The Season 2016-17: Ridgeview

RIDGEVIEW

You can see everything I have on the Panthers in 2016-17 here –>  RIDGEVIEW

Win/loss record: 4-6 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Panthers’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: What you saw from the Panthers in the 2016-17 season is the start of something, kind of like engines getting engaged. Ridgeview had a number of young wrestlers — freshmen and sophomores — learn together and take a lot of lumps at Disney Duals last summer. The impact during the season was returners who were way below .500 a year ago flirt with it for most of the year (translation: a lot more wins). There weren’t a lot of team wins, but Ridgeview had a great tournament at Cradle Cancer (fourth overall), a runnerup finish at Raines’ 5 Star, third at District 3 and a top-10 showing at Region 1. There will be 11 post-season starters returning for 2017-18, and eight of those 11 have the opportunity to return in 2018-19 as well. That’s how a solid base gets built for the future.

2016-17 MVP: Ridgeview will lose only one senior from this year’s team, but what a senior — in his one year with the Panthers — Marcus Reid has been. That will have a significant impact on the Ridgeview team going forward. Reid was one of the final two wrestlers in north Florida to take a loss in the 2016-17 season, winning his first 44. That meant titles at Border Wars, an unbeaten record at Ridgeview Rumble, wins at Jensen Beach’s Cradle Cancer, Palm Bay’s Ships & Duals, and 5 Star during the regular season. Reid also rolled to district and region titles, with six consecutive matches. The one opponent Reid struggles with the most, though, came back to haunt him again during state week (epilepsy), and the result was a tough loss in the semifinals against an opponent Reid had knocked off at Cradle Cancer. I prefer to remember Marcus the way I saw him in his third-place match, his final high school match. Dominant, and against a former state champ to boot. I hope he’ll wrestle at the #NextLevel.

2017-18 captain: Every one of the Florida wrestlers that defeated junior Saeid Ejmali this past season wound up on the state podium in one of the three classes, so it should come as little surprise that Ejmali was right on the doorstep of medaling at the state tournament last year. He started the season at 132, putting up a very respectable 15-4 record through December’s matches, with losses to the 3A state champion, two to Georgia wrestlers and a third to a Louisiana. After bumping up to 138 for Cradle Cancer, where he finished third, and taking second to a former 1A state champ at the finals of the Trojan Invitational, Ejmali then ripped off 15 wins in a row that saw him through the duals component of Ships and Duals, 5 Star, districts and regions and the first day of state. Have to figure on a state medal in 2017-18.

Heaton’s Hero: Sophomore Kaine Avery had a tough go of things this past year. It wasn’t until the third tournament of the season that Avery was able to obtain his first win, and there would only be three more of those during the course of 2016-17. Avery faced some pretty solid competition (multiple state placers among others) and the result was a 4-21 record (according to the results I have), with 12 losses by fall. And, Avery had to go through the hassle of having some so-called “wrestling expert” mis-spell his name in results on a number of occasions, no doubt, during the year as well (EDITOR’S NOTE: It’s all Trackwrestling’s fault, or Coach Barker’s, LOL). He even bumped up a weight late in the year, never an easy thing to do for an inexperienced wrestler, but he kept persevering, and for that Kaine Avery is the Heaton’s Hero for Ridgeview.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Gabriel Guzman (sophomore, 106, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Jonathan Kaylor (sophomore, 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Tanner Belden (junior, 126, district runnerup, 1 match from states); Jacob McGowan (sophomore, 132, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Ejmali (senior, 138, district champ, region champ, 1 match from state medal); Malachi Martin (sophomore, 145, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Reed Propes (junior, 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); John Tiedeman (junior, 160, 1 match from regions); Keine Avery (junior, 170, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Craig Zacker (senior, 182, 1 match from regions); Kenneth Tresvant (senior, 285, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions). Also: Requan Works (sophomore, 132, did not compete in post-season); Eli Kull (senior, 132, did not compete in post-season); Nick Siemonof (sophomore, 170, 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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