As the mats rolled out on Dec. 11, the wrestling team faced a season- defining match against the stacked team Damascus. Damascus has had about eight state wrestlers every year for the past five years. Slam after slam, people were hitting the mats hard. Unfortunately, it was the Wootton players hitting the mat. Damascus ended up scoring 63 points to Wootton’s 12.
Even in a big blow out, two Wootton wrestlers were able to come out on top. Seniors Jake Warner and Eric Liau finished the match with wins. Although the team lost, they were able to be proud of beating their opponents.
Warner has been the one of team’s top wrestlers several years now. “It definitely feels good to beat Damascus; they always have a very talented team so you never know how to prepare against your opponent.”
Warner has had a long history when battling Damascus. He has seen some of their players in multiple regional events in year’s past. “When it comes to playing Damascus you have to prepare your body all week because you know it won’t be a cake walk. It’s almost like going in as an underdog and having to prove you can win by yourself,” Warner said.
Senior Spencer Tritto was not fortunate enough to have an easy opponent. Tritto was matched up against three-time state champion Ryan Lawrence. Lawrence is known to not just simply beat his opponents but to destroy them. For the past three seasons he has coasted through the regular season matches with ease. When facing Tritto, Lawrence was able to finish him within the first minute. Instead of using the tactic of wearing down his opponent, he goes right at his opponent with all of his skillset and strength. “I have never faced someone with his level of skill. But the thing is he uses so much strength too, it is like he has the perfect combination of both,” Tritto said. He is known to be one of the team leaders and better wrestlers.
One of the event’s closest matches involved senior Eric Lee. Lee lost in the last second 9-7. “I hate losing but I know how good of a team they are. I’m glad it was close and glad I was able to compete with some of the best players in the state. I think it made me a better wrestler because I learn from the best and incorporate their techniques,” Lee said.