• Bill Caine, Woodford Sun Staff

WCMS wrestling team places fifth at Mustang duals

ANDREW KARTNER controls his opponent during the Mustang Duals at Anderson County Middle School on Dec. 16. (Photo by Bill Caine)

The Woodford County Middle School wrestling team placed fifth out of 24 teams at the Mustang Duals in Anderson County on Saturday, Dec. 16. The team's record was 5-1 for the day. The result was a nice turnaround for the young team after a tough tournament last weekend where Coach Jarvis Livingston questioned their effort.

“I thought we wrestled much better than we did the previous weekend at the Twenhofel Duals,” said Livingston. “I saw a change in the intensity of my team, which I loved to see. You have to remember that more than half of my starters are first year wrestlers. But to see my team overcome some adversity by bouncing back from a disappointing dual against Scott County and pull out a close duals against LaRue County and John Hardin to Place fifth, makes me really like the direction we’re trending going into January.”

Many of the WCMS wrestlers have hopes of joining the varsity team when they get to high school and continue wrestling. Each week this month, the middle school team has traveled to a different school and battled top-tier programs and added valuable experience to their arsenal.

“It's a really different experience to compete in a tournament this big,” said WCMS eighth-grader Connor Dutton. “Usually you have only a few guys that you would be paired up with but here there are many different opponents and I like that part of the big events. You always try to get your mind right for the match so you are ready when you hit the mat.”

Large tournaments such as the Mustang duals have multiple mats with multiple matches going on at the same time. Over 200 wrestlers participated in the event and over 400 spectators were on hand.

“I try to block out all of the noise in the gym and just focus on the guy I am wrestling,” said WCMS eighth-grader Andrew Kartner. “If my mind is right and I do what I know I can, then I have a chance to be successful and pick my team up. We try hard to be a family and to talk like a family. We all try and help one another, And when a teammate is down, we know we have to build them back up.”

“The tournaments are awesome because I get to meet a lot of new people,” said WCMS sixth-grader Kurt Philpot. “We are all students of wrestling so we learn by watching other kids compete. I am hoping to gain more experience for the rest of the season and learn more moves to add to my skills.”

“I've been working on my shots and my technique,” said WCMS eighth-grader Jackson Geilear. “We wanted to come in here today and prove that we belong here and can compete with anyone. I would love to finish my middle school career by winning a state championship with this team.”

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