Last night, RBHS faced cross-town rivals Battle (BHS) and Hickman (HHS). The event hosted matches for young upcoming wrestlers from local wrestling organizations, that help young kids learn to wrestle, to get their shot on the RBHS mats. The event hosted two of these kid matches before the first competitors would take the floor. The event allowed the younger kids to complete the other two matches as BHS swapped benches with HHS after the first round. It was also senior night, and the team celebrated its only senior, William McKinnon. With the pressure of competing against rival teams the Bruins prepared to take on two well versed teams. Regarding preparation for in-town competition, junior Aydin Rodriguez said it’s no different than facing any other team.
“Well we gotta to work hard no matter what, no matter who we wrestle,” Rodriguez said. “But you know at home we try to work a little bit harder.”
HHS and BHS faced first, with HHS taking the win. While nearly doubling the score of their opponent. The Bruins then faced the Spartans. Though sophomore Zach Tran was the only varsity player to win a match, the Bruins won overall due to forfeits and the lack of players on the Spartan team.
The following match, the Bruins faced the Kewpies. The rounds started with two JV matches, where HHS won both. While BHS’ lack of competitors gave the Bruins the advantage, this was not the case with HHS. Both the Bruins and the Kewpies have large teams with athletes in nearly every weight class, leaving the battle between HHS and RBHS down to the individuals. The match brought many high-end competitors against one another. One match in particular took the audience captive. Rodriguez faced a tough round against his HHS competitor. At one point, the match became heated as the opponents bumped chests and the exchanged words. Rodriguez, however, was able to pull himself together and win the match.
“You just have to stay calm,” Rodriguez said “You know it got a little bit out of hand, but you know I regrouped and just went out and wrestled”
The Bruins lost by two points to HHS. Despite a tough loss, Head Coach Robin Watkins spoke highly on the effort of his team.
“I like to see our guys come out and compete, but our focal point isn’t wins and losses at any time; this is great, February, its districts, its state. That’s the goal, and for them as well,” Watkins said, “Everyone’s goal is to get to state, and this is a stepping stone towards that, and gives them a little taste of fight, like its like I can’t let them have the bragging rights for the year. After this its just back to the lab.”