The Rocket Flame

Pinning to the Top

Pinning+to+the+Top

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.

 

The World of Wrestling

Find out how James Buchanan wrestling team did the 2017-18 season and what the future holds for them.

The+official+proclaims+Logan+Miller+%289%29+winner+of+the+match.++

Hannah Kimmel

The official proclaims Logan Miller (9) winner of the match.

The wrestling season is coming to a close as the James Buchanan Varsity Wrestling team enters their championship season.

 

This season started out strong with eleven wrestlers; for nine of them, it was their first year on the Varsity Wrestling team. Many new faces brought a lot of hope to the wrestlers, and they wanted to win matches for the team. Although they didn’t have a winning season, the boys were closer as a team than last season.

 

“I feel like this team, this year, was a lot stronger and a lot more bonded than years in the past,” said Jaelin Carmak (12), the only senior and team captain. “Just as a team, in general, we bonded real well and I feel like that’s a bigger win than actually winning a dual meet.”

 

Even though they weren’t able to win any meets, there were a lot of individual wins for some of the wrestlers, which helped boost morale and spirit.

 

James Buchanan’s wrestling team is very young with only one senior leaving this year; many of the wrestlers will be coming back next year to continue where they left off. Carmak’s teammate, Hunter Smith (9), plans to return for the next season.

 

“We need more experience. We need more talent and wrestlers, have more people out there and join the team,” said Smith.

 

Smith believes these are the ingredients they will need for next season, especially with how young the team is. There were six freshmen wrestlers this year, making up over half of the team.

 

For what the team lacks in their numbers, they make up for in their dedication and focus.

 

“When you go out there on the mat, you wouldn’t think six minutes of wrestling is real hard, but you’re using every muscle out there,” Carmak said. “You use muscles you wouldn’t even think you would.”

 

To be able to wrestle even just six minutes on the mat requires hours of training at practices. The wrestler’s condition by running two miles every practice, then they do drills to better their coordination and flexibility. They also learn different moves, so they are able to pin the competition and live wrestling and doing their own moves.

 

Though the practices are tough and tiring the wrestlers love their sport. Carmak and Smith both agreed that the best part of the season were the bus rides to and from the matches. There, the boys would talk and relax. It bonded them closer as a team making them feel much like a family.

 

The Wrestling team has been through a long and grueling season, but they are all looking forward to competing in Sectionals, February 17, at Susquenita High School. From there if wrestlers place in the top three they move onto Districts.

 

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