by Schyler Slunaker/Staff Writer
The Cougar Wrestling Team has had two wrestlers Scott Stanley, 10, and Cooper Noehre, 11, make it all the way to Semi-State. With Stanley winning 5th place in his weight class of 182 lbs, he was not able to move on to state but Noehre made the cut, and on he went to state winning second place out of his weight division at 152 lbs, with a score of 9-7.
Noehre defeated a Bloomington South opponent, a Prairie Heights wrestler, and a Mater Dei grappler at state. He lost in overtime to a Cathedral opponent.
Coach Josh Holden spoke about the season. “Our team is very young, 29 freshman and sophomores. The transition from junior high wrestling to high school wrestling is very difficult. We demand so much more time at this level. However, I think those young wrestlers did an outstanding job of coming to work every day with a goal, being coachable, and following the process. Now, we will see if they follow the offseason process.”
Holden went on about how the team is like a second family to him. “I love them! When I first got into coaching I thought I was going to change the world. I thought I would be the one that made my athletes better people. But that’s not how it worked out. The program makes them better people and they make me a better man.”
Jacob Blevens, 10, spoke about the team spirit and why he joined this year. “My three brothers are involved in wrestling and I spent most of my time watching the sport or being their drill partner and it seemed a lot of fun so I thought I would try it for myself. After going through a season with them I can honestly say that I have grown to respect and love all of the wrestlers and coaches. ”
The team is all about getting better everyday and is more like a family. “No matter if you are the best wrestler on the team or the worst, you earn respect because of what you go through every day. Sweating and bleeding together creates a special bond,” Holden said.
The players are all encouraged to help out in the community. For example, as a team they all helped out the local soup kitchen by moving boxes of clothes and toys being donated to the soup kitchen by a local citizen.
Addie Coil, 11, a trainer for the team, explained why she chose to be a part of it. “My brother, Tyler, wrestled all through junior high and high school. While being dragged to wrestling meets when I was younger, I guess I just started to love it. It was a family back then that I felt a part of and now it’s a family that I am a part of.”