By Courtney Combs
The intense moment when a wrestler takes the mat is nerve racking, but the chanting crowd calms everyone’s nerves. The athletes shake hands, get their minds straight, and begin their first meet of the season, the green and gold scrimmage.
“I’ve always thought that wrestling was an interesting sport, and I like how it not only is an individual sport but also a team sport,” said junior Jackson Cundiff.
The year is starting off just where it needs to be. The boys went through the grueling conditioning and then through tryouts, and now are on to tough practices. The team is using the new weightlifting coach, Donnie Gumble, to their advantage, and are working with him almost every practice.
“We did preseason training with Mr. Gumble and we’re working on becoming better athletes and more explosive,” said head coach Brandon Sisson.
The team is going on their 51st season and is hoping to take a 30th sectional title win this year. The boys are not feeling anxious about the sectionals win, but everyone can’t wait for state and they can’t wait to see how far they will make it. The team has returning state qualifiers, sophomore Gavin Alstott and Jonathan Kervin, which will put them in a good place for a hopeful run to state.
“Going to state is my main goal, and I think I will be able to place really high this year,” said junior Jonathan Kervin.
Hopes are high for each player as they are making the transition into developing new players after losing several seniors last season. Each player is expecting a lot from their other teammates and are expecting a lot to come from their coaches as well.
“I am expecting for us to do a lot better this season. We’ve been practicing super hard and we did a lot more on the off-season than we have before,” said sophomore Max Stenberg.
This year’s class of seniors will have to step up and lead by example for young athletes who are attempting to take their spots on the varsity roster. They work to challenge younger wrestlers as well as keeping their positions as top athletes on the team.
“I have a pretty good senior group this year. They aren’t the most vocal guys, but they come in and do what they are supposed to do, and that’s all a coach could really ask for,” said Sisson.
Senior Jackson Hussung is ready to take on the role and the responsibility of being a senior. This is his second year of playing varsity, so he knows what to expect and how to make his team come up on top.
“I know what is to come, and my confidence and skill are going to put us on the right path,” said Hussung.
The season is falling right into place as the boys are already participating in scrimmages against one another and beginning meets against other schools.
Junior Kobe Armes said, “The boys and I are ready for our first green and gold scrimmage to determine who is wrestling and who is not. We’re really excited to show people how far we can go this season.”