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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wrestling team dominates RM and Seneca Valley, loses to Northwest

Senior+Enzo+Yamasaki+wrestles+against+his+opponent+from+Richard+Montgomery.+He+was+declared+the+winner+by+pin%2C+contributing+six+points+to+the+Wildcats.
Photo by Ishaan Ramola
Senior Enzo Yamasaki wrestles against his opponent from Richard Montgomery. He was declared the winner by pin, contributing six points to the Wildcats.

The Wildcats followed up their close win against Quince Orchard with wins over Richard Montgomery and Seneca Valley. On Wednesday, Jan. 25, WJ faced off against RM in a dual meet and won easily with a 54-24 victory.

The Wildcats started off down 3-0 after the first weight class, but went on to score 42 points in a row, giving themselves a commanding lead in the match. Despite a late surge from the RM, the Wildcats held on and took the win. The team was led by stellar performances from seniors Grady Hutton and Enzo Yamasaki and junior Bahdan Kurepkin.

“We were driven and motivated. We needed to win to be satisfied after having so many losses,” Hutton said.

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Wildcats faced off against Seneca Valley and Northwest in a tri-meet. The team took home in the victory against Seneca Valley 42-36, but lost in a close match to Northwest.

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“We knew Northwest was a good team. We were going in not to beat them, but to get some individual wins. When we lost, we just had to move on, as we had a match against Seneca right afterward,” senior Sang-woo Hwang said.

Despite the team’s recent loss to Northwest, the Wildcats are still heading in the right direction as the regular season nears an end.

We’ve been practicing on eliminating our weaknesses. They’re still being taken advantage of so we’ll gain the advantage once we get rid of them.

— Grady Hutton

With some severe injuries throughout the season, the Wildcats have been able to overcome adversity and still perform well. The team currently has a 6-5 record, winning three out of their last four matches.

“Injuries are a part of all sports. Wrestling can be tough on the body and it’s a long grueling season. And like all teams across the county we have taken some notable injuries. Having a large team definitely helps. We have depth at most weights. So we are operating on a next person up mindset. While someone heals, another gets an opportunity to show their hard work off. The hope is that everyone who gets an opportunity, takes advantage of it,” coach Brian Frantz said.

With only two matches left in the regular season, the Wildcats are hoping to continue their momentum heading into the postseason.

“My goal for this week is to win all three dual meets. Northwood, Whitman, and B-CC. Then we will get our region duals opponent, and my goal there is to win one match that we lost during the season. To show the progress. And then, we get into the individual post-season. I’d like to get a few placewinners at the JV county tournament, I’d like the girls to win the team county championship at the Girls MCPS County Tournament. I’d like to qualify five or six guys and all of the girls for the 3A/4A West Region championships, and then I’d like to bring four or five guys to the state championships along with all of the girls hopefully. And I’m hoping we can finish with four to five state placers across the girls and guys,” Frantz said.

The team urges everyone to come out tonight and support the team in their last home match of the regular season as they face off against Northwood at 6:15 p.m.

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Dylan Schmidt
Dylan Schmidt, Print Sports Editor
Dylan is a Print Sports Editor for the Pitch this year. This is his second year on the Pitch and he also runs cross country and track for the school.
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