by Sam Abbas | sports writer
With the district and regional meet finished, wrestlers are now gearing up for the state meet. They have practiced and wrestled hard all season and have maintained a focused mentality. throughout the season.
“I’ve been telling the team a lot this year that there’s a difference between someone who wrestles and a wrestler. Somebody that wrestles is somebody who comes to practice and goes through the motions. A wrestler is somebody that really dedicates their life to a sport because a sport like wrestling is really something that has to be dedicated to and makes it extremely unique. The way you carry yourself, the way you choose to do things, where you go, what you do, what you put into your body. As a high school student it’s hard to say no to things like Whataburger, deep fried chicken, candy or sodas. But to optimally perform as a wrestler, you have to have good nutrition practice, it takes a dedication unlike any other, that’s something that’s extremely unique about wrestling. It’s just a mindset that they need to have,” coach Jayson Conger said.
With regionals finished and state coming up, the jags are showing their dedication by continuing to come to early morning practices and lifting before school as well as practices after school.
“Starting at the beginning of the year with early morning workouts at 7 am, putting in a good hour to and hour and a half before the rest of the school shows up, is one way they show their dedication to the sport. Changing their mindset and habits and dedicating themselves to something bigger, some goals that they may have, whether it be winning this many matches or getting this many pins or winning this many tournaments or trying to win a state championship. When they set up those goals, and set to accomplish them, it’s really something they have to look forward to and dedicate themselves to,” Conger said.
When wrestling is mentioned people tend to think it is more of a team sport than an individual. Wrestlers have to go one on one against other athletes and try to come out on top. They have no one else to blame except for themselves for not capitalizing at the right opportuning which could have cost them the match.
“Wrestling is unlike other sports because it is really an individual sport masked by a team. They put a team label on it but, it’s not really a team sport, it’s more of an individual sport. There’s nobody and athlete can really blame when something doesn’t go their way, other than themselves. Anytime you really prepare for battle like that, it tends to be very difficult for somebody to be able to do. The toughest part about wrestling is preparing yourself for battle and going one on one against another person and come out with a winner and a loser, because that’s not really what happens in other sports,” Conger said.
The Johnson wrestling team finished top 10 in overall team points in the region and have 5 total wrestlers going to the state tournament. Ashley McCutcheon took 1st, Billy Green 3rd, Zach Rojas and Greg Quintanilla both took 4th in the regional tournament. These wrestlers will be competing in the state tournament this weekend at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.
“This year has been a solid year for us. I think with a new coaching staff coming in and sort of a turn over, it’s always difficult for the athletes. But, if they buy into the system which most of the wrestlers have, it turns into a good thing. Once you get the good vibes going in the room, and at practices and they trust you as a coach, good things come and that’s what we’re really excited to show here at Johnson with district and regionals coming up, and onto the state tournament this weekend,” Conger said.