The Warren Central Wrestling team is reaching for a goal that, in wrestling, is the hardest goal to reach. The state championship is the point to which all teams want to reach.
“If we do the little things right and wrestle to our abilities we are definitely capable of winning a state title,” Head Coach Mike Morgan said.
If they do these things they have the possibility to go above and beyond all expectations about what they could do. The team has wrestled really well all year and if they continue to do so, they will go far.
“We have a great group of seniors that bring a ton of experience, and we continue to set ourselves up to make the push toward that state title,” Assistant Coach Chico Adams said.
To get to the state finals, you have to win a lot of matches, starting in sectionals where the local schools wrestle against each other for the chance to advance to Regionals. This year, the Sectional was hosted at Warren Central.
“We wrestled pretty well in the sectional. We left a little bit behind in a few matches, but 11 champions and all 14 to Regionals is a good day. We need to fix some little things, but 11 champions is the most since the 2016 team that won a State title,” Morgan said.
The next step is, in fact, Regionals, where two sectionals come together and they then wrestle each other for the opportunity to go to Semi-State. The team did not do as well as hoped, but still advanced many kids through to the next round.
“We finished second in the team race, and we have 11 out of our 14 wrestlers moving on to compete for a Semi-State title. It's bittersweet because three of our guys, two of which are seniors, saw their seasons end at the regional tournament,” Adams said.
At Semi-State, the last step before the state finals, wrestlers looked to advance as many of the 11 wrestlers as possible. In the end, 6 of the 11 wrestlers advanced to state, one more than last year.
“The team did great. We had a few hiccups and some people [did] not make it to state, but we live, we learn,” senior wrestler Jajuan Anderson said.
Finally, the state finals came around and the Warriors delivered. Warren had four out of six wrestlers place with Kyrel Leavell placing third in the 113 lb weight class, JaJuan Anderson and David Pierson placing fourth in the 152 and 132 lb weight class, and Tyler Jones placing sixth in the 160 lb weight class. Warren finished in seventh place for the team state championship race.
“It is always a privilege to watch the guys on the team chase their goals. The ups and downs, the journey, the triumphs. You get to watch the guys grow up from youth to adulthood in the four years they are on the team,” Morgan said.