Summit High wrestlers keeps on battling through tough season
FARMER’S KORNER – The hardest part about being part of the Summit High School wrestling team is the fact that, no matter what, the focus isn’t on the team winning.
The Tigers have a problem a few wrestling programs have around the state.
Only five guys dress in green and white for any meet, meaning they don’t have enough to win a dual. Thursday against Evergreen, Summit fell 66-6 thanks to 36 points worth of forfeits, but the Tigers’ Andrew Vawter-Beaird still picked up a pin in 58 seconds.
“We’re focusing on the individual,” Tigers head coach Scott Giles said. “We’re focusing on individual league goals. You win every match, you can win the league. Then, we’re focusing on regionals and trying to get these guys to state.”
Vawter-Beaird is only a sophomore and this is only his first year as a full-time competitor. But the 103-pounder has stepped up and taken on the leadership of his team. He’s 16-11 in this season and Thursday he showed why he’s going to be a 4A force until he graduates.
“I’m very surprised that I’m doing that well,” Vawter-Beaird said. “I’m learning a lot. I still have a lot to learn. It’s tough. We’re just trying to make practices tougher than the meets.”
Charles Keeling, Stephan Collard, Tim Gurule and Daniel Kocher also took the mat for Summit.
The focus on individuality seems to stop during the meet, when all five Tigers can be found cheering on their teammates.
It’s been a rough season – nobody’s arguing that. Ralston Valley was supposed to visit Farmer’s Korner for a dual earlier in the season, but when two Tigers went down with injury, Ralston couldn’t justify the expense for three matches.
The same goes for Giles’ practices.
He knows with five guys, you have to be creative.
“If we were to wrestle the entire two hours of practice, they’d be burned out,” Giles said. “We’ve spent most of the year drilling and conditioning. It’s only been this week when we’ve wrestled in practice.”
The Tigers also had their first home meet since last season on Tuesday, when they faced Conifer.
Two days later, Summit had another. But that’s all the home meets the squad gets for the rest of the year.
“You just have to pay your dues at this level,” Giles said.
Ryan Slabaugh can be contacted at (970) 668-3998, ext. 257, or at email@example.com
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