Varsity wrestling celebrates senior night during double duel

Senior wrestlers hit the mats for the final time at South Lakes as they took on Hayfield and Mclean in a double duel Thursday.

Senior captain Josh Forrest , who just returned to competition after tearing his meniscus a month ago, remarked before the event that he welcomed the challenge.

“It’s interesting because we’re facing Hayfield, the best team in the district,” Forrest said. “McLean is one of the top teams also. We’re going to have two tough matches, but I look forward to it. I’m hoping that our team can rise to the occasion.”

His hopes were partially realized as his team defeated McLean but fell to Hayfield.

According to Forrest, the wrestling program has improved this season under the new leadership of coach Stephen Brown.

“It’s been great,” Forrest said. “It’s a lot different than how it was with our former coach. Instead of running so much and working completely on conditioning, we do a lot more drills and technique stuff. We’re learning to be more wrestlers than conditioned boys who will fight out six minutes of a match.”

Forrest also mentors his teammates.

“I’m more of a coaching captain because I’ve been wrestling for so long,” Forrest said. “I get better with these boys and I help them get better. I also go to outside training center where I learn new moves.”

He is proud of the performances of his fellow wrestlers.

“We have [senior] Colby Laxton, who’s risen up this year and having a really good season,” Forrest said. “Our 106 pounder is a freshman, and he’s over 500 for the year. We have some other good wrestlers as well.”

Laxton and Forrest won both of their matches during the double duel. For Laxton, the knowledge that it was his last home meet made his victories bittersweet.

“It’s definitely sad after four years and all our hard work,” Laxton said.