The Season 2016-17: Eastside

EASTSIDE

You can see everything I have on the Rams in 2016-17 here –>  EASTSIDE

Win/loss record: 1-8 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Rams’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: I’ve got to be honest here. I know less about Eastside than I do any other team in the entirety of north Florida. Just one wrestler on the Rams’ roster had more than 10 matches this year. Eastside had just nine duals, no regular-season IBTs this year. Eighteen kids made at least one appearance in the lineup, with four of those having just the one.

2016-17 MVP: With resumes that are a third to a quarter the size of the standard resume, it’s tricky to write a lot, so I’m going to go with the Eastside wrestler who had two contested wins not resting on an injury-default (the only such wins the Rams had this year), and that was freshman Brent Clark. True, Clark didn’t get out of districts, falling one match short of Region 2, but there’s something to be said about honoring the contested wins of the regular season. I’d also argue that the 138 bracket being among the fuller ones in the district was also a part of him not getting out. I would like to see what Clark would do with even 20 matches in future seasons.

2017-18 captain: This is a interesting choice to make, as Eastside’s one district champion this year was a senior, and most of the wrestlers that had close to 10 matches over the course of the season were seniors. The one who wasn’t was junior O’meun Johnson, who was a district runnerup and also was on the Rams’ roster in the 2015-16 season. Of the returning Eastside wrestlers, Johnson had the top finish at District 5. The combination is enough to land Johnson the captaincy for the oncoming season.

Heaton’s Hero: Just one Eastside wrestler made appearances in every single dual and also the post-season this year, and that is enough for me to anoint junior Derrick Walcott as the Heaton’s Hero for Eastside. Walcott had the resume of an H.H., however, with only one match going a full six minutes, two wins by forfeit and the rest all losses by fall. But every time Eastside had competition, Walcott was there in the lineup. So he’s the guy — AND he had the most matches this year (120. Let’s get him some more matches next year.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Walcott (senior, 126, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Clark (sophomore, 138, 1 match from regions); Dylan Shea (sophomore, 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Johnson (senior, 182, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions).

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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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