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 seventh installment from 2A-District 1, and 61st overall, is Crestview.
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 Bulldogs in 2018-19 here –> CRESTVIEW
Win/loss record: 6-7 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Bulldogs’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: Crestview had a difficult start at Capital City, in the second weekend of the season, taking 25th at that two-day IBT, with just one wrestler taking more than one victory. The Bulldogs rallied at Beast of the Beach, finishing 15th in that two-day duals tournament with a 5-4 record. That would take Crestview into January, with first competition at the 2A-District 1 dual team tournament, where the Bulldogs lost in the quarterfinals. Crestview took eighth at area rival Mosley’s two-day roundrobin, the Panhandle Championships, a few days later, and then finished 12th out of 19 teams at another area rival’s roundrobin, Wewahitchka’s Gator Brawl. The Bulldogs began the stretch run with a 14th-place finish at Wakulla’s one-day, 19-team tournament on the first Saturday in February, which closed their regular-season tournament schedule. Crestview was sixth at the 2A-District 1 traditional tournament and was 24th at Region 1. The Bulldogs could return as 10 starters with either post-season or significant regular-season experience, but Crestview is going to need some lighter-weight guys to come in and a stronger commitment to offseason work to make a push in the district chase.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Tyler Mason (junior, 10-22 at 126, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Jacob Allen (senior, 3-12 at 138, 0-2 at districts); Benjamin Gross (junior, 9-16 at 138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Malachi Santiago (junior, 20-18 at 145, district 3rd, 1-2 at regions); Rowan Gomez (junior, 8-25 at 152, 1 match from regions); Layne Franks (sophomore, 6-11 at 160, 1 match from regions); Luke Baker (senior, 8-11 at 170/182, did not compete in post-season traditionals); CJ Banks (junior, 8-11 at 182, 1 match from regions); Mathew Sharp (junior, 4-17 at 195, 1 match from regions); Kennard Madden (senior, 27-14 at 220, district champ, 1 match from states).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or prior/current post-season experience) from this year’s team: Javan Alto (13-14 at 113, 1 match from regions); Nathan Behr (4-19 at 120, 0-2 at districts); Karter Watson (24-19 at 132, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Weston Tew (6-4 at 285, district champ, 1 match from states).
2018-19 MVP: Rising senior Kennard Madden (220) gradually pushed to the forefront as Crestview’s strongest wrestler in 2018-19. Capital City was a rough start, but Madden was 7-2 at Beast of the Beach for the Bulldogs and 5-2 at Panhandle, placing third there. Madden added another 5-4 weekend at Gator Brawl, finishing fourth in that tournament, with his final two matches against eventual region champions. After that tournament, Madden would win 10 of his next 11 matches, with his only loss at Wakulla (for the second time, to a region champ). Madden pinned his way through the 2A-District 1 bracket and reached the semis at regions, where he fell one match short of state. Madden was the only Crestview wrestler to get to Saturday at Region 1, and should be favored to qualify out for states in 2020.
2019-20 captain: Rising junior Malachi Santiago got off to a slow start after Capital City and Beast of the Beach (1-5 through most of the first day at Beast), but then won four of his next five matches, and, after a loss in the dual team tournament quarters, would win six in a row at Panhandle, propelling Santiago into the tournament final. After dropping his first match to the tournament champ at Wakulla, Santiago reeled off three straight decisions on the back side to get back to fifth place. He lost to an eventual state qualifier and Matmen team MVP in the semis at districts, qualying out in fourth, with a win on the back side at Region 1.
Zander Laurin Warrior: May graduate Nathan Behr had just one victory by fall during his final season on the mats, with three other victories coming by forfeit and none after mid-January. But Behr was in the lineup at every tournament for the Bulldogs except for Gator Braw, attempting to score points for his team. He was 3-4 after the first day of Beast of the Beach, winning just one of his final 16 matches afterward. But that didn’t stop him from stepping on the line and giving it his best, and for that stick-to-it-iveness, Nathan Behr is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Crestview.
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