More wrestlers needed

Published 10:30 am Wednesday, January 3, 2018

This column is an invitation to potential wrestlers at Randolph-Henry High School. Please consider joining the quiet juggernaut that is your school’s varsity wrestling program.

Presently, the program seems like a paradox, at least on the surface. It features dominance on the mat, but that dominance often comes amid one team loss after another. The explanation for this contradiction is simple: the program does not have enough wrestlers to fill all of the required weight classes.

When the Statesmen have a wrestler on the mat, they generally shine. Head Coach Zack Mowery and Assistant Coach Dean Schwartz clearly know how to mold team members into effective wrestlers. But when Randolph-Henry does not have a wrestler to compete in a given weight class and the opposing team does, the Statesmen are forced to forfeit, giving the opposing team an automatic six points.

Due to lack of participation, Randolph-Henry must forfeit six weight classes at every dual meet, putting the team in a 36-point hole against its opponent every time.

“We’re not a good dual team, but we are a great tournament team, and we have a big tournament coming up,” Mowery said Dec. 21, referring to this past weekend’s Agie Skeens Memorial Wrestling Tournament at Grundy High School.

In tournaments like these, teams are not penalized for failing to fill all of the weight classes. Each team simply garners points based on the strength of their existing members’ individual performances.

Mowery indicated he expected there would be around 30 teams competing at the two-day Grundy event and that his team should finish in the top 10.

Of the eight wrestlers that he expected to have competing in their respective weight classes, “we should have five place in the top four — should — if they wrestle how they can,” he said.

See page four for details on how the Statesmen ended up doing, but it wasn’t far off from Mowery’s expectations. Imagine how powerful Randolph-Henry’s wrestling program could be if it had a full complement of participants.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Charlotte Gazette. His email address is Titus.