The Season 2016-17: Rocky Bayou Christian

ROCKY BAYOU CHRISTIAN

You can see everything I have on the Knights in 2016-17 here –>  ROCKY BAYOU CHRISTIAN

Win/loss record: Unknown for dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Knights’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: The program re-emerged after a one-year hiatus, and the results were somewhat as expected. Seven kids total that came out were down to three by the regular season’s final event at North Bay Haven and just two suited up for districts. As will be the case for several teams that competed in Gulf Coast Slam (NOT every team), we don’t have results for the Knights. But what we do know is that the program had actual representation at all of its events, had two tournaments where it wasn’t the final team in the field, and had a couple of kids pick up contested wins along the way. Gotta crawl before you walk and walk before you run, so as long as the Knights continue the program and kids stay engaged — two of the four kids who wrestled at districts in 2015 came back and finished all of the regular season this year — they should make some strides.

2016-17 MVP: A starter for the Knights as a 126-pound seventh-grader in 2014-15, freshman Wyatt Kirkpatrick returned to the team this year. Like his teammates, Kirkpatrick took losses in the solid majority of his matches, but he had contested six-minute losses by decision during the year, beating two established multi-year starters at North Bay Haven as well. Kirkpatrick will be on the key building blocjs for RBCS in 2017-18.

2017-18 captain: This one I’m going out on a limb for, because freshman Christian Neese didn’t compete at districts or at North Bay Haven. But, through the Gator Brawl weekend at least, Neese was having perhaps the most regular-season success the Knights had had, with his tournament finish at Wewahitchka — which included three wins by fall — leading the charge for RBCS. If he just was hurt at Gulf Coast Slam or at the end of Gator Brawl, and just couldn’t compete the rest of the year, he could be a wrestler to watch out of Rocky Bayou in the coming year.

Heaton’s Hero: Although of course we don’t know with full certainty how RBCS did in the Gulf Coast Slam, from the results I have, freshman Elisha Daughtry qualifies. Started the year and finished at least the regular season, although he didn’t wrestle at districts. I have 16 contested matches, with at least 15 winding up with the other guy’s hand raised. It’s tough to compete under those circumstances, particularly when your team has experienced so little success. But he did get his hand raised in the South Walton dual. I can’t say for sure it was his last match of the season, but it was the last day, and Daughtry stuck with it. For that, Elisha Daughtry is the Heaton’s Hero for Rocky Bayou Christian.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Elijah Zwalve (freshman, 106, 1 match from regions); Kirkpatrick (sophomore, 145, 0-2 at districts). Also: Daughtry (senior, 160, did not compete in post-season); Neese (sophomore, 170, did not compete in post-season); James Cage (sophomore, 182, 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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