1…2…3 smacks on a mat and the blow of a whistle signifies the completion of a match. The SHS wrestlers can only hope this year that when the whistle blows, they aren’t the ones pinned to the mat and suffering six points to the other team.
The wrestling team ended last season finishing eighth of eight in the Conference Indiana Wrestling Tournament. The team is looking to the same wrestlers who are now sophomores and more experienced to compete, according to head coach, Mr. David Walpole.
The wrestling team will be starting this season dependent on their largest class, the sophomores, for leadership and solidity according to Walpole. Despite the youth and inexperience of the majority of the team, Walpole says that he believes his team is ready to compete this season.
“Although we are young, I believe we will be hungry and ready to go for our first meet next week,” Walpole said in an email to the Journal Rewired. “I am looking forward to a great year from the guys.”
Out of the 23 rostered wrestlers, 15 of them are sophomores.
In addition to the sophomores this season, there is also a new batch of freshmen wrestlers joining the team. According to Ping, the sophomores are setting a defining example of what it takes to wrestle at the high school level.
“We need to be leaders because they’re small,” Ping said. “There’s only a handful of them. We’ve got to step it up for (the freshmen).”
Ping says that he believes despite the freshmen’s inexperience at the high school level that they have enough talent to compete.
The small age gap of the SHS wrestlers has allowed them to develop a valuable team bond. Ping says competing on such a young team has allowed the wrestlers to develop something like a brotherhood among them.
“They’re all my brothers,” Ping said. “Wrestling is the best because it’s one of those things that you go through so much with everybody. When you’re in there fighting everyday as hard as you can go, you get a bond going no matter what.”
The SHS wrestlers begin their season on Nov. 19 against Decatur Central at SHS at 6:00 p.m.