Wrestling team hits mat on football field

With a 57-18 victory over Fort Smith Northside, the boys wrestling team added another win to the books. Due to the unique circumstances from the pandemic, senior Billy Tillery did not have the season that he had hoped for. 

“My season has not been what I was hoping for because of injuries and COVID-19,” Tillery said, “but when I have been able to wrestle, it has been a good experience.” 

On Feb. 2, 2021, the HBHS vs. FS Northside wrestling match was held on the football field. 

“It was really awesome to experience this because it was a different kind of match,” Tillery said. “It was my senior night, so it was pretty awesome to spend both of my football and wrestling senior nights on the football field.” 

Tillery’s best match that he performed at was the Casville 200 pound, and his best event was the Seneca wrestling competition at Seneca High School. At wrestling meets, you are in a bracket based on your weight class, so for each win, you move up a bracket to face your next opponent. 

“When I first started wrestling, I was very timid because I was so new to the sport,” Tillery said, “but over the years, I have improved on moves and new ways to prepare for a match.” 

The wrestling team gained a new coach this year, coach Willie Wright. 

“It is my first time ever coaching high school,” Wright said. “Before I came here, I was coaching college wrestling, so the level of maturity is a little bit different, but I have enjoyed it.” 

According to Wright, he is excited for what the younger wrestlers have in store for their future in wrestling. 

“I am pretty excited about the new building that is being built, so we will have the resources to be successful,” Wright said. 

According to the wrestling coaches, they have constructed their practices to be quite difficult for their athletes to stay in top shape. 

“Wrestling is different from any other sport,” Wright said. “The harder you push yourself to be in shape is to make sure that when you are tired, your technique is good.” 

According to Coach Wright, the practices in the beginning of each week consist of starting off difficult, but when nearing the end of the week, the conditioning eventually gets easier for the athletes. 

“We are looking to have a few individuals that have a pretty good shot at winning state this year,” Wright said, “so the whole team has a bright future ahead of them.”