Andrew Berman
Staff Reporter
February 27, 2017

It is a great feeling; a feeling of excitement, momentum, and most importantly, a feeling of success. The Raiders’ very own JV wrestling team has garnered quite a few accomplishments, namely having a girl on the roster and preparing underclassmen for varsity, but this year the team adds something new to the resume: an undefeated start.

“I think we can beat any team in the county because of the way we train and the dedication our team has,” said Jay Desmarais, a top wrestler for the squad.

The Atholton JV wrestling team has battled its way towards tops in the county. The 12-0 start is lead by a group of 5, near perfect wrestlers. There is Shea Collins, holding a perfect record of 9-0, with 48 points scored and 0 allowed. Jay Desmarais, who holds an 8-1 record with 48 points scored and 5 points allowed. Aidan Healey has a 9-1 record with 48 points scored and 6 allowed. Sebastian Silberman has a 9-0 record with 49 points scored and 0 allowed. Lastly, Jana Tumaneng, who is 9-1 with 48.6 points scored and 6 points allowed. The whole team together has outscored their opponents 451.6 to 122, an astonishing accomplishment. The team has been able to blow out many teams behind these five leading wrestlers, including a 57-0 victory over Wilde Lake.

The team attributes their success to a plethora of things. Some believe that their hard work and dedication put into the sport is displayed by their record. While others believe their attitude of practicing like a champion will lead them to championship prowess.

“Simply we practice like champions,” stated Healey, “And it shows on the mats.”

With a winning mentality, the team has challenges aside from their adversary. Each time the team enters a match, they have lofty expectations of trouncing their opponents. This mentality requires an abundance of composure to be able to perform up to their standards in every match.

“We walk into our matches like we do all the time, ready to use the skills we learn in practice and apply them,” said Desmarais. This, he remarked, is a huge factor in their success.

Success is built on the skills learned outside of matches. The work ethic and the drills are cemented within the many hours of practice. The JV wrestling team focuses on what they already know and hone their skills in practices, because if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

“In practices, we work on what we already know and try to improve on that,” Desmarais continued, “We aren’t learning many new moves, and just trying to perfect what we already know, since we can beat people with what we know.”

The team’s momentum has helped them grind through tough games such as matches with Oakland Mills and Marriotts Ridge, winning each by only 6 points. These hard games aren’t all decided by physical abilities, but by their mental fortitude. The team’s bus rides are always “very quiet,” according to Desmarais. On the way to the game and in the pregame, they really just think about their game plan and mentally prepare themselves.

Last year, the team was not of this caliber. Desmarais says, “We we’re not this good last year.” Even with some current varsity wrestlers on the team last year, they could not achieve this type of record.

Looking ahead, the team strives to keep this winning feeling going into each member’s varsity career. They also look to boost the morale of the incoming freshman by giving them advice. Desmarais said he would tell them about the hard work they must put in to be successful, while Healey left a deep piece of advice: “The dream is free, the grind is sold separately.”

All in all, the 2016-17 Atholton JV wrestling team is off to a great, promising start and gives the Varsity team lots of potential in the near future.

Posted by Andrew Berman

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