Young team shows promise for the future of DHS Wrestling

Senior Josh Padron dominates his opponent during the De Soto Duals Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 18, 2019

Ben Stamey

Senior Josh Padron dominates his opponent during the De Soto Duals Wrestling Tournament on Jan. 18, 2019

Erin Pickert, Staff Reporter

While other De Soto High School sports – such as basketball – take the stage come winter season, a promising wrestling team is taking form behind the doors of the DHS wrestling room.

With a small group of upperclassmen wrestlers leading the group, a large group of freshmen are following in their example.

“We’ve got a young team, so there are a lot of individual improvements,” assistant wrestling coach Ben Stamey said.

Despite not bringing home a large number of team trophies this year, the young team brings promise.

“The future is bright. I can see next year, the year beyond, when these kids are sophomores, juniors, and seniors, that they will be the experienced ones in a match-up. As opposed to right now, some competition has more experience than we do,” Stamey said.

The team hopes to continue to improve throughout the year and in the future.

“We are continuing to learn more and improve as a team, which is good since we are a younger team. We always put in good effort at our meets and practice,” junior Lane Warner said.

Beginning the season with almost 40 wrestlers, individual success has been large in quantity, including seven All-UKC (United Kansas Conference) honors. According to Stamey, upperclassmen wrestlers have had a large part in instructing the younger members of the team. As a result, each grade level was represented among the All-League honorees.

“It’s always cool watching your teammates improve and help them improve along the way,” Warner said.

The small percentage of upperclassmen are able to lead by example at both practices and meets.

As the season and competition come to an end, Regionals is quickly approaching. The Regional meet is Feb. 15-16 at Bonner Springs High School.

“I think it [Regionals] will be good. The way that we do regionals is a little different than other sports. The top eight get to qualify for State, which I think will be beneficial to us. We have a lot of guys that can finish in that fifth, sixth and seventh range that they wouldn’t qualify if we only had four that got to go,” Stamey said.

Four wrestlers qualified for State in the 2017-18 season, and Stamey has high hopes that more wrestlers will qualify this season.

According to Stamey, “the future looks really, really bright. So we will start seeing more than just individual success, we can start seeing some De Soto team trophies.”