The Season 2016-17: Flagler Palm Coast

FLAGLER PALM COAST

You can see everything I have on the Bulldogs in 2016-17 here –> FLAGLER PALM COAST

Win/loss record: 15-0 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Bulldogs’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: As one of the coverage area’s three statewide elite programs, Flagler Palm Coast set and accomplished several high goals this past season. The Bulldogs did not schedule as many dual events in 2016-17 as they did in the previous couple of seasons, but dominated their own Flagler Duals event in mid-January, going 10-0 with an average margin of victory of 57.4 points per dual (unfortunately, we only received match-by-match of two of those duals, as it turned out). In January and February, FPC picked up double-digit dual wins over state-ranked opponents, closing its dual season with a #BattleForFlagler win over its county rival to secure a 15-0 duals record for the season. In IBTs, the Bulldogs were just about as strong, finishing no lower than sixth (and that was at Knockout) prior to the state tournament. That included a third at Border Wars and second at Lyman in December, and a team win at Springstead’s tough Corey Hill Invitational the first weekend of January. FPC was second at its own 33-team Rotary event, defended its Five Star Conference title and — with just 12 kids in the lineup — turned in a second-place effort at District 1 and third-place one at Region 1, where the Bulldogs landed six state qualifiers. Of those six, five return for 2017-18, with a returning state champion and a second state medalist among them. FPC will have eight 2017 post-season starters back,

2016-17 MVP: In almost every way possible, 2016-17 was the perfect season for junior 126 Avery Holder. It began with a 7-0 weekend, with five bonus-point wins, at Border Wars in early December. Holder had his only loss of the season at the Lyman Invitational, just before Christmas, in the semifinals against the eventual 1A state runnerup, with four bonus-point wins sandwiching that loss. After a win streak of 11 wins was snapped by that loss, Holder would roll through the next 39 matches unscathed all the way to the top of the podium at Silver Spurs on Saturday night, with titles at Knockout and Corey Hill, an unbeaten run through Flagler Duals, and a Five Star Conference title. Holder had two pins and a tech fall in winning District 1, and had three bonus-point wins at Region 1, with a shutout in the final. Only Saturday night was he seriously pushed. And I think he’s still got so much more room to grow as a wrestler. Stunning talent. Glad I’ll get to see him for one more year.

2017-18 captain: Holder is half of what the FPC program calls the “two-headed dragon.” The other half, the ice to Holder’s fire if you will, is junior 120 Michael DeAugustino, whose near-flawless technique has led to three state podium finishes over the last three years. DeAugustino reached the finals at Border Wars, dropping an ultimate-tiebreaker loss to a fellow elite from Alabama there, and then won nine matches in a row, with a title at Lyman and runnerup effort at Knockout. That would be the last loss DeAugustino would have until Saturday at states, and he was able to get that loss back in a mid-January dual victory. DeAugustino also won at Springstead and was unbeaten at Flagler Duals, with two pins and a decision at District 1 and a fall, two techs and decision at Region 1. DeAugustino didn’t allow a point scored on Friday at states, but the loss he got back in mid-January turned back the other way. He would rally for two solid decisions to finish third. DeAugustino’s work ethic is without parallel, however, and any young wrestler — FPC-bound or not — would do well to follow his example.

Heaton’s Hero: In a lineup with TEN 30-match winners, a first-year senior starter going 23-21 certainly draws my interest. That’s the case for Bulldog 160 Keith Boswell, who started the year at 170 for the Bulldogs and at one point was 3-7 while trying to adjust to the competitive level of his team’s schedule. Boswell did rally at Flagler Duals, climbing above the .500 mark there, but then dropped four in a row immediately afterward. One of his stronger efforts came at Five Star, where he reached the 160 final behind a pair of falls, and he went 2-2 at both District 1 and Region 1, qualifying out to the second day of that event with a pair of decisions over Orlando-area wrestlers. He was a consistent presence in the lineup, and with a few early holes in the FPC lineup up top, the Bulldogs needed his contributions. For that good work, Keith Boswell is the Heaton’s Hero for Flagler Palm Coast.

Projected returning starters for 2017-18 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Christian Sheppard (junior, 106, district runnerup, region 4th, 0-2 at states); DeAugustino (senior, 120, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Holder (senior, 126, district champ, region champ, state CHAMPION); Damion Figouera (senior, 132, distrct runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Michael Martins (senior, 138, district champ, region runnerup, 1-2 at states); Tyrone Jones (senior, 145, region 3rd, 1 match from state medal); Curtis Brock (junior, 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Tyler Irigoyen (junior, 220, district runnerup, 1 match from states). Also: Devonte Williams (senior, 106, did not compete in post-season); John Johnson (junior, 106, did not compete in post-season); Jason Muniz (senior, 195, 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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