by Justin Martinez| sports writer
The wrestling team has just gotten back from competing at state. Although they have always been one of the top competitions, this year is different. This year the team has returned with a medal. And while it is for wrestling, the medal does not have a guy’s name on it.
The team managed to not only send players to state, but to bring back a medal as well. Sophomore Ashley McCutcheon made history for the Johnson wrestling program by being the first Jaguar to place at the state tournament.
“I got sixth place at the state tournament. It feels great to have all of my hard work pay off. I’ve really gone all out this season and it means so much to have been rewarded with a medal in state,” McCutcheon said.
It’s clear that McCutcheon isn’t like most wrestlers. Despite the fact that McCutcheon is a rare female wrestler, she hasn’t let that hold her back. Being a girl does not affect her mentality when she goes into a competition.
“By now I’m used to it. Sometimes it’s unfair because there are guys that are bigger and stronger than me, but that just makes it a bigger challenge than it already is. In the end, wrestling is still very fun so I don’t mind,” McCutcheon said.
Like any other wrestler, McCutcheon has learned that greatness is only given to those that give maximum effort. It takes a lot of hard work to get to where McCutcheon managed to go this season.
“I push my hardest in every practice so that I can be the best competitor on the mat. Every day at practice I would just think about my goals and that I have to work harder than every other girl to get there. That’s what motivates me,” McCutcheon said.
While most of her competitions are against upperclassmen, McCutcheon still has two years of high school eligibility left after this season. This will give her plenty of time to enhance her wrestling skills and elevate herself to a whole other level.
“My goal for this year was to place at state. Now that I’ve done that, my goal next year is to win the championship. I think it’s a very reachable goal because there was only one other wrestler that placed higher than me that wasn’t a senior,” McCutcheon said.
While the victory is sweet this year, the hunger for success has not yet been satisfied. McCutcheon’s career is far from over. She must now focus on preparing for next season. And after such a strong performance at state this year, the expectations will be sky high for her next year.
“I’m glad I went as far as I did this season, but I know that I can still get a lot better. It’s going to take a lot of hard work, but wrestling is something I love to do and I want to be the best at it,” McCutcheon said.