Wrestling Dual vs Blue Valley SW on Jan 4

Danielle Pancoast, Co-Editor

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The wrestling team wasted no time picking up where they left off before break. On Jan. 4, the Blue Valley Southwest wrestling team traveled down to Washburn for the biggest dual of the year. With Blue Valley Southwest ranked third in 5A State and Washburn ranked second in 6A, tough competition was expected.
These two team dualed last year, with the score being 45-16 in Southwest’s favor. This year, Rural came back stronger and took the win 40-26. With many wrestlers having big matches that were key to their win, one wrestler in particular helped set the tone with a pin
“It’s hard to single out one wrestler, because this was an absolute team effort. Blake Abram’s pin at 145 was monumental, though,” head coach Damon Parker said. “Without him winning that match we would’ve had a hard time winning that dual.”
Senior Blake Abram went into his match with high hopes to wrestle his best and earn points for his team, but did more than that by getting a pin. With the score tied 10-10, Abram’s win helped create momentum for everyone else.
“I was just gonna go out there and do my best to score for our team,” Abram said. “It really boosted my confidence in myself and I’m feeling good going into the next tournament.”
During the week of preparation for this dual, the coaches gave their wrestlers many words of advice and did their best to get them ready to wrestle to the best of their ability.
“We spent a lot of time reinforcing the fact that every point was going to count and every match was going to matter, and the kids took it to heart,” Parker said.
Junior Preston Williams remembered many things his coach told him and believes that played a part in the team’s success.
“We had three keys to win. We had to win the conditioning battle, we had to want it more, and we had to make weight,” Williams said. “We did all three of those and we were successful.”
Much like Abram, Williams’ win was a big part to the team win. He went into his match with Southwest being ahead 16-17, his pin not only put Rural up by five, it started a three pin streak.
“At first it was just another win but then after I realized the circumstance we were in, it was a bigger deal because I knew that I just put our team on top,” Williams said.
Parker has big expectations for this year’s team and knows that they have the potential to win any dual or tournament. Their dual performance was just the start of many accomplishments for this year.
“Since day 1 our goal has been ‘win everything.’ Anything less than first is unacceptable,” Parker said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with their performance. That was an incredible opponent and we found a way to win. Everyone played a part.”
Although Williams was pleased with his big win and scored six points for his team, he gives much of the credit to his teammates and the role they have played in his success.
“It helps when you know that you have 14 of the best guys on your team supporting you and helping you through it,” Williams said. “When you toss somebody to their back and everybody goes crazy, it gives you a sense of urgency to finish the match off with a pin.”

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