Toughen up: A look inside the first year of THS Wrestling

By: James Cassar
With Tuscarora being a new school this year, several winter sports have been ushered into their inaugural seasons. The Husky Wrestling program has hit the ground running, with dedicated veterans from other schools as varsity captains, and excellent coaches with years of experience with the sport to boot. While their presence at meets may be not as large as schools with longer histories and a senior class, the team remains optimistic as to what the future holds.
“I believe what sets us apart from other schools is the youth of our athletes. We have more first-year wrestlers than any school, which means that these athletes need to step up and work harder, which will pay off in the long run,” head coach Barden said of the program. Barden’s words have rung true, as wrestling is a heavily mental sport and this is a hard concept for most young athletes to grasp. However, through the guidance of older teammates and the stellar coaching, he believes that if they maintain a positive attitude and are willing to work hard, the mentality will sink in and become routine.
Along with the rock-solid experience that the coaches bring to practice each day, several seasoned wrestlers bring their knowledge of the sport to the masses – or at least, the rookies. “My experience on the Heritage team has helped me to become a better leader at THS and has helped me to add to the team as an experienced wrestler.” Garrett Mastria, a THS junior and varsity team captain remarks on his leadership role. His experience on a more-seasoned team has enabled him to assist his less-experienced teammates, and he feels – and is sure his team feels – this makes him a capable leader and helps the team as a whole.
What does he forecast for Tusky wrestling’s future? “As the team continues to build and gain experience from each match, I believe that Tuscarora will develop itself into a well-known competitor in the district in years to come.”
Greatness has to start somewhere, and the hard-working wrestling program has sped out of the gate, and shows no sign of slowing down.