The Season 2016-17: Wewahitchka


You can see everything I have on the Gators in 2016-17 here –>  WEWAHITCHKA

Win/loss record: 14-11 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Gators’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: Wewahitchka almost spent more of December outside of Florida than in it, going to an Alabama duals event on the second weekend of the month and making the trip to the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, but the Gators also competed in both big and small IBT/roundrobin events in the state during that month. The IBT/RR formats were not kind to the Gators, most of the team, but Wewahitchka did finish in the top half at Tate’s and their own events. It wasn’t until districts when the Gators — who were forfeiting at five weights for a pretty good part of the season — had a decent performance, taking third at District 1 and a solid eighth at Region 1. Wewa was also in the middle of the pack at Parker Duals in late January, going 6-3 at North Bay Haven’s two-day duals tournament on the final weekend of the regular season. Two of the Gators’ three state qualifiers were seniors, and will be difficult to replace, and they’ll need more depth — and/or more weights filled — to have a better chance to duplicate the successes of this past year.

2016-17 MVP: Senior 152 Burley Parker was in one of the more-loaded weight classes in the area, just right within District 1, with three eventual state placewinners right within the home district. Parker took three losses at Border Wars, then won 10 matches in a row before a loss out at the Las Vegas Holiday Classic, where he had a solid 4-2 tournament, coming back to win at Tate and then finish third at Lincoln. After that loss in the semis at Lincoln, Parker would go on to win nine in a row, falling in the finals at Gator Brawl to a fellow team MVP and senior. Parker then won eight in a row following that loss, taking fourth at Clay’s Rotary tournament. He then won 10 in a row, with those streaks only being interrupted by the same wrestler at Lincoln, and at Clay, and then again at districts. As it would turn out, Parker would get to the Region 1 finals, again at Clay, only to lose to the same foe in the final. In his final high school tournament, Parker would lose only once — to Lake Highland, and after five losses to the same opponent in five different settings, would finally get some vindication in the Kissimmee consi semis, going on to finish third.

2017-18 captain: If one learns more in wrestling from the losses than from the wins, junior 182 Malachi Davenport was glad to learn so many lessons this year, because those lessons got him to the state tournament. Davenport would have been a natural leader to the young returning group of Gators, as one of two seniors back in 2017-18 plus having one of the most experienced resumes among the older group of kids, but this season was a tough start. Davenport did go 3-3 at Border Wars, but then was 3-4 at Charlie Bruce Duals, with a 4-7 overall record at one point. Davenport won seven in a row from there, with a title win at Tate to close out December. January wasn’t much easier, as Davenport faced some tough competition. The wins and losses both piled up to some degree as the regular-season drew to a close, and his first post-season match was a loss, but two pins pulled Davenport into the Region 1 tournament. Likewise, at Clay for that event, Davenport lost his first match, but then had four maximum-point victories to punch his ticket for states. While he had a quick exit from Kissimmee, going 0-2, his experience will be invaluable in 2017-18.

Heaton’s Hero: Freshman 132 Matt Randig found some rough sledding in the weight class, as all 10 of the victories he had (by the results I have) came via forfeit. After two at Charlie Bruce, Randig had 13 losses in a row, with that string only breaking at Gator Brawl. As it would turn out, only one loss that he had this season came after six minutes, and that was at Charlie Bruce. But, with a short-handed club, Randig needed to help his team by staying in the lineup, and he did, as the forfeits he got in nine of the 10 match wins helped lead to team wins in the dual, so although he struggled this year, he played a vital role. For staying in the lineup even in the face of a lot of adversity this year, Matt Randig is the Heaton’s Hero for Wewahitchka.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Jaden Moseley (sophomore, 106, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Tyler Dubray (sophomore, 120, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Dylan Jacobs (junior, 126, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Matt Randig (sophomore, 132, 1 match from regions); Michael Hensley (senior, 138, 1 match from regions); Davenport (senior, 182, district 3rd, region 4th, 0-2 at states). Also: Jacob Barlow (junior, 145, did not compete in post-season); Alex Edwards (junior, 195, did not compete in post-season); Clae Horne (sophomore, 285, did not compete in post-season).


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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