The Season 2015-16: Paxon

Paxon

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

Win/loss record: Unknown in dual meets — at best 4-6, at worst 2-8, depending on the outcomes of the scheduled duals on February 3 with Lee and Wolfson. Please review the attached document for a review of the Golden Eagles’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Not enough season within the season. Paxon had just its season-opening dual against Stanton, on December 1. First day duals could be held, and that was it for the Golden Eagles in December. There wouldn’t be another scheduled dual until January 12, so most of Paxon’s kids went into Gateway with just two matches under their belts, while their opponents had at least 20 in most cases and some were already at 30. At its fullest, the Golden Eagles could count on around eight kids in the lineup, and of those, just three return for 2016-17. This made things difficult for Paxon, which had to contend also with jumping up a class to 2A this year. IBT results were somewhat as expected, although Paxon did finish ahead of four other teams at 5 Star, mainly on the power of two kids’ performances. Keys for 2016-17? Getting more kids out and getting more mat time for the kids that do go out.

2015-16 MVP: I do wonder what more matches might have done for graduated senior Garen Mauney this year. Because of his lack of numbers at Gateway, he had to face off with the eventual 152 Gateway champ in the quarters instead of a more-expected semi or possibly final. Mauney also reached the finals at 5 Star, winning his pool competition that included a pair of pretty solid kids. By the time he got to the post-season, the lack of matches, I feel, took its toll, but Mauney did qualify out as Paxon’s highest District 4 finisher (third at 152) and did get three matches in at regions.

2016-17 captain: Most of the kids that competed at 2A-District 4 for the Golden Eagles were seniors, and that’s of significant concern for the Paxon program going forward. One bright light, though, might be the starting of an emergence from Jamaari Mitchell, who was in the lineup on Day 1 against Stanton and each of the Eagles’ events going forward. Mitchell had trouble finding his footing competitively, as most inexperienced upper-weight wrestlers might, but was 5-3 after a 1-6 start. His two losses at districts came against a pair of seniors that both had at least three years’ experience as starters. If Mitchell stays out, he could play a large role in the development of the program over the next couple of seasons.

Heaton’s Hero: Freshman Jack Donghit worked out with the Bishop Kenny program in the offseason prior to joining the Eagles’ lineup as its only freshman starter this past year. He picked up a fall in his first match of the season, in Paxon’s first dual of the season, but after that it was a tough road. Donghit bumped up a weight starting at Gateway, but it didn’t result in any more success, as both the results I had and the results reported to FHSAA both had Donghit with just the one win. If he’d been in the lineup for Parker Duals, he might have had an opportunity or two to add to that win total, but he did stay out the whole season, going six minutes in his final match of the year. I like that willingness to stay with the program, and for that, Jack Donghit is the Paxon representative for the Heaton’s Hero nomination.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Donghit (sophomore, wrestled 120/126 this past year, 1 match from regions); Mitchell (senior, wrestled 182 this past year, 1 match from regions). Also: Alonzo Davis (junior, wrestled 160 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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