Welcome back to our annual series of season wrap-up posts, which we cleverly titled as “The Season (2017-18).” Your donation dollars at work, folks.
This year, we’re not following a rotation scheme. We’re keeping it a bit more random this go-round. Using a highly scientific line of inquiry (our future Lady Matmen is making the random selections the rest of the way), our next installment in the series is Terry Parker, our sixth team out of 2A-District 3.
Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past four seasons. At the request of a reader last season, we will note the accomplishments of each team’s senior class that will be moving on to new goals in the coming months.
You can see everything I have on the Braves in 2017-18 here –> TERRY PARKER
Win/loss record: 6-31 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Braves’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: The Braves hosted the Arlington Optimist Invitational on the first Saturday of December, their only IBT appearance through December and early January, finishing seventh in the 10-team event. Duals — with several weights going unrepresented — were even more challenging for Parker, and the result was an 0-5 night at the Raider 6-Way hosted by Orange Park on December 8 and an 0-7 weekend at the Yulee Duals on December 15-16. The Braves picked up their first dual wins at Harmony just before Christmas, going 2-6 at the Longhorn Christmas Duals, and competed in the inaugural 2A-District 3 duals tournament just after the new year. Parker struggled to find a win at its own Army Duals two-day tournament, going 0-8 there, but did perform more strongly in an IBT environment, tying for ninth at Gateway Conference on January 19-20. The Braves had two wins at their Parker Duals on January 27, going 2-3 on the day, and then finished in the top half at the Florida girls’ state tournament, hosted by Dr Phillips in Orlando, on February 2-3. Parker finished the regular season on a winning note, with two dual wins, and then took sixth at the 2A-District 3 traditional tournament it hosted, with a 19th-place finish at Region 1 and a top-half showing, behind one state placewinner, at states (41st out of 84 teams). The Braves are losing just one regular starter from last year’s team and have a substantial number of girls returning, so their chances to fare well at girls’ state are on the upswing.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2018-19 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Amber Goodbread (senior, 11-15 at 106, 0-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from regions); Catheryn Penn (junior, 3-6 at 113, 1 match from regions); Andrew Hodges (sophomore, 2-18 at 138, 1 match from regions); Danielle Farmer (senior, 10-22 at 145, 1-2 at girls’ state, 1 match from regions); Ashley Saddler (junior, 23-16 at 152, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Mina Gibson (sophomore, 5-15 at 152, 0-2 at girls’ state); Darius Farmer (junior, 13-26, 1 match from regions); Landon Dains (senior, 43-4 at 170, district champ, region runnerup, state 6th); Emily Mills (junior, 13-13 at 182/195, girls’ state 4th); Ben Sabella (senior, 22-17 at 195, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Evan Blackman (sophomore, 13-15 at 220, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Evan Jefferson (senior, 23-18 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jalicia Hooper (6-15 at 120/126, did not compete in post-season); Jason Reed (16-12 at 182, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions).
2017-18 MVP: Without question, junior Landon Dains was the Terry Parker MVP this past season. Competing for most of the season at 170, Dains was undefeated in the regular season, with IBT titles at Arlington Optimist and Gateway Conference along the way, going 4-0 at Orange Park, 7-0 at Yulee, at least 8-0 at the Longhorn Christmas Duals and 8-0 at Army Duals. He only missed the home Parker Duals date on January 27 during the course of the season, and picked up a pair of first-period falls in winning the 2A-District 3 traditional title at 170. It would take a multiple-time state placewinner, and fellow Matmen MVP for his team, to remove Dains from the list of the state’s unbeaten wrestlers, in the Region 1 championship match. However, Dains rallied at states for two Friday wins and reached the semifinals in Kissimmee. He did take three losses on Saturday, by a combined total of seven points, but, in reaching the state semis, Dains proved himself worthy of being listed among the state’s best wrestlers this coming year — at whatever weight he’ll compete.
2018-19 captain: Along with Dains truly breaking out at the statewide level, one of the stronger surprises this year was the emergence of Ashley Saddler as a capable #2 points option for the Braves this year. Saddler had some struggles midway through the season — his competition at Yulee Duals and Harmony’s Longhorn Christmas Duals probably had the most to do with it — but after a 7-9 start, Saddler won 13 of his next 17 matches to eclipse the 20-win barrier. He placed third at Arlington Optimist and fourth at Gateway, with his highest IBT finish of the season coming at the 2A-District 3 traditional tournament, where he was third after going six minutes with one of the area’s highest-ranked wrestlers in the opening round. Saddler had two falls at districts and also won his opening-round match at regions by fall. He’ll be another senior that should be relied upon for a solid 2018-19 season by the Brave coaching staff.
Heaton’s Hero: High school wrestling can be tough on a lot of inexperienced freshmen, and that toughness factor only goes up as the weight goes up. Freshman middleweight Andrew Hodges certainly saw that this past season, with all 18 of his contested matches winding up in losses by fall, and just two wins — and both of them by forfeit. The first of those was in his first appearance in the varsity lineup, against Atlantic Coast at the Raider 6-Way, and the second came in the last week of the season, in a dual. But Hodges kept battling, with several appearances at Yulee Duals, a couple at Harmony and at Army Duals, a starting gig at Gateway, and he finished the year in the lineup at districts. For that stick-to-it-iveness, Andrew Hodges is the Heaton’s Hero for Terry Parker.
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