Pinning to the Top

Julia Trei, Staff

On Feb. 21 and 22, five of the James Buchanan wrestlers went on to compete in Districts at Susquenita High School. These wrestlers included Shaun Reed (12), Hunter Smith (11), Logan Miller (11), Nathan Brake (9), and Hayden Shirk (9). 

Then, on Feb. 28th and 29th, Hayden Shirk participated in the second round of Districts. Shirk previously won his two matches the weekend before, leading him to Regionals.

Sending five boys to compete in this tournament and then a freshman making it to the second round was a huge improvement upon last year.

Making the podium, Shirk places 5th overall.

“We’re used to having three or four boys on the team, and this year we were able to put 12 on the mat,” said Coach Derek Straley.

Shirk and the other wrestlers have been in the mat room every day after school, practicing and watching their weight as that is a key factor in their performance. Even after all the winter sports were over, the boys continued to work every day.

Wrestling at practice, Hayden Shirk (9) prepares for Districts.

Reed, Smith, Miller, and Brake all were defeated in the first rounds in their weight class. However, Shirk went 4-2 and is continuing onto Regionals.  A big accomplishment for him over the weekend, was beating a senior he lost to two weeks ago at sectionals. 

“The main thing is getting out on bottom and taking and finishing the shots as well,” said Shirk.

He worked on techniques and improving his tactics for Regionals. Even though the other four boys did not progress past the first round of Districts, all of them continued to go to practice to keep working and prepare for next season. 

Shirk lost both matches during Regionals. This ended his wrestling for the season, but it was a successful season.

“Districts and Regionals went well but next year I hope to go farther in the rounds,” said Shirk.

All boys and coaches will be working to put all the wrestlers in Districts. With having much more District-qualifiers this year, they’re aiming for some boys to also make it to states.