On Zander, And An Easy Decision

This space has gone dark since Wednesday in respect to Zander Laurin’s family.


Today some time was taken to take some stock of Zander’s life, after expressing condolences for his loss to his family. The funeral home in Ponte Vedra Beach was packed with family and friends.

We saw Zander riding horses, surfing, cheesing for photos with his friends and family, occasionally (given most teenage boys, probably more than occasionally) napping. And wrestling.

An extended moment of wrestling gave particular pause, in which Zander was learning basic footwork — and, in Matmen’s preposterously limited technique knowledge, how to aggressively return to the mat in position to score — in what would be guessed as the Maritato family garage, with teammate/classmate/friend Rett serving as a sparring partner.

The philosophy of this site is, and has been, that everything that appears on it or in it is for the kids. And as is well-known by now, the site is currently — if less slowly than most might want — working to conclude its annual set of #TheSeason recaps.

Given that philosophy, it should be noted that I’ve never been fully comfortable with the Heaton’s Hero designation in those recaps. The thinking behind it was this: (most often) to spotlight a wrestler that would not usually reach the headlines or receive run in our in-season recaps. To highlight the work being done behind the scenes, even if the win/loss record didn’t fully reflect that body of work. That part of it remains.

But the name of the designation? Mixed feelings at best (we’ve said it in #TheSeason recaps, we’re not that creative).

Starting tomorrow, that designation will no longer be used.

With the permission of Zander’s mother, and borrowing from words she spoke to me in the receiving line today, the Heaton’s Hero for each team in the north Florida coverage area — a designation Zander earned himself in his freshman year — will, going forward for the future of the site, be designated as the Zander Laurin Warrior for that team.

That starts tomorrow.

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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One comment on “On Zander, And An Easy Decision
  1. Forrest Wheeler says:

    I have said for a long time , probably more than most, once you or a member of your family has stepped onto the mat you have joined a huge family, That was very apparent at Zander’s celebration as a large group of that Family was there in support of everyone. Shannon other coaches and members of the family sometimes we don’t know what affect we have on others. Thank you for everything this FAMILY does for each other

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