ATM battling tougher competition this season

  • Brian Downie<br>For the Enterprise
  • Friday, February 29, 2008 11:33am

EVERETT — The Archbishop Thomas Murphy wrestling team is off to a slow start in its second-ever season.

The Wildcats are 0-3 so far and they soon will be facing tougher competition.

Archbishop Murphy’s inaugural season was against 1A teams. This year the team is moving up to 2A. The competition will stiffen, but coach Blaine Gilchrist-Smith is confident that as the season progresses, the Wildcats will improve.

“We need to rise up to the competition so that we can compete at the end of the year,” Gilchrist-Smith said.

The team is excited to get its first season victory, but it knows it will take some time before it can start putting tallies in the win column.

“They need to keep working hard and be patient,” Gilchrist-Smith said. “We can’t expect them to step on the mat and win.”

The whole team is working hard nearly every day so that soon it will have some victories under its belt.

“They are working really hard,” Gilchrist-Smith said. “If you saw them two weeks ago and then you saw them yesterday, you would be surprised at how much they have improved.”

Junior Matt Darnell agrees that the team’s work ethic has been very strong this year.

“A lot of us are working really hard and we are improving on everything because of it,” Darnell said.

Being only in its second season, the team has been working especially hard on technique.

“We only have one person (Josh Wattam) who has ever wrestled more than two years,” Darnell said. “So, we need to work on everything but especially technique.”

One reason for the team’s drive for success has been their love for wrestling according to one of the team’s managers Sara Cooke.

“They’re very enthusiastic about wrestling,” Cooke said. “They all love it.”

Having a love for the sport has helped the team bond and become better athletes.

“We are a tight group,” senior Josh Wattam said. “We are always there for each other and that helps us work through our problems.”

Their closeness, talent and hard work may not get them a first place finish this season, but it should prepare them better for next year.

“At the end of this season I want the team to have some perspective of winning so hopefully next year we will do even better,” Gilchrist-Smith said.

Darnell agrees that the team probably won’t be the best team this year, but he feels that the Wildcats will be turning some heads when they get nearer to the postseason.

“We are going to win some matches,” Darnell said. “By the end of the season, other teams will be looking out for us.”

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