Pride wrestling primed for regional tournament

The Pride wrestling team practices after school in preparation for their individual regional tournament. After a successful regular season, the team hopes to make an impact in the tournament. (Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Spear) The Pride wrestling team practices after school in preparation for their individual regional tournament. After a successful regular season, the team hopes to make an impact in the tournament. (Photo Courtesy of Jonathan Spear)

On January 31, the Pride wrestling team fell short against the Cape Fear Colts in the second round of the state tournament. Though the dual season is over, the team still has the regional individual tournament to prepare for and looks to bounce back following a disappointing loss.

The theme or motto for the season has been to “Be Uncommon”. Through the season, the Pride worked to live up to this goal and were reminded about the message it served.

“The phrase essentially means to do more than what the normal guy would do. Out-think your opponent, go to that extra workout, play that extra match…put yourself ahead of the competition,” said Simeon Ruff, junior captain.

The Pride led a successful regular season and were crowned as conference champions. “It felt really good, we’ve been sharing the CAP-8 for the past few years so to come out on top as the sole winner is a huge step for us,” said Ruff.

Heading into the state tournament, the team had high ambitions and expectations. The Pride breezed through the opening round against Green Hope 54-19. The following round against Cape Fear proved to be much more of a challenge, where the Pride were defeated 61-12.

Now the focus is all on the regional individual tournament. The potential to qualify for the state tournament is on the line and preparation will be key to success. “Dual season is over so now it’s mainly about focusing on getting ready for the regional individual tournament and hopefully qualify for states,” said Ethan List, a senior.

For many of the team’s seniors, this may be their final opportunity to wrestle competitively. Although it may not have always been easy, it was an adventure rather than a journey. “It was definitely the hardest thing physically and mentally I have ever done and it really taught me so much. Immediately I enjoyed wrestling and the people who helped me be better. I see all of those guys as more than teammates – they are like my brothers,” said List.
The Pride will compete in the individual regional tournament on the weekend of February 11-12. Those who finish in the top four in their brackets will qualify for the state tournament.

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