PLAINVILLE - If Wednesdayâs dual meet against Plainville taught the Newington wrestling team anything, it was the Indians see the process of building up their program working.
Newington ended up losing to the Blue Devils 43-42, but when the match went to tiebreaking points. Overall, though, there were still some positives - such as getting four of the nine pins - as well as some issues that have to be address moving forward.
âWe had two weeks to prepare and we tried to squeeze as much stuff in as possible, but we always seem to leave some things out,â Indians head coach Tony Nguyen said. â[Wednesday] tells me we have to work on the little things like fighting off our backs, getting better wrist controls, having better strategies and make statements to stay in.â
âBut because we are a young team, Iâm not looking for team wins or losses. I liked that our kids really like to wrestle and they put their hearts out there. Winning or losing doesnât really matter to me as long as they put their heart out there.â
But while Newington might be one the younger side - the team doesnât have a single senior on the roster and has just four juniors - the wrestlers arenât using that as an excuse either. They believe they have a chance to be competitive in every match and meet this season, they just have to find the consistency both on the mat on meet nights and in the practice room.
âWe really havenât found our leadership yet,â said Newington junior Wyatt Bernard, who wrestled at 220 pounds on Wednesday. âBut our team is out here to win. Weâre not coming out here thinking weâre going to lose. I think a majority of us have a good mentally coming into matches. Of course some of us are nervous heading into matches, they over think it, but they really fight, even the ones that arenât really skilled know they have to give it their all.â
Of course, the Indians had a chance to take control of the dual meet for good. Bernard pinned Travis Boone with 24 seconds left in the third period of the 220-pound match to put the momentum in Newingtonâs favor. Joe Amitan (285), Aidan Corriveau (106) and Duarte Cordeiro (113) then captured the next three by forfeit.
Then the 120-pound match occurred, which ended up changing the course of the meet. Plainvilleâs Dominic Pedrolini managed to pin Emilo Cruz with 14 seconds left in the match despite Cruz being up 3-8. The Indians dropped two of the final three matches leaving the meet up the tiebreaker.
âOur teamâs motto is âletâs scrap for every little thing,ââ Nguyen said. âItâs a message that hasnât got through to the kids just yet, but weâre trying to get them to not give up those pins.â
Now, Newington just has to take this experience and move forward.
âThis is definitely the right step,â Bernard added. âItâs kind of like last season, the guys who were getting pins were the same guys who were getting the wins. If we can get the guys who arenât as skilled, get them step up, I think we can win some matches and not go 3-15 this year.â
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org