The Season 2016-17: FSDB

FSDB

You can see everything I have on the Dragons in 2016-17 here –>  FSDB

Win/loss record: 7-18 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Dragons’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Last year was as difficult a season as the Dragons could contemplate, with their top returner going out for another sport and a host of new faces that took a lot of lumps. So many, in fact, that FSDB was shut out at districts in 2016. I said in The Season last year that there was nowhere to go but up, and while the spot in the district tournament this year remained the same, the Dragons did improve, with this year’s new faces making some contributions and winning some matches, and, this year, FSDB left districts with a champion that made it to Saturday at regions as well. Granted, the Dragons are still short some weight classes, but I’m encouraged with how 2017-18 looks compared to how things stood for FSDB a year ago.

2016-17 MVP: Junior Anthony Hoyt had an OK amount of success when he started the season at 195. So, when he dropped to 182 and then went 2-8 in his first 10 matches, I thought maybe he might go back up. But 182 was the right place to be for him when districts rolled around, as Hoyt put together two pins to win the weight class. Hoyt had a good run at regions as well, with wins on both sides of the bracket to represent the Dragons in the second day of wrestling at Clay. I don’t know what Hoyt’s state chances are next year, but he was just two matches away this year.

2017-18 captain: Dragons junior Christian Miranda continues to impress me as his team’s most technically-complete wrestler, but his biggest challenge is going up against a lot of kids — particularly this year, it seemed — that are technically pretty proficient themselves. If Miranda and the rest of the Dragons can pack on some more strength and physicality to go along with the technique they have, that might go a long way in continuing the long — but worthwhile — road of improvement.

Heaton’s Hero: There are very few sixth-graders that earn starting spots in varsity lineups, and sometimes adding them is done out of necessity. This year, two were a regular part of the Dragon lineup and one of those two saw action in every FSDB event on the calendar, from Optimist through districts. By my reckoning, Giovanni Viruet had nearly a .500 record, but the 12 wins he had all came via forfeit. There were no contested wins in his season. Nevertheless, Viruet kept suiting up, even dropping down from his usual 126 to 120 for a match in February. That one, too, ended in a loss by fall, as all of his contested matches. And yet, he kept suiting up. For that, Giovanni Viruet is the Heaton’s Hero for FSDB, a team full of them.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Miranda (senior, 106, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Reynaldo Suero-Perez (sophomore, 113, 1 match from regions); Ty Snow (freshman, 120, 1 match from regions); Viruet (7th, 126, 1 match from regions); Liam Von Mahr (senior, 160, 1 match from regions); Hoyt (senior, 182, district champ, 2-2 at regions). Also: Andrew Suarez (7th, 132, did not compete in post-season); Jose Chavez (senior, 170, 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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