Englewood’s wrestlers gave the home crowd a lot to cheer about as the Pirates won their opening season dual match 51-12 over Lutheran.
“I am very pleased with the way all our guys wrestled tonight,” Pirates coach Jim Potter said. “Our veterans did a good job and I really liked to see the way our first year wrestlers responded tonight.”
Things didn’t go as well Dec. 8 as Englewood lost to Liberty 70-12.
To finish out the month, the Pirates wrestled rival Alameda in dual meet competition Dec. 12 (after press deadline) and travel to Denver North High School for the Dec. 15 tournament to close out the 2012 portion of the schedule.
The first match of 2013 is scheduled Jan. 5 on the road at Westminster and Jan. 12 the Pirates travel to the Colorado 7 League tournament at Elizabeth.
The next home match will be the Jan. 23 dual match against Mullen.
Potter said he has about 25 guys out for wrestling which is good. However, he said he has several heavyweights but only has one wrestler under 130 pounds and he is a freshman. That means the Pirates will forfeit the three lower weights. They also don’t currently have a wrestler at 182 pounds.
The gaps in the roster means the Pirates usually spot a dual match opponent 24 points, a large challenge to overcome.
However, the Dec. 6 dual match brought together two teams of about the same size. Englewood and Lutheran had two double forfeits, meaning neither team had a wrestler at the weight. But Lutheran had three more unfilled weights so Englewood had an 18 point edge going into the match.
The first weight in dual match competition is rotated through the 13 weights. The Dec. 6 dual match started at 145 pounds where Pirate wrestler Shane Menefee’s conditioning paid off. He was trailing 8-2 in the early going but he came back strong, particularly in the third period, to score an 11-8 decision.
Later in the match, Ben McFarland scored his first varsity win as he pinned Lutheran’s 190 pounder Bobby Glandon late in the first period.
After his win, he said he originally came out for wrestling to help stay in shape for football.
“I came out to see what wrestling was like and I found I really liked the sport,” he said. “However, I also found out that being in shape to play football doesn’t mean you are in shape for wrestling. I am learning wrestling moves but I am also working hard on conditioning to build my stamina so I don’t run out of gas late in a match.”
He smiled when he talked about his first varsity pin.
“I was nervous in the beginning of the match but I got over that and I kept telling myself I could beat him,” he said. “I just pressed my effort to take him down and, when I put him on his back, I was confident I could get the pin.”
He said, while he is working on building his stamina, he also is in the weight room working to get stronger.
“I know I need to be stronger at this weight,” he said. “I am in the weight room a lot and, in there, I am doing a lot of reps with light weights and also doing some heavy weight lifting to build strength so I can be more competitive at 190.”
Teammate and returning letterman Nolan Severa had a forfeit but agreed to wrestle an exhibition match but that was called off in the second period.
“This is another season and I am a better wrestler because, over the summer, I lifted weights and worked out like a madman,” he said after the match. “I come into this season a lot stronger. Also, I am a lot more confident in my wrestling skills and I am lot more determined to win matches this season.”
Severa said he is best on his feet because he works to score points by taking the opponent to the mat, letting him up and taking him down again. He said his favorite move is the double-leg takedown.
“I am in good shape, I am stronger and I have the conditioning to go full speed six minutes if necessary,” he said. “I want to win some matches but my season goal is to qualify and to wrestler at state.”