The Season 2016-17: South Walton

SOUTH WALTON

You can see everything I have on the Seahawks in 2016-17 here –>  SOUTH WALTON

Win/loss record: 1-18 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Seahawks’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Disclaimer at the start — my results are pretty significantly different from what was officially reported at districts, but no matter. I do have two missing dual results from Pace’s Max-Fit Duals, and South Walton also has a midweek duals event at Marianna that I don’t have on my calendar. The Seahawks had an interesting schedule that mostly kept them in the Gulf, but did compete in the Las Vegas Holiday Classic just before Christmas. Despite a very short-handed lineup by season’s end, South Walton did finish ahead of three other teams at districts, which was — in comparison to its other IBTs — was its best comparative finish of the season. The upside to the Seahawks’ season is that they only lose one senior. If they can get more weights filled in 2017-18, they could make a charge up the district standings.

2016-17 MVP: I don’t know that I remember seeing Connor Metcalf prior to this year, but he made his presence felt early with a place finish at Border Wars, then put together solid efforts at Tate and Gator Brawl, and placed at Clay’s Rotary tournament. Metcalf’s regular season is what made him the Seahawks’ MVP, as he demonstrated consistent ability against some pretty tough competition throughout the year. However, the two 145 wrestlers that were able to defeat Metcalf at Clay’s Rotary also repeated the feat at Region 1, as Metcalf finished just one match short of states. It wasn’t the post-season he would have hoped for, but it was a solid tournament run nonetheless.

2017-18 captain: Sophomore 132 Seth Weinthal had a slow start in 2016-17, but seemed to have figured some things out in January, particularly at Gator Brawl, where he won the 132 bracket with five bonus-point wins. Weinthal also went 4-2 at Clay’s Rotary, and those two tournaments seemed to get him ready for a solid post-season run. Weinthal was second at District 1 and took fourth at Region 1 to make it to states as South Walton’s only representative at Kissimmee. It was a short day on Friday, as Weinthal was 0-2, but he did get the Seahawks back in the show. Weinthal is one of a group of South Walton 10th graders that will be key to the program’s fortunes in the next couple of years, and with some off-season work, should put himself in podium contention as soon as next year.

Heaton’s Hero: Sophomore 195 Eldrich Trinidad had a difficult season, with just one win by forfeit before February, at least according to the results I had. That win by forfeit was at Beast of the Beach, and just one of all of those matches went six minutes. Every other match ended by fall. That was pretty much the story heading into districts, but it was at Wewahitchka for District 1 that the story finally changed for Trinidad, as he had (again, by the results I have) his first contested victory, that coming by fall in the third-place match. The only event I didn’t see him compete in was Las Vegas, but his continuing presence in the lineup made Eldrich Trinidad the Heaton’s Hero for South Walton.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Sophie Thaxton (sophomore, 106, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Seth Weinthal (junior, 132, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Joseph Gajewski (junior, 138, 1 match from regions); Eldrich Trinidad (junior, 195, district 3rd, did not compete at regions). Also: Minh Nguyen (junior, 113, did not compete in post-season); Dylan Haman (junior, 126, 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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