Cadiz Record Executive Editor
Last year, Trigg County Middle School competed in wrestling for the first time. Success and high turnout has led to the high school returning to the mat for the first time in 26 years.
Ralph Stevens, who coached the middle school team last season, will be the head coach of both teams this year. Once he completes CPR training, Trigg will be able to schedule tryouts for the high school team. Stevens said 47 high schoolers signed up for tryouts last month.
“It’s not a sport for the weak of mind or heart,” Stevens said. “You get out what you put into it. It’s the toughest six minutes you’ll ever face. From what people at other schools say, if I finish with 25 on the team, I’ll be doing good.”
The middle school team came about after competitors in Trigg’s youth program became older, so last season’s success wasn’t a complete surprise, Stevens said.
“If we went to an event that had 12 teams and we finished in the top six, I was happy,” Stevens said. “We got our feet wet last year and held our own.”
Having wrestlers with some experience has been a help so far.
“I’d say 65 to 70 percent of my middle schoolers know what they’re doing,” Stevens said. “We start from basic fundamentals and then break into groups.”
For Trigg to be competitive locally against the 1st Region’s best like Union County, they’ll need to continue to learn and improve upon the fundamentals of the sport, Stevens said.
“We should place in the top four among the teams in our district and region,” Stevens said, adding Trigg will compete locally against schools like Hopkinsville, Christian County, Caldwell County and Calloway County.
Stevens, who wrestled at TCHS until he graduated in 1982, has coached the sport at various levels in the years since, including youth programs and a stint as assistant coach at Hopkinsville High. Ronald Bush, Corky Irvin, Jay Geiger and Scotty Hampton will join Stevens, who said his wife Robin will help with paperwork to make sure Trigg’s wrestlers meet the state’s weight and body fat requirements.
Stevens said Trigg’s wrestlers still have a good deal to work on, but the Wildcats should be very competitive throughout the season.
“We’re making a lot of silly mistakes right now,” Stevens said. “I think we’re doing good. The team will come together when guys set their individual goals and start meeting them.”
Trigg’s middle schoolers opened their season Nov. 14 at University Heights, finishing second in a multi-team tournament and finishing just a few points behind Caldwell County. Trigg finished with 34 wins, 28 pins and 25 losses.
Individual results were as follows:
70 pounds, Jordan Walker 2-1, two pins, second place;
80 pounds, Jeremiah Kline, 4-1, four pins, third place;
89 pounds, Mackenzie Fowler, 0-2; Delbert White, 0-2;
96 pounds, Braden Sperry, 2-2, fifth place; Malik Cunningham, 4-1, three pins, fourth place;
103 pounds, Daniel Ingram, 3-2, two pins, fifth place;
110 pounds, Ryan Gallogly, 3-1, two pins, third place;
117 pounds, Dylan Parker, 1-2, one pin;
124 pounds, Devanie Cunningham, 2-1, two pins, second place;
131 pounds, Skylar Pool, 3-1, three pins, second place; Devin Hammonds, 1-1, one pin;
140 pounds, Jayven Jones, 3-1, three pins, third place;
150 pounds, Noah Hulstrum, 0-2;
165 pounds, Adam Meredith, 1-2, one pin;
185 pounds, Aaron Stevens, 2-1, two pins, second place;
Heavyweight, Tommy Koenig, 3-2, two pins, fifth place.
Stevens said other wrestlers for Trigg’s middle school team this year will include Colin Stevens, Zack Colbert, Adam Calhoun, Brittany Rattray, River Sittig, Billy Shepherd, Treston Jordan, Tony Zelena, Quentin Bird, Mike White, Quashaun Quarles, Hunter Herndon and Ivan Martin.
Trigg hosts a six-team dual tournament Dec. 5.