The Season 2016-17: Choctaw


You can see everything I have on the Indians in 2016-17 here –>  CHOCTAW

Win/loss record: 8-13 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Indians’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Choctaw was a team that started to find its identity later in the season after struggling early on. The Indians had a tough December, with two dual wins and a middle-pack finish at Capital City. In January, though, while dual wins were still hard to come by, Choctaw had greater IBT success, just missing out on top-five at the Trojan Invitational and a solid third at Gator Brawl. In February, the Indians won six duals — all at North Bay Haven Bash, where they beat Tate (a short-handed Tate, but still) by 21 and lost by just three to Chiles. Choctaw has a ton of returners coming back, and things are definitely looking up. There will be some holes to fill and/or solidify in the 160-182 weights, but otherwise there are returners at every weight.

2016-17 MVP: Junior Marc Casey couldn’t get much clear of the .500 record during his time at 145 pounds, going 6-5 through December. After dropping down to 138 in January, however, Casey went on a tear, with just two losses in that month and February, one of which he got back at districts. Casey won 24 of 26 matches before losing by fall in the district final, and then was a Saturday qualifier at Region 1 at Chiles, with only a takedown’s difference keeping him from wrestling for a state berth. But during his hot streak, Casey was his team’s best wrestler, in a streak that covered nearly six full weeks of the season.

2017-18 captain: Sophomore Jerson Cabiao, competing in what seemed to be one of the north’s strongest and deepest weights this year (113), assembled several mini-streaks during the course of the year this year (with runs of four, five, six and four wins), and while there were northern kids he never could solve this year, Cabiao had some pretty good wins over the course of the season, finishing third at the Trojan Invitational and second at Gator Brawl. After a first-round loss at districts, Cabiao came back to take third, and actually advanced farther at Chiles than any other Choctaw wrestler would, getting within 1 match of the state tournament, where he lost to the same wrestler who beat him at districts (closer the second time).

Heaton’s Hero: Of the wrestlers who experienced some season-long struggle, most of them had part-time appearances in the season lineup. The one who was in it from the beginning was junior Tion Duncan, who had double-digit wins in 2016-17, but a pretty good chunk of them were forfeits. Duncan had one contested win in January and one in February, but he was a consistent presence at 220 for the Indians, not missing an event. For that persistence, Tion Duncan is the Heaton’s Hero for Choctaw.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): David Sharp (sophomore, 106, 1 match from regions); Cabiao (junior, 113, district 3rd, 1 match from state meet); Logan Myer (junior, 126, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Eli Smith (senior, 132, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Casey (senior, 138, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Nathan Gunn (senior, 145, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Dentin Bottino (junior, 152, 1 match from regions); Duncan (senior, 220, 0-2 at districts); Martino Plummer (senior, 285, district 4th, 2-2 at regions). Also: Jacky Grissom (senior, 120, did not compete in post-season); Paul Roberts (junior, 145, did not compete in post-season); Taylor Newnam (senior, 152, did not compete in post-season); Michael Brown (junior, 160, did not compete in post-season); Myles Brantley (senior, 195, did not compete in post-season).


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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