A young, talented and deep Westlake wrestling team is waiting for the New Year to really shine, but in the meantime the Chaparrals are certainly taking care of business.
The Westlake squad continues to compete without multiple regulars in the lineup – including four Chaparrals that are currently still playing football with a chance at a state championship. The Chaps took down last year’s regional champ, Bowie, in a 49-27 dual Dec. 5.
The Chaps got six outright victories against the Bulldogsm and picked up three more wins via forfeit for the commanding win.
On Saturday at the Leander varsity dual tournament, Westlake had three champion wrestlers plus four second-place and two third-place finishers.
“Realistically for us, our season will start after first of the year,” Westlake wrestling coach Pat O’Harra said. “It’s one of those necessary tradeoffs this time of year. We hope they go all the way to the title game, and [we’re] hoping once the first of the year comes around, we’ll be back at full force.”
Senior Mack Murray and sophomores Kevin Zarzana and Alex Pankhurst took first place at Leander, with the depth of the team really showing so far in 2012.
Junior Ed Dunn, sophomores Hunter Roberts and Hugo Giordano along with freshman Jonathan Cramer came in second at the Leander tourney, while sophomore Jake Beare and freshman Hunter Hershey taking third.
While Westlake is not overly concerned with results right now, as they have no bearing on the district tournament in February, the win over Bowie was big as well, although the Bulldogs did lose a lot from last year’s team.
“We’re really just trying to get matches right now; we’re not so much worried about team result,” O’Harra said.
Juniors Ray Eells, Dalton Shults, Robby Boyd and sophomore Gabe Duran are still with the football squad right now, with all but Duran district placers last season.
“We’ll get these guys lined up for the district tournament that first weekend of February. If they go to the state title game, and we hope they do, they’re going to be burned out and not practice much over Christmas break. Then they’ve got four weeks and three tournaments before district.
“It’s a tradeoff we’ll gladly take. We’ve built such a good rapport with the coaching staff that they want their kids to wrestle. They see the benefits of both together, and it makes them better players when springtime comes around.”
Westlake wrestled at Georgetown Dec. 15, and will be at the Bryan Tournament Dec. 22 before a break from bouts until Jan. 9, when Westlake hosts Vandegrift.
The district tournament is set for Feb. 1-2 at the Delco Center.
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