The Season 2016-17: Terry Parker

TERRY PARKER

You can see everything I have on the Braves in 2016-17 here –>  TERRY PARKER

Win/loss record: 7-15 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Braves’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: There are kind of three teams in one with Terry Parker, in looking at the Braves’ year in review. There’s the one team that’s young, and generally inexperienced, and just trying to learn how to compete. That’s the team that we saw in the struggles Parker had in duals (particularly at Harmony’s Longhorn Duals) and in IBTs. There’s the group of Braves girls that are pointing to girls’ state just before the FHSAA post-season, and have some successes there, that also are part of the young/inexperienced group. And then there’s the two or three individuals that quietly to some (but not to me) stood out and made a solid impact during the course of the year. Of those kids, only one graduates and in all there are not massive graduation losses, but the Braves will have some holes to fill in 2017-18, most particularly in the lower weights.

2016-17 MVP: We didn’t see D’Angelo Johnson until he made a part-time appearance at Army Duals, in mid-January, but his first statement win of the year was in his very first win at Gateway, where he took out the defending 160 champion by fall. Johnson went on to finish second, and then set about the business of proving his Gateway run wasn’t a fluke (although he is credited with more official wins than I have him for). Johnson had just the one loss through districts, where he won the District 3 title at home, and then had only a loss via major against a 2016 state placer at regions, that coming in the semis, finishing third in that tournament to get to states. Johnson then went 1-2 at states to close out his high school career; wish we would have gotten to see him for a full season.

2017-18 captain: Landon Dains had been a pleasant surprise as a freshman for the Braves, and this year wrestled with a favorite’s role for most of the year without faltering. Dains had several small streaks of wins during the course of the season (six between Longhorn & Army Duals, five between Army Duals & Gateway) and finished third at Gateway this year (losing only to the eventual conference champ), Parker’s second-best finish at the conference meet. Dains took losses in the first round of both districts and regions but rallied each time, coming back for third at District 3 and winning twice to get to Saturday at Region 1 hosted by Chiles. Dains has been a leader, too, among the Brave wrestlers, and that should certainly continue and grow as he matures.

Heaton’s Hero: There are times that a Heaton’s Hero wrestler experiences some of the real successes that his elite teammates take as a matter of course. Going into districts — according to the results I had, and I did have discrepancies between the records I had and the records the Braves reported — I didn’t have a contested win for Ben Sabella at 195. He’d made appearances at all of Parker’s larger events, and had only forfeit wins to his credit, with all of his losses ending with bonus points to the opponent. But, at districts, the narrative changed. With just two wrestlers in the 195 bracket, Sabella’s regional place was assured. But he was able to do better than that, winning his first contested match in a district final. Seizing that opportunity is why Ben Sabella is the Heaton’s Hero for Terry Parker.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Amber Goodbread (junior, 106, 1 match from regions); China Sneed (senior, 145, 1 match from regions); Jason Reed (senior, 152, 1 match from regions); Dains (junior, 170, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Boakai Kanneh (senior, 182, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Sabella (junior, 195, district champ, 1-2 at regions); Evan Jefferson (junior, 285, district 4th, 0-2 at regions). Also: Maurice Grayer (junior, 145, did not compete in post-season); Emily Mills (sophomore, 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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