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Winter preview: wrestling


Black and red mats cover the west gym floor cushioning a fall as senior Zach Stenger takes down fellow teammate during wrestling practice.  Just a few feet away from Stenger is senior Brandon Mabry, who is also sparing while giving his teammates tips.  Both returning vrsity wrestlers are building up their strength and have the common goal of placing first as a team in the Fox Valley Conference as well as regionals and state.

Stenger, who has moved up in weight classes, is especially confident that the team will place.

“We have a really good chance of making it,” he said. “We came so close last year.”

Hoping to help his team win big this season, Brandon Mabry also is confident in his team and looks toward the season with optimism.

“You always gotta strive to do your best,” said Mabry.

With the team’s first matches just around the corner and practices after every school day, wrestlers are training hard to meet goals, build more strength, and move up in weight classes. Strength is not the only thing that is important.  Mental strength and motivation play a big part in the success of the team.

As the wrestlers mature, some players who were not on varsity last year are now moving up to the varisty team, such as sophomore Chris Gamboa.  Gamboa, who coach Benjamin Bertelsman said was the most improved player from last year.

Despite the challenges of finding many upper-weight class wrestlers,  the team still has many wrestlers moving up.

“We did pretty good last year and I think we’ll do really well this year too,” said Bertelsman.   “But it’s always a challenge of finding a lot of big guys who are willing to fight.”

Although senior Josh Symbal, the first Huntley High wrestler to make it to state, placed fifth in the Wrestling State Tournaments last year and graduated; there are high hopes for another successful Huntley High School Wrestling season.

The team finished its season with 267 cumulative wins. Stenger and Mabry are predicted to carry the team to place higher this year, as well as bring themselves to place in state.  Everyone strives to improve as the season continues.

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