The Titans hit the wrestling mat for the second straight year, starting a new tradition after the program’s long break from action at Arcadia High School.
When the program started back up last year after a 25-year break, AHS students were quick to embrace the combat sport, which combines athleticism and physical fitness with mental endurance.
For their second season, the Titans have 12 impressive student athletes on the varsity team. Head Coach Aaron Simpson says the return of some experienced wrestlers from last year’s inaugural season helped the team get started on the right foot back in October.
The team has been making some big waves this season. Hard work and persistent practices have paid off, with several boys turning in great performances this season.
“Jack Hunt has been lighting it up. He is 18-4 on the year and is getting better every time he steps on the mat. I expect big things for him at State in February,” Simpson said.
The team’s growth is rooted in its dedication to teamwork and pushing each other toward success. “From our least experienced wrestler to our most, they pull for each other and want to see each other win,” Simpson said. “It may be my favorite part of coaching this team.”
Jack was joined by teammates Jason Crabb and Elias Achey in placing in the McClintock Tournament. Driven by preparation, team spirit and leaders such as Achey, the squad is showing it’s here to stay.
In the new year, the Titans welcomed back Hayden Kaberline from injury as he returns with just one loss this year. Jake Waltz, Abel Sandoval and Max Robbins are also in the mix ahead of sectionals, as Simpson says they’re “right there in turning the corner and getting to the next level.”
No matter what happens on the mat the rest of this season, Simpson said he will be satisfied with the program’s success and his team’s ability to train day-in and day-out. “It’s such a great sport with a history rooted in ancient times. Having student athletes at Arcadia compete in the toughest sport in the world says a lot about their character.”
In the future, Simpson is hopeful that the program will continue to grow and flourish. “I want more students to wrestle and learn one of the greatest martial arts there is. I am also looking forward to Arcadia having their first state wrestling champion. We are working every day toward that.”