Thursday, January 2, 2014
Vikings hit mats for wrestling season
Ripley is well known for many of its stellar athletes, and a lot of those athletes happen to be the ambitious wrestlers. This year everyone has high expectations for the wrestling team, just like the years before. Returning state champions include senior Preston Martin who won second in his weight class last year, junior Jake Martin who won first place in his weight class last year, and sophomore Lucas Simpkins who also won first place in his weight class. Everyone is anxious to see what this year holds for these three state champs. Jake Martin says, “I won’t be able to wrestle until after the second match due to surgery, but I’m really excited for the season and I’m ready to hit the mats again this year.” Some of the freshmen this year are nervous about following in the footsteps of the state champion wrestlers from past and present. Freshman Chance Morgan said, “I love wrestling and I’m really excited to take on the transition from middle to high school.” Not all of the new wrestlers are freshman. Some of the new wrestlers are Seniors who haven’t wrestled since previous years. Austin Hall said, “I’m really excited for the first match this year because I haven’t wrestled since my freshman year.” The Ripley High gymnasium is always packed with excited fans during the days of wrestling meets by screaming parents, loving girlfriends, and supportive friends. Two of those supports are coaches Matt Smith and Frank Howerton. Everyone loves a sporting event where you get to watch aggressive guys go at it on a mat until one pins the other. The first match of the season was December 9 against Hurricane at home. Their second match was December 13. It was a tournament in Canton, Ohio. At press time, the results were not yet known.