by Justin Martinez| Sports writer
Junior Tyrone Span slams his opponent on the mat hard. The Jags have just won their match and the crowd cheers. The parents are in attendance, but hardly any students are there.
Although the season has already started, many students are unaware of just how good the Johnson wrestling program is. The team has been shoved out of the spotlight and into the shadow of other major sports programs such as football, basketball and baseball.
“I definitely think that most people care about football and other sports more than wrestling. [The other sports game] are just funner to watch and have a lot more action. I don’t think wrestling is as entertaining and other students would probably agree,” senior Nick Passons said.
When asked, a mere 75 out of 300 people were actually aware that three players made it to state for wrestling last year. The team is under the radar and for some reason has not gotten recognition.
“On a scale of one through ten, the importance of the wrestling program to me is about a 2. I might go to a wrestling match if I was really really really bored or if a bunch of my friends were going. Other than that, I wouldn’t even consider going to one,” senior Austin Farar said.
The Johnson Jaguars wrestling team has started the season off strong by placing second at the Bowie Capital Classic. The team has lived up to the expectations thus far and they look to continue their momentum with their duel matchup against CC King with or without the fans.
“We’ve been contenders since this school was made and we’ve proved that we’re still one of the top teams this year. Right now we just need to forget about the amount of support. We’ve already got a bunch of pressure and expectations so there’s no reason to add to it,” junior Camdem Chavez said.
Unfortunately, the fall season always seems to be owned by the football team and students pack themselves into the bleachers to watch them play. Other sports don’t always garner that attention.
“I don’t get why people don’t care about wrestling as much as they should. It’s not as popular a sport as football and even though we actually win and football doesn’t, they still have a lot more fans than us. I guess that people just don’t understand wrestling. I do though, so that’s why I compete. It’s only my first year in wrestling but I already prefer it over any other sport. Football is a team sport but in wrestling you’re on your own and you can only blame yourself for your mistakes. I don’t have to worry about the performance of anyone else affecting mine,” junior Tyrone Span said.
For three years, the program has been one of the best in their district. Players have qualified for state, big matches have been won, and yet the students don’t appreciate it. A big part of all high schools are the sports programs. Students love to see their team win rivalry games and be the best at as many sports as possible. Despite this, the school has not recognized that wrestling is one of Johnson’s best sports program.
“Support is a big plus, but not having it isn’t a negative thing. It would be great to have people cheering us during our matches but I don’t rely on it for momentum. I play good because I want to win, not because people are watching. Whether the stands are filled or empty, I’m still going to try my hardest and win as many matches as possible for my school,” Span said.