Down, but not out

Suspension of varsity wrestler leaves team fighting hard on road to state

Sophomore+Nick+Mallon+evades+a+locking+move+from+his+opponent+in+his+varsity+match.+The+team+is+laser-focused+on+another+consecutive+state+title+for+this+year%27s+season.++

Sophomore Nick Mallon evades a locking move from his opponent in his varsity match. The team is laser-focused on another consecutive state title for this year’s season.

The varsity wrestling team’s decided defeat at Holt last Wednesday, coupled with Devin Schwarzkopf’s absence from the team, has left the team determined to come back strong for state.

A seemingly decisive loss (26-46), the tournament at Holt wasn’t all failure. Senior Jackson Berck came through to win his match – eyes on state now as this season begins to conclude

“For me, it ended up well. I won my match, but for the team, we ended up losing the dual,” Berck said. “We were missing a few wrestlers at the time, Andrew Godier and Corey Wait, so putting them back on the lineup for the tournament this week will be a good step toward victory.”

The varsity team’s next tournament is at FHC on Saturday, Feb. 4.

“If we had them on the lineup, I’m sure we could’ve won,” he said.

Whilst more minor setbacks like Holt can be attributed to the absences of Godier and Wait, Schwartzkopf’s absence from competing has had effects on the team moving forward.

His underclassman teammate, sophomore Nick Mallon, has already felt the strain of losing talent so close to the season’s final battle.

“It feels empty without him at practice,” Mallon said. “I think he would’ve placed at state for sure.”

Schwartzkopf, currently placed 2nd in the state, was widely slated to contest for a state championship this year for the team.

“At the state tournament, he would’ve gotten a lot of points for us, helping us bring the trophy home,” Berck said. “We still can, but it would be a lot easier with him. He would’ve done good out there. In the next year, he’s going to have to make a decision to take the high road and do what’s right, or fall.”

Berck, a previous state champion and team captain, knows the importance of continuing to fight through any losses. Bringing home victory at state remains the goal.

“We’re planning on wrestling our best. We’re planning on bringing home a trophy until we can’t do that anymore,” he said. “We’re fighting through it, and we’re hoping to pull it together at the end.”