The Season 2016-17: North Florida Christian

NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN

You can see everything I have on the Eagles in 2016-17 here –>  NORTH FLORIDA CHRISTIAN

Win/loss record: Unknown in dual meets (from a team standpoint only; we extrapolated individual records at the Gulf Coast Slam from the records provided to the 1A-District 2 host). Please review the attached document for a summary of the Eagles’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Given how the season wound up for the Eagles, I can only wonder what the missed matches at Seminole Wrestling Classic, Capital City and Beast of the Beach would have done for the small cadre of NFCS kids. But the Eagles didn’t take to the mats until January and yet enjoyed a fair amount of success nonetheless. Dual-meet events weren’t ever going to be an NFC forte, with just five wrestlers on the roster and only senior Jonathan Wainwright in every event. But in tournaments, they could shine a bit more, as the Eagles were tied for 11th at regions (31 teams in the field) and finished in the top half of the Class 1A state field. Next season will be interesting, though, as 60% of the roster graduates in May.

2016-17 MVP: I learned that from Coach Wainwright that, for a while, David Lunn didn’t intend to come back to the mats for his senior season after a solid football year in the fall. But Lunn did return, starting with the Flagler Duals. His involvement was pretty low key early on — half an event’s worth of duals at Flagler and just one match (based on the records provided at District 2) at Gulf Coast, but he cranked things up from there, placing at Clay’s Rotary tournament and then going 9-0 at the North Bay Haven Bash. He lost his first match at districts, but came back to place third, not losing again until the region finals. At states, Lunn made the semifinals, going on to place fourth. So that’s four podium appearances in a little over a month. Not a bad way to close out a senior year that, almost, didn’t happen.

2017-18 captain: By default, to some extent, this position goes to multi-year returning starter Landon Kelly. Kelly was the last of the Eagles to make an appearance in the lineup, coming out for the North Bay Haven Bash in the final weekend. He did have one win by fall at districts, which was enough to get Kelly — who had a bit of a growth spurt from last year to this, going from 106 to 132 — into regions. Assuming that the program continues full-steam into the 2017-18 season, Kelly has the most returning experience in that program.

Heaton’s Hero: You don’t see a lot of first-year varsity seniors come out for teams of this size, but that was Landon Albritton this year. Early on (that is to say, through the first couple of weeks) Albritton enjoyed a little bit of success, winning four matches in a row between the end of Battle on the Border and the beginning of Flagler Duals, and going 8-6. But things went sideways a bit as the season wore on, as Albritton went 7-16 the rest of the way. Nevertheless, he persevered, staying on the team through the end, even getting to regions at Clay. It was a two-match exit there, but he could have just as easily stayed home. That determination makes Landon Albritton the Heaton’s Hero for North Florida Christian.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Harrison Green (8th, 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Kelly (junior, 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions).

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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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