The Season 2016-17: Florida High

FLORIDA HIGH

You can see everything I have on the Seminoles in 2016-17 here –>  FLORIDA HIGH

Win/loss record: 9-4 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Seminoles’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Florida High (my results pretty well track the official ones, with some small discrepancies) was one of the state’s stronger Class 1A teams throughout the year in 2016-17, in either the duals or the IBT format. With a team title at Capital City and a 15-point dual win over Wakulla to kick off 2017, the Seminoles were poised to perhaps assert supremacy in the Tallahassee area. As it turned out, that supremacy was somewhat shared. The Seminoles finished fourth at the very competitive 1A Dual Championships, and were in the middle of the pack in their first Knockout appearance, but rallied with a pair of team titles at Yulee and Raines and a very solid third-place finish at Clay’s Rotary tournament. The Seminoles’ goal to take over District 2 top honors fell a few points short, but Florida High did finish with the most points of any District 2 team at states (6th overall), and will have nine post-season starters returning, plus five additional key competitors.

2016-17 MVP: Senior 195 Cam Brown missed a couple of early events for testing purposes in order to get his football Ps and Qs minded, but from that point forward, Brown was on a mission. He took two losses at Knockout, finishing fourth there, and took two more — by a combined total of three points — at Clay’s 1A Dual Championships in mid-January. That would be all Brown would be willing to take before states, as he won 17 straight matches, rolling to district and region titles (and getting one of those losses avenged in the process). In his final nine matches before the state final, Brown had eight pins, with only one coming after the first period. He hung in against a defending state champ in the finals, falling just short there. Brown will be focusing mostly on football (I can tell you he’s quite the shot-putter as well) going forward, but he’s been a very strong presence for the Seminoles during his time there.

2017-18 captain: Junior 182 Will Haigler already had a 2016 state podium finish under his belt when he began the season, so it came as no surprise to me or anyone else when he started the year by winning his first 11 matches, including a Capital City title and a podium finish at Knockout. His regular-season losses were against two out-of-state opponents (a big-school Virginia state third-place finisher & big-school Georgia state fourth-place finisher) and two eventual Florida state champions. Haigler pinned his way through both districts and regions, which is what made his first-round loss at states particularly stunning. No matter, Haigler wouldn’t lose again in taking third place. He was the only wrestler in Florida — that I can recall — who came back to finish third at states after losing in the first round.

Heaton’s Hero(es): I’m going with two again here, as I did once before, and there are reasons again this time. Senior Duncan Weaver was a very good 138 for the Seminoles this year (22-5 with nine pins) but had no place in the varsity lineup, as he was second to an eventual state placer in his own room. Senior Jemel Fanfan looked like he would be the starter at 152 to start the year, but then lost a month with an aggravation of a shoulder injury, and was a part-time starter upon his return. The 152-170 weight classes weren’t the only places in the Florida High lineup that were a little shakier, but they were the places where Weaver and Fanfan could potentially shore up the lineup, and so they did, with Weaver finishing second at 152 — two weights up — at districts and winning his opening round match at Region 1. Fanfan, at 170 (also 2 weights up), was just one match short of states, winning the District 2 title and coming up one takedown short in the blood round. In helping their team in a time of need, Duncan Weaver and Jemel Fanfan are the Heaton’s Heroes for Florida High.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Brooks Dyer (sophomore, 106, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Dennis Ganim (sophomore, 120, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Max Metcalf (junior, 126, district champ, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Bryan Metcalf (senior, 132, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Jake Richardson (senior, 145, district champ, region runnerup, state 5th); Marcus Haigler (sophomore, 160, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); W. Haigler (senior, 182, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Josh Cook (sophomore, 220, 1 match from regions); Logan Stinson (sophomore, 285, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions). Also: Tyler Reeve (freshman, 113, did not compete in post-season); Nic Timmons (junior, 132, did not compete in post-season); Harrisen Lacayo (senior, 138, did not compete in post-season); Chauncy Riggsby (sophomore, 152, did not compete in post-season); Noah Perdue (junior, 152, 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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