Working hard, making champions

Working+hard%2C+making+champions

by Kinsey Phipps

“This season, I want to be a State champion. I want to see my team get better, and do what they should be able to,” sophomore Lucas Roland said.

The 2015-16 season brought numerous victories and downfalls for the Mustang wrestlers. The team battled with injury and illness throughout the winter, forcing their dual record to fall short of their goals. The ‘Stangs ended with a dual team record of 14-14.

Although duals fell short, victories were evident. Four PCM wrestlers dominated all the way to the State tournament at Wells Fargo Arena. Those wrestlers were senior Xavier Miller, sophomores Wes Cummings, Jarron Trausch and Roland. Roland was the only one of the four to feel the podium, placing seventh.

“It is early in the season but the four returning state qualifiers are showing leadership by working hard. Leevi Telfer is also working extremely hard the first week of practice,” Head Coach Cory Waddell said.

Senior Leevi Telfer was forced to forgo the 2015-16 wrestling season after suffering a major shoulder injury during the first dual of the year.

“I was disappointed because I couldn’t finish the season I had put in work for over the summer,” Telfer said. “I think it will effect my performance a bit because I missed out on practice last year, and I have to be careful of my shoulder.”

Although Telfer missed out on his junior season, that doesn’t effect his goals.

“My goals are to make the State tournament and stay healthy the whole season,” Telfer said. “I am going to work hard in practice and make sure I’m not pushing my shoulder too far.”

With six coaches, there is no shortage of expertise in the wrestling room. The coaches include Waddell, Assistant Coach Jim Oldham who is also in charge of the JV wrestlers, Junior High Coach Matt Hadsall, and three volunteer coaches including Matt Teeter, Jon Holdefer and Jeff Nicholson.

Waddell said, “You can never have too many coaches in the room. They all add different skill sets that help the team.”

The coaching staff is putting a big emphasis on hard work, having everyday practice after school as well as conditioning before school a couple times a week.

As with any team, hard work in practice typically translates to good performances in competition,” Waddell said. “We are instilling this in the team and they are responding by working hard in the mornings as well as after school practices.”

All of the hard work the team is putting in isn’t for nothing. The Mustang grapplers have some big goals this season that they’re working toward.

“Our team goals are to win the conference dual championship along with the conference tournament, finish top two in sectionals and qualify for the regional dual tournament,” Waddell said.

Come watch the Mustang grapplers wrestle their first matches of the season at the Dallas Center-Grimes High School Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 3. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m.