Dubs only for wrestling team

Team earns MAC Blue title, Davis wins Coach of the Year


Clarissa Rose

Prior to winning his first match of the county tournament, the referee raises junior Hunter Ali’s hand toward the crowd. “I was really excited because it was a big tournament,” Ali said. “Winning the first match meant I could continue to the next day.” Ali’s victory allowed him to compete in the next day of wrestling, helping his team earn fifteenth place out of 36 teams.

Cameron Smale, Managing Editor

Ending the season with an impressive undefeated record, the Utica wrestling team celebrates one of their most outstanding years. While seniors are finished with their wrestling careers, junior high school students are just beginning theirs.

The team has been waiting for a MAC Blue win for a long time and all their conditioning had paid off. The Utica wrestlers have stated that their team was very “tight knit” and that they got along throughout their season.

“We really felt like a tight community, we supported each other and helped each other learn,” sophomore Antonio Capelj said. “Training is painful, it consists of stretching, running, lifting and sparing. I look forward to improving my skills and keep working hard at wrestling.”

The wrestling team is one of the teams that had a community all on it’s own, as described by the athletes who participate in it. When the team isn’t at practice, they follow diet plans and recruit during the off season.

“Being on the team is the best part about wrestling,” junior Hunter Ali said, “we all get along and work hard to make each other better. Next year I’m looking forward to go after the MAC Blue Championship again. Winning it this year was an amazing experience for the team.”

For these athletes, their wrestling careers start in junior high. The Utica wrestling coach recruits athletes from a very young age and conditions them into wrestling champions.

The returning wrestlers will prepare for next year with various diets which will insure that they stay in their designated weight classes. They will also prepare by doing other sports as well as doing weight training.

“Coach is very enthusiastic,” Capelj said. “He wants to make sure the job is done right and doesn’t leave anyone to falter behind.”

Coach Davis was awarded the title of MAC Blue Wrestling Coach of the Year due to his outstanding methods and strategies.

“I’m proud of how all the guys wrestled this year. At no point can I say we were not wrestling to our ability,” Davis said. “I’m very proud of all the hard work that the team has been putting into this season.”

Although the team won the MAC Blue championship, they did lose the team district final. Davis has always been a big believer of his athletes doing the best that they can, and that’s what satisfies him.

“We lost a hard fought battle to Utica Ford in our team district final. I am super proud to be the coach of these guys. They brought their game that evening,” Davis said. “Even though I know they are disappointed, I hope they don’t let it linger because they should be proud of their performance. My only hope is that they use this as fuel to continue to improve.”

Overall the wrestling team has agreed that this has been one of their best seasons yet. They have accomplished many goals, and lots of the athletes have achieved their personal goals. Lots of the athletes were even awarded medals for their abilities.

Although the Michigan schools have been shut down for the rest of the year, some wrestlers still train from in their homes for next season.