Wrestling team among top in conference
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The wrestling team has consistently been among the strongest teams in the conference, and the current season is not exception.
In the first 12 meets of the season, the Ponies were able to claim victories in nine of them, and the losses were all within 10 points. Some victories were close, but the majority of them were by huge margins.
“We have had some really good meets this year where the team is just in a groove and can pin everybody,” senior Tyler Olsen said.
In the first meet of the season, the Ponies were able to beat the Woodbury Royals in a 36-33 win. The Royals are now a strong force in the Suburban East Conference. Following that the Ponies had some massive wins, like 59-12 over Minnetonka, and 72-11 over St. Paul Highland Park.
“I feel like what makes the team successful is that we all are driving toward the same goal in mind. We want to go to sections as a team or as an individual, or even to make it to state. I’d say it’s our motivation and determination is what makes our team successful,” sophomore Collin McCarthy said.
The Pony wrestling team has four captains, three of which are veteran seniors, Peter Hagel, Connor Weiss, and James Huntley, as well as one stand out sophomore, Will Harter.
“Most coaches will mostly want the team to succeed rather than the individual, but it’s a lot different with our coaches. Our coaches as I see it, wants to see us as wrestlers at our full potential, to know that we’re giving everything we’ve got for this team and for ourselves. For them to know that we’re not being lazy about our actions out on the mat, or in practice. So in a way, I think our coaches are doing a great job this year,” McCarthy said.
The wrestlers on the team find a joy in simply being there with their teammates.
“My favorite memories of wrestling is just being with the boys in the daily grind, we find a way to push each other every day to get better and I really like that,” senior Jackson Dunleap said.
Part of what makes the team so successful is the intense training they do in the off season.
“For the off season training, it is the most intense and grueling off season practices that I’ve ever done. But even though it is unforgiving, I know that it will make me and my teammates better shape and I’m a better state of mind,” McCarthy said.
One big help for the team is athletes that play other intense sports.
“Most of us play sports in the off season, but the wrestlers that train in the off season lift, do camps for wrestling, run a lot, and do wrestling tournaments through out the year,” Dunleap said.
Instead of a team with just a few stars, the Ponies have an entire team that can score.
“I’d say the best wrestlers on our team would be James Huntley, Connor Weiss, Will Harter, Reid Ballantyne, Trey Kruse and Jeffery Robinson. Even though all of the wrestlers on our team are good and gifted at what they do,” McCarthy said.
The Ponies won the Suburban East Conference championship in a three way tie with Forest Lake and Mounds View, a strange occurrence in high school wrestling.
“The team this year is far better then our team last year. I say this because we have all gotten so much better at how we wrestle, and how we’ve been more determined as a team this year compared to last year,” McCarthy said.