A Peek Inside the 2019-2020 Wrestling Season

A PEEK INSIDE THE 2019-2020 WRESTLING SEASON -- Jack Neely is wrestling at the preseason tournament in Tullahoma.

Donated to the Digest by Jack Neely

A PEEK INSIDE THE 2019-2020 WRESTLING SEASON -- Jack Neely is wrestling at the preseason tournament in Tullahoma.

Karleigh Schwarzl, Sports Editor

Last season was huge for the Central High wrestling team. The team finished second in the dual region and third within the region tournament. All eight of the wrestlers who entered into the region tournament qualified for the state tournament. Despite last year’s achievement, this year they are building upon last year’s success. The Pounders are expecting two wrestlers to put in the work and become medalists this season. On the other hand, three others have the chance to go into the tournament and heavily disrupt the bracket, coming out winning some matches.

This year, the top wrestlers are the returning seniors. For instance, Jack Neely is a two-time state qualifier. His sophomore year he had advanced to the consolation quarterfinals, being top twelve in the state. Donavyn Walker had qualified for state last season later on advancing unto the consolation quarterfinals. Jacob Wright had also qualified for the state tournament last season.

Not only are these seniors the top wrestlers, they are also mentors and leaders for the younger individuals on the team, all three being leaders in their own unique way, and bringing something different to the team. They benefit the team by supporting the younger individuals as they grow as athletes.

As Coach Ryan Mallory had stated, “Jacob is like the mother hen; he is always watching over the team and making sure everyone is where they are supposed to be and doing what they are supposed to be doing. Jack is a great cheerleader for his teammates. He is always encouraging people and cheering them on. Donavyn sets a great example for his teammates by always doing the right thing; he makes his grades in school, he manages his weight during the season, and he is a good person in the community.”

The Pounders had competed in a promising preseason tournament in Tullahoma on Saturday, November 16. They came out with a powerful performance, having five of the six wrestlers winning, at the least, two matches in the tournament. This season, they are less in numbers although they are abundant in talent.

Fundamentals are a huge focus going into this upcoming season. Key practices include starting with keeping their knees bent and keeping one’s heads up while keeping their tail end down, simultaneously keeping their elbows in. This season, there are some younger wrestlers. While the talent that they encompass is undeniable, the consistency is not present. It will be a gamechanger for the younger individuals to step up to the mat and becoming more reliable as the season progresses.

“I’m thrilled about this upcoming season. As a team, we are ready to build of of last year’s success and become better as athletes,” stated Jack Neely.

There are two wrestling meets that will be very influential for the Pounders. On Tuesday, January 14, 2020, they will go against Polk County at Central High School. This meet is authoritative since Polk County finished in third place last season. In addition, the meet scheduled for Thursday, January 16, against Hixson and Ooltewah at Hixson High School will be important. This meet is incredibly substantial, considering Hixson is the defending region champion from the previous season. The Pounders strive to be at the top of the region. Therefore, performing well against those specific teams can put them in the position to thrive in throughout the season.

Readers can view the latest sports updates on the sports center page. This is where schedules and rosters will be posted. As the season progresses stories will be put out to update on the 2019-2020 wrestling season.