By Mark Jurgena
The Collinsville wrestling team won three of five matches last week to up their season record to 3-3.
Their highlight was a sweep of the home triangular meet on May 6th with wins over East Alton (Wood River) and Highland.
“They were short on kids, they had really low numbers,” said coach Alex Taylor. “But (our) kids that went out and wrestled, wrestled well and won their matches.”
Two nights later they hit the road for a triangular meet at O’Fallon with Granite City making the trip as well. The Kahoks fell to O’Fallon but pulled out a win over Granite City.
“Our upper weights really wrestled well,” said Taylor. “They wrestled really well against O’Fallon as well. I told the athletes that we could’ve gone 4-2 by the end of the week but it comes down to us. It comes down to how we work and what we do.
“We lost the dual to O’Fallon, but we still had to wrestle against Granite City and I told them that we couldn’t go 4-2 but we’ve got to get the next best thing, we’ve got to go 3-3 and that’s what we did. There were really high spirits going onto the bus.”
They began their week with a home loss to Triad on May 4th.
“We were just struggling with little things we were working on throughout the week,” said Taylor. “I told the athletes, ‘Edwardsville’s a good school, Triad’s a good school and this is good for us. These are the schools we want to wrestle so we can figure out what isn’t working.’”
The high school COVID “summer” wrestling season has been a difficult one for many schools. Numbers are way down at most schools and being able to wrestle at all weight classes is a nightly challenge.
However, Taylor had good things to say about the progress of many of his wrestlers.
“Austin Stewart continues to wrestle well, he continues to impress,” began Taylor. “I think Jake Gregory is really coming into his own as well. He’s been nicely improving.”
Taylor continued with three other notables.
“I think when we look at Ian Freeman and Cameron Varner we still have got some stuff to work on but I have really high expectations for them,” he said.” Also Cody Lutz, he’s a freshman this year. He’s a little undersized but he won his wrestle-off. That kid buys into the program.”
Taylor and his grapplers are looking forward to their pair of matches this week as they square off with Roxana tonight and at Alton tomorrow.
“This year, we’re just trying to make the most of it,” Taylor said. “We’re just trying to be as positive as we can and have as much fun as we can. It’s about salvaging the most we can this season headed into next season. I think all the guys on this team whether they’re starting, whether they are winning, whether they are getting mentioned in the paper…everybody that’s here and coming to practice wants to be here and wants to do this. That’s probably the most important for me.”