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ACH looks forward to ‘regular’ wrestling season

by REBECCA PETTINGILL
Staff Writer | November 18, 2022 2:29 PM

COULEE CITY - The Almira/Coulee-Hartline High School wrestling team is looking forward to making the most of a regular season.

“I’m looking forward to having a normal season,” said Head Coach Brandon Walsh.

Walsh explained that over the last couple of years, all the regulations and testing requirements for COVID-19 created a lot of stress and work for the athletes which he feels may not have given some of them the opportunity to grow to their potential.

“And not having that hang over our heads, which I think will just be a real benefit to the kids in terms of being able to prepare the right way for wrestling and then along with that I’m really just looking forward to seeing how they all develop,” Walsh said.

Walsh said that although he felt like they weren’t as affected as bigger schools, and that there are always life lessons in adversity, the return to a normal season will have a positive impact on his wrestlers. He explained the upperclassmen have not had a regular season since they were freshmen or, in some cases, at all in their high school careers.

“When we can train right and train the normal way, I think that those kids are going to have a ton of success this year because we can just go about things we want to and are used to,” Walsh said.

Walsh said that their roster this season will be a good variety of athletes with and without experience.

“We’ll have a good mix of young and experienced guys,” he said. “Two juniors and a senior who I think have potential (to go far), a couple of them have been to the state tournament before and I think they have potential to get back there again this year.”

Walsh said a lot of the younger guys are talented athletes, they just don’t have a lot of experience wrestling yet.

“We’re just going to wrestle tough,” said Walsh. “Our goal is to do our best as individuals and push each other.”

During the first few weeks of practice the coaches focus on technique and working the fundamentals, as well as getting back into a wrestling mindset and getting in shape physically.

“I'm trying to sustain and build a program over time, and so my number one goal is for kids to have fun,” said Walsh. “Which is hard to do in wrestling because it’s a tough sport.”

The team’s first scheduled event is a tournament in Davenport on Dec. 3.

Rebecca Pettingill may be reached at rpettingill@columbiabasinherald.com.

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