The Blair wrestling team could not quite make the cut, as they fell to Walter Johnson High School in a 48-33 defeat on Thursday, December 12. Despite the loss, the Blazers held up their end against the rival WJ Wildcats.
Had it not been for the three forfeits that Blair gave up, the Blazers would have prevailed. The 103, 145 and 215-pound weight classes were not filled by Blair wrestlers, resulting in an award of 18 additional points to WJ. Excluding these 18 points, Blair actually surpassed WJ, leading the match in earned points by three.
Considering that the majority of the team hadn't wrestled varsity previously in a match, Blair performed admirably. Coach Jake Scott insists that the wrestlers gave it their all and did great, despite the final score. "We wrestled well with a lot of heart, even if the scoreboard didn't say so," said Scott.
Wrestling Captain senior Jacob Johnston agrees that Blair fought hard but couldn't pull through due to the empty slots in the varsity lineup. "With the kids we had, we did really well; they all wrestled with pride," Johnston said. "But because of all the forfeits, we lost to a team that we shouldn't have lost to."
After Blair's poor performance at Magruder High School's annual "Big M Tournament" the previous Saturday, Blair's expectations for the season did not appear promising. Of the ten varsity wrestlers entered in the tournament, only two advanced past the second round: juniors Scott Nguyen and Hansel Cedeno, who placed fourth and second in their respective weight classes.
Juniors Alex Berger and Muamba Muanankese, both varsity wrestlers, were unable to attend the match. Instead, senior Mohamed Bah and sophomore Andrew Helguson, both JV wrestlers, took over the empty slots and stepped up to help the team.
The meet concluded much earlier than anticipated, due to the forfeits and the high number of pins for both teams. Only one of the matches did not result in a pin, and nearly all of the pins occured within the first period. In fact, the first two matches, won by Nguyen and Johnston, lasted a combined total of 56 seconds.
Although Blair would rather not begin the season with a losing record, its new members continue to gain experience and the holes in its lineup may be filled. As the season progresses, Blair's competition will see an improved Blair wrestling team maintaining Blair's reputation and producing a winning season.
Alan Coleman. Alan Coleman is currently a junior in the CAP program. '04 Baby! He is a writer on <i>Silver Chips Online</i> and a Sports Writer for <i>Silver Chips</i> print. During the winter, Alan wrestles. This season, he had a remarkable 8-6 record (not bad for a … More »