The Season 2016-17: Rickards

RICKARDS

You can see everything I have on the Raiders in 2016-17 here –>  RICKARDS

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

Season in a nutshell: Everything I had heard — both in person and in email — had told me that Rickards would not have a program this year. So I was a bit surprised to see the Raiders listed as officially participating — although no wrestlers in attendance — in the first day of the North Bay Haven Bash, but I thought it was just a scheduling quirk. No, there were three wrestlers in attendance the following Friday at districts, two got out and over to Clay for regions and one of those two made it to Saturday. I had a brief convo with Coach Carpenter, and he’s hopeful — therefore I’m hopeful — that the Raiders will have a program next year. We need the small programs to thrive and grow bigger. I wish there was a frosh-soph tournament series, like there is in Illinois, so that there could be more opportunities for kids to represent their schools. More kids than you might think simply just can’t afford to wrestle in the off-season.

2016-17 MVP: With 2017 senior Donterius Spencer losing just once at districts and giving himself a shot to qualify out for state, he seemed to be the obvious choice. Spencer had a solid district event, rallying from a one-sided loss in the semis with two pins against established multi-year starters. At regions, his losses were to an eventual state qualifier and to a wrestler that was just one match from states, so they weren’t exactly bad losses. It was the second year in a row that Rickards flirted with a state qualifier; for a fledgling program, it’s clear some good instruction is going on there with a young coach.

2017-18 captain: I’ll go with the returner most likely (since he got to see the larger world of 1A wrestling, at least at the region level) to return in November, that being junior Keian Bahmani. Getting some smaller guys would be massive for Rickards, as recent years have seen the Raiders represented reasonably well from 170 on up. It would help the program get a little more visibility in the school that wrestling isn’t a “big guys only” sport.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Bahmani (senior, 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Malcolm Newmyer (senior, 195, 0-2 at districts).

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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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