The Season 2016-17: Paxon


You can see everything I have on the Golden Eagles in 2016-17 here –>  PAXON

Win/loss record: 0-7 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Golden Eagles’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: For the second time in as many years, there wasn’t enough there there in Paxon’s season. I have four regular-season dates on the Golden Eagles’ calendar, and nothing in between Optimist the first weekend of December and Army Duals in mid-January. Three of Paxon’s four dates were IBTs. In all of them, the Golden Eagles brought up the rear. Only three wrestlers — per my records — had more than 10 matches during the course of the season, forfeits included. The key for Paxon will be keeping kids wrestling — both off-season this spring and then again next season. Paxon simply must schedule more dates that get fledgling experience levels more time on the mat.

2016-17 MVP: We measure in-season performance by post-season performance in this sport, so the Golden Eagles’ MVP must go to the wrestler advancing the furthest in the series, and that would have been 285-pound senior Jordan Smith, Paxon’s only qualifier to the Region 1 tournament at Chiles last month. Smith finished third at districts, with a fall in the third-place match. It had been his first win since Optimist, and wound up being his last.

2017-18 captain: Whether he’s a junior or senior next year (see below), I would expect that it’ll be kids like Corey Jones that the Golden Eagles are going to have to look to for leadership next year. Jones led Paxon in wins this past year and got more matches than any other Golden Eagle wrestler had (although still not enough to get out of districts). He had appearances in every event in which Paxon competed this past season. Paxon is a program that’s basically starting over, and it will be kids like Jones that take the first tentative steps toward something more in the future.

Heaton’s Hero: Golden Eagle freshman Dylan Booker began the season as a starter for the Golden Eagles and ended it at districts. I had Booker with two wins to finish the year. Both of those came via forfeits at Army Duals. Every contested match that I have for Booker wound up as a loss by fall. However, Booker stayed in the lineup, missing only the 5 Star Invitational at Raines. I hope he’ll come back next year with the same willingness to take lumps — and maybe give a couple out — that he had this year. Dylan Booker is the Heaton’s Hero for Paxon.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Booker (sophomore, 126, 0-2 at districts), Bailey Guess (junior per brackets & senior per Track, 132, 1 match from regions); Makoto Gazzara (junior, 138, 0-2 at districts); Jones (senior per brackets & junior per Track, 145, 1 match from regions). Also: Ashley Saddler (sophomore, 138, did not compete in post-season); Gabriel Border (junior, 160, 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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