The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

The student online newsmagazine of SHS

The Journal Rewired

Pinning down success

Girls wrestling team finishes out season with many team and individual wins
Junior AvaLyn Mosconi prepares to wrestle her opponent at the state tournament on Friday, Jan. 12. (photo contributed by AvaLyn Mosconi)

Relief washed over junior AvaLyn Mosconi as she pinned her opponent to the ground. This was what she had spent the last few months training for, even pushing through an injury to get to this moment. She had told everyone around her that she would make it. And she had.

Although she had pinned her opponent in every match she had wrestled that night, this pin was the one that would make her a state champion.

“Honestly, it was a huge relief and just a whole lot of joy,” Mosconi said.

But it wasn’t just Mosconi who had success this season. As a whole, the girls wrestling team fought all their way to state, earning multiple titles both as a team and individually along the way.

The Cards encountered their first win at the Regional tournament, scoring first place as a team, with senior Gelissa Reginald, junior Kyla Johnson and Mosconi placing first as individuals in their weight class. Nine wrestlers moved on to Semi-State, in which the Cards scored another win with the same three individuals placing first.

With seven Cards representing the team at the State tournament, they emerged with the title of Team State Runner Up, losing only to New Haven High School. Although they placed second as a team, Mosconi came out of the competition as a state champion.

Senior Gelissa Reginald flips her teammate during wrestling practice on Thursday, Jan. 11. The next day, the team competed in the state tournament, placing second in the state. (Darcy Leber)

“They came together enough to blow the competition away,” head coach Albert Skinner said.

Even though they encountered huge success this season, the team faced disappointment as they fell short of their goal of winning the state tournament. Like any season, there were adversities, with athletes facing injuries and tough draws, meaning they sometimes did not compete against who they wished. These adversities resulted in some athletes falling short of what they wanted to achieve.

This is hard to watch, Skinner says. But, even though they may not have met their goals, he believes each athlete worked incredibly hard this season and achieved great things.

“We as a wrestling team, it’s bittersweet for us,” Skinner said. “But from the outside looking in, we’re the second-best team in the state of Indiana by far. That’s kind of a big deal.”

Some of these adversities are a result of the difference in this season from past seasons. A new assistant coach, Sarah Tellechea, coming in required a mixing of styles and norms within the program.

Still, the team was able to come together and put in the work to achieve their goals.

“They had to really figure out how to be a team before we could start moving forward,” Skinner said. “So, it (took) kind of a little bit more time to get the ball rolling, but once it was rolling, I can’t say that we didn’t accomplish everything that we could have.”

Although the girls might have been the ones wrestling, Mosconi credits Skinner for pushing them to succeed. The reason they got to where they were was because of him, she says, and their desire to make him proud.

“There were days when I didn’t want to come into practice, or I felt like I wasn’t good enough to compare to some of these girls, but every single day Skinner would be the one pushing everybody,” Mosconi said.

With all they achieved this season, Mosconi hopes the team is able to keep its legacy going in the future, growing the team and sport at SHS. The Cards’ next goal is to win a state title.

Members of the team smile together after winning Team State Runner Up at the state tournament. (photo from the Southport Cardinals Wrestling Instagram page)

According to Skinner, their big goal of winning the state tournament sets other smaller goals in place. One of these goals is continuing to improve through offseason training into next season.

While most of the team’s athletes are currently taking time off, they will soon be ready to prepare for next year. Their capability of success, Skinner says, comes down to the work an athlete is willing to put in on a day-to-day basis.

“Next year started yesterday,” Skinner said. “If we’re gonna win (a state title), that started yesterday. How are you going to get better?”

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About the Contributor
Ava Campbell
Ava Campbell, Sports Editor
Hi! I’m Ava, and I’m the Sports Editor for The Journal. Last year, I was a feature writer. While I definitely enjoyed my time there, I’m excited to move up in the ranks and take this new opportunity! A little bit about me: I run cross country and track for SHS, and I’ve been running since I was a little kid. Before I got into running, I did cheerleading and basketball. Aside from my athletic pursuits, I like to spend my time reading, baking and painting. I really got into acrylic painting this year, and along with baking, it’s a stress reliever for me. The main source of my stress is school, of course, but I am also a parent to two guinea pigs who, quite literally, keep me up at night. I am a lover of musicals, which naturally means my guinea pigs’ names are Hamilton and Lafayette. Pro tip: if you never want me to shut up, ask me what I think about the lyric changes between each production of Hadestown. Rants aside, I hope you find what we produce interesting. Go check it out!

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