Wrestling season ends with a place at State

by Samuel Abbas | sports editor

With new coaches and wrestlers, the Jags produced a well rounded season and had many wrestlers compete in the state and regional meets. The Jags hit the mats hard and continually improved throughout the season, which ultimately helped them succeed.

Freshman Karsten Battles takes down his defender.

“I think we had a great season! We had a lot of new/young wrestlers this year and we continually improved over the season. Many of our wrestlers excelled when it mattered most, at the district and regional tournaments,” Coach Leslie Salazar said.

With seven regional qualifiers and five of the regional qualifiers moving onto the state meet, the Jags had the most out of any school in the district to qualify for the state meet. Senior Ashley McCutcheon went on to be only wrestler from Johnson to place by earning the bronze.

“I think the best thing that happened this season was sending 5 out of our 7 regional qualifiers on to the state tournament. We had the most wrestlers out of all the schools in the district,” Salazar said.

Going back to the basics can help wrestlers learn the fundamentals they were never taught or help them review some of the other techniques that could ultimately decide a close match in the future.

“I am a strong believer in fundamentals and that we must know the basics before we can move on to more advanced techniques. We need to have good stance and movement which are key to wrestling success. I want all of our kids to have an unstoppable double leg takedown,” Salazar said.

Following a great season, the Jags can do just as well if not better next year according to coach Salazar. She feels the wrestling program is headed in the right direction and the wrestlers can always learn more techniques and styles.

“I think we will do great next season! We have a lot of returning lettermen and a lot of younger wrestlers. We also plan on having 3 open mat sessions a week and attending some freestyle and Greco tournaments this spring (other wrestling styles). These styles will dramatically improve skills and teach wrestlers how to push pacing on their feet,” Salazar said.



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