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 29th installment for this season, and third from 2A-District 3, is Terry Parker.
Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past five seasons.
You can see everything I have on the Braves in 2018-19 here –> TERRY PARKER
Win/loss record: 23-25 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Braves’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: As will happen four later times in the season, Terry Parker’s season began at home with the Arlington Optimist Invitational, in which the Braves took eighth out of 15 teams. Next up was Orange Park’s Raider Six-Way Friday-afternoon dual tournament, at which Parker went 2-3. The Braves’ short-handed lineup — something it struggled with all season — took a hit at Yulee Duals just before Christmas, as Parker was 0-7 there. January began with a 2-1 Thursday-night warmup for the North Bay Haven Bash, where the Braves were 5-5 later in that first weekend. Parker was third at the inaugural 2A-District 3 team dual tournament, going 1-2 there, and followed that up with a 2-5 dual effort at the USMC Duals it hosted on the second weekend. At Gateway, the Braves were 11th out of 15 teams, and then hosted their last regular-season event of the season, the Parker Duals, at which they were 7-2 and placed third as a team. Parker was eighth at the inaugural Bell-Raulerson IBT at Sandalwood in the second weekend of February and its trio of girls at Dr Phillips was sufficient to place in the top third (31st out of 94 teams) at girls’ state. The Braves were fourth out of seven teams at the 2A-District 3 traditional tournament, and finished mid-pack at the Region 1 meet (14th out of 26 teams), with one state qualifier, who went on to medal and help Parker place 28th out of 71 teams at Osceola. Terry Parker will return nine starters with either post-season or significant regular-season experience, with a couple more returners right on the doorstep of the 15-match threshold, but the Braves are going to need to find some lower-weight wrestlers in 2019-20.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Tijuan Boyance (senior, 13-14 at 145, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Tazia Bates (sophomore, 9-17 at 145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Lonnie Sanders (senior, 25-18 at 152, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Darius Farmer (senior, 14-3 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ashley Saddler (senior, 39-15 at 160, district champ, 2-2 at regions); Andrew Hodges (junior, 10-15 at 160, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Emily Mills (senior, 27-23 at 195, girls’ state 5th, 1 match from regions); Marquis Walton (senior, 2-5 at 285, district 3rd, 0-2 at regions); Evan Jefferson (junior, 33-10 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: Amber Goodbread (17-37 at 106/113, 0-2 at girls’ state at 106, district 3rd at 113, 1-2 at regions); Danielle Farmer (13-22 at 138, 1 match from girls’ state medal, 1 match from regions); Estaban Lenhardt (17-20 at 170, 1 match from regions); Landon Dains (67-2 at 182, district champ, region champ, state 3rd); Ben Sabella (27-7 at 220, district runnerup, 2-2 at regions).
2018-19 MVP: Soon-to-graduate (tomorrow, by my count) Landon Dains was not only unquestionably the Braves’ most valuable wrestler in 2018-19, but also arguably has been Terry Parker’s best wrestler in the modern era, certainly since inception of the Matmen site. Dains ran the table from the beginning until states weekend, with regular-season titles at Arlington Optimist, Gateway and Bell-Raulerson. Dains had 26 pins and an incredible 18 tech falls during the course of the year, and was, I believe, the last wrestler in the coverage area to lose a match, which came Friday late afternoon at states in the quarterfinals against the eventual runnerup. Dains took a second loss against a former state champion in the consi semis, but finishing fifth — against the competition in the state field — was a major accomplishment. What his impact is on the Parker program, however, is the bigger accomplishment. Surely he’ll be wrestling at the #NextLevel, but I haven’t seen a signing photo.
2019-20 captain: Rising senior Ashley Saddler will have big shoes to fill in Dains’ absence, but he showed himself to be solidly capable this past year, with 39 wins of his own, including a 12-match win streak between Yulee Duals and North Bay Haven Bash. Saddler had another 13-match win streak that started at the end of January and didn’t end until the quarters at regions. During that stretch, he was 5-0 at Parker Duals in a part-time role and won the district title at 160. He got to Saturday at regions, the only other Brave at Chiles to do so besides Dains, and that experience is going to be big, particularly with what hopefully will be a team with several new faces next year.
Zander Laurin Warrior: Rising senior Emily Mills faced a host of competitors with significant strength advantages while competing at 220 and, later, 195, during the course of the season for the Braves. Until the final week of the regular season, all of Mills’ wins came against other girls or by forfeit. Meanwhile, only one of her losses — 19 prior to girls’ state — had been against a girl. Nevertheless, the experience of taking lumps against the guys in the regular season paid dividends at girls’ state, as Mills won three of her five matches, with the two losses coming by a combined total of five points, to place fifth overall. That willingness to undergo regular-season pain to get the end-of-year medal is what makes Emily Mills the Zander Laurin Warrior for Terry Parker.
Find us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen. We want your 2019-20 schedules. Head coaches can email them to my work email.
We’re EXPANDING in South Georgia! Check out our affiliated site at http://sgamatmen.wordpress.com
Please support our independent journalism!