Wrestlers win conference, now seek postseason victories


Mayfield Yearbook

Senior Colton Brandenburg (170 pounds) eyes his opponent during a home match.

Gabriella Di Lalla, Staff Writer

The wrestling team, winners of the Western Reserve Conference, have been preparing for sectionals that begin tomorrow at Willoughby South.

Dwight Friz is the team’s head coach and said his team’s maintaining their composure and having fun. “The kids work hard, we compete hard, and we play hard! The team leadership is outstanding, and all the wrestlers feed off that leadership.”

Junior captain Vinnie D’Alessandro, who wrestles at 126 pounds, tries to lead the team by his example. He said, “Some of the guys just need someone to look up to and to inspire them to work hard. On the other hand, some people need you there to push them and talk them up when needed.”

Preparing for sectionals, the boys have made few alterations to their practices, according to sophomore Sal Palmisano (120 pounds). “We haven’t really changed anything going into the postseason besides the fact that practice has been a bit shorter, and we no longer are lifting,” said Palmisano.

Senior captain Antonio Madda (138 pounds) thinks the team needs to condition themselves mentally at this point in the season. He said, “The team adjusts itself mentally by always being there for each other and motivating others to keep going. Without our teammates, it would be very hard to stay mentally strong.”

Madda motivates his teammates by setting an example for each person on the team. He said, “If I work hard and do everything the way it’s supposed to be done those who look up to me will do the same. I’m also right by their side during practice and matches to try and support them as much as I can.”

For wrestlers who place in the top four at sectionals, they’ll move on to districts at North Canton Hoover. Palmisano hopes he and many of his teammates can place in the top four at districts to advance to the state finals. He said, “States is at the Schottenstein Center in Columbus at the Ohio State University.”

With the postseason and their goals in front of them, Fritz is pleased with how his wrestlers have performed. He said, “The Wildcats have gotten exponentially better as the season progresses. There are some setbacks that occur, but it’s a long grueling season.”