamondback Duals, the Cougar Classic or at the Panhandle duals event. Please review the attached document for a review of the Eagles’ performance in IBT events, at least the ones that I do have.

Season in a nutshell: The Eagles were another team, like Interlachen as reviewed just before them, that had critical numbers issues all season long. NFC started the year with just four wrestlers in the lineup, and that grew to six by the Flagler Duals, but one good thing was that all six stayed in the lineup for the entirety of the season, from Flagler onward. Duals were a bit of an issue, as would be obvious with eight forfeited weights, and IBTs were as well, as the Eagles had only a couple of experienced kids. Those experienced kids did enjoy some successes, even contending for event titles, and they’ll be the cornerstone of the 2016-17 season. But numbers are the most critical need.

2015-16 MVP: The Flagler Duals definitely posed an uphill challenge for all of the Eagles; the question after that is what they would learn from it. David Lunn certainly took some hits in that event, but after starting out the season 2-3 Lunn won eight of his next nine matches and at one point was 18-7 (according to the results I have), with a weight-class win at the Gator Brawl and a runnerup finish at District 2, where he avenged an earlier-season defeat. Lunn didn’t have the strongest region tournament, getting knocked out on Friday night by the same wrestler he beat at districts (more on that wrestler in a short while), but he’s among the most experienced kids the Eagles have, and could be a state threat next year.

2016-17 captain: It took some time for Jonathan Wainwright to find his footing, as he struggled to stay much above the .500 mark at 285, but when he dropped to 220 — at least from the results I have — he was 9-4, with a solid run at Gator Brawl (although there was a “showcase match” that kept him from the weight-class win). Wainwright qualified out for regions and had a decent tournament there, getting to Saturday, where wrestlers with more experience and more in-season competition just proved to be too much. Wainwright’s drop was a good one that paid off, though, and his work with Back in Black this off-season is another decision that should only make him that much better in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: While his workout partners in the room flourished at varying times during the season, Nolan Kelly struggled to find successes on the mat, not picking his first contested victory until January at the Billy Saylor event. But Kelly did flirt with the .500 line at a couple of points during the year and stayed in the lineup for the entirety of the season despite the struggles, qualifying out for regions and winning two matches in impressive fashion there, getting to Saturday. Kelly closed the season out with his best performance of the year, and that’s what you want to see in any wrestler. Nolan Kelly is the Heaton’s Hero representative for North Florida Christian.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Landon Kelly (sophomore, wrestled 106 this past year, District 2 3rd place); Lunn (senior, wrestled 182/195 this past year, District 2 runnerup); N. Kelly (senior, wrestled 195/220 this past year, District 2 3rd place); Wainwright (senior, wrestled 220/285 this past year, District 2 3rd place).

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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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