Wrestling teams gear up for weekend

Olivia Wallace, Life & Style Editor

Both the boys and girls will be hitting the mat this weekend, but they will be at different locations.
The boys’ team will be at Ralston High School tonight at 4:30 for the Ralston Tournament. There, the boys will face off against seven other schools: Ralston, Bellevue West, Crete, Elkhorn South, Fremont, South Sioux City and York.
“York and Elkhorn South are going to be pretty stout,” head coach Jason Susnjar said. “They have been one- two the last couple years at that tournament.”
Trying to add more W’s in the win column, they have been running drills day in and day out to prepare for tonight.
“In practice, he’s [Susnjar] been making us run a lot, go live a lot,” senior Chase Pokett said. “Overall, this year has been harder compared to the past two years I’ve been wrestling.”
Susnjar is excited for the tournament and feels the boys will have a good showing.
“I think we can compete there,” Susnjar said. “The past two years we’ve gotten third, so I think we can make that next step to contend for the Ralston title or at least be in that conversation.”
Part of the reason Susnjar thinks they will do well is that the team has good chemistry and has been committed to getting better and doing their best.
“This could be the first time since I’ve been the head coach, in the wrestling room that we have no problems as in attitude, as in behavior and things like that,” Susnjar said. “I’m not saying we have all 4.0s and perfect attendance and all that stuff, but in the practice room, I never have to question anybody’s commitment, their effort, anything like that.”
While the boys are at Ralston, the girls will be back at the school tonight preparing for the girls’ Platteview Invitational tomorrow morning. There will be 24 teams competing at the invite including schools such as South Sioux City and Westpoint who have had girls competing for several years.
One obstacle that the girls will face at this tournament and future ones like the Winnebago tournament on Dec. 28, is that there are only five girls on the team. Other teams have had girls wrestling for them for several years and have bigger female teams. South Sioux City has 27 girls on their roster and Westpoint has 12.
The girls earned 24th out of 25 teams at the Friday Night Fracas and 14th out of 15 at the Crete Invite. However, freshman Taylor Kress went 1-3 earning 4th place at the Crete Invite. And while there haven’t been many official wins in the record book, Susnjar is proud of the girls and sees many wins every day as they learn more and get better.
“You can see them at practice and even in the matches, you can see like a light bulb go off, like, Boom! There’s a double leg, and then you can see them attempting to hit it,” Susnjar said. “The execution may not be great right now, but that’s what we’re building for. The W’s will start coming.”