Quality over quantity
Rugby wrestling coach Mitchell Meyer will take quality over quantity.
With just eight varsity wrestlers, Meyer won’t have much of a choice, but he does expect all the Panthers to have a solid shot at making the state meet.
“I feel like eight of our kids can make it to state,” Meyer said. “Our goal, when we get in duals, is to have at least 6 kids win their matches.”
With a little more than a week of practice, Meyer said the team is working hard to get into wrestling shape.
“The kids have been working their tails off,” he said. “They just come in and take care of business.”
While Meyer said the Panthers have showed promise in their talent, they should also have plenty of room for improvement.
There are no seniors on the team and only one upperclassman, junior 182-pounder Dylan Morin.
But despite the youth, Morin said there is experience.
“Most of these guys have more experience than I do,” he said. “I just started in wrestling five years ago. I’ve learned a lot and have taken a lot in and had some good coaching. I plan on taking it on the mat and showing what I’ve got.”
In the early weeks of practice, Meyer had his wrestlers write down three goals that will be transferred onto a big poster board and hung in the wrestling room to use as motivation.
“Do I want to meet that goal?” Meyer asked. “It helps to have goals that they have put out there.”
Freshman 170-pounder Spencer Koehmstedt said having those goals on hand should be positive for the team.
“If we see those goals we should be able to work harder on them every day,” he said.
Morin said the team isn’t focused on winning duals, but as many individual matches as possible with an eye on a making some noise at state in the team points competition.
“Most of the kids have a good chance at making state this year,” he said. “It we could get everyone there to win a few matches, we can place high.”
The team has started to incorporate some more elaborate moves and mat strategies, according to Koehmstedt.
“All of us can hold our own,” he said. “We’re beginning to learn some more technical moves, some pin combos and standups.”
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