Wrestling Team Sets CHS All-Time Record


Photo Courtesy of Dan Alpert

Junior Andrew Welch wrestles in a recent meet. He is credited as a team leader by fellow wrestlers.

By Ethan C. Miller, Online Sports Editor

The CHS varsity wrestling team is making history this season after starting the year with a 16 match winning streak, a CHS record.

The team has enjoyed an outstanding season thus far, with 13 wins and two losses in county play as of Feb. 9. Their only losses came on Jan. 24 and Feb. 8, both against Damascus, the defending state champion. CHS was able to defeat Northwest at the 4A/3A west dual wrestling meet before falling short against Damascus.

“This season has gone excellently,” senior and captain Liam Yilma Lehr said. “I’m very proud of this team. Every week we are setting records, making CHS history.”

Although the team’s season has gone well so far, assistant coach Tony Howard believes that the team is capable of taking their game to the next level.

“This year, the team has performed well, but not to our full potential,” Howard said.

Howard’s goals for the team this year include winning the division and sending as many wrestlers to states as possible. The team has met Howard’s first goal by winning the 4A/3A west division and is aiming to achieve the second.

Junior MacKenzie Ballman agrees with Howard that despite the team’s success, they still have a lot to work on in order to keep their momentum going.

“As a team we have been doing extremely well, but almost all of us have individual losses,” Ballman said. “We can be happy about what we accomplished as a team, but we all take those individual losses very seriously and work extremely hard to better ourselves from each loss.”

Although each wrestler receives an individual score, the team’s strength has allowed them to focus less on individual victories and instead on the performance of the team as a whole.

“Knowing that you have a strong group of guys on your team can really make all the difference on the mat,” junior Chris Ervin said. “It makes your own individual match less stressful, because you know that everyone else on the team is able to go out on the mat, and do what they need to do to win. I feel like that trust in each other has helped us start this year off strong.”

Along with Lehr, junior captains Jack Connolly and Andrew Welch have positively impacted the team this season with their strong leadership and performance on the mat.

“One of the most impactful people this year has been Jack Connolly, who has proven himself to be an excellent leader as well as an excellent wrestler,” Lehr said. “Andrew Welch is another wrestler that comes to mind as an impactful leader with his consistent strong finishes and charisma.”

In addition to the team’s performance, the success of this season can be equally credited to the tight bond that the team has formed over the course of the season.

“I’d have to say that my favorite part of this year’s team is how close we all are,” Ervin said. “It’s the perfect blend of respect and friendship that has made this team really fun to be a part of.”