February 28th, 2023
On February 17th and 18th, the wrestling team competed in the Howard County Championship.
Atholton placed 6th overall at counties. There will be seven wrestlers moving on to regionals on February 25th. Omar Palmer and Malachi Johnson placed third while Jonathan Maslan, Mark Enamorado, and Justin Soriano placed 4th. Chase Garrison placed 6th and Liliana Giraud became the second female to ever place at the boys County Tournament placing 5th. Liliana is going for her second regional title and placed 4th in states last year.
At first sight, high school wrestling may look like an individual sport, in actuality, it is considered a team sport. Members of the team support each other, practice together, and the outcome of every match affects the team as a whole. In high school wrestling, people compete on mats. The people who compete against each other are based on their weight class. There are 14 weight classes in high school wrestling, ranging from 106 pounds to 285 pounds. The people on the team all vary in height, weight, and grade.
“It’s a teamwork sport,” said Atholton freshman Chase Garrison. He joined the wrestling team this year, and was inspired by the fact that his uncle coached a high school wrestling team. “You depend on your teammates, so that you can win the match as a team,” said Chase.
Wrestling has a different scoring system than other sports. There are 14 matches that will decide the teams final score. If a wrestler were to pin their opponent, they would earn the team 6 points. If the wrestler were to earn more than 15 points they would earn 5 points for the team. More than 8 and less than 15 individual points would earn 4 points for the team.
Since wrestling is a coed sport, girls participate on the same team as boys. That gives the opportunity for different experiences than other sports. High school sports for girls don’t often offer physicality, so wrestling is a great opportunity to practice those skills. The girls on the team are offered a separate regional tournament, meaning that they may be able to become state champions.
Wrestling is an important part of Atholton. The team has people from all grades that compete with teams around the county. It builds strong hardworking individuals because people are supposed to push themselves, both when they train and when they are competing. Teamwork and support motivate the people on the team to work harder so they can win their matches. The team practices every week preparing for their matches. The matches have several schools participating instead of the schools being one against the other.
Coach Billups is the wrestling team’s main coach. He’s noticed a lot of growth throughout the season. “We have a lot of young wrestlers this year and we’ve been able to give them growth,” said Coach Billups. There are 5 first year wrestlers on the team.
Atholton’s JV and Varsity have had several matches throughout the 2022-2023 season; there were matches held at schools including Hammond, Reservoir, and Atholton. Teams in Howard County are able to go to several higher championship levels, from counties all the way through nationals.
At regionals, several wrestlers advanced to states. Omar Palmer placed 1st in 3a/4a east. Jonathan Maslan placed 4th. Samantha Semprun Salazar, who is a first year, placed 1st. Mollie McCormick is also a first year wrestler, she placed second. Juliana Oxenburg and Liliana Giraud won regional titles for the second time.
Cheer on our athletes that are moving forward to states!