Boys Varsity Wrestling, Junior Varsity Wrestling · Winter Sports Preview: Wrestling

By Paul Cordes & Sierra Pelphrey, Daily Apache reporters

Photo by Madison Bartoo

The Wabash High School wrestling season is in full swing. As of right now, the varsity team has won every meet they have competed in, which includes matches against Lewis Cass, Rochester, Northfield, Southwood, Manchester, Northwestern, and Southern Wells. The JV wrestlers have also put up a good fight in these meets as well. Leading the pack this year are seniors Jaxon Barnett, Traydon Goodwin, Braden Brooks, and Alex Baggett. Reflecting over his preparation before a tough match this season, Alex Baggett states that “most matches are won before [the match] even starts,” but he advises younger wrestlings to “push yourself to you max everyday and never stop wrestling.” 

Sophomore Ethan Berry feels that being a part of Wabash’s wrestling team is a worthwhile experience: “As we wrestle each of our matches, we give it our 100% best,” Berry says. “If you win, then you keep winning until you lose; if you lose, you use that loss as momentum to win your next match. It is a win-win for everyone.”

Head coach, Jake O’Neill, who has coached wrestling for a total of 20 Years and is in his thirteenth year as the head coach at Wabash, believes that wrestling is such a unique and special sport “because of the intensity of training and competition. It was the challenge that made me pursue wrestling; it always kept me honest in my endeavors.”  Coach O’Neill also shares that as a team, they “try not to focus on the typical definitions of accomplishment and success [because] extrinsic motivators can be misleading.” O’Neill’s goal as a coach is to encourage the wrestlers to work hard and be the best versions of themselves that they can be: “We focus on winning, but wins don’t necessarily need to have championship tags to it.,” O’Neill states.  “One piece of advice I can give to student athletes is to put your studies first and work hard to earn what you want.”  

The wrestling team will continue to put Coach O’Neill’s advice to practice as they compete against Oak Hill tomorrow night at 6:30.

Photo by Madison Bartoo