90° F Wednesday, July 26, 2017

By Kyle Gregory

In the final tune up before the district tournament, Westlake wrestling team defeated Dripping Springs 42-39 on Jan. 23.
“It was a lot closer than I anticipated,” Westlake coach Pat O’Harra said. “Dripping Springs is a relatively new team. They don’t have a lot of wrestlers, but the ones they do have have a lot of experience.”
Dripping Springs forfeited the first four weight classes, but from there it was a back and forth struggle. Of the 10 remaining weight classes, Dripping Springs won five outright, while Westlake won three. Westlake was forced to forfeit one match due to an injury and, in the final bout; Westlake’s Joey Neuendorff (285 pounds) was leading but had to default because of an injury.
“I was a little surprised,” O’Harra said. “We had to keep from getting pinned in the second-to-last match to guarantee the win.”
With the district tournament next on the schedule, O’Harra said that his team should be healthy and ready to compete.
“We’ve had a lot of kids slowed down with injuries and this and that,” O’Harra said. “I think going into the final tournament, we’ll have the team set. Whether they’ll be peaking, I don’t know.”
Westlake’s tournament chances will be bolstered by the team’s depth.
“We only get one kid per weight class,” O’Harra said. “We have two wrestlers who finished third in district last year who can’t wrestle in varsity because they lost their wrestle-off.”
Despite reservations about whether or not his team is peaking, O’Harra is optimistic about what his team can accomplish in the tournament.
“If we wrestle as well as we can, I think the district title, which we haven’t won in five years, is a real possibility,” O’Harra said. “We’ll have to win the matches that we’re supposed to win.”
The district tournament will be held Friday at the Delco Center, with regionals on Feb. 9-10 and the state tournament set for Feb. 22-23.

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