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The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

The official student newspaper of Walter Johnson High School

The Pitch

Wrestling completes regions, qualifies seven for states

Junior+Bahdan+Kurepkin+beats+out+his+opponent+to+score+points+for+WJ+at+a+meet.+Kurepkin+is+one+of+the+four+boys+being+sent+to+states+on+the+team%2C+with+the+addition+of+three+girls+also+headed+to+the+state+championships.
Nick Opipari
Junior Bahdan Kurepkin beats out his opponent to score points for WJ at a meet. Kurepkin is one of the four boys being sent to states on the team, with the addition of three girls also headed to the state championships.

Last weekend, the wrestling team competed in the Maryland West Region Championships. The Wildcats came out of regions, which lasted from Friday, Feb. 23 to Saturday, Feb. 24, with seven wrestlers advancing to states. On the boys side, senior Sawyer Chism, juniors Bahdan Kurepkin and Hudson Barrett and sophomore Daniel Gershon qualified for states. For the girls, juniors Madeline Barnett and Maddox Zuniga, along with sophomore Sofia Pegoue are heading to states.

“I’m feeling great [about states], this is the most people that we’ve had qualify for states in a long time. We’ve had some low moments, but we’ve stuck with it and I’m really proud of all of our varsity lineup, and especially everyone who’s onto state. Even those who didn’t qualify put everything out there on the mat,” Chism said.

While the Wildcats have had great success all year, even the wrestlers who didn’t qualify have done really well and have lots to learn for future seasons with the team.

“We’re taking seven total to states, so all in all [regions] were good. I would’ve liked to take everyone that went, but obviously it’s a tough tournament, and it’s not easy. We’re working hard and getting ready for states, and they’re setting a good example for the people that didn’t qualify for next year and the year after that,” coach Brian Frantz said.

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Regions was a hard tournament, and the Cats are playing in a county with lots of great wrestlers from lots of schools.

“Regionals were pretty hard, there were lots of great teams there. Clarksburg, Whitman, they’re really good teams and Whitman is a state champion [caliber] team. MCPS counties were really tough because our county is one of the hardest counties in the state, because state championships are often coming from our county,” Kurepkin said.

The Wildcats often found that tournament success stems from personal growth in the practice room. Part of that comes from people in the practice room pushing each other to be the best wrestler they can be.

“It was a very positive environment, both at the competitions and in the practice room. And I think a lot of us wouldn’t be at the spot that we’re in without those practice partners, and without those that would push each other in the practice room,” Chism said.

The State Championships will take place over a span of three days, from Feb. 29 until March 2. It will be held at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro, MD.

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Jeremy Silberglied, Staff Writer
Sophomore Jeremy Silberglied is thrilled to be in his first year with the Pitch as a Staff Writer. Jeremy is also his grade's class treasurer, and he loves playing sports in his free time.
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