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. We close out 2A-District 1, with our 65th overall recap completed, with Ft Walton Beach.
Each The Season post will have the same content as they’ve had for the past five seasons.
FT WALTON BEACH
You can see everything I have on the Vikings in 2018-19 here –> FT WALTON BEACH
Win/loss record: 22-10 in dual meets. Please review the attached document for a summary of the Vikings’ performance in IBT events.
Season in a nutshell: The Vikings opened the year at area rival South Walton’s Border Wars VI, placing 13th out of 20 teams at that two-day roundrobin/IBT-formatted event. Next up on the tournament schedule was a trip to district rival Gulf Breeze for its one-day duals tournament, at which FWBHS lost only to the hosts in a 3-1 day. The Vikings donned the host cap for two days for their annual Beast of the Beach two-day duals tournament (this past year at the high school instead of its traditional spot), placing 11th with a 5-4 record. That took Ft Walton Beach into the holidays; on the other side, the Vikings were 6-4 at area rival North Bay Haven’s two-day Bash duals tournament. Ft Walton Beach reached the semis of the 2A-District 1 dual team tournament, then made two incursions into Alabama in the middle of January. The Vikings were 11th at Thompson’s Southeastern Pools and then came back to take sixth at the 18-team Smiths Station Invitational. After a one-week break, Ft Walton Beach came back to the tournament trail well rested, finishing second out of 19 teams at Wakulla’s one-day IBT to kick off February, then won the Timberwolf Duals at Chiles to finish off the regular season. The Vikings continued their strong finish with a runnerup effort at the 2A-District 1 traditional tournament, coming back to place seventh at Region 1, with three state qualifiers. Ft Walton Beach then placed 40th at the state tournament in Kissimmee. The Vikings will be strong contenders again in 2019-20, with the possibility of as many as 15 wrestlers with post-season or significant regular-season experience, losing just one senior — albeit their most-decorated wrestler — to graduation.
Key returners (15+ matches this past season or post-season experience) for 2019-20 (with year in school as they’ll be next year): Reid Gannon (junior, 6-13 at 106, district 4th, 0-2 at regions); Brandon Mallin (junior, 35-22 at 120, district runnerup, region 4th, 1-2 at states); Weston Burbidge (junior, 34-17 at 126, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jarrod Hamilton (senior, 20-12 at 132, 1 match from regions); Maquis Muniz (sophomore, 10-9 at 132/138, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Canyon Dart (sophomore, 15-20 at 138, 1 match from regions); Martin Muniz (junior, 17-15 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Ismond Santiago (sophomore, 9-6 at 138/145, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Caleb Tourgee (junior, 28-13 at 152, district 4th, 1-2 at regions); Jean Maldonaldo (senior, 19-8 at 152, did not compete in post-season traditionals); Corban Ferguson (senior, 18-12 at 160, district 3rd, 2-2 at regions); Eddie Alexis (senior, 48-12 at 170, district champ, region 3rd, 0-2 at states); Kaleb Williams (junior, 41-18 at 182, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Patrick Adams (senior, 26-29 at 195, district 3rd, 1 match from states); Spencer Mackenzie (sophomore, 8-18 at 220, 1 match from regions).
Graduation losses (15+ matches this past season or prior/current post-season experience) from this year’s team: Carlos Bogan (43-8 at 145, district champ, region champ, 1 match from state medal).
2018-19 MVP: May graduate Carlos Bogan, second of his name (I guess, since I don’t use suffixes in-season, that they work here, once again using the popular cable TV show), was the Vikings’ leader all season after coming back to the team after a year at crosstown and district rival Choctaw. Bogan had a solid 7-2 record, placing fifth at Border Wars, and then pinned his way through Gulf Breeze. In a shortened appearance at Beast, Bogan was 4-1, and then reached the finals at Southeastern Pools, losing only to an Alabama unbeaten state champion there. Bogan picked off two more finals appearances, with seconds at both Smiths Station and at Wakulla. The loss at Wakulla was his last until states, as Bogan won 14 matches in a row, max-pointing through Timberwolf Duals and bonus-pointing through districts. He also pinned his way into the Region 1 final, with titles at both of the preliminary traditional series events prior to states. There, he was 2-2 and got to Saturday, with his two wins against either current or former Matmen-area wrestlers, with both of his losses coming against top-four kids on the Kissimmee podium.
2019-20 captain: As the season heated up, it became clear, at least to me, that Bogan would be passing the torch of leadership to rising senior Eddie Alexis, who had — among several solid kids in the lineup — the most stellar season among the Vikings that will be back for 2019-20 (and there are LOTS of solid kids from which to choose). Alexis was 4-3 at Border Wars, but then max-pointed through the Gulf Breeze day and went 8-1 at Beast, with a loss only to a Georgia state placer. Between Beast and Bash, Alexis built a 14-match win streak that was snapped only by a fellow Matmen team captain. Alexis then won another seven in a row, finishing fourth at Southeastern Pools, and max-pointed his way to a bracket title at Smiths Station. He took third at Wakulla and was 4-1 at Timberwolf Duals, with his only loss to a region rival and Matmen MVP. Alexis would pin his way through districts and went 4-1 to place third at Region 1. While his day was short at states, he was competitive in both of his losses and should be a favorite to podium in March.
Zander Laurin Warrior: It’s sometimes difficult for wrestlers — particularly if they’re pressed into duty and shine when they get the chance — to give way at crunch time, but that’s what rising senior Jean Maldonaldo faced this past season. Maldonaldo didn’t start the season at Border Wars, but was pressed into service as a starter due to some lineup shuffling at Gulf Breeze, with four wins, including two falls. He had a part-time appearance at Beast and didn’t compete at all at Bash, but was back in the lineup as a starter for the Alabama appearances, going 4-2 and placing ninth (closing out with 3 pins) at Southeastern Pools, then going 5-2 in a fourth-place effort at Smiths Station. Maldonaldo then placed third at Wakulla, with a 2-1 tournament, but gave way for the post-season series. We’ll hopefully see more from him in 2019-20, but for being patient after a solid regular season, Jean Maldonaldo is the Zander Laurin Warrior for Ft Walton Beach.
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