The Season 2016-17: St Augustine

ST AUGUSTINE

You can see everything I have on the Yellow Jackets in 2016-17 here –>  ST AUGUSTINE

Win/loss record: 6-23 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Yellow Jackets’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: It was a revolving door of a season for the Yellow Jackets, in which there was a lineup in December, and then (almost but not quite) a new lineup in January, with some intersections of those two lineups in February. At any rate, it seemed liked St. Augustine was chasing, and never quite finding, a permanent group of kids. There were a couple of individuals who had more than 30 matches this year, but just one of them is returning. Not sure if injuries were the reason — am pretty sure injury kept our Heaton’s Hero out for a while — but I know it was difficult for the coaching staff, which I hope will return, as it has built good relationships with the kids most willing to put in the time.

2016-17 MVP: Yellow Jacket junior Tracey Beshara was considered around District 4 circles as a slamdunk favorite to win at 160 this year, and after a December in which he wrestled exclusively at either 170 or 182 — in which he got out to a solid 12-2 start — Beshara did experience some struggles with the weight class, but kept on winning. The wins were harder to come by (an 11-9 finish) but the district title did happen as predicted by a couple of different coaches. Beshara also — after losing in the first round of regions — was able to give himself a shot at wrestling for a states berth by winning three on the back side. Not only will he be in line for a state run next year, Beshara could position himself for a podium finish — particularly with off-season work.

2017-18 captain: I thought that junior Marcus Petersen stepped out of the shadows a bit this year, winning matches he might have lost last year. Like Beshara, Petersen started the year wrestling up (145/152), and while stronger kids at those weights were too much to overcome, it didn’t seem to matter whether Petersen wrestled up or not otherwise, as his record was unaffected. Prior to losing by fall in the 138 district finals, Petersen had won six matches in a row and nine of 10. The only event I believe he missed out on was Flagler Rotary, and I would guess that next season he will be an anchor for the younger guys in the Yellow Jacket lineup.

Heaton’s Hero: Freshman Micah Hartley started the year on varsity at 182, but then got hurt at Optimist and didn’t return to the Yellow Jacket lineup until St Johns River Conference six weeks later. He didn’t have a contested victory until early February, but did collect three falls in that month. It might have been easier to just stay out of the lineup, as Hartley had only four matches at his lightest weight of the year, 170, making 17 appearances at 182. The fact that he came back and made a go of things even without positive results speaks to Hartley’s determination, and for that, Micah Hartley is the Heaton’s Hero for St. Augustine.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Petersen (senior, 138, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Colin Griffin (senior, 152, 1 match from regions); Beshara (senior, 160, district champ, 1 match from state meet); Alexander Mewes (senior, 170, 1 match from regions); Hartley (sophomore, 182, 1 match from regions). Also: Coen Long (senior, 106, did not compete in post-season); Cameron Crane-Baker (senior, 113, did not compete in post-season); Conlan Trimble (senior, 132, did not compete in post-season); Hunter Heritage (senior, 152, did not compete in post-season); Cade Aupsburger (senior, 182, did not compete in post-season); Jaquon Johnson (sophomore, 285, 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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