The Season 2016-17: Rutherford

RUTHERFORD

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

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

Season in a nutshell: Duals records for the Rams are unknown because Rutherford was combined with Mosley at the Gulf Coast Slam in late January. In a couple of instances based upon records provided to the district host, I was able to “count back” and come up with Gulf Coast Slam data for a couple of kids, and provide “educated guesses” on others, but not everyone. I have at least 13 dual wins, including a 3-2 record at Bay County, and at least 18 dual losses. Rutherford was 4-4 in pool competition at Beast of the Beach, but also had a string where the Rams lost six straight. Numbers were a problem all year, but particularly so at the end, when the Rams had just four weights covered for the post-season. Too large of a chunk of Rutherford’s top wrestlers will be lost to graduation, but a couple of solid juniors may be capable of post-season runs deep enough to get to states in 2018.

2016-17 MVP: Senior 182 Yakeif Duncan was the mainstay in the Rutherford lineup this past year, and ably stepped into the place of leadership left by 2016 graduate Anthony Hudson. Duncan had an early streak of 10 straight wins that began at Beast of the Beach and continued into Gator Brawl. After a 15-2 opening part of the season, Duncan did falter a bit in the second half against some strong 182s, going 11-8 down the stretch. That was a necessary bit of difficulty, however, as Duncan tore through districts with little difficulty, and only lost to the eventual state third-place finisher at the Region 1 tournament at Clay, taking third there and making his second appearance at the state tournament. There, he had a couple of tough losses, but closed with a 30+-win season in his senior year.

2017-18 captain: A year ago, Keivontie Logan was shuffled all over the lineup, but seemed to fare reasonably well for a freshman middleweight. This year, Logan started the year a bit overmatched at 160, but settled in a bit more once he got to his eventual district weight of 145. At one point, Logan won 11 straight matches in a string that began during Bay County and continued through a portion of the Wakulla Duals. Logan sustained some a few losses down the stretch, competing against older competition, finishing with an 8-8 stretch after his 11-match unbeaten streak. But Logan will be one of the Rams’ top two returning juniors next season, and his two years’ worth of varsity experience will be particularly important in shaping how next season might go.

Heaton’s Hero: We didn’t see freshman 106/113 Chase Dubroca until the Gator Brawl in mid-January, but for getting just a month’s worth of work in, he still got in nearly 35 matches in his freshman season. That was the good side, as was the fact that he had some successes early (two pins at Gator Brawl, seven all told). But had Dubroca been able to get in a full year, he might have had more. Still, though, he stuck with it, even wrestling occasionally at 113 when the team needed him to do so. He had three pins at districts, finishing third with a 3-1 record and losing only to the eventual champ, and got a victory at regions. For his persistence, Chase Dubroca is the Heaton’s Hero for Rutherford.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Dubroca (sophomore, 106, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); D’vante Sims (junior, 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Logan (junior, 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions). Also: Phoenix Sikes (sophomore, 132, did not compete in post-season); Caleb Dutton (sophomore, 160, did not compete in post-season); Ethan Elliot (junior, 160, did not compete in post-season); Jonathan Heller (sophomore, 285, 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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