The Leesville Road wrestling squad will take part in their first meet of the year against East Wake on November 23.
The team, under Coach Jason Wyss, has participated in preseason workouts since Labor Day in preparation for the upcoming winter. Coach Wyss holds high expectations for the team, even though the majority of last year’s squad graduated in 2010.
“We graduated some seniors up top, but we still have a lot of young talent. It’s finally their chance to step up and prove what they can do.”
Wyss, who wrestled from grade school through college, began coaching at Leesville in 2000 because of his love of the sport.
“It had been a while since I was involved with wrestling, and I wanted to get back into it. I’m trying to give these kids the same pleasant experience that I had.”
Coach Wyss is confident in his squad, but still feels they need to gain more experience. “You’ve got to [wrestle] for a while before you can properly appreciate and understand the sport,” said Wyss. “Once they gain a little experience, they’ll really start to show what they can do.”
One of the older wrestlers on the squad is Dillon Alcorn, senior. Alcorn also recognizes how young the team is but doesn’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. “We may not have a lot of experience now, but by the time everyone’s grown up, we’re going to be real good.”
One of the young talents Wyss referred to is Jackson Tucker, sophomore. Tucker joined the wrestling team his freshman year and has conditioned diligently ever since.
“My dad was a wrestler, and so when I made it to high school, I joined the team too,” said Tucker. “I had a lot of fun last year, and that made me want to come back this year.”
Tucker finds wrestling challenging, yet rewarding. “It can be difficult at times, but that just makes you push yourself more. When you finally reach your goal, it feels great.”
Wyss experienced the same difficulties when he wrestled and that helps him to understand what his kids are going through. “Physically, it’s one of the most taxing sports to play,” said Wyss. “It pushes you, but if you really want to do it, then you’ll keep trying.”
Regardless of the team’s lack of experience, Wyss still expects his team to win big this season. “We’re going to be Cap-8 champs, and hopefully one of the top 5 squads in the region too,” said Wyss.
Tucker shares his coach’s high aspirations. “I bet we can be conference champs. No doubt about it.”
Alcorn also feels that the team can succeed. “We’ll win the Cap-8. I don’t see how we can’t with all the work we do.”
Overall, Tucker is excited for the start of season. “We’ve been training for a while now, I’m ready to actually get out there and compete,” said Tucker.
“It’s time for us to go out and start winning.”