By David Zheng
As the season nears, the men’s varsity wrestling team has been trying to determine spots on the team. According to wrestler and sophomore Jesse Hollander, the preseason is currently in session.
“As of now nothing is really set in stone yet,” Hollander said. “Varsity wrestlers will be determined during the season when wrestle-offs start.”
“Our first practice is not until Nov. 3,” said Assistant Coach Jeremy Stacy. “(Off-season conditioning) started Sep. 1, and they have been going three times a week until we start Monday, but they’ve been running, doing stairs and wrestling.”
According to Stacy, wrestle- offs are not until Nov. 19 and 22, because the team has not started practices yet.
In wrestling, there are 13 different weight classes and one person per class on varsity. Whoever does not make it onto a varsity weight class wrestles for the junior varsity team. Stacy said athletes will compete in an actual match against one another, or wrestle-off to determine varsity spots in each weight class. If there are more than two wrestlers in a class, there will be a tournament-style wrestle-off for that weight class.
The team trains in the preseason by running the cross-country course as if it were the actual sport. The wrestlers also drill in the wrestling room and lift in the weight room.
“From what I heard the pre-season practices are very intense,” Hollander said. “I’m on the football team so I can’t attend, but I think that we will just keep building on that and work even harder throughout the season.”
Stacy said that last year, two students (Chris Mascaro (‘08) and senior Will Mascaro) went to State, but took second at Sectional and lost at Regional.
“I would say that we were not pleased with our team’s performance. We ended a 14-year Sectional championship streak by losing to Westfield in the Sectional tournament,” he said. “We also should have won handedly at the Regional tournament, so we would like to get back to the Semi-State this year.”
Hollander said that the team lost in the first round out of four teams. “(In terms of winning) we were really expecting better (out of our team,” he said.
“I’d say we want more than two kids to the State tournament individually, as normally we have five to six,” Stacy said. “We’d like to get our numbers up (to see) who’s moving on there. I’d also say we’d like to get back as a team to the Semi-State which means we would like to win the Sectional and Regional (matches).”
The rankings have not yet been released, but Stacy said it is a good bet that Perry Meridian, Cathedral, Lawrence North and Mishawaka will be up there.
“Those are the big powerhouse wrestling schools, because they’re always in the top five.” Stacy said. “I think we’ve got several home matches this year. We would just like to get a little bit more fan support.”