#TheSeason2018-19: Fernandina Beach

Welcome back to our annual series of season wrap-up posts, which we cleverly titled as “The Season (2018-19),” because we’re creative like that. Your donation dollars at work, folks.

Teams are being selected on a random basis. Our 12th installment for this season, and second from 1A-District 3, is Fernandina Beach.

Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past five seasons.

FERNANDINA BEACH

FERNANDINA BEACH LOGO

You can see everything I have on the Pirates in 2018-19 here –>  FERNANDINA BEACH

Win/loss record: 10-18 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Pirates’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: The Pirates had a numbers issue (unsurprising for a program with a first-year coach), but almost everyone that was in the Fernandina lineup performed pretty solidly. They were 10th at Terry Parker’s Optimist Invitational and took third at County a week before Christmas, going 3-4 at the two-day Yulee Duals. Fernandina opened January with an 0-2 performance at 1A-District 3 duals and were seventh at Yulee’s Battle of the Border IBT. While the Pirates finished midpack at the Parker Duals, in each of Fernandina’s four dual wins the Pirates won nearly every contested match. The Pirates were fourth at Westside’s eight-team roundrobin and finished seventh at the Bell-Raulerson IBT to largely wrap up the regular season. Fernandina’s best finish might have been its fourth at the 1A-District 3 traditional tournament, and the Pirates were in the top half at regions, with two state qualifiers, one of them returning.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Jeremy Mahoney (junior, 37-7 at 113, district champ, region runnerup, 0-2 at states); Bryce Bourqain (junior, 10-19 at 126, 1 match from regions); Jeremiah Giedrys (senior, 28-19 at 152, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions); Kolby Kidd (junior, 7-16 at 285, 1 match from regions); Samuel Loper (sophomore, 10-11 at 285, did not compete in post-season traditionals).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) from this year’s team: Zhane Funchess (24-18 at 160, 1 match from regions); Nathan Manning (30-9 at 182, district champ, region 4th, 0-2 at states); Uriah Giedrys (35-11 at 195, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Robbie Elefterion (35-13 at 220, district 3rd, 1 match from states).

2018-19 MVP: Senior Nathan Manning, when he was in the lineup, was the glue in the Pirates’ lineup in 2018-19. Manning got off to a slow start at Arlington Optimist, but then won nine matches in a row after that and 17 of 18, with a title at Yulee’s Battle on the Border. After a loss to a 2A state placewinner at Parker Duals, Manning won nine of his next 10 matches, which included one of the Pirates’ two district titles. Still, though, he missed all of Fernandina’s February regular-season dates, and that might have made his path trickier at regions, where he lost one contested match and took fourth overall. His opening-round draw did him no favors, but Manning was still able to make the Show for the Pirates.

2019-20 captain: Sophomore Jeremy Mahoney was certainly Fernandina’s best wrestler throughout the season, a year that included 25 consecutive wins from Mahoney’s third-place match at Battle of the Border in mid-January all the way up to the region final in early March. During that stretch, Mahoney had 15 pins and 21 max-point victories. Two of his regular-season losses were at Battle, to a Camden wrestler, and the other two came early, one at Optimist and one at County. At regions, Mahoney went 7-2 with the eventual state runnerup, and he had Fernandina’s lone state victory. A two-time district champion, Mahoney will be the Pirates’ team leader on the mats next season.

Heaton’s Hero: With a lineup opening at 220, sophomore Kolby Kidd was called upon to fill in that space in December. Kidd then dropped down to 195 and into a backup role, largely, but got one starting assignment at Bell-Raulerson when the starting 195 took a shot at 182 in Manning’s absence. With seniors at each spot from 182 through 220, Kidd’s season could have been over, but he won the varsity spot at 285 and got a chance to get a taste of the post-season. He lost to a pair of region qualifiers, but the experience will be very valuable next year, when all those seniors will have moved on. For his team-player attitude throughout the year, Kolby Kidd is the Heaton’s Hero for Fernandina Beach.

Find us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen.

Who’s next up on #TheSeason in South Georgia? Check out our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com

Please support our independent journalism by going here and donating to our website: https://www.gofundme.com/north-florida-matmen

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I covered wrestling for 15 years up north and "retired" in both 1992 and again in 2011. But I couldn't stay away. Started Northeast Florida Matmen in 2013, Northwest Florida Matmen in 2015. We combined those sites into North Florida Matmen in the summer of 2018. And, we've started South Georgia Matmen in November of 2018. Our work is never paywalled, our content is searchable for all time. We're here because the kids keep lacing 'em up, so we'll keep writing 'em up.

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