Wrestling team works to success

The varsity wrestling team beat Urbandale on Jan. 10 for the first time in six years with a score of 42-28.

“We’ve come close (to beating them) the last couple of years,” head coach Aaron Tecklenburg said. “But this is the first time in a dual team format.”

Currently the team has 9-4  meet record with its only losses being to Valley, first ranked Southeast Polk and Mason City. However the wrestlers also took out sixth ranked Albia.

Tecklenburg attributes the success this year to three things.

First, more younger kids are involved with wrestling. Tecklenburg focuses on strengthening the Johnston Wrestling Club, a  group for younger athletes, and talking to  middle school students about going out for wrestling.

Secondly, more wrestlers are embracing the workouts.

“Our training routines haven’t changed drastically (from previous years),” Tecklenburg said.

However, wrestlers are pushing themselves more than they have in the past.

“If you work hard,” Tecklenburg said. “then you’ll be in good shape.”

Lastly, Tecklenburg acknowledges the senior leadership on the varsity and JV.

“It really makes a big difference having them around,” Tecklenburg said. “All of them show great character. They set a good example for the younger guys in our room by working hard at practice and treating each other with respect.”

Logan Walkup is one of those senior leaders.

“I like to try to keep people motivated even when practice gets hard or they are having a rough day. A lot of people need someone on the team to look up to and I think we have several guys that take that role on,” Walkup said.

Co-captain and senior Dakota Jackson also knows the importance his leadership plays on the team.

“I think it is important to always act like a leader when I’m wrestling, because I know as a freshman you look up to the seniors for advice and help.” Jackson said. “I do anything and everything I can for my teammates because the more success each one has, the more success the team has.”

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