FC Smackdown--Recapping The Winter Wrestling Season
By Lily Lovette--Eagle Staff Writer
As the cold weather starts to roll in, the FCHS Wrestling Team is rolling up their mats. With the winter wrestling season coming to an end, a few of the team members have shared some highlights.
“The progression of the team as a group has really impressed us coaches,” coach David Ferguson started. “Being a young team last year and this year has been the biggest challenge for our team, which only gets better with practice and competition,” Ferguson continued.
Ferguson also had praise for wrestling team captain Robbie Knott.
“As far as individuals, Robbie Knott has been really standing out this year. He has a good chance of winning his weight class this year in the state championships,” Ferguson enthused.
Wrestling since the eighth grade, senior Robbie Knott says, “The best part is standing on top of a podium with a gold medal and a picture of the bracket.”
However, winning isn’t the only thing Knott enjoys about wrestling.
“Some of my favorite memories involve going to the mall to pass time between days of competition, the long bus rides back in the dark with the team, having intense dodgeball games,” Knott said.
The team manager junior Olivia Chitwood agrees. “The best part is our trips, the bonding on the trips and winning. If you lose, we don't beat you up for it. It’s ‘you got better, you did better, you improved because you didn't do something last time.’”
Apart from the good, there are struggles in every sport. For the wrestling team, weight and conditioning is reportedly the hardest part. Weight and conditioning has a strict rule in wrestling: to stay in your weight class you have to be willing to make the cut.
“The worst part is the anxiety and stress of having to make weight so often,” Knott stated.
“Weight cut and conditioning is almost every wrestler's worst nightmare. It's awful and horrendous to watch. I'm just glad I don't have to do it,” Chitwood said.
Being the team manager, Chitwood engages in other activities for the team.
“When there's a match I do the scoring. If it's an away tournament or match I do either filming or some photography for the photobook and scorebook. When we get back it's mostly laundry, uploading videos, and just making sure everything is back to normal and getting it ready for the next tournament,” Chitwood reported.
Her efforts proved triumphant when she was presented with “The Belt.” It’s given to the wrestler the coaches have recognized for “Wrestler of the Week.”
“The coaches recognized me for Wrestler of the Week and they gave me the belt,” Chitwood exclaimed.
Chitwood isn’t the only one who is getting recognized either.
“They just now sanctioned women's wrestling in Virginia last year. VHSL wasn’t going to count [women's scores] towards anything... We now also have two states [competitions] for women,” senior and team captain Livia Conner reported.
Now that VHSL is counting women's scores, the opportunities for wrestlers are continuing to grow and the wrestling team is in need of more members.
“We need more girls and really just more people. If you want to wrestle, come out and wrestle. It's a good community with good diversity. We want more wrestlers and we need more wrestlers,” Chitwood said.
“We also need support,” Conner added.
The doors are open for anyone who is interested. Simply reach out to Coach Ferguson.