Moving by the muscle

Andrew Hale, Sports Writer

The H-F JV wrestling team is having a successful 2019-2020 season. The Vikings have a 4-6 record and are looking to make a name for themselves in SWSC playoffs. 

Head Coach Issac Roberson had one goal going into the season: Put in the work.

“The goal of our season was for students to embrace the grind and increase their work ethic by following a philosophy of train, work and win,” Roberson said. “My primary focus was for wrestlers to be student-athletes that worked hard on and off the mat.”

The Vikings have had some stand-out performances on the mat throughout the season. In the Oak Lawn Tournament on Jan. 18, sophomores Alton Richardson and Michael Webster both placed second.

The most notable performance for the JV team was finishing in second place at the Reavis Tournament. Seven players made it to the finals, and four out of the seven ended up winning. 

Sophomore Carter Maclin stood out, pinning all of his opponents in the first period and ultimately taking first in the 120-pound weight class.

“We are energetic, aggressive overall, and hard working,” Maclin said.

In the last tournament of the season, the Rocket Invite at Rich East on Jan. 25, H-F placed second overall with first-place performances from Richardson and sophomore Amari Walker. Sophomores Kenny Wallace and Sollomon Crowder placed second in their respective weight classes.

One stand-out player this season for the JV team has been Walker. He finished the season with a personal record of 13-2, but his success did not come overnight. 

“I have just been working hard putting in the work, day and night, help from my coaches and my teammates to push me harder and go to state,” Walker said.

Recently, Walker showed off his versatility placing first in the 285 weight class at the Rich East Tournament on Jan. 26.

Another wrestler for the Vikings has been sophomore John Stewart, who went 8-0 overall in the 285 weight class.

Chris Williams, the team captain, went 11-5 and took second at the Reavis invite. 

Even with all of the success at both the Oak Lawn and Reavis Tournaments, they still think they have room to improve.

“To improve as a team we need to focus and go harder in practice,” Williams said.  “Spring and summer wrestling is also a great way to stay in shape and really try to perfect the skills that we have trouble on.”

Discipline is also key in wrestling in order to be successful overall.

“JV as a team needs to be more disciplined, but we also need better technique to be successful against some of the better schools like the Lincoln Ways and Lockport,” Maclin said.

The Vikings will need to improve upon skills and technique going into the offseason, regardless of their performance in the playoffs.

“Going to camps and wrestling over the off season to get at least 10 matches in is a must to improve and come back on varsity next year,” Maclin said. 

This ultimately has been a successful season with a lot of impressive accomplishments from this young team. 

“We will build a brotherhood and bring some awareness to the H-F community about the sport of wrestling,” Roberson said. “For a team with a lot of first-year wrestlers, we accomplished this, and we still have more to accomplish.”

The Vikings look to be a strong competitor in the upcoming SWSC Conference Championship, which starts on Feb. 1 in Bolingbrook.