The Season 2015-16: Niceville

Niceville

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

Win/loss record: Unknown for duals. We had missing duals from half of Niceville’s day at Pace’s Max-Fit Duals, plus nothing from the Tate Invitational and just one dual out of the many that the Eagles completed at Panhandle. Please review the attached document for a review of the Eagles’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: From a duals standpoint, Niceville had some struggles in 2015-16, at least based on the duals I received, although the Eagles did have a pretty good run in the second day of Beast of the Beach, finishing in the top 10 overall. Part of that had to do with several weights going unfilled at any particular point (midway through the year, Niceville typically gave up forfeits at 113, 182, 195 and at times heavyweight as well). Tough to win duals with partial teams. Although IBTs were not a place where the group as a whole fared a lot better, the Eagles’ individual stars helped make up for that with consistent high place finishes, and Niceville was able to finish in the top half at both district and region tournaments

2015-16 MVP: 2015-16 sophomore Jack Johnson put himself in state-ranked company pretty early on in the season, but it did take a few weeks for Johnson to really establish himself. Starting at Beast of the Beach, Johnson went on a streak of 11 straight match wins to improve from 7-5 to 18-5 during Niceville’s out-of-state appearance at the Barry Mask Invitational in Alabama between Christmas and New Year’s, at which just Johnson and one other Eagle wrestler participated. The battle between Johnson and Pace senior Anthony Krevatas (more on him later) was a key component to Johnson’s individual campaign, as the pair traded wins in the regular season. Johnson fired the first salvo in the state series, bringing home the Eagles’ lone District 1 title, and qualified out for regions as the runnerup at 145. Johnson also was Niceville’s lone match-winner at states.

2016-17 captain: I know that Dominic Cerillo was hurt during the course of the season, and that injury wound up costing him valuable mat time. Still, though, Cerillo — who placed at Capital City and then was hurt, missing all of Beast of the Beach, Barry Mask, the mid-January duals and the Wakulla Challenge at least (jury’s out on Tate, as I don’t have results for that, but it would seem that he might have wrestled there, based on the records reported to FHSAA). The Clay tournament was a bit of a struggle, with just three matches, but Cerillo only lost to an eventual state placer at districts and strung together three decisions to reach the Region 1 finals at 106. He’ll have a lot of experienced company, but his senior status combined with his state-qualifier accomplishment will be key for the Eagles in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: We look for consistency of effort from the Hero nominations, and somebody who stays in the lineup from the beginning of the year to the end of their year, whenever that year ends. Being at 170 was a struggle for many north Florida wrestlers, particularly on the Northwest side, where there seemed to be a lot of depth, and that made breaking out a very competitive chore indeed for kids like Wes Sites. Still, though, Sites stayed in the lineup from the beginning of the season to the end — one of a limited few on the Niceville roster to do so — and he was able to avenge a couple of earlier losses later on in the season as well. He did have a quick district tournament, but with at least 40 matches this year, Sites gained a lot of experience for his senior year. Wes Sites is the Heaton’s Hero nomination for Niceville.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Cerillo (senior, wrestled 106 this past year, District 1 3rd place, Region 1 runnerup); Zachary Hartzog (junior, wrestled 120 this past year, District 1 runnerup, 1 match from 2A states); Bailey Howes (junior, wrestled 132 this past year, District 1 4th place); Ryan Graff (senior, wrestled 138 this past year, 1 match from regions); Johnson (junior, wrestled 145 this past year, District 1 champ, Region 1 runnerup); Cannon Crum (senior, wrestled 152/160 this past year, District 1 4th place); Devon Moseley (senior, wrestled 160 this past year, 1 match from regions); Sites (senior, wrestled 170 this past year, 1 match from regions); Darrius Pena (junior, wrestled 195 this past year, District 1 4th place); Seth Witt (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, District 1 runnerup). Also: David Palmer (junior, wrestled 126 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Ashton Normand (junior, wrestled 132/138 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Sam Williams (sophomore, wrestled 132/138 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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