|Senior Crowell leads way as wrestlers gain experience in 2014-15|
|Written by Wauneta Breeze|
|Thursday, 26 February 2015 04:12|
Senior Gage Crowell and freshman Colton Barrett had the best records for Wauneta-Palisade this season. Crowell led the way with a 19-17 record. Barrett ended up 11-16.
By Diane Stamm
The Wauneta Breeze
The Wauneta-Palisade Broncos wrestling team may have ended at districts Feb. 14, but the team with three freshmen and only one senior laid the foundation for future years.
Gage Crowell’s first season at WP was his sophomore year when he was the only wrestler for WP and went 14-18. As a junior Crowell qualified for the state meet and finished the season 19-18.
As a senior, Crowell not only moved into a bigger 170 pound weight class, but also into a bigger role as a leader on the team.
Coach Chad Cochran said he counted on Crowell for a lot, including a leader on the team and in the classroom.
“I looked to him to be an example to the younger students and he has done a great job with that,” said Cochran. “Gage and I have come to be pretty close. We have spent a lot of time together, not only in the wrestling room but in the classroom also.”
Despite not qualifying for state this year, Cochran still considers Crowell’s career a success.
“There are a lot of athletes who never qualify,” said Cochran. “Gage had been fighting a shoulder injury this year. Whether or not this was the difference in winning and losing, I don’t know, but I do know it affected the way he wrestled and he gave up some take downs he normally wouldn’t.”
Freshman Colton Barrett served as student manager last season.
“I think this was a big part of his success this year. He was around wrestling a lot last year and learned quite a bit,” said Cochran, adding that just being at the tournaments and seeing how things work really helped the wrestlers and will help in the future.
Other freshmen on the team were Matthew Knotts at 126 pounds and Willis Christner at 152 pounds. Barrett wrestled at 106 pounds. Cody Barrett, a junior, wrestled in the 160 pound weight class.
“I was pleased with how the season as a whole went,” said Cochran, “I could see a difference in every one’s confidence as the season progressed. They knew they could compete, and having that mentality is a huge part of wrestling.”
Although the team was disappointed with everyone’s showing at districts, Cochran said that, other than Crowell, this was really a learning season for the others.
“We should see this year’s experience come into play next year and the years to follow,” Cochran said. “I look forward to next year because, we will have everyone back besides Gage and they all work hard in practice and want to get better.”