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Taking down the competition

Lovejoy wrestling prepares for the state competition

The+wrestling+season+kicks+off+with+multiple+wins+and+only+a+few+losses.
The wrestling season kicks off with multiple wins and only a few losses.

The wrestling season kicks off with multiple wins and only a few losses.

-photo by Anthony Morgello, staff writer

-photo by Anthony Morgello, staff writer

The wrestling season kicks off with multiple wins and only a few losses.

LeopardLife Anthony Morgello, Staff Writer

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With three tournaments under their belt and two more to go, the Lovejoy wrestling team closes in on what some would say is a great season as state finals approach. The boys’ team placed third at state the past year, and the girls won it all.

Willow Springs has had a successful season so far, but it wasn’t out of nowhere. New and old wrestlers have shared success, and one of the biggest reasons is their coach, Jerry Quinton, wrestlers said.

“I love coach Quinton,” seventh-grader, Nicholas Garcia, said. “This is my first year wrestling and I feel like he has taught me enough to beat people that I don’t think I would’ve been able to before. Coach Quinton has fueled a love for wrestling that I didn’t even know I had.”

Willow Springs’ first taste of wrestling this year came from the Prosper Rodgers dual. The dual, in which two teams take each other on, happened at Sloan Creek Intermediate School on Nov. 18. Each wrestler had the opportunity to wrestle at least one match, and if they were lucky, they had two. Wins and pins were not tracked, but many Lovejoy wrestlers feel they were successful.

“My first match went great,” seventh-grader, Jackson Dubree, said. “I had already wrestled before, so it wasn’t really my first match, but I had nerves all the same. The nerves were gone pretty soon though because I had my man pinned in, like, 45 seconds.”

After the Prosper Rodgers dual, Lovejoy was ready for their first tournament. The tournament in question is the Rockwall Tournament. The tournament that was on Nov. 29 and was a round robin, so everyone in the bracket faced each other. If they won all of their matches, they were guaranteed to get first place. However, if they lost one match they either got second place or would wrestle to get either second or third. Willow Springs came away with several first places wins, and many more medals.

“I was really glad that the Rockwall tournament was a round robin tournament,” seventh-grade, Reid Jacob, said. “I started out a little rough, but I knew that I would have another chance to redeem myself, so I did. I ended up with two, three wins and two losses and a third-place finish.”

Now with a tournament under their belt, it was time to see how much they improved. On Dec. 6, Princeton Wrestling came to Sloan Creek for another friendly dual. The dual had the same circumstances as the Prosper dual, but not everyone was guaranteed a match, so the ones that did were wrestling for the whole team.

“I think the dual with Princeton Wrestling went pretty good. I think we Lovejoy Leopards really accomplished what we were trying to accomplish, we did really good, and we mostly won. We only got a few losses, but you know, that’s okay because everyone’s still learning. I just think we achieved what we were going for,” eighth-grader, Elle Foster, said.

Lovejoy competed in the St. Mark’s Tournament after their last dual. This was not the beginner-friendly round-robin tournament that Rockwall was, because this time if a wrestler loses two matches, their tournament is over. Lovejoy took 11 wrestlers to the tournament with only one person to each weight class. The Leopards came away with one first-place finish, two-second place finishes, one third place finish, and one-fourth place finish. Lovejoy’s performance earned them 119 points, and a third place overall finish.

“The people that were at this competit

-photo by Anthony Morgello, staff writer
Lovejoy Leopards are victorious this wrestling season.

ion were much harder. I lost two hard matches, but I’m really excited to wrestle those two people again because they were both really good matches for me,” Jacob said. “This is the first time I’ve had an actual rival other than whole teams, and I’m really excited to see how it goes.”

As a final challenge before State, Sloan Creek hosted the Leopard Duals. Four teams attended the duals; Prosper, St Mark’s, Rockwall, and Willow Springs all showed up to have a showdown. Because they weren’t able to wrestle at the St Mark’s tournament, the girls were the first to go. Everyone was separated into pods of four and wrestled a round robin within their group. Each wrestler had a chance to wrestle three matches, and some would say it was the best three matches of their lives.

“I feel like I did really good,” eighth-grader, Amiya Callicutt, said. “For my first time wrestling in a tournament thing, I felt pretty good. I ended up with 2 two wins and only one loss, and now I’m ready for the final tournament. I’m ready for State.”

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Taking down the competition