It’s all business now for girls wrestling team
In the midst of a strong season, the Quincy girls wrestling team will see the bar get raised a few inches now that the playoffs are in sight.
Back from Hanford’s Winter Cup with four wrestlers placing among the top four in their categories, the assessment was more businesslike than perhaps some could expect.
“The girls did not wrestle as well as they should have,” head coach William Clifton said. “They are definitely in the midseason slump. Everything is off: Intensity, enjoyment, you can tell they are tired and the coaches are tired.”
As a result, the team returned from the tournament and had the rest of the holiday break off until Jan. 2.
At Hanford, Samantha Schaapman took second place at 190 lbs, and Jaselyn Jones took third at 140 lbs. Cynthia Diaz took second at 115 lbs. and Xochitl Tafoya took fourth place at 110 lbs.
Overall the team finished in third place in the 11-team competition.
Despite these results, “the coaches weren’t happy,” Clifton said. “We could have done better.”
“It’s not like we are perfectionists but they did not attain the level of wrestling that they should have,” he said. “And that, we were disappointed and they were disappointed with.”
Clifton called on his wrestlers to dig deep and not let the coaches be the sole source of motivation. The team has been lackadaisical in practice, he added, messing around and procrastinating.
The day of the interview, a wrestler showed up late and nonchalantly put her wrestling shoes on, Clifton said, adding that the entire team was going to suffer the consequences of that behavior.
“Is the young lady going to be upset? Well, yeah, and the whole team is going to be upset with her,” Clifton said. “It’s going to be, ‘Hey, we are done. Either you get with the program or you are going to stay home.’”
Clifton added, “They got to come in here and even if they are tired, even if they have had a bad day at school, they have to come into the wrestling room, leave it all outside, and they’ve got to pick it up, because we have got a month left,” Clifton said.
This last month is going to determine how they place at districts, and districts will determine how they place at regionals, he added.
“They need to start owning this,” he said. “Can’t be the coaches doing it for them.”
By Sebastian Moraga, firstname.lastname@example.org