#TheSeason2018-19: Leon

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 first installment for Round 4 (31st overall), the fourth from 2A-District 2, is Leon.

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

LEON

LEON LOGO

You can see everything I have on the Lions in 2018-19 here –>  LEON

Win/loss record: 3-4 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Lions’ performance in IBT events.

Season in a nutshell: The Lions opened the season with a pair of in-town tournaments, taking eighth out of 10 teams at Florida High’s round-robin Cam Brown Seminole Classic and then finishing T-23rd at Chiles’ Capital City Classic IBT in mid-December. Leon was then off the competitive mats for a month, returning in the third week of January with a midweek dual and 13th-place team finish at Lincoln’s Trojan Invitational. We didn’t get results from their trip to Cairo GA for the Syrupmaker Invitational, unfortunately, even with Cairo being an area team on our affiliated Georgia site. The Lions were 17th at Wakulla’s one-day IBT in early February, and wrapped up their regular-season tournament schedule with a sixth-place team finish at Chiles’ one-day dual tournament, the Timberwolf Duals. Leon took fourth at the 2A-District 2 traditional tournament and was 17th at Region 1 over at Chiles, with one state qualifier. That qualifier can return in 2019-20, along with most of the Leon starting lineup. The Lions only lose two starters to graduation, but will need a lot more numbers — particularly in the uppers — to make more inroads in the district race.

Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Lukas McKinney (junior, 12-11 at 113, district runnerup, 1-2 at regions); Alex Crago (junior, 6-12 at 120, 1 match from regions); Derek Holloman (senior, 4-7 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Cole Dalton (senior, 6-10 at 138, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Ethan Eudy (senior, 24-12 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Tramia Dillard (junior, 3-5 at 152, 1 match from regions); Josh Seabrooks (junior, 220, district champ, region 3rd).

Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or prior/current post-season experience) from this year’s team: Jaquenez Madison (24-8 at 160, district runnerup, did not compete at regions); Jalani Stockton (20-13 at 170, district 4th, 1-2 at regions).

2018-19 MVP: We didn’t get to see a full season out of rising junior Josh Seabrooks, but what we saw was full of promise. He got off to a slow start, with a 2-2 weekend at Capital City, and then didn’t return until February and the Wakulla IBT, where he placed sixth; he also put in a 3-1 day at Timberwolf Duals. But the regular season really was just practice for Seabrooks, who was Leon’s only district champion and only state qualifier. His only loss, in placing third at regions, was to the eventual champ. Seabrooks had a quick state tournament, but his opponents had tons of experience and a combined total of 91 wins.

2019-20 captain: Rising senior Ethan Eudy has the most returning experience among the Lions with eligibility to return next year. Eudy was tied for the Leon team lead in victories this past season, with .500 or better performances at every tournament. He was third at Cam Brown and would go on to take third in a solid district field. With sufficient off-season work, Eudy could be a threat to qualify for states in 2019-20.

Zander Laurin Warrior: Rising senior Cole Dalton didn’t enter the lineup until mid-January, and that was a midweek dual, but then didn’t return to the lineup until Timberwolf Duals. At that tournament, Dalton made a solid contribution with three victories, two of them contested. Given his relative lack of experience, he would have faced an uphill battle to get out of the district tournament, but he pushed his way out of the consi side of the draw with a key blood-round victory to extend his season for another week. For finding the way to win despite the odds, Cole Dalton is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Leon.

Find us on Facebook at North Florida Matmen or on Twitter at @NorthFLAMatmen. We want your schedules for the 2019-20 season. Head coaches can email them to our work email.

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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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