Bearcat Wrestling Shifts to Individual Meets

Published 10:50 am Thursday, January 26, 2023

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As the wrestling season moves into the next chapter of the season with team competitions coming to an end and individuals beginning, the 2022-23 Bearcats team was one to remember as they accomplished a Region Championship, hosted the first ever Bearcat Invitational and saw a number of wrestlers improve both athletically and as leaders. 

For head coach Paul Coleman, the countless hours put in by his wrestlers, coaches and parents along with the resilience shown by each wrestler has made the 2022-23 special. 

This season has been long and is still continuing as we have individuals coming up very soon,” said Coleman. “I am proud of the resilience that each person has put into this season. From my coaches to my wrestlers, everyone has grinded out some long hours. With that being stated, we can look back at this season and know it was worth it. It was worth the early morning rides to the school, the long bus rides to tournaments, and the hours spent training on the mat. We can say we are Region Champions, and that is definitely something that we all should be proud of.”

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The 2022-23 season was full of memories from the Bearcat Invitational which opened the communities eyes to the Bearcat wrestling program and showcased many great things about Bainbridge High School such as the JROTC program, but for Coach Coleman and his wrestlers, winning the Region Championship is a memory they will hold onto for years to come. 

“My favorite memory from this season so far is winning the Region Championship as a team,” said Coleman. “The wrestlers were very proud, excited, and they all had high spirits. To see the smiles on each of their faces, to see them hoisting the championship trophy, to see a goal we set many months in advance get completed is the best memory I have from this season.”

One quality that has set this year’s Bearcats team apart from the competition has been their consistency. Each week the Bearcats not only got better, but the earned wins each meet and left each meet with a winning record. Coach Coleman attributes that to the work of his coaching staff and the wrestlers ability to “lock in”, which has been a slogan of emphasis this season. 

“It really comes down to the coaching and the effort from the wrestlers themselves,” said Coleman. “Our team slogan has been ‘Lock In’. Most of everyone that has a part of the team has consistently shown up, competed with each other, formed bonds, and stayed honest with one another.”

For Coach Coleman, this season has taught him how to prepare for every situation possible. Injuries, sicknesses, travel issues or whatever the case may be, Coach Coleman has learned how to plan for those situations ahead of time and stay one step ahead. 

“I have learned a lot about planning for a season,” said Coleman. “There are all the unexpected forces that can take a hold of the season. Injuries, sickness, money, family matters, and much more all play a role in a team’s season. I have a better understanding of what to plan for, and hopefully that can show as I go into future seasons.”

Although the team season has come to an end, the Bearcat Wrestling program is just getting started. On February 3, Varsity boys and girls will begin their Individual RegionChampionships, Individual State Qualifiers, and Individual State Championships in back-to-back-to-back weeks. Also on February 3, the Bainbridge Youth Wrestling program will be hosting a home match in the BHS gym beginning at 5:30. 

“There is already one summer tournament scheduled for June, as we will start the out-of-season program in March,” said Coleman. “The off-season program and summer tournament(s) will be great opportunities for anyone that is wanting to try wrestling. I would like to make this Bainbridge Wrestling Program a team that is always in the conversation of being competitive, and a championship caliber team season after season.”