Wrestling team “grapples” their way through season

Parker McClellan wrestles off with his team mate to see who will wrestle the challenger.

Parker McClellan wrestles off with his team mate to see who will wrestle the challenger.

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The 43 students on the wrestling team in seventh through ninth grade practice to wrestle for regular meets, tournaments and duels.

The wrestling team’s record so far is 9-6. At the end of the season, instead of playoffs or finals, the wrestlers go to the

Parker McClellan wrestles off with his team mate to see who will wrestle the challenger.

The wrestling team warms up before the match. Photo by Corey Doeing

Pennsylvania Junior Olympics. A link for the wrestling portion is here: http://www.pajw.org/

“I think we’ve done okay. We could’ve won a couple more matches than we lost,” wrestling coach Bron Clouser said.

“We do lots of push ups, lots of running, and lots of bear-crawling,” ninth grader Zach Bumgarnder said.

Seventh grader, Parker McClellan has been wrestling since a young age. In fact, before he wrestled for the junior high, he wrestled in tournaments and had to weigh in before each one, now it is different than before.

“We have to weigh in everyday, and the practices are harder,” McClellan said.

Before any wrestler can face their opponent, they have to weigh in, which is when a wrestler gets their weight measured. There are various weight brackets, weighed in pounds, for wrestling. Each one determines who the wrestler’s opponent will be.

“It starts at 75 and goes to 250,” McClellan said.

McClellan wrestles in the 115 pounds bracket.

“We wrestle off for a position,” McClellan said.

Wrestling off is when they wrestle someone on their own team to see who will wrestle the opponent. The opponent can be any wrestler in seventh through ninth grade in the same weight bracket.

According to Coach Clouser, some wrestlers that have stood out this year are Cole Manley, Hunter Hileman, Parker McClellan, Briton Simington, David Hess and Michael Doucette.

“I’d say the biggest challenge is continuously wrestling as a team,” Coach Clouser said.

Also, Bumgardner wrestles in the 138 pound weight bracket. Some people say that around the 138 pound weight class is one of the most difficult brackets to wrestle in. Bumgardner is one of nine ninth graders on the team.

“I started when I was really young, stopped, then got back into it again,” Bumgardner said.

“Our Hollidaysburg match would be the best match. It’s at Hollidaysburg,” Coach Clouser said.

In addition, the team has a total of 14 meets, tournaments and duels in the season. They have wrestled in 10 meets so far, only four more to go. Specifically, the wrestling team has one dual and three meets left. They face Bellwood-Antis in duals on Jan. 26 at 10 a.m. in Bellwood. They wrestle Johnstown on Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. in Johnstown. On Jan. 31,  Altoona wrestles Hollidaysburg at 5 p.m. in Hollidaysburg. The last home meet they have is Feb. 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the AAJHS A Gym. Here is a link to the team whole schedule: http://aajhs.aasdcat.com/pdf’s/WrestlingAAJHS12-13.pdf