By David Zheng
This school’s varsity wrestling team is preparing for the Lawrence Central Invitational, which is scheduled for Nov. 29 at Lawrence Central at 9 a.m. Practices for the season started Nov. 3, and the team has been working on their technique and improving since then, according to Head Coach John Kopnisky.
“Right now we’re preparing for the season, not so much our opener,” Kopnisky said. “How we do at (Lawrence Central) is relative. We’re more concerned about the end of the season, so right now we’re just preparing for the State championship.” As Kopnisky said, the team has just been scheduling out, practicing technique and drilling in practice.
“We are practicing every day after school from 3:40 to 6 p.m. and are starting morning practices that go from 6:30 until 7:15 a.m.,” wrestler and sophomore James Frascella said. “Our team works extremely hard and our success shows when we step on the wrestling mat.”
“It’s the first competition, so everyone’s always excited,” Kopnisky said. “They want to get in there and they want to wrestle. It reminds them that they can’t just expect to go in there and wrestle everybody, because it’s still early in the season and you have to pace yourself.”
Last year in the Lawrence Central Invitational some of the teams that competed were Lawrence Central, Columbus North, Mount Vernon, Brownsburg, Carmel and Franklin Central, among others.
“This meet could boost our confidence and set us up for a very successful and eventful season,” Frascella said. “It was a great tournament last year. It was run well and we came out as a team in second place. This year we have a great shot at winning the tournament.”
However, some of the wrestlers might see wrestle-offs as their first competition, being only a week before the Lawrence Central Invitational. “They know (wrestle-offs) are coming,” Kopnisky said. “There’s guys on this team that know they want certain spots and are going to have to battle for it.”
Frascella agreed, but does not think wrestle-offs being so close to the invitational will affect how the team prepares for it. Frascella said, “People should be in the mindset already and treat wrestle-offs just like a regular tournament.”
“Our first competition is always a good gauge for our wrestlers to see how far they have come and how they feel starting the season,” Kopnisky said. “Whatever happens when we get up to Lawrence Central is fine, but our goal is long-term.”