By: Nadia Keith
The beginning of the season for the Newnan High School’s wrestling team is rapidly approaching with the change of the seasons. The wrestling team’s official beginning to its season is October 27th.
Everyday, the wrestlers are expected to do better than they did yesterday and to learn from their mistakes.
During the off season, the wrestlers have open mat practices where they can go practice if they want, but attendance is not required. For some wrestlers they end up wrestling year round between conditioning, practices and the regular season.
There are twenty four wrestlers scheduled to return to the Cougar wrestling team this year, and about fifty are signed up to join the team.
Wrestling matches last for six minutes. The wrestlers earns three points for the team if they win by seven points or less, four points for the team if you win by eight or more and five points for the team if they get fifteen points. Those six minutes on the mat, however, are not easy.
“In any other sport, you’re relying on your teammates, and we do rely on each other as far as we’re doing team stuff, but when it comes to that individual match, it’s all on you. It’s all on your shoulders.” said Coach Garner.
Two seasons ago, the wrestling team made it to the team state championship for the first time in school history. Last year, they made it to the team state championship again, and the team hopes to make it back this year to make it a third consecutive year.
To get to the state championship meet, the team has to place in the top two in the region. Often, the Cougar wrestling team has to defeat a county rival to advance to the state level.
A great strength for the wrestling team is the fact that there is consistency in expectations and coaching. Coach Sean Hage has been a coach to the wrestlers on the team for all of their four years in high school, and Coach John Garner has been coaching on the team for the past three years.
Their expectations for performance are always clear to their wrestlers, and the team thus strives to meet the coaches expectations and exceed their own. These expectations help keep wrestled motivated both mentally and physically.
Coach Garner explained how his favorite part about the sport of wrestling is the adversity involved in competing.
Coach Hage commented how his favorite past about wrestling is that it teaches you how to fail and how to come back from it. He said, “Having the confidence to be able to accept that you failed but you’re not a failure is tough”
Both coaches would like to show their appreciation for the constant support they receive from community coaches, parents, teachers, administration and team wrestling managers.
The NHS wrestling team would like to invite all of Cougar Nation to cheer on the team at its first meet on November 12th.