Dominating districts

Wrestlers put in the hard work to go to districts


Payton Amlong

Junior Bryce Alberty allows his hand to be raised in victory by the referee. Like many others at district, Alberty performed well and represented FHC to the best of his ability.

Megan Percy, Discover editor

The end of a season for some may be a time to lay back, admire the work they have accomplished, and take it easy in their final days of practice to enjoy the spoils of the season. The Francis Howell Central Wrestling Team, however, is not composed of these people; it is at this time that they put forth their best for their biggest meet yet: districts. According to Coach Steve Cross, this makes or breaks FHC’s chances of progressing to state.

“The district tournament is the qualifier for the state tournament. So there’s going to be about approximately 16 teams there. And the top four will qualify for the state tournament,” Mr. Cross said.

With 16  teams performing that day, there will be many competing for only a few spots. 75% of the teams there will not go on. However, despite a few favorites, Cross believes that the chances for every team are pretty similar.

“It’s going to be pretty wide open this year, but there a couple teams that have a shot,” Cross said. “I think Wentzville Holt is probably the favorite right now.”

In order to compete with the other teams going to districts, the wrestling team must put in work. To go the extra mile, they put in extra effort by practicing everyday and working on general ways to win, according to senior Gerald Hall.

“We do like top or bottom work to get us out of the referee position fast enough so we can score a point off the opponent,” Hall said.

However, senior Brian Coombs says they also work on specific skills the athletes need to improve on.

“We have more technique based practices,” Coombs said.

Going into this tournament, stakes and expectations are high. Only four teams make it to state, so there is no room for error. Coach Cross says all are expected to do well, and a couple may even go on to state.

“We’ve got several guys that are in the hunt for state titles and medals, and they just got to go down there and perform, and if they do that, you know, we got a shot to do really well,” Cross said.

Despite his own goals for the team, both Coombs and Hall have their own individualized ones for their performance over the weekend. Hall’s, while more generalized, is based on how well he performs comparatively.

“I’m trying to place and get to state, anything like that,” Hall said.

Coombs’ has more to do with a more personal evaluation of how he does, not based on winning or losing, however, his best placement possible is the ultimate goal.

“I want to go away from the tournament knowing that I did my best, wrestled my hardest, and if I can make a big upset and go to state I will definitely take advantage of that upset,” Coombs said.