Highland wrestling focuses on improving, gaining experience
Dec 11, 2018 10:43AM
By Josh McFadden
The Highland Rams picked a victory in the Gallegos Memorial Duals last season. The team is hoping for more success this season in divisional meets. (Photo courtesy of Ted Sierer)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
High school coaches in every sport face similar challenges from season to season: replacing key athletes and finding ways to develop younger competitors. Highland wrestling coach Ted Sierer knows exactly what this is like.
Sierer oversees a young, inexperienced team this season. Highland graduated some key athletes from last year’s squad and has some members this year who haven’t had much varsity experience. But Sierer isn’t panicking. He’s confident his returning competitors and newcomers alike will do their part to improve themselves and the team.
“There will need to be several wrestlers who step into the role of a varsity wrestler and meet the challenges associated with that step up in competition,” Sierer said. “Having said that, though, I fully expect every wrestler to give his best effort every time he steps on the mat. The one thing we can control is our effort, so we need to be sure that we give nothing less than our all.”
Last season, the Rams won Region 6, largely due to a positive attitude, strong work ethic and courage. Sierer hopes to see the same mindset and output this season.
“I hope that we continue to build on what we established last year,” he said. “I feel that we wrestled above ourselves last year, which resulted in a region championship. The way we did that is we worked hard, did not fear anyone, answered the bell every time and had a lot of fun on the way. I hope that this year's team can build on those attitudes.”
Junior Colin Sierer, the coach’s son, headlines the Highland team. He placed sixth at state last season as a sophomore in the 106-pound class, where he hopes to wrestle again this season. Another one to watch is junior Paul Clark, who qualified for state last season. He’ll either compete in the 182-pound or 195-pound weight class. Seniors Isaiah Gonzalez and Taten Sykes bring experience to the squad. The competitors will likely wrestle at 170 pounds and 160 pounds, respectively.
Their coach is pleased with how these young men have conducted themselves on and off the mat.
“Each possesses a great work ethic,” Sierer said. “This means they are willing to do whatever they are asked without complaining. They want to improve and do whatever they can in order to make those improvements. They are also team leaders. They have embraced this role and look for opportunities to make their teammates better as well. I thoroughly enjoy working with them because they have a passion for Highland wrestling and represent the program well.”
Though youth and inexperience will be a major hurdle for the team this season, Sierer believes the team can overcome these limitations through a positive mental attitude and focusing on improving each day. By the time region and state come around in February, he wants the team to be at its best.
Sierer said the team is “very coachable,” and that even new wrestlers are catching on quickly. While he would love to guide the Rams to another league crown, he won’t measure success by looking at the win-loss column.
“This will be a successful year if we are a better team at the end of the year than we are at the beginning of the year,” he said. “Of course, we would love to defend our region title, but I do not want to define this team by wins and losses. I want to look back on the season and see that each wrestler has become a more confident and solid wrestler. I want to see our team grow and reach its potential. If every wrestler makes solid improvement over the course of the season, wins and losses will take care of themselves.”