Season starts without key wrestlers due to football

Coming out of a great 2017-18 season for the Puma Wrestling team, they are ready to get back on the mats and brush up on their skills for the new season. After losing a few very talented and key wrestlers last season, the team is looking to fill their spots with new faces and new talent.

There are many seniors stepping up to the plate and they will be wrestling in the top spots, that is if they aren’t outperformed by any new faces within the program.

Head coach Darren Johnson said, “In football, coaches pick the lineup, well I don’t pick the lineup, they do. So there’s no complaining about why someone isn’t on varsity, it’s because they lost.”

The boys are always competing with one another, even when they are not preparing for meets. Johnson explained that only the top wrestlers are asked to compete in the meets and the team is constantly wrestling with each other in order to establish who is at the top.

However, when tryouts start, not all potential athletes are able to make it out due to other sports still being in season. With those sports still being in season, there are key athletes that haven’t even been able to showcase their growth from last season and their potential for the upcoming season.

After establishing who will be on the teams, the program gets a whole new wave of athletes that are finished with their football season and are now ready for the start of their wrestling seasons. Since they are forced to start their season after the other wrestlers they don’t have to go through the same tryout procedure as the rest of the athletes.

Johnson said, “It’s really simple for me because I just let them wrestle.”

Instead of the sprints, drills, push ups, and sit ups, the incoming athletes “try out” for the team simply by wrestling the other competitors that have already earned their spots in order to determine who will stay on varsity and who will be bumped down to JV.