The Savage Horsemen Wrestling team had another successful week on the road, with Daniel Uli remaining undefeated.
“We [coaches] are really happy with how the team is going. They are getting better each week,” said assistant coach Jake Lile of his team.
Over the course of three days at two different gyms, the team on average wrestled between eight and 10 matches.
“The weather conditions weren’t the best to travel, however, we ensure we get on the road with plenty of time to weigh in before our matches begin,” said coach Lile of last week’s winter weather.
Uli is not the only standout athlete of the team. Josiah Vanderwall has only lost one match up so far in the season. Vanderwall’s brother Conrad was the standout player of the Buzz Lucey Memorial Tournament for the team this past weekend.
“Conrad Vanderwall. he’s a Sophomore with a lot of raw talent and a great attitude,” said coach Lile
“Conrad has had to face the uphill battle of having little mat experience before high school. I coached Conrad when he was in the eighth grade, and it was his first time ever wrestling. In the past couple years, Conrad has made incredible strides in catching up and surpassing kids who have been wrestling since 6 years old,” explained Lile
“His older brother, Josiah, has done a lot to help Conrad in this endeavor. In fact, all of our upperclassmen make it a point to help foster success in the younger wrestlers; wrestling is an individual sport, but the team is family to them, and success is shared,” said Lile.
“This year I’ve watched Conrad’s confidence and tenacity claw itself out of his eighth-grade timidity. Spectators don’t really understand what it takes for these young men and women to step onto the mat and compete, there’s a lot of bravery involved,” further explaining what it takes for these more inexperienced wrestlers to continually grow within the sport.
“Conrad was down by 2 points with little time left on the clock in his semi-finals match when he scored a late take-down and near-fall, winning his match 10-8,” said Lile of the young Vanderwall.
Lile went further to say that the final burst of energy that Vanderwall expressed on the mat during the semi-final was one of importance.
When wrestlers match up, they are truly competing as individuals on the mat. The score may contribute to a team score, however there are aspects of the sport that can’t be coached.
Lile expressed that it really is onward and upward from here for the younger Vanderwall as he seemed to kick into another level and is looking to be another dominant component of the Savage Horsemen.
“This was a banner weekend for our team. I can’t remember the last time the Savage Horsemen even placed at the Buzz Lucey, let alone won it. We had 6 placers last night, but the team trophy was the culmination of all of our wrestler’s hard work and dedication. We won the tournament by half a point. Plains scored 117.0 points, Whitefish scored 116.5 points, and Eureka scored 112.0,” said Lile.
With 140 wrestlers and 12 teams the Savage Horsemen seem to be bringing the heat ahead of this season’s wrestling.