The Season 2015-16: Tate


You can see everything I have on the Aggies in 2015-16 here –> TATE

Win/loss record: Unknown in dual meets. We were only able to track through Tate’s final match at Beast of the Beach, but were missing their place match there. We also had three duals from Baldwin County, Alabama’s duals, am guessing there was 1-2 more. Also, we had none of Tate’s Panhandle Duals results because they didn’t wrestle Bozeman, Gulf BReeze or Wewa — the three teams that did report to Track. Please review the attached document for a review of the Aggies’ performance in IBT events, at least that I have — I did not get results from the Aggies’ home invite unless the competing school reported to Track. So we have some gaps here.

Season in a nutshell: But, based on what we do know, Tate was clearly one of the stronger Gulfside programs in the north and, as it turned out, the Aggies carried off the 2A-District 1 title. Tate finished in the top six at Beast, followed that up with a third at Gulf Breeze, and won the Seminole Wrestling Classic in Tallahassee in mid-January. In a very strong Wakulla field, the Aggies were in the top half, and were in contention for a region title as well. There will be significant graduation losses to overcome next year, but Tate has a couple horses back, particularly in the lowers. Hopefully Coach Allen will reach out to me next year and we’ll know a lot more about Tate — result by result — in the future.

2015-16 MVP: With the results I have, it took an exceptionally-solid wrestler to defeat graduated senior Gaven McAnally this past year. There weren’t a lot of losses on his resume this year, and all of them came against state placers — all but one of those Florida and the other Louisiana. McAnally wasn’t the Aggies’ only district champion, but he was Tate’s only finalist at regions and the only Aggie to win a match on the front side of the bracket, with his two losses at states coming by a combined total of three points. McAnally was one of the strongest 220s in a part of the state that seemed to have several of them.

2016-17 captain: Tate’s got a lot of 2016 seniors moving on, and a lot of talent is departing the lineup. I could go one of two ways in naming a captain, I think both will probably actually be captains for the Aggies, but as Jacob Cochran had the slightly-better postseason, I’ll go that route. Cochran had a pretty tough battle just keeping his starting spot, but as they say, iron sharpens iron, and having a very solid kid right there behind him in the practice room probably made him that much a better wrestler. Cochran won at Seminole Wrestling Classic, and is one of three returning District 1 champs for the Aggies. Cochran went 10-8 in overtime with St. Augustine MVP Kristopher Smith in the region semis, coming back for third, and shrugged off an opening-round loss at states to make podium. That leadership is going to be very much needed for Tate in 2016-17.

Heaton’s Hero: It’s tougher to find a Hero on stronger teams like the Aggies have, plus Tate didn’t get started until Beast of the Beach 3 weeks in, so I have to kind of bend rules a bit. Jacob Neales was one part of the influx of kids that started seeing action in January, and he had, according to the results I have for the Aggies, just one contested victory against a Florida-based opponent going down the homestretch and concluding the regular season (again, there may have been others, but they would be in results I don’t have). However, Neales helped contribute to the Aggies’ district title, knocking off a key rival in his weight class in order to keep his season alive. Sometimes, every wrestler in a lineup contributes to a team victory, not just the stars, and for coming up with a key result when needed most, Jacob Neales is the Tate representative for the Heaton’s Hero nomination.

Projected returning starters for 2016-17 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Cochran (junior, wrestled 106 this past year, District 1 champ, Region 1 3rd place, 6th at 2A states); Alex Porter (senior, wrestled 113 this past year, District 1 champ, Region 1 4th place, 6th at 2A states); Isiah Brill (junior, wrestled 145 this past year, 1 match from regions); Juan Alvarez (junior, wrestled 160 this past year, District 1 champ); Neales (senior, wrestled 195 this past year, 1 match from regions); Jacob Nowling (junior, wrestled 285 this past year, 0-2 at districts). Also: Mathew Blalock (junior, wrestled 106 this past year, did not compete in post-season); Jeffrey Rafuse/Orth (senior, wrestled 145 this past year, did not compete in post-season).


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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