The Season 2016-17: Mandarin

MANDARIN

You can see everything I have on the Mustangs in 2016-17 here –>  MANDARIN

Win/loss record: 18-7 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Mustangs’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: We’d mentioned a couple of times in this space the Mustangs’ platooning. That was far less in evidence this year, as we really only saw it at 132-138, somewhat at 170, and somewhat at 195-220. Otherwise, the lineup was pretty much settled. And I think it helped Mandarin’s best kids get some continuity, as the Mustangs had three 30+ match-winners and another three with 20+. Mandarin did struggle a little in duals early — when it had some different faces in the lineup, starting out 2-4. After that, the Mustangs won 16 of their last 19, and had top-four showings at Optimist, Bierbaum and Gateway. There’ll be some different looks for the Mustangs next year, but the middle of their lineup should be decent. If it can find some bookends and continue to tweak the schedule ever so slightly, Mandarin should be fine again next year.

2016-17 MVP: Senior Adam Spikes had a fine season in his final year for the Mustangs, winning his first eight matches and 13 of his first 14, with only out-of-area losses until the Army Duals final, a loss that Spikes would get back the following Saturday with a win at Sandalwood in the Gateway Conference final. Spikes wouldn’t lose again until districts, coming back to finish third. After a first-round loss at the Region 1 tournament, Spikes won three matches on the back side to give himself a chance at qualifying for states, but fell just short. He finished with 32 wins, which wasn’t a team-high — mainly because he wasn’t in the lineup for Parker Duals or for Clay’s Rotary tournament, otherwise that would have been on his season resume as well.

2017-18 captain: I had a couple of choices here, going with the wrestler that had the higher district finish, so that leads me to tip sophomore Jake Kamins for the captaincy. Kamins had a little bit of time away from the lineup, however, taking in about half a season. He appeared in both Optimist (3rd) and at Fletcher, but didn’t have another contested match after Fletcher until Gateway, where he reached the semis, his only contested loss to the eventual champion. He came back for districts, losing his first match but then winning three on the bounce to take third and qualify out for Region 1, tops among returning Mandarin wrestlers. It was a too-quick appearance in the region, but hopefully Kamins will be right — and a permanent fixture — for the Mandarin lineup over the next two years.

Heaton’s Hero: Freshman Julian Trerotola started the year at 132, performing solidly and finishing third at Optimist. He also got a majority of the starts at Fletcher, but gave way at Yulee Duals, and then made only part-time appearances through January, missing Gateway along the way. At Parker Duals, Trerotola re-entered the lineup, this time at 138, where he closed out the regular season at the weight. After briefly peeking over the .500 mark, it was tough sledding down the stretch, as Trerotola won just one of his last eight, which included a move back to 132 for districts, fighting hard but taking a pair of close losses by decision. For his efforts in helping the team this year, Julian Trerotola is the Heaton’s Hero for Mandarin.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Gunner Stier (junior, 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Trerotola (sophomore, 132, 0-2 at districts); Kamins (junior, 138, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Noah Colbert-Santana (senior, 145, 0-2 at districts); Gavin Miles (senior, 182, 1 match from regions); Kevin Castro (junior, 195, 0-2 at districts). Also: Mitchell Conover (sophomore, 106, did not compete in post-season); Jamison Harris (junior, 132, did not compete in post-season); Tyriq’ue Murry (senior, 170, did not compete in post-season); Caleb Tullis (junior, 195, 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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