Wrestling Team Finishes Second in the MVC

Nathan Albrinck

By Nathan Albrinck ’16, Sports Section Editor

Last weekend, the Cincinnati Country Day wrestling team took to the mats to compete in the Miami Valley Conference Tournament. The team finished second in the league, behind only North College Hill, the league champion for the past nine years. This is the 3rd year in a row in which the Country Day team has improved its finish in the league, going from 5th in 2013 to 4th in 2014 to 3rd in 2015 and finally 2nd in 2016. If the trend continues, the team can look forward to great success next season.

Going into the MVC meet, Coach Daniel Wood was enthusiastic about the team and its future. He commented, “We are super excited to be hosting the league meet. We have 17 guys in the middle school. We have nine guys in the varsity program. We really have a program that’s on the upswing, so it’s exciting we get to showcase our facility and the momentum we have in the program.” As far as results in the league meet, the team placed well in a variety of weight classes. Ian Hayes ’16 placed first in the MVC in the 170 pound weight class. Freshman wrestlers Mose Hatcher, Chase Goings, Sterling Snell, and sophomore Corey Lancaster all placed second in their respective weight classes. In addition, Jon Miller ’17 finished in third in the 220 pound weight class.

Senior Captain Ian Hayes described what defines success in wrestling, saying, “We have a really young team, so this year we have been focusing on perfecting our technique and working hard day in and day out. The reality is you can’t always get your hand raised at the end of the match. Yes, winning is nice, but it’s about more than that.” Coach Wood echoed these sentiments, saying, “Success is how much you’ve grown from day one.” This growth has been shown in their team results throughout this season’s meets. Early results included 18th place at the Purcell Marian Invitational, 14th place at the North College Hill Invitational, and 12th Place at the Valley View High School Invitational. Later results have included 8th place at the Lockland Invitational and a win against Hughes High School in a one-on-one meet, in addition to the second place finish at the MVC meet.

“Wrestling is different from other sports,” Coach Wood told me. “You’ll hear commentators say in other sports that defense wins championships. In this sport, it’s offense that wins championships. You have to be aggressive.” This year, the team has focused on three specific statistics to maximize their offense and aggression: takedowns, near-fall points, and pins. The preseason goals for takedowns and near-fall points were 50 and 40, respectively. The team, now with more than 50 in each category, has exceeded each goal. In the third category, pins, the team has earned 27 out of their goal of 30 pins. With the Sectional Meet still forthcoming, this third goal is well within reach.

Of this season’s nine wrestlers, only two are upperclassmen. With that said, none of the wrestlers have had more than two years of high school experience. When asked about having such a young team, Thomas Retzios ’18,one of the more experienced wrestlers on the team, commented, “This year we worked hard to overcome the difficulties of being a small, young, wrestling team. Country Day wrestling has more than doubled since last year, which has finally allowed us to become more competitive as a team during tournaments.” With one more year of experience under their belts, next year’s team will be primed for success.

Following their second place finish in the Miami Valley Conference league meet, the Country Day wrestling team will set their sights on the Sectional tournament. Come cheer on the team Friday, February 19th and Saturday, February 20th at Blanchester!