Eagle grapplers got off to a great start as the feature team of the week Monday, Jan. 23, trouncing opponents National Trail and Fairborn in a Senior Night tri-meet.
Looking ahead, the team hopes to keep its momentum high entering the Eaton Invitational this weekend and through next month’s end-of-season tournaments. Divisional duals begin February 4, with the league and sectional tournaments held during the weekends that follow.
The 2011-12 wrestling team consists of a balanced group of four freshman, three sophomores, five juniors and five seniors, including 10 returners from a season ago. The program continues to build on the success and hard work that second year varsity head coach Tim Begley instilled one season ago, when the Eagles finished as GCL North champions.
“It all starts in practice,” said senior Tyler McBeath (182), who serves as a co-captain with fellow seniors Dominic Genovesi (171) and Patrick McManus (126). Each understands the importance of leading by example and setting the tone at workouts in the Student Conditioning Center.
“We’ve been more focused as a team this year and concentrating more on technique, and every week we’re getting better,” McBeath said.
By measuring team improvement on the mat in both practice and matches, the team's successes have steadily climbed throughout the season. Highlights have included:
Advancing six wrestlers to day two at Elder’s prestigious Catholic Invitational Tournament—up from two last season.
Placing four individuals, including two first place finishers, at the Franklin Invitational Tournament.
Taking second place overall as a team in the Xenia Invitational Tournament.
And, most recently, recording a victory at home on Senior Night.
“Participating in Senior Night is something I’ve always looked forward to,” said McManus, a three-year CJ wrestler. “It made me proud standing out there with my parents and seeing that all my hard work didn’t just go for nothing.”
For the Eagles’ hard work to count this postseason, the team will need a strong showing Friday and Saturday at Eaton High School. According to Genovesi, CJ expects to see some the same 21 teams from Eaton again in the opening rounds of the Division II state tournament February 18.
“A lot of those wrestlers are the same guys who we’ll be facing in sectionals,” Genovesi said, “so this weekend will have a big impact as far as seeding goes."