The wrestlers step on the mat from opposite ends and put their lead foot on the starting line. Both slightly crouch, arms near their waist level ready to jump into action. The referee ensures the wrestlers are in a neutral position while the wrestlers think through how they plan to take down their opponent.
“The goal was to finish in the top four after finishing last for the previous two years in the district tournament, so it was very rewarding,” head wrestling coach Derek Ankney said. “I was very happy with the result.”
The team broke up the school year into two sections in order to train themselves for the tournament. During pre-season, the team mainly worked on weight training and physical conditioning. The team then began to focus on technique and live wrestling during the season with many simulated matches during practice.
“Their results show what they are capable of. It is a driving force for them. Some of them might not have met their personal goals, but at least now they know they have the ability to do more,” said Ankney.
The Tompkins wrestling team is made up of a total 36 members. Out of the 36, the following boys and girls qualified to the Regional tournament: Luc D’Rovencourt, Dylan Kintzele, Luke Cerza, Alex Connell, Jacob Deardeuff, Ethan Villanti, Logan Brandt, Reese Rusk, Hannah Nguyen, Madison Meyer and Emily Zettlemoyer. The Regional Tournament was held on Feb 13.
“Each year at the end of the season there is an evaluation process to improve ourselves. For us there will renewed focus on higher level wrestling and we just need to take the next step by improving what we have,” said Ankney.