Young grapplers hitting the mats

The Oxford Wildcats wrestling team traveled to Linden High School to participate in a season-opening quad on Dec. 11. With the New Lothrop Hornets – the No. 2 ranked team in Division IV – being added to the field this year, the Wildcats had their work cut out for them from the beginning.
Facing the Hornets in their first match of the day, Oxford put up an admirable fight but ultimately came up just short, 38-37. “Simply put, we let the bottom position haunt us,” head coach Ross Wingert said.
“New Lothrop deserves credit for their win and is traditionally known for being tough on top. You cannot expect to win a dual giving up six pins.”
Looking to fix these issues and end their day on a high note, the Wildcats battled John Glenn (Westland) in their second, and final, match of the quad. Unfortunately, this dual ended up resembling the first as Oxford fell, 45-30.
“We have plenty of firepower on this roster,” Wingert stated. “We scored 30 or more points in both duals today and came away without a win. The good teams know 30 points is plenty to win a dual, and I know this team will make every effort to limit bonus points for our opponents moving forward.”
A young collection of grapplers, Wingert pointed out the benefits of squaring off with competition of this caliber, especially early in the season. “Eight of the 14 wrestlers in our lineup today are underclassmen,” he shared.
“We have some lessons to learn. We preach to our young men that life is a race to make the most mistakes as fast as possible. Do not be afraid to make mistakes!”
Senior Nate Call, junior Liam Hamilton and sophomore Darren McLeod were the Wildcats’ top performers on the day, each posting 2-0 records. Hamilton won at 145 pounds, while McLeod and Call competed at 125 and 135, respectively.

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