With the regular season officially over for Maryville wrestling, that leaves the district tournament and the possibility of a state bid.
The girls competed in their first district tournament Feb. 2 in Smithville. Even though the girls did not win, there was no lack of excitement for the future of the squad. Coach Kody Koster expressed great admiration for all the effort and hard work the girls put in this past season.
“Something that really stood out to me about the girls this season was their ability to persevere,” Koster said. “They would always look to build off of mistakes and turn those mistakes into positives on the mat.”
Boys wrestling headed to Bethany to take on South Harrison and North Andrew. The dual was postponed Jan. 30 due to inclement weather. Maryville came out of the dual with a 48-10 win over North Andrew and a 48-30 win over South Harrison. With two big wins before districts, Koster believes the team is hitting its stride at the right time.
“Since it was the last meet of the year, it was nice to see the level we competed at,” Koster said. “The guys really came out ready to go, and they took care of business in the end. It was a great time for us to win in that fashion because it will serve as a confidence booster going into districts and even potentially state.”
Koster was pleased with the way the athletes prepared for their respective district tournaments. Something emphasized by Koster was tempo. The tempo or pace at which a match is held can determine the outcome. Koster exudes energy, and it is starting to rub off on the athletes.
“As a wrestler, you want to control the tempo out on the mat,” Koster said. “Controlling the tempo of the match puts that wrestler in a situation where they can play to their strengths or go after the opponent's weakness.”
Koster went on to explain how important technique is to help a wrestler control the pace or tempo of the match.
“Coach really likes to get on us about our technique,” junior Jeff Stooksbury said. “He shows us just how vital it can be to keep mastering our technique to become better wrestlers.”
Even with the regular season over, the ‘Hounds are still in search of ways to improve.
“When there is a mistake made, there is a chance to learn from that and build upon it to better ourselves as wrestlers,” sophomore Connor Weiss said. “Coach really emphasizes that we learn from our losses and mistakes to help improve for the future.”
The ‘Hounds got quite the confidence boost going into districts, but it is still unclear how things will play out. The district tournament is essentially what the entire season of work comes down to, and Maryville is primed to make some noise this upcoming weekend.
The district tournament will be 5 p.m. Feb. 8 in Excelsior Springs. The tournament will resume 10 a.m. Feb. 9 to decide the state qualifiers.