Wrestling strives for success from a young team

By Nathaniel Allen — This past Friday the wrestling team had their last dual meet against the Hoover Vikings before the pursuit of their post season begins. Through a tough season the team has achieved some of the goals but also still has the opportunity to succeed their post-season goals.

“We are close to our goals because the student-athletes have made a commitment to improving, not afraid of hard work and conditioning, and have not allowed distractions to hinder our focus for the most part of the year,” Coach Marcus Lambdin said.

One of the teams goals was to have a 10 win season which the team did end up ending with an 11-8 record. This was one of the many goals the team had achieved throughout the season but one of the factors for the team this year was a lack of returning athletes.

“Loss of guys who decided not to wrestle for any number of reasons has shaped us into the team that we are,” Lambdin said. “I would not change it as this point in the season even if I could.”

Even though the team is smaller than in previous years, the wrestlers on it now are all committed to the success of the team. Through this road bump many of the underclassmen have stepped up into important roles that are normally filled by upperclassmen.

“We only have three seniors this year so we are a very young team,” senior Ryan Walker said. “The freshmen and sophomores have really stepped up for us.”

Considering that the majority of the wrestlers are younger allows hope for continuing a successful team in the future. With the post-season coming around the corner there is hope that many of the younger wrestlers make it to districts. Wrestling in districts will give them good experience that they can use in future years on the team. The main goal of the team in the postseason though is to compete in the state tournament.

For both senior Ryan Walker and freshman Bryce Daniels the goal is to be competing at the state meet.

“The goal is to be at the state tournament,” Daniels said.

The state tournament is held at the end of the month of Feb. For many of the wrestlers goals to be at the state meet they must make it into a specific weight class for the goal to happen. If the wrestlers are able to achieve their weight classes then the chances of the goal for the team to make it to the state tournament are possible.

“This team has come farther in one year than any other team I have coached in college or high school,” coach Lambdin said. “Many times as a coach, we look at the results of scores when we really need to look at the character of our team.”

The wrestling team has surpassed much adversity this year which has enabled them to be a committed team to the goals they have set. With the post season rolling around they hope to continue their success for the rest of this season and also into next years team.

[Updated Aug. 7, 2017: This article has been reformatted for consistency.]