Freshmen forge ahead

First year wrestlers prepare for their division’s GACs


Payton Amlong

A FHC Spartan wrestler struggles to pin a Francis Howell High School wrestler and win the match.

Robyn Ziegemeier, Staff reporter

As the semester starts, the series of GAC Conferences begin. Every team level has their own GAC Conference, with the freshman team’s very first being on Jan 19. The GAC conferences are very important meets due to the wrestlers competing against everyone in their level in the local area. The people who get on the podium at the end of it are determined to be one of the best in their division, but getting in the top three is no easy feat. While sophomore Steven McAfee isn’t on the freshman team, he has experienced what the conferences are.

“[GAC is] a pre-state conference where all the wrestling teams come together and face off, like a tournament,” McAfee said.

As the team prepares for its GAC, freshman Jeff Fearnley is getting ready to show the other high schools what he’s got.

“I’m feeling pretty confident. I know who I’m facing and I’m hoping I can beat them,” Fearnley said.

Even with an abundance of confidence, it takes a lot of practice to keep themselves in top condition to compete. Practices leading up to the conference work on both offence and defence, as well as managing weight outside of practice.  

“[I am prepping by] weight cutting. A lot of weight cutting,” Fearnley said. “Specifically, [in practice] we are working a lot on defense and that’s the main thing.”

Even with all of the physically demanding practices and weight cutting, the freshman wrestling team is looking forward to their GAC conference and showing their abilities.

“[I’m looking forward to] hopefully getting on the podium, second or first place, but I’ll take third,” Fearnley said.

Fearnley’s teammate, Michael Kraml, is also looking forward to showing off his skills in the ring.

“[I’m excited for] being able to go there and wrestle to my best ability,”  Kraml said.