If the York Comprehensive High School wrestling team’s performance in last week’s four-way match is any indication, first-year coach Shawn Petties has the Cougars primed for success.
The YCHS wrestlers beat White Knoll 52-24 in the Dec. 9 event but lost to a strong Dorman 43-33.
Though he is pleased with the team’s performance, Petties said the Cougars will have to maintain a competitive edge to compete favorably in Region 3-AAAA.
“We’ve just got a lot of work to do,” Petties said after the Dorman match. “The guys are working really hard. We’ve just got to stay after it.”
Petties said he emphasizes conditioning to develop the stamina needed to compete in a strong region.
“It takes a lot of conditioning to get the guys in shape; a lot of running and a lot of practices,” he said. “We practice just about every holiday break to keep the guys in shape. They are dedicated to coming to the practices.”
Senior Chance Dickson, who pinned his White Knoll opponent in the 160-pound weight class, felt good about his chances before the match.
“I honestly just thought I was in better shape and had more technique than he had,” Dickson said. “He was a strong guy, but sometimes you don’t need strength. Just having the proper technique and being in shape make a world of difference,” he said.
He is in his sixth year with the wrestling program, and he wants his senior year to be special.
“This is my last year. It means a lot to me.” he said. “I may not be able to do it again. I just want to give it my all my last year.”
Added Dickson: “I want to be able to look back and know I gave it my all on the mat for the team. I hope everybody does the same.”
Seniors Jeremiah Moore and Jake Beverly expressed their thoughts about the early stages of the season.
“I’ve been really working out this year, trying to get started,” said Moore, who pinned his opponent in the first period of the 195-pound weight class. “I actually knew what I was going to do before I went in there, and just took control.
“I really love to wrestle. It teaches you a lot of discipline.”
Beverly, who competes at 132, won by forfeit.
“We’ve got some young guys filling in some spots,” he said. “We feel pretty good about where we are. We have a shot at beating teams this year. When I go out there, I think about using all of my energy and technique to get the win.”
Junior Danny Warren, who pinned his opponent at 220, is making the transition from football.
“It’s a little bit more running than I had anticipated,” said Warren. “I like wresting. It’s fun. It’s a great individual sport.”
Warren said high school wrestling requires a different mindset than football.
“A lot of it’s in your mind,” he said. “If you know the moves and you’re smart with it, you’ll most likely beat your opponent”
Another junior, Michael Avore, pinned his opponent in the 126-pound weight class.
“I came in with confidence,” said Avore. “I knew I could beat my opponent before I started. It went into the second period. I think stamina really separates the good from the best. I have more technique than stamina. I need to get my stamina up so I can last longer.”
Lane Cowery, a ninth-grader who competes at 285, or heavy weight, was narrowly defeated in a 6-5 match against a White Knoll opponent.
“It was a really good match,” he said. “I thought I had him in the second period but he pulled through. I gave it my best. I’m a ninth-grader and he’s a senior. I love this sport. It makes me a better football player.
YCHS will host Boiling Springs at 6 p.m. Thursday.