This Is The Hard Part

UPDATE FRIDAY MORNING: A candlelight vigil for Zander will begin at 7:30 p.m./sunset at Mickler Beach tonight (Friday).

Visitation for Zander will be held on Sunday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Valley, located at 4750 Palm Valley Rd. in PV. Funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. at Ponte Vedra Valley.



I have been given permission by Ponte Vedra head coach Josean Gonzalez to pass on to all of you that Sharks sophomore Zander Laurin passed away on Wednesday morning.

Laurin was running along A1A early Wednesday near Mickler’s Landing, when he was struck by a car that veered out of its lane and struck him from behind. The driver cooperated with authorities on the scene.

Zander was airlifted to UF Health in Jacksonville. He was an organ donor.


Zander was a two-year varsity starter for the Sharks, competing at 182 as a freshman and 170 this past season. Zander was the Heaton’s Hero for Ponte Vedra in 2018.

I had hoped to see him Saturday at Ponte Vedra’s carwash fundraiser. He was building homes that day with Habitat for Humanity, according to Coach Gonzalez.

According to reporting done locally shortly after the incident, Zander was a petty officer in the U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, and planned to join the military after graduation.

We will pass along details regarding arrangements made by Zander’s family as they are made available to us.

Zander had a servant’s heart and the soul of a warrior. I hope that you will join me in grieving Zander’s loss, and for his family, teammates and friends.

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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