By Leila Dycus staff writer
Summer wrestling is bringing new faces to the mat and giving them a chance to try the sport in a fun environment. “This is just the perfect opportunity because there’s no pressure,” said Coach Robbins. “It’s great because the kids don’t have to make weight; everybody just kind of comes and wrestles, nobody is really in shape, nobody is worried about what weight classes. They’re really just focused on wrestling which is really cool.” On Monday, June 2, the Mat Dogs traveled to Rockdale County High School to participate in their first summer match. The wrestlers made their way back to the gym to start practices last week. This summer will give incoming freshman the chance to wrestle with their future teammates. Coach Robbins said that some of these new freshmen have never wrestled before. It’s also the chance for high school students who have never wrestled to test the sport.
At Monday’s match, the Bulldogs were able to take on Alcovy, Rockdale and Newton high schools. The host school coach encouraged the wrestlers to get out of their comfort zone. This was not the time for them to wrestle their drill partners but take on new opponents. The wrestlers began by getting broken out into groups based on similar weight classes before beginning short matches.
After wrestling for a number of minutes wrestlers took a break, and then began again. “It just gives them more experience, it doesn’t matter if it’s a rising freshman coming from the middle school program or if its one of our returning state qualifiers or state champ placers; it just gives them that many more reps,” said Coach Robbins. At the end of the practice matches the coaches instructed the wrestlers to line up from tallest to smallest. They then played king of the mat. The largest wrestlers took on each other while the smallest did the same winner stayed and loser was out. The Rockdale practice matches were the first of the summer wrestling schedule.
The Bulldogs will face many more teams through out the month of June. The Mat Dogs return to Morgan County on Thursday June 5. Matches begin at 4 pm.