Wrestling team takes down opponents, jitters

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By Matt Birkholtz

The wrestling program is nearing the end of their first season and some of the wrestlers will get a chance to qualify for state after the regional meet Feb. 11 and 12 at Walton-Verona High School.

First-year head coach Matt Shearer has his wrestlers practicing moves to get them to state.

“We have been doing a lot of wrestling and doing conditioning to improve their stamina to do more matches in one day,” he said. “Trying to work with them on refining their moves and focus on their weaknesses and improve on their strengths. At this time it is too late to show them any new moves.”

Moves that the Braves are working on that can be translated into high percentage takedowns would be like single-leg and double-leg.

According to an article published on ezinearticles.com, a single-leg takedown is a move where the wrestler will reach for their opponent’s leg and pulls it towards their chest. Once that has been accomplished, the wrestler will turn the leg to force the opponent to the mat. A double leg takedown is the same move as the single, but you are grabbing both of the legs.

Shearer said he wants his wrestlers to avoid the low percentage takedowns like a headlock, where it will be more like a throw and doesn’t allow you to pin the opponent.

Junior Damien Lucas, a captain for the Braves, said that the team is looking good going into the tournament this weekend.

“This doesn’t look like a first-year program,” he said. “We have grown huge leaps in the last couple of months and I think this year is still a growth year and that we will be stronger next season with a year of experience.”

The team has a record of 5-11 going into the regional meet and Lucas said he feels like he can make it to the state meet.

“There is a good chance, but anything is possible,” he said.

Lucas, who transferred from Ryle High School, had a year off between wrestling seasons and said that coach Shearer has been a good coach for the wrestling program at GCHS.

“He has been great about handling the stress for the team,” Lucas said. “Next year will definitely be a better year.”

With the meet going from a single-day to a two-day meet, Shearer and Lucas both agree it will help this program execute on the mats.

“It will be nice to have the regional meet split up so that the wrestlers get their rest,” Shearer said.

Shearer expects his wrestlers to do well and his tip for them is to start at the basics.

“If you can capitalize on the basics, and you’re good at them, how can anyone stop them if you’re perfect,” he said.

At the time of press, the price of admission was still being determined. Log on to www.grantky.com for ticket price information. First day weigh in takes place at 4:30 p.m. with the first match set for 5:30 p.m.

The second day weigh is 8 a.m. with the first match set for approximately 9 a.m.