COAL CITY, WV (WVNS) — Independence wrestling has been a power house on the wrestling mats for years, and this year is no different. Ten members of the team are preparing for the state tournament from February 27-29, 2020, and they are ready for the challenge ahead.
Having one athlete go to states is a big deal, but for the five time back-to-back state champions and 2019 runner ups, it is the standard. Wrestlers at Independence High School spent the year training for this big weekend in Huntington, WV.
Jeremy Hart, the head wrestling coach at Independence High School, has been pushing these guys hard on the mats since the beginning of the season.
“We travel around a lot and we wrestle around the state, take these guys all over the place to get their butts kicked, take them to the toughest tournaments,” Hart said.
The Patriots have been putting in extra work outside of practice. Samuel Adams, a junior wrestler, is someone who has seen the direct impact.
“Here recently I have been working with the coaches, a lot drilling with them going live with them, and hopefully that has been getting me into better condition and getting me ready for the state tournament,” Adams said.
The state tournament is what these wrestlers work for all season. Knowing that everything is on the line gives the team extra motivation. The atmosphere at the tournament gives the athletes extra energy they do not have at every tournament throughout the season. Bryce Perdue thinks that makes a huge difference in his performance.
“I love the environment down there it is just a completely different feeling, knowing that you have a chance to go out there and be a state champion,” Perdue said.
It does not matter the size or the rank of the athlete or whoever the Patriots match up against, they are ready for anything.
“They go in there and work their butts off, they aren’t scared to go out on the biggest matches and wrestle the toughest kids, they aren’t going to back down,” Perdue said.
The boys take the mats Thursday, February 27, 2020 and the championship matches will be held on Saturday, February, 29, 2020.