Bearcat Wrestling continues to dominate

Published 1:51 pm Friday, December 16, 2022

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The Bearcat wrestling team is continuing their season of success in 2022 with their most recent showing in Tallahassee as the Bearcats competed in the 2022 Cam Brown Classic. At the meet, the Bearcats took home fourth place but also brought home multiple medals and individual awards.

Roderick Smith, Brian Sanders, and Bradley Marshburn, earned Gold Medals for the JV division while Seniors Josh Fillingame and Kagan Castro took home bronze. In addition Brian Pugh and Malcolm Spann took home Silver Medals. The most impressive showing came from junior Zackary Burdick who improved his record to 13-0 as he took home a Gold Medal Championship in Tallahassee.

Bearcats head coach Paul Coleman is extremely pleased with the way his wrestlers compete and lay everything on the line for their teammates.

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“I have to give credit to the wrestlers that have consistently shown up to practice, wrestled their hardest each match, and shown leadership,” said Coleman. “The way we will be able to go far as a team, while having individual success, is by doing two things: show up to every practice and compete with 100% effort. It is tough going 6 minutes against another human being; You and your opponent are pushing, pulling, lifting, and putting weight on top of each other the entire time. After 5 matches in a day, you are worn out. Knowing that it takes more to reach the podium in January and February, for the remainder of the season, we are going to lift some weights to get stronger and also go higher intensity conditioning for cardio.”

One key to the Bearcats success this season has been their ability to be scrappy in their matches and make it tough for their opponents, even if they end up not winning the match. Coach Coleman is now preparing his wrestlers to take their next step in development and become consistent both during practice and in competition.

“Every match has been scrappy,” said Coleman. “The wins haven’t come easy and we haven’t made the losses that way either. It’s my job to get the new wrestlers matches for experience, correcting any mistakes at practice, and most importantly praising the things that each wrestler does well. If I can continue to take the mental notes on what is and isn’t working and listen to my wrestlers input, that is only 50% of how we continue to get better and be a tough competitive team. The other 50% comes from the wrestlers themselves; They have to rise from the lows, be humble with the highs, and listen to the guidance that their teammates and I offer. Overall, being open with our communication is how we have remained competitive and how we will continue to be competitive.”

Also to mention, the Lady Cats wrestling team has been seeing success as Amaya Smith and Cameron Marshburn competed in the Lady Raider Invitational in Shaw and saw top three finishes in their class.

Alongside the Lady Cat wrestlers, Coach Coleman has especially been impressed with the dominance of wrestlers Josh Fillingame, Zachary Burdick, and Layton Burris as well as the continued improvements of Brian Sanders, Jason Hayes, Izavious Scott, and Bryce Burke.

“Those four individuals go out and try their best, all Freshman, except Izavious (though this is his first year) continue to show improvement,” said Coleman. “I am hoping by the end of the year they can start to show leaps that will carry into the future years.”

The success with the Bearcat wrestlers begins in practice. Coach Coleman both expects and pushes his wrestlers in practice to be competitive with each other and have a competitive edge to make each other better.

“We need to make sure we continue to be honest, upfront, and competitive with each other,” said Coleman. “In order to improve, the group has to push each other. That means they need to drill hard against each other and wrestle even harder with one another. They need to make sure they are testing each other’s limits, because they never know when they will get the chance to be in that starting role.”

As the season moves along, Coach Coleman wants to see his wrestlers improve on their endurance and learn to wrestle the entirety of all three rounds.

“The main thing that I would like to improve or work towards, is the ability to battle a whole 3 rounds,” said Coleman. “Most of the matches that we have wrestled don’t go the complete 3 rounds. That will be what separates the pretenders and the contenders at the state level. Can you battle the entirety of the match, or will you gas out and give up points to the opponent? We need to be able to finish matches early, and go the distance if the situation calls for it.”

This upcoming weekend is a big one for the Bearcat wrestlers as Bainbridge High School will host their annual Bearcat Invitational at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday December 17. The Bearcat invitational will be an action-packed weekend all around for Bainbridge High School as ROTC will present colors, chorus will sing the National Anthem and the BMS step team will perform an opening ceremony dance.