The Season 2016-17: Lincoln

LINCOLN

You can see everything I have on the Trojans in 2016-17 here –>  LINCOLN

Win/loss record: 17-4 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Trojans’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Lincoln was on a mission to re-establish itself as the pre-eminent 2A program in north Florida this past season, and the Trojans were successful in accomplishing that mission. While they took took a couple of early dual losses, including a tough loss to intracity rival Florida High, in IBT events the Trojans were on point, winning the Seminole Wrestling Classic on the first weekend of December, and earning top-five finishes at Capital City (third), Corey Hill (fifth) and their own Trojan Invitational (second). After the loss to the Seminoles, on January 18, Lincoln won 15 of its next 17 duals, including a title at the Diamondback Duals, hosted by Belleview, on the final weekend of January. That prepped the Trojans for solid performances in both District 2 and Region 1, both team wins, and a third solid performance at states, where Lincoln finished 11th. And, the Trojans will have a solid chance to defend both titles, with 10 post-season starters coming back in 2017-18, plus four more key contributors that should make impacts next year as well.

2016-17 MVP: Senior Josh Martin was a rock for the Trojans in the upper weights for the entirety of the season, and the work he put in was rewarded with both District 2 and Region 1 titles, as well as a state third-place medal. Martin, competing at 220, actually found the toughest going in the Trojans’ first tournament at Florida High, taking two losses there. That would be the only time in 2016-17 that Martin would lose more than once at an event this year that had just one format. Martin was victorious at Capital City, with three pins and a decision, and after a loss at Ridgeview Rumble, Martin would win seven in a row, then ripped off 17 more wins in between losses in the final of the Trojan Invitational and the end of the regular season. In the post-season, Martin’s only loss came against the eventual 2A state champion, in the semifinals.

2017-18 captain: As strong a season as Martin had, junior 160 Justin Grant — competing in his first season at Lincoln this past year — could lay claim to an even-better one, as Grant was the last north Florida wrestler in 2016-17 to take a loss, with just one this year and that coming in the state tournament. Before that, Grant had titles at Seminole Wrestling Classic and Capital City, was unbeaten at Ridgeview Rumble, and won at Trojan Invitational, with 24 regular-season pins. Grant scored maximum points for the Trojans in taking the District 2 title, and scored bonus points in every round but the final in winning the Region 1 bracket. At states, it took the eventual runnerup three overtimes to knock off Grant with a reversal in the ultimate tiebreaker. From there, Grant ran the table against some pretty tough kids to go on to finish third. It’s going to take a really tough kid to do that to him in 2017-18.

Heaton’s Hero: Junior 145 Anderson Stennett has been toiling on the roster for Lincoln for at least a year prior to last season. Stennett was the starter all season for the Trojans, and had a pretty tough start (1-6 and, later, 4-14), but after that 4-14 start, Stennett seemed to start turning some things around, going 12-9 the rest of the way, from the Diamondback Duals through the end of his post-season, with four falls and a tech fall included during that second-half stretch. The early losses and the tough competition helped Stennett help his team win titles at both District 2 and Region 1, as he won matches at both, finishing as the district runnerup and getting three matches at the Region 1 tournament. For overcoming a tough start to the season, Anderson Stennett is the Heaton’s Hero for Lincoln.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Mark Munroe (junior, 106, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Ikeon Myles (junior, 113, district champ, 2-1 at regions); Michael Crowder (senior, 120, district champ, region runnerup, 1 match from state medal); Braxton Winder (junior, 132, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Elliott Crum (junior, 138, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Anderson Stennett (senior, 145, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Grant (senior, 160, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Jared Newhall (senior, 170, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Gus Altenburg (senior, 182, district runnerup, 0-2 at regions); Tanner Washburn (sophomore, 195, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions). Also: Hayden Busick (sophomore, 106, did not compete in post-season); Gavin Chism (junior, 132, did not compete in post-season); Selah Craft (junior, 160, did not compete in post-season); Jonquille Rivers (junior, 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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