Wrestling team makes an impact at Capital Classic

JV boys earn three medals; five place in top four in their weight class; girls win several varsity matches, some by pin


Lillian Gray

Sophomore Lucca Lewis earned one of her two victories at the tournament by defeating a familiar opponent from Anderson whom she had beaten previously. In the final moments of a tight match Lewis delivered the move that earned the win. “My thoughts were just to pick her up and drive, just get her to the floor,” Lewis said.

Lillian Gray, Mac photojournalism

Walking up to the Delco Center on the night of Nov. 18 the energy was palpable. The parking lot was filled with buses from more than 42 different teams from all across Texas who were there to compete in the Capital Classic wrestling tournament. The stands were packed with wrestlers who had been there since the early hours and were awaiting their chance at a win.

With just 10 boys and three girls, many of them competing at their first wrestling tournament, the Knights didn’t quite know what to expect. All they knew was they were going to give it their all.

There were 10 seconds left. I picked her up. I slammed her. I got the two extra takedown points, and I won.

— sophomore Lucca Lewis

The boys team dominated in the JV field with three boys earning a medal and five boys in the top four of their weight class. Senior Corgan Berger won two out of his three matches coming in second place in his weight class, while juniors Jacob Peterson and Kilian Oppel both placed third.

Senior Erik Lopez placed fourth in his weight class scoring eight points for his team. Lopez said nerves got the best of him at the beginning but helped him see what he is capable of for his later matches.

“The tournament started off pretty well. I was really anxious which made me lose my first match, but I gained confidence after all that,” Lopez said.

After his loss in the first match he was able to win two more matches.

“I thought I would do a lot worse, and I realized if I was able to get that far with the first one I could do a lot better,” Lopez said. “In my second match I didn’t end up pinning him, but I ended with a score of 10-4.”

The girls team entered the tournament with just three girls in the varsity matches, but they were still able to perform well. Although they were not able to secure any medals against more experienced varsity wrestlers, the girls team with two freshmen and one sophomore were able to make a showing. Gaining a couple of pins, as well as a few wins, they definitely made an impression on the competition by leaving everything out there on the mat.

TWO OUT OF THREE AIN’T BAD: Senior Corgan Berger captured second place in his weight class in the JV division after winning two of his three matches. Photo by Lillian Gray.

Sophomore Lucca Lewis won two out of her four matches and made it the farthest in the tournament out of the McCallum girls. Lewis was able to beat a familiar opponent in a neck and neck match up.

“The score was pretty close. I made a lot of the rookie mistakes, but I got over them.” Lewis said.

The girls pleasantly surprised me with a few of their matches. … All three won at least one of their matches by a pin, it was great to watch them.

— Coach Salazar

The match was close, with both wrestlers earning points left and right with constant throw downs, but Lewis made the last move.

“My thoughts were just to pick her up and drive, just get her to the floor,” she said. “There were 10 seconds left. I picked her up. I slammed her. I got the two extra takedown points, and I won.”

Lewis went on to win one more match but lost her last match because of a pin.

Coach Salazar says the team did a good job and showed a lot of determination throughout the event.

“The girls pleasantly surprised me with a few of their matches.” Salazar said. “The girls that wrestled at the tournament are all first-year wrestlers and were wrestling in their first tournament. All three won at least one of their matches by a pin, it was great to watch them.”

This tournament was their first one of the season and has shown the team where they stand at this point and what they need to work on individually. Salazar says the team is willing to put in the work and that they will do so to perform better in future tournaments.

Chloe Broz was among the three first-time girls wrestlers to win a match by pin at the Capital Classic. Photo by Lillian Gray.

“We will prepare by continuing to give 100% in every practice and in every match.” Salazar said.

Salazar hopes with more practice and experience individuals will move to the next level later on in the season.

“I feel the season is going great, and we are headed in the right direction.” Salazar said. “Our overall goal is to continue to improve with every match and practice and to get a few of our wrestlers to place in the top four in District thus moving on to the Regional tournament and possibly on to State.”

The young wrestling team will be using the next couple of months in preparation for their district competition. Given the energy, commitment of the team and its coaches, and this strong showing early in the season, the goals the team have set appear within reach.