Story by Josh German
Photo by Kyle Kimrey
With fall officially beginning, winter sports are preparing for another grueling season to begin. The wrestling team is one of the first sports to start it’s training as they look to build on a successful campaign last season.
“My goal as an individual would be to be a state champion, and for a team we want to make a run at the state title,” freshman Tristin Atkins said.
In order to reach those goals, the team has been working harder and expanding their horizons in order to be the best in the state.
“Over the summer we went to an Ohio camp, and we adopted some principles and different styles, and we’re altering the Dutch fork way of wrestling,” junior Jaxon Jones said.
Hoping to take Dutch Fork wrestling to the next level, head coach Kyle Kimrey believes that this team has all of the tools to make some noise state-wide.
“I think we have a group of fighters. We have a talented group but we know that we have to work to go get it,” Kimrey said.
Wrestlers on the team have learned a lot from Kimrey.
“We drill hard to get better every time we’re on the mat. Coach Kimrey teaches us a lot of new techniques that help us gain an advantage over our opponent,” senior Jamar Williams said.
Wrestling is a very physically demanding sport, and the wrestlers know that every time they suit up it’s going to be a challenge to win.
“One word to describe wrestling definitely would be intense. The overall mood of the practice as well as the ability to actually be good at it and get the motions down. To actually be able to wrestle is hard,” Jaxon said.
Senior Matt Weeks realizes that this is his last year wrestling for Dutch Fork and his last chance to reach his goals.
“I’m going to work ten times harder to reach my goals and be the best I can be. For me personally I want to place at state and for the team I want us to win region,” Matt said.
The combination of senior leadership and underclassmen talent has given Kimrey a unique team this season.
“It’s different, every year is different, this team has more depth in the lower weights. The years prior we had a lot of seniors. This year we have a mixture of senior leadership and young talent, so talent wise it’s just as talented as any group we have,” Kimrey said.
Some members of the team did not start their high school careers planning to be a wrestler. For senior Jamar Williams, wrestling wasn’t in his plans at all.
“Getting cut from the basketball team my sophomore year prompted me to become a wrestler. It just made me strive to do something different and I just stuck with it,” Jamar said.
Others have been influenced to wrestle through relationships with others.
“My dad’s friend told my dad I should wrestle, and I really liked it when I first started. But before then I really hadn’t heard of it,” Jaxon said.
For Tristin, what started out as just a hobby has turned into something much more.
“When I first started out it was just a sport to do for fun and try out for, now it has turned into something that I love to do,” Tristin said.
Training and hard work is are ideas that Coach Kimrey wants to use as a staple for the wrestling program, and the athletes are taking it to heart.
“It’s just a matter of them stepping up to the challenge of the work you have to put in to be successful,” Kimrey said. “We have to fight to achieve our goals.”