The Season 2015-16: Godby

Godby

You can see everything I have on the Cougars in 2015-16 here –> GODBY

Win/loss record: Unknown for duals, either 2-3 or 1-4 depending on how Godby’s dual vs. Cairo (GA) went on January 19. Please review the attached document for a review of the Cougars’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Even had the Cougars scheduled more duals this past season, it would have been difficult to do a whole lot better, given that Godby had to take forfeits at as many as six weights during the course of the season — and that was when their more-consistent starters were in the lineup, which wasn’t all the time by any stretch. That also made IBT performances a bit hit-and-miss as well (leaving aside the missing result from the Cougar Classic). A very strong District 2 meet sent the Cougars to fifth, but Godby probably had its best tournament of the year at regions, when its stars were able to shine the brightest. There will be some graduation losses to incur, but there’s still some solid talent returning. Getting numbers in the room will be key.

2015-16 MVP: Just two Godby wrestlers got out to states, with perhaps the bigger surprise being heavyweight Devaughn Stephens, who’d struggled to hang around the .500 mark in terms of wins and losses. But the strong competition within the district — Stephens was 1-5 against Wakulla heavies alone — really helped when it counted, as Stephens reached the District 2 final and then reached the semifinals before qualifying out with the fourth and final spot. There, he knocked off #2 Dean Brooks of Weeki Wachee in the opening round, but couldn’t sustain the momentum, bowing out on Friday evening. Still, for the way the season started, it wound up being a very good run.

2016-17 captain: Andrew Thaxton isn’t the city’s best 152, but he might be next year, and in any event certainly proved himself more than capable of putting together a state run in 2017. Thaxton had solid efforts in putting together runnerup finishes at Seminole Wrestling Classic, Gator Brawl and Tricounty, where he avenged two earlier defeats. Thaxton then put together another runnerup finish at districts, and was 2-2 at regions in a pretty deep weight. His combination of varsity time plus quality outcomes should make him a solid role model for any younger Cougars coming into the room in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: We didn’t get a look at Zach Godwin until January, and given that we were missing one dual and one tournament (not sure, still, if the Cougar Classic was a roundrobin, duals or IBT format), I’m not 100% sure of his results for the entirety of the season. But, of what I do have, Godwin had his hand raised just one time — his first event of the year, in the Cougars’ dual win over Rickards — and otherwise I have 19 losses, all of them by fall, and all but three of those in the first period. That’s an extremely tough thing for an inexperienced wrestler to go through, but Godwin stayed on the team, made weight at districts and qualified out by finishing fourth when a lot of capable kids were sitting at home playing Xbox and making spring break plans. I admire that quality, and it’s why Zach Godwin is the Heaton’s Hero representative for Godby.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Braxten Marshall (senior, wrestled 126 this past year, District 2 3rd place); Godwin (junior, wrestled 145 this past year, District 2 4th place); Thaxton (senior, wrestled 152 this past year, District 2 runnerup); James Williams (senior, wrestled 220 this past year, 1 match from regions); Stephens (senior, wrestled 285 this past year, District 2 runnerup, Region 1 4th place). Also: Devon Neely (senior, wrestled 220 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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