Varsity wrestling strives for State

Raine Lipscher

With District and State coming up in February, the varsity wrestling team has jumped into its season filled with sweat and powerslams — ready to dominate. They have started off their season getting sixth place at the Delco Center at the Varsity City Classic, a loss of 22-39 to San Antonio Churchill and a win of 43-35 against San Antonio Reagan.

“[State is going to be] very challenging,” varsity coach Pat O’Harra said. “Allen has won five in a row, but Arlington Martin might be the best team this year. Wrestling all across the state has improved dramatically over the past few years.”

Not only does the team have two-hour practices every day after school, but physical and mental pressure is very heavy on the athletes.

“For some guys it’s [hard to stay in their weight range],” sophomore Anderson Salisbury said. “Usually we don’t like to cut a lot of weight because our coaches don’t want us to because it’s bad for us.”

Returning State Champion in the 106-pound weight class, sophomore Jack Skudlarczyk has experience with all the work paying off.

“[Winning State] is every wrestler’s dream,” Jack said. “I still get butterflies just thinking about it.”

Although winning was a huge achievement, it makes the competition harder for this year.

“Last year I was just a freshman and no one knew who I was,” Jack said. “I could sneak up on kids. Now everyone knows me and I have a huge target on my back. If I am not getting better every day I am getting worse.”

The varsity wrestlers also placed third at the prestigious 30-team Woodlands Invitational this past weekend. Westlake finished behind the top two teams in the state, Allen and Arlington Martin, and got fourth place at Katy Cinco Ranch.

In preparation for District, the team will host some matches at Westlake. The first match is at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 17 against Vandegrift and the second match is at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 28 against Rouse in the Ninth Grade Center cafeteria. There is a lunchroom brawl being held at noon on Jan. 14 where students can come and watch.