Pre-Season Wrestling

At Apopka, there are many sports that you can take part in, and one of those is the sport of wrestling. The Blue and White interviewed Coach Beaubrun and Coach McMillian for their respective sides of Wrestling. We also interviewed four wrestlers who are trying their best to get ready for this upcoming season.

The Blue and White interviewed Coach Junior Beaubrun. Coach Beaubrun coaches the Boys’ Wrestling team and has many great goals for this season. When asked about those goals, Coach Beaubrun said that “My goals for the team are: 1. striving for all of my wrestlers to get over 3.0 GPA because they are more than just athletes. They are students first, and athletes second. Building strong, good, respectful young men. 2. To go to states as a team to compete for the Team States Championship! 3. Win Districts, Metro, [and] Regions as a team, want to qualify 6-8 wrestlers for IBT States! 4. Bring back Apopka’s first individual State Champion!!!!” All coaches have a reason for why they want to coach their teams. We asked Coach Beaubrun, why he wanted to coach wrestling, and he responded, “I wrestled in Middle School and for one of the best wrestling High Schools in the state of Florida, South Dade Sr. under the instruction of Coach Balmeceda and Coach Duck. I have been coaching and training the Apopka Darters wrestling team for 3 years. This will be my 4th year in which I am now leading the Apopka Darters.” Practice makes perfect, and this is no understatement for sports teams, which is why we asked Coach Beaubrun, If there anything is anything he wants his team to work on before the season starts? He told us, “One thing that I am big about is their mindsets. I believe that it starts with one’s mindset before anything else. If you do not believe in yourself, who will? Wrestling is a sport that plays no favorites. Short, skinny, tall, shape, and size or disability [are] never a factor, unlike other sports. What matters in wrestling is the heart of the athlete! Wrestling builds leadership, integrity, discipline, toughness, and life skills that they can utilize in their adult life.”

Next, we move on to Sophomore Deacon Robinson, one of the wrestlers here at Apopka. The Blue and White asked Deacon, what he enjoys most about wrestling, and Deacon said, “The time and mindset you have to be in. It’s a lot of hard work but if you stick to it you’ll be great.” His hopes for this season are, “I want to win states and possibly get a 6 pack. Wrestling is an endurance sport and it takes a lot of work and time.” The last question we asked Deacon was why he decided to join wrestling, and he said, “I picked up wrestling so [that] I had something to do for the off-season of football that would keep me in shape.”

Another student we interviewed was Freshman Tyler Brown. When asked what he enjoys so far about wrestling, Tyler says, “What I enjoy about wrestling the most so far is the teamwork and community that we have.” He also goes on to state, “My goals for the season are to take home as many wins for my team as possible.” The last question we asked Tyler, was why he wanted to join the wrestling team. He stated that he decided to pick up wrestling because, “My parents wanted me to join a sport, [and] now I’m staying with it because I feel better about myself, and because of all the friends I’ve made there.”

We now move on to Sophomore Ashton [Ash] Willis. When discussing what his hopes for this season are, and what he enjoys so far about this season he states, “My hopes for the season is to win. There is nothing that can possibly hold me back but myself, and I am not going to bring myself down for any reason…I enjoy the mindset wrestling can give me, wrestling will teach you things that will be very important for later in life. It can make a new person out of anybody if they just apply themselves and the people [around them.]” Ash told us why he decided to pick up wrestling, and he said that he originally “Picked up wrestling because I knew that I could improve myself [both] mentally and physically by joining, but I stuck with it because it was an amazing challenge and it overall improved my everyday life.

The last student we interviewed was Sophomore Haziel Armendariz. We asked Haziel what he enjoys the most about wrestling so far and what his hopes for the season are, Haziel told us, “What I enjoy [most] about wrestling is [that both me and my teammates] work day in and out to be the best. [We] always push each other to be better than the day before, putting in the hard work with all of our efforts, blood, sweat, and tears. [There] is nothing I would ever trade my team out for, they are my family…This season being my first, [means] I have a lot of shoes to fill in from the past members and the expectations of my coaches to exceed. But [even though] this year I’m new, I’m coming for everything. My goal is to be the best and surpass my captain [at] where he failed and become the state champion.” We finished off our questions with why he wanted to pick up wrestling as his sport and he told us that he, “Didn’t really choose wrestling. It was more of an invitation that one of my close friends gave me last year. Of course, I took him up on the offer and went to the conditionings and training sessions with him. Then throughout the majority of the summer, my coach saw that I had a talent for the sport [and] then one thing lead to another and I fell in love with it. The adrenaline it gives you, [that] exciting rush of every match, and the hard work you need to put in to be the best of it all.”

The Blue and White also interviewed the Girl’s Wrestling Coach, Bruce McMillian. We asked Coach McMillian what his goals for his team are this season along with if there are any goals he wants his team to work on before the season, and he told us that the goal of his wrestling team is to “Get as many state qualifiers as possible and to become state champion or state place winner. By placing in the top four in the district, one advances to the regional championship, and you then must be among the top four in order to reach the state championship. With three returning place winners from last year, the young ladies’ minds are set on doing better this year, and possibly becoming a state champion. They are Jada Jones, who placed third, Nehemie Gregorie [who] placed 5th, Shelby Sherman [who] placed 6th, and Samantha Sherman hoping to join that group among newcomers.” Then he proceeded to state, “In 2022, I was selected Metro Conference Coach of the Year for the girl’s wrestling team because of the success at the state championships. The ladies that are mentioned above are returning wrestlers, so I don’t know quite who the makeup of the team is at this time. The ladies will need to work on their endurance, repetition, physical and mental stamina.” For the last question, we asked Coach McMillian why he wanted to coach wrestling. He told us that, “I was approached by a coach teacher at Howard Junior High School in 1984 that was retiring from the sport, and became the wrestling coach for the boys. I arrived [at] Apopka in 1985, and I’ve been coaching the sport ever since. When Apopka won the 1987 Regional Championship, I was the coach for the boy’s wrestling team. For over 20 years I had been the head coach for the boys’ team, and we had been very successful, with state qualifiers every year. 2021-22, was the first year Florida High School Athletic Association was sanctioned for the girl’s wrestling team.”

As you can see, Wrestling is a sport for everyone, no matter who you are. Wrestling can be a great sport to express yourself and also work on yourself at the same time. If you wish to support the wrestlers here at Apopka, the schedule will be below.

November 7, 2022 Monday First day of practice Apopka 6:30 pm

November 19, 2022 Saturday Wrestle for Hunger Edgewater 8:00 am

December 13th, 2022 Tuesday Boys/Girls Varsity(JV) Lake Brantley TBD

December 16-17, 2022 Friday-Saturday Bill Scott Memorial Lyman 11:30 am

December 22, 2022 Thursday Hammer Invitational Oakleaf 6:00 am

January 3, 2023 Tuesday FHSAA 3A District Duals Apopka 8:00 am

January 6-7, 2023 Friday-Saturday Cradle Cancer Jensen Beach 7:00 am

January 10, 2023 Tuesday JV-Varisty Ocoee 3:00 pm

January 12-13, 2023 Thursday-Friday Regional Duals Timber Creek TBD

January 14, 2023 Saturday Ed Kilpatrick Citrus 6:00 am

January 18, 2023 Wednesday West orange dual West orange TBD

January 20-21, 2023 Friday-Saturday Rob Hermann Duals Citrus Noon

January 27-28, 2023 Friday-Saturday Rotary Tournament Flagler Palm 11:00 am

February 2, 2023 Thursday Senior Night Apopka 5:00 pm

February 3-4, 2023 Friday-Saturday Metro Freedom 8:00 am

February 11, 2023 Saturday Ocoee Mat Classic Ocoee 7:00 am


February 18, 2023 Saturday FHSAA 3A District 4 IBT TBD TBD

February 24-25, 2023 Friday-Saturday FHSAA 3A Region 1 IBT Flagler palm TBD

March 2-4, 2023 Thursday-Saturday FHSAA States IBT Silver Spurs Arena TBD