First Home Wrestling Match Sets Season Tone

Mo Heinger, Reporter

Commencing at 6:00pm in Manitou’s Jack Willie Gym, Thursday’s duel meet against Sand Creek set the tone for the season. With a majority of the team being returners to the high school program, the audience had an idea of what the evening would entail. The Sand Creek Scorpions outnumbered the Mustangs and, thusly, they forfeited more matches.

The evening started out with two JV matches before it transitioned to varsity. After each match, the wrestlers would shake the hand of the opposing coach, high five each member of their own team, change into sweats, and go through some agility workouts before returning to the bench to cheer on their teammates. At the end of the night, Mustangs Hunter Gilpin (9), Ceasar Sanchez (10), Noah Sobeck (11), Byrd McCarley (10) won by takedown. When asked about his thoughts before the match, McCarley said, “I’m kind of in a new weight class. I bumped up two since last year. 138 is a fairly hard weight class and, as far as it goes, I’m kind of small. My opponent looked a lot bigger than me, but I went in there knowing the basics and knowing how I wrestled. I kind of went in a both defensive and reactive. If you go in there just trying to plan too much ahead, you can get tunnel vision. I was just trying to react and pull out the [win].”

After the matches had concluded, many noticed a few changes in this year’s program and to the team itself. McCarley said, “We have three coaches this year. Two are new. I feel like a lot more technique is there…  For now, unless we get some more people to come out, we’re going to lose about every duel just because we have a lot less guys. The important thing is to win the matches that we do have. As long as we are winning our matches, the team points don’t really matter, in my opinion.”

This weekend, the Mustangs will have a bracket tournament at Fowler. This meet showed the team that they have done a lot with their preseason work, but they also still have some ground to cover.