Wrestling team prepares for new season

Will Clark

More stories from Will Clark


Staff Photo by Chase Cofield

Wrestlers practice daily to prepare for their matches.

As winter sports commence, the Varsity Wrestling Team is prepping for their upcoming season. The wrestlers have goals as a team and as individuals. Coach Dustin Stewart wants his wrestlers to have the drive to succeed this season.

“I expect the kids to get better and learn more about the sport than last year,” said Stewart. “I want them to find the drive in themselves to compete at a high level.”

Junior Felipe Fuentes has his sights set on qualifying for States.

“My goal is to be top 16 in the state and qualify for States,” said Fuentes. “I want to do that with a .800 winning percentage.”

Fuentes thinks that Sanderson could be a difficult opponent for the team but is looking forward to it.

“As a team, I think the toughest match will be Sanderson because they beat us the most last year,” said Fuentes. “Our coach has really been hyping up that matchup.”

Personally, Fuentes is anticipating a rematch with a nameless Holly Springs wrestler that beat him last year.

Senior Allen Widdifield returns after his 26-18 junior season with some lofty team and personal goals himself.

“I’d like us to be in the top half of the conference standings,” said Widdifield. “We were 0-7 last year but we had a lot of weight classes filled so hopefully we will be able to pull it off.”

Personally, Widdifield has a clear goal he wants to accomplish this season.

“I’d like to go to Regionals and hopefully move on to States,” said Widdifield. “About 30 wins would be nice and would help my chances for qualifying.”

One of the things that makes wrestling so unique is having to maintain or cut weight in order to be in a certain weight class. The 182 pound Widdifield doesn’t find this aspect of the sport difficult.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” said Widdifield. “I get to eat what I want and I never get overweight. On Thanksgiving, I will eat as much as I can and hope to stay on weight. After, I will go on a nice run in a sauna suit and try to lose as much weight as possible.”

Coach Stewart explains that a wrestler has to do more than just maintain weight.

“You’ve got to maintain your skills, keep your weight in check, and do the right things in the classroom like every other student athlete,” said Stewart. “Allen Widdifield has improved a lot all around along with Tre Roberts.”

Wrestling is different than most sports because wrestlers have to work to improve their personal and team records and not lose sight of the other one.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to coach individual state champions and team state champions and the team is little bit more important in my mind because it takes a collective effort,” said Stewart. “It’s a different dynamic as a coach when you are trying to coach individuals and the team to a state championship. I’m just really excited to show teams across the state how much we’ve improved.”