Wrestlers find successes in 5-8 season

Wrestlers find successes in 5-8 season

The Varsity Wrestling team wrapped up their season with a team record of 5-8. Some highlights of the season included a 2nd place at the Firebird Wrestling Classic, 3rd place at the Sectional Tournament, 3rd at the District Tournament, and 16th at the State Tournament.

Seniors Justin Kihn and Tommy Kimbrell, junior Matt Denlinger and sophomore Josh Parrett also went on to the State competition; Kimbrell was the only wrestler to place at the State Championships, finishing in 3rd place. The last week was a tough one for the Firebirds with their final matches and Kimbrell’s first loss of the season.

“The last days were brutal. We had four kids lose heart-breaking matches and we left kind of bummed,” said Head Coach Frank Baxter.

The season held many accomplishments for some individual wrestlers. Kimbrell led the Firebirds with a 48-1 record for the season, completing 145 career wins and two top-six State placements. Kihn reached his 100th career win this season. Both will continue their wresting career in college next year.

“When we look back at all the hard work we’ve done, we can’t be disappointed in what we achieved,” said Baxter.

Several wrestlers won GWOC awards, including GWOC All-Conference First Team to Kimbrell; GWOC Central First Team to Denlinger, Kihn and Kimbrell; GWOC Central Second Team to senior Ryan Huffman and Parrett; GWOC Scholar Athlete to seniors Alex Fantaci, Kihn and Kimbrell.

At the wrestling banquet, the following awards were given: MVP: senior captain Tommy Kimbrell; Coaches Award: senior captain Justin Kihn; Sportsmanship:  junior Matt Denlinger; and Most Improved: sophomore Colin DelValle.