Winter sports preview — boys and girls wrestling

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 8, 2022

Wrestling team hoping for repeat of CPC 4-A Championship
Boys team has 95 wrestlers, girls team has 28 in first season of NCHSAA sanctioned competition

By Jay Spivey
For the Clemmons Courier

The wrestling season is already well into full swing, and West Forsyth has already grappled itself into early success.
West Forsyth began the season on Nov. 19 at the Wheatmore Duals in Trinity, and came away with the championship, finishing 5-0. West Forsyth defeated Central Davidson 65-15, Montgomery Central 66-12, Wheatmore 57-22, Corvian Community 72-9, and Eden Morehead 38-28.
“For a team like ours who doesn’t have middle-school wrestling, a lot of those teams have middle-school wrestling,” Coach Jason Hooker of West Forsyth said.
The tough schedule for the Titans continued the day before Thanksgiving with matches at the Enka Jet Invitational.
“We didn’t do well at all,” Hooker said. “I think a big part of it was we got up at 4:30 and drove to Asheville for three hours, got off the bus and weighed in, and started wrestling. We had 7-8 guys winning by four or five points, and all lose in that first round. It was crazy.”
Maybe the Titans were thinking about the holiday turkey.
“I just think they overlooked the tournament,” Hooker said. “I told them it was going to be tough and some of them stayed up on their phones all night being kids.”
The boys team at West Forsyth has 95 wrestlers, and that’s after it finished last season in first place in the Central Piedmont 4-A. Going 8-0 in the conference, ahead of Davie County, Reagan and Glenn.
“It’s been a little rocky,” Hooker said. “We’ve just got a bunch of kids and not a lot of help. It’s just hard to get around to all of them.”
Despite the 95 boys wrestlers, there might be a hole or two in the lineup.
“I mean, we’re good in spots,” Hooker said. “The young kids are very scrappy and they fight hard. They just don’t know a lot of technique. We’ll be a different team if I don’t run everybody off before Christmas, so we’ll see.”
The success of the season might come down to a battle of attrition.
“Everywhere we went everybody’s gotten a chance to wrestle, which has been good,” Hooker said.
“I think if the guys do what they’re supposed to do, and that’s a big if, then we’ve got as good a a chance as anybody (in the conference),” Hooker said. “But if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do in the classroom, and they don’t do what they’re supposed to do at home, wrestling isn’t going to matter.”
West Forsyth always has a tough schedule, so Hooker scheduled for the team to travel to Taylors, S.C. last Friday to wrestle in the Southern Slam. West also has a tri-match on Wednesday at home against Monroe Piedmont and Southeast Guilford, followed by a tournament on Saturday at South Stokes in the Joe Via Tournament.
The Titans will continue their scheduled before Christmas at the WRAL tournament on Dec. 16-17 in Knightdale, the Foard Tough Tournament on Dec. 17 at Fred T. Foard High School in Newton. After Christmas, the Titans will wrestle in the Holy Angels tournament on Dec. 26-27 in Greensboro.
“I always try to wrestle the best,” Hooker said. “Iron sharpens iron. I don’t ever try to protect records or anything, and sometimes that hurts us because the regional is so tough. But if you don’t wrestle competition, I don’t think you get any better.
“If you’re not willing to lose to get better you’re not going to get better.”
The first conference match is Jan. 5 at Reynolds against Reynolds and Glenn.
“Davie’s always tough,” Hooker said of competing for a conference championship. “I know that Reynolds has done a lot of work this offseason. They’ve put a lot of time in. So, we’ll see.”
As for the girls, in their first year as a sanctioned sport in the NCHSAA, the Titans currently have 28 wrestlers.
“It’s different with girls,” Hooker said. “Like I said, none of them has ever wrestled before, so it’s just like the guys. They’re going to get banged up a little bit and feel pain they didn’t feel before. And they’re not used to that. So, you’ve just got to try to get them through it, let them know they’re OK.”
Through the early portion of the girls season, it’s been a transition.
“They were nervous,” Hooker said. “They’re getting used to it.”