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KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

The student news site of Kingwood Park High School

KP TIMES

Football players transfer skills to wrestling mat

Senior+Forrest+Hutchinson+works+on+taking+down+a+Splendora+opponent+during+a+match+on+Nov.+15.+Hutchinson+is+one+of+a+few+wrestlers+who+joined+as+soon+as+the+football+season+ended.
Maya Ortiz
Senior Forrest Hutchinson works on taking down a Splendora opponent during a match on Nov. 15. Hutchinson is one of a few wrestlers who joined as soon as the football season ended.

With the football season ending, many of the players are gearing up for the offseason and winter sports. 

Football and wrestling coaches Eric Coovert and Jeff Knight heavily encourage football players to become multi-sport athletes. By joining other sports throughout the year, the coaches said the players stay in better shape for the next year’s football season.

Many of the players opt to join basketball or track. However, among the lineup of winter sports is wrestling.

Senior Brandon Waggoner gets set in a match against Splendora on Nov. 15. Waggoner won the match. Waggoner was a State qualifier last year. (Madelyn Glenn)

Currently the team has a school-high 64 wrestlers going into the season. Within this group of wrestlers are many of this year’s football players, including seniors Brandon Waggoner and Forrest Hutchinson. 

Waggoner, who qualified for the State Meet last year, said joining wrestling has not only helped him to stay in shape, but also assisted him with his position as a linebacker. 

Coach Knight has found that wrestling is extremely helpful to the linebackers and defensive line. Overall it helps them with tackling and helps to build a camaraderie among players and coaches.

“It just makes them tougher. It teaches a lot of self discipline,” Knight said. “And so all that just kind of goes it just really translates over to football.”

Wrestling requires a different mindset than many sports. With wrestling being such an individual sport, wrestlers must learn that if they make a mistake it is on them. 

“You don’t rely on other stuff. You just rely on your instincts,” Waggoner said.

Hutchinson has found that even though the team aspect is missing during competition, a great deal of sportsmanship happens on the sidelines.

“You still cheer on people in other weight classes and you still support them as you would if it was a team sport,” Hutchinson said.

With two state qualifiers – Waggoner and Lucas Early – returning, Knight has high expectations for the team. He said he expects the girls team to do well at districts and for the boys team to defend their district championship. Last year, the school sent a record-high number of wrestlers to Regionals. Knight hopes to repeat that feat again.

“Just improvement. That’s what it’s all about,” Knight said.

Knight advises anyone wanting to join wrestling to try it. The team’s last match was held on Nov. 15 and their next match will be Wednesday. Their matches are fast-paced providing a fun and entertaining night.

“A lot of students in my class when they came to watch they talked about how exciting it was,” Knight said. “It really is a fun sport to watch.”

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