2020 Wrestling Preview


Chloe Mann, Staff Writer

2020 Wrestling Preview

On November 16, 2020, the Alliance High School wrestlers finally started their practices. This year, the team is very young and is showing a lot of potential. The season this year is going to be a great one, and this team is going to prove to people that they can “fight in the shade”. Though this team has many obstacles, they are staying optimistic and putting in a lot of hard work.

 Three wrestlers and their head coach were interviewed about what they think of this season.  This year, the Alliance Wrestling team is led by Head Coach, Nick Myers, and assistant coaches Bryan Wilson, DJ Weare, Lane Lauder, and Evan Steggs. The man, the myth, the legend Duane Dobson is also returning for his 49th year of coaching. When asked about his team’s biggest weakness, Myers responded, “We don’t have much depth this year, there are some weight classes that we are very deep, but we are looking at anywhere from 3-5 open weight classes depending on some injuries, and that’s gonna hurt us, there’s no secret about that when it comes to a dual.” Myers followed up with the open weight classes saying, “It’s not ideal, but truly with the work ethic we’ve seen in the room and the bonding that the kids are doing, I would far rather go out with 11 [wrestlers] that are going to take the fight to people rather than 14 full weights just for the sake of being full.” The Alliance Wrestlers have proven Myer’s point, showing hard work and commitment throughout the first week of practice. Senior Jaxon Minnick says that their biggest strength is that, “everyone is coming willing to work,” but when asked about the weaknesses he replied, “Last year it was commitment so we’re hoping to change that this year.” Despite the lack of numbers, the team has shown great determination, and the leaders hope that commitment is no longer an issue this year. 

Not only are there new people joining the team, but new ideas are coming along. Myers sheds some light on a new idea called the “line of discipline”, “It was brought to us by Rob Miller. It’s designed to get everybody focused on a full effort and full attention for that practice where you have to make a deliberate choice when you step across [the line], that for the next two hours, for the next 90 minutes, however long the work out is, that’s where our focus is, and it helps the entire team flush away the day and stay on task, while also holding everyone accountable.” The leaders of the team also think that this is a great idea to help the team grasp the idea of accountability and focus.

Like any other team, the AHS Wrestling team has a lot of challenges. Junior Zane Stoike highlights some of his personal challenges as well as some of the team’s challenges, “Cutting weight, [and] we’re really young right now, and we’re still figuring out where we’re gonna be and gonna go, so it’s hard to determine right now. Commitment is also a big issue.” Minnick also defines some of the biggest challenges, “The team is pretty young so it’s gonna be a big transition for them to transfer into high school wrestling, The season is pretty young, but I think we have a good start. I hope to get more people to stay [for the entire season].” Senior Asa Johnson says that their biggest challenges are going to be, “Leading the team and state wrestling, that’s a big challenge. Right now I think we struggle a little bit, but I think we’re getting there, every day we’re getting closer and closer, getting the team to be more bonded, and have more of a brotherhood.” 

The Wrestling team has seen a lot of potential and success throughout the years, the key to the team’s victories are found in upperclassmen leaders. When asked how he felt about his seniors this year, Myers replied, “I’m enthusiastic to see where their growth will be, it’s been quite a ride with these boys as I’ve had them every year in some capacity since they were in the sixth grade. And to see them grow into the men they are now that’s rewarding to see them turn into team leaders, rather than just being focused on their match or their results, they’re really making a true effort to pull the team together this year, and that’s a palpable thing we can feel in the room.” The young potential is another important factor in the team’s success. Myers states, “Just this week, I’ve been very pleased with the effort of Tyler Cotton and his development from a year ago. There will be at least one varsity freshman, that will be Matthias Benzel, I am tremendously excited for his potential, he’s a very hard worker, he’s a sponge, and he’s the most coachable kid in the room, where he’s got this desire to learn, and he soaks it up so well, and he’s taking ownership of his development.” Underclassmen of all sorts are showing tremendous effort and improvement as practices continue.

This season will without a doubt be a roller coaster, due to the pandemic, injuries, and other things that are thrown in the way, but this team is highly resilient and will do the best they can to make the season great. The SPUD wishes the best of luck to the Alliance Wrestlers and hopes that they have a great season!