The varsity wrestling team kicked off its season on Monday, Oct. 27, by starting full practice. The wrestling team now has their fourth head coach in the last four years, and they have been preparing to improve from where they were last year.
“This coach is a lot more involved and is probably the most different out of the last three,” captain Abrahim Ali said. “He’s super motivated, and he’s willing to sacrifice a lot so that we as a team can improve.”
With the arrival of Darren Cooley as the new head coach has come a new intensity in the practices. Compared to the last four years, this year’s practices have been much more difficult.
“On a scale from one to 10, practices in the past have been a four,” Abrahim said. “This year’s practices are at about an eight or nine.”
The team has some challenging goals for this upcoming season that include both team and individual achievements. As a team, they want to make a statement within the district. Individually, a lot of the wrestlers are aiming to make it to state.
“Our goal is to make state for sure,” captain Wesley Pressnall said. “We also want to improve our rankings in district and regionals and finish on top of both of those levels.”
Last year, the varsity team finished second to last in district. This year, new teams in district include Highland Park, Mesquite Horn, North Mesquite, McKinney North and McKinney.
“Our new district doesn’t really affect the way we have been preparing,” captain Liam Byres said. “We’re pretty much replacing Skyline with Highland Park, and the other schools still provide good competition.”
Although the team lost some key seniors from last year such as Eric Gomez and Luke Thompson, this year’s seniors and a few underclassmen are expected to make the jump and make up for the talent they lost.
“It’s been kind of rough losing some of our guys from last year,” Liam said. “We have a lot of underclassmen, like Josh Kiesling, Dalix Alvarado and Oscar Chamu, who can step in and help fill those roles of the veterans we lost last year.