The Season 2016-17: Raines

RAINES

You can see everything I have on the Vikings in 2016-17 here –>  RAINES

Win/loss record: 3-17 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Vikings’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Five kids. Two Gateway Conference champions. Four region qualifiers, one of them a state qualifier. It’s hard to do much better as a small, urban, under-resourced program than what Raines did with its group of five kids this year. Dual meet results were never really the point, what with nine weights going unfilled all season. The point was about getting those five kids ready for the post-season, and four of them did have pretty deep runs in that post-season. The point is also getting those five kids ready for manhood, and that’s always the bigger win. Raines loses just one senior from this year’s team, and the hope here is — as it always is, particularly for the Vikings, given what they’ve got and who they’ve got coaching — for more numbers and more young men wanting to get ready for something more for themselves.

2016-17 MVP: Looking objectively, a lot of kids would take a season that included a district runnerup finish, a state qualification, and a win at the state tournament. A lot of kids don’t have the same standards set for themselves that Jaquan English has set for himself. At either 126 or 132, English was among the area’s best, but he wants to remove the word “among” from the equation. English did have a 16-match win streak that started in round 2 of the 1A Championships dual tournament at Clay and didn’t end until Clay’s Rotary tournament, and had another run where he won 16 of 17 matches, with the only loss at Somerset Scuffle.

2017-18 captain: While English will provide plenty of leadership, it will be difficult to overlook the role that Alonzo Davis could very well play on the Raines team of 2017-18 as well. Davis was a very pleasant surprise, holding down a middle-of-the-lineup roster spot. He got out to a 10-0 start and was 20-4 (by my backwards counting based on final records) after Somerset Scuffle, which is a pretty nice half of a season. As the competition level increased from that point forward, things got more difficult, but he wound up just being one takedown away from wrestling for a state berth. All in all, a very solid year.

Heaton’s Hero: It’s hard to think of a wrestler with 20+ wins in Heaton’s Hero territory, but I look at the resume of kids that wrestled against Jevonte Hagan this year and it’s pretty considerable. State finalists. State qualifiers. NHSCA All-Americans. It’s a very deep, very competitive resume. And Hagan persevered through it, knocking out 45 matches this year. He was the only Raines wrestler with less than a .500 record, but given the competition list, it would have been difficult to pull out many more wins — and yet, Hagan earned a couple of revenge wins against competitors to whom he’d previously lost. Jevonte Hagan is the Heaton’s Hero for Raines.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): English (senior, 126, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Davis (senior, 152, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Hagan (senior, 220, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Jamon Goodwine (sophomore, 285, district 3rd, 2-2 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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