The Fort Campbell High School wrestling team honored their six seniors Jan. 17 during their Senior Night where they competed against Calloway County, Owensboro and White House, Tenn. The Falcons went on to demolish all three teams.
Outshining their rivals from Owensboro (78-3), Calloway (66-4), and White House (56-12) proved easy work for the focused Falcons and made Senior Night that much more special.
“I didn’t expect us to be as good as we are this year, but we’ve been working hard during practice and we’re accomplishing our goals,” said senior David Sahms.
Sahms easily won his match in the first round.
“I knew [my opponent] was injured, so I wanted to go out there and work moves. I ended up taking him down a couple of times, and then I just went for the pin,” he said. “I’ve done pretty well [against Owensboro in the past]. I’ve gone against their kids a couple times in previous tournaments. I’ve done pretty well against him; he’s a really hard opponent to pin, so it’s usually just really close match-up points.”
Doing well in this meet brings the Falcons that much closer to their ultimate goal.
“We’re going to the state championship dual. Hopefully we can do well there,” Sahms said.
Remaining hard at work during the holiday break to prepare for these meets and ultimately for a chance to compete at state, seems to have paid off for the Falcons.
As the Falcons move closer to state, they remain focused on their team and personal goals.
“In practice our work ethic is intense,” said Jerry Haywood, senior. “We work hard, we’ve got determination, and we’re ready to go.”
Haywood’s dreams of making it to state last year were cut short through a disqualification at regionals.
“Last year I got disqualified for an illegal slam,” Haywood said.
He now uses that experience as fuel and motivation in his quest for redemption.
“My record is 32-3 now. I’m looking to keep that up and placing at state.”
Fellow senior Josh Green gave himself one simple personal goal this year.
“I told myself, ‘I’m not going to be pinned,’ and so far I’ve been keeping up with that goal,” said Green. “We have a lot of potential. Our coaches have given us the tools to unleash that potential and as long as we keep striving forward, we should do as good as were meant to.”
Anthony Shingler, head coach for the FCHS wrestling team, appreciates the hard work his seniors have put into the wrestling program throughout their four years at Fort Campbell.
“I am proud of our seniors,” said Shingler. “They have really been the building block to getting Fort Campbell wrestling back to being a tough team. I hope they can continue to work hard and put in the work to finish the last three weeks of the season off with a bang.”
Quickly following their Jan. 17 wins, the Falcons headed to Dalton, Ga., for the National Collegiate Wrestling Association High School National Duals Championship.
The Falcons finished 2-1 at the NCWA High School National Duals with wins over Wayne County, Ky. (40-36) and top-ranked small school Pigeon Forge, Tenn. (40-25), with a close loss to Auburn, Ala. (31-30).
“This weekend was wonderful,” Shingler said. “Pigeon Forge is a top-notch program. They are ranked number one in small school in Tennessee for a reason. We got a big pin at 160, and it was what we needed to finish the match.”
Shingler believes these recent dual wins have aided in adequately preparing the team for what is to come at state.
“The experiences … will carry over into the state duals,” said Shingler. “We will not be nervous or freeze [because of the] big time atmosphere of the state duals. It gives our staff confidence to know our kids are calm under the massive amount of pressure they’ll be under. I fully expect to go into the state duals and win. We have won and lost tight matches this season against top-notch teams. I know my staff and I are looking forward to this weekend.”
The Falcons travel to Louisville, Ky., Saturday for the State Duals Championship.
We’re doing pretty good!” said a smiling Haywood. “I think we’ve got a good chance of going out with a great record.”