The Orono wrestling team has been sending wrestlers to state for years. The team has high intensity practices to improve stamina and cardio for the long wrestling matches. As sections near the team is grinding to send wrestlers to the state tournament.
“My favorite part of the season so far is seeing how focused the team has become in the past few weeks. I’ve seen kids from 7th-12th grade become super focused on our team goal of winning the section and making it to state,” senior Henry Beck said.
The wrestling team has trained hard all year with intense practices after school, in which the team will do sprints/cardio, wrestling and some weight lifting. However, in recent weeks the team has switched to a short morning and after school practice. With a quick practice before school and a shorter one after school, the players are able to get home earlier at night.
“Sometimes days leading up before meets I have to cut weight and can only eat a few things, and I have to drink less water,” senior Nick Simafranca said.
Days leading up to meets player will try to cut weight in order to stay within their weight class. Sometimes for wrestlers it can be an upwards of five to six pounds within the span of a couple days. Some of the more common remedies to cutting weight is doing more cardio outside of practice, drinking less water and eating less which can include skipping meals during the day.
“Even though it’s hard to get up, working out before school, helps start off the day feeling good,” junior Jake Schmid said.
The team has been grinding all season in hopes of sending more wrestlers to the state tournament than past seasons. Varsity wrestlers have their eyes set on winning the team section as well as winning individual sections.
“One of my goals would be making it to the state tournament again and placing top 5 in the state,” Beck said.
The wrestling team has experience with multiple wrestlers on the team who qualified for the state tournament in the past. Those include juniors Danny Strigow and Jake Schmid, seniors Nick Simafranca and Henry Beck, and sophomore Noah Arneson. Many of the wrestlers have their goals set on not only qualifying for state, but winning the section in their weight class.
“My favorite part of the season so far is hanging out with the boys,” Simafranca said.
The team sections took place on Feb.16th. Orono wrestled exceptionally but fell just short of first place and team qualification.
The individual wrestling sections took place on Feb. 22-23 at Orono High School. The Orono wrestling team did not disappoint, with five different wrestlers winning their weight class and two second place finishes.
The wrestlers who took home first place were Nick Simafranca, Danny Striggow, Jake Schmid, Henry Beck and Shea Albrecht. The wrestlers who got second place were Noah Arneson and Dave Wilfert. All seven of these wrestlers have advanced to the State tournament. Two Orono wrestlers have been given rankings at the state tournament. Nick Simafranca was given a 7th seed, and Danny Striggow was given the 1st seed.
These seven wrestlers now look to make a name for themselves at the state tournament on Friday, March 1 and Saturday, March 2 at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.