Hayden High School wrestling team gets back to the mat
November 30, 2012
Hayden — Six rounds weren't enough.
It's explained like this. Sometimes in wrestling, two periods aren't enough. That third period often defines a person. Who wants it more? Who is in better shape? Who is mentally stronger?
So on an early Friday morning in the Hayden High School wrestling room, strength and conditioning coach Ryan Lee determined that six rounds of his workout weren't enough.
"Eight rounds," Lee yelled. "These are bonus rounds."
Lee, a disciple of Manic Training founder Graham Muir, spent most of Friday morning pushing and shaping a young Hayden wrestling team.
He knows talent often wins the first period, but it's usually something else that wins after that.
"I've been designing (workouts) around the wrestling aspect of it," Lee said. "A lot of it's mental. A lot of it's making them strong in the head. Wrestling is such a challenge. Physically, the way they're training and practicing is rigorous. This enhances it. A lot of it's in their head."
The workouts have been designed to increase endurance. The team has done them for two weeks now, and at least initially, the prognosis is positive.
"In myself, I've seen a difference," sophomore Tanner Guire said. "You can see a difference in the guys that are pushing."
It's all been good for a Hayden team that will rely heavily on a young core of wrestlers. The team has seven freshmen and five sophomores.
Returning seniors and state placers T-Lane Mazzola and Ryan Domson are injured and might not return.
Journey Vreeman and Kent Miller return as state qualifiers. Guire, sophomore Taylor Lewis, senior Colton Jensen and freshman Trent Gabel should fill in and have a shot at state.
"I want to have a winning record. That's all," Gabel said. "I want to make it to state. It's possible for anybody as long as you put in the work."
Hayden coach Chad Jones said with injuries and a young roster, goals are fluid at this point. He was unsure whether Mazzola or Domson would be able to return, saying the best-case scenario was for the middle of the season.
Still, a look up before entering the Hayden wrestling room reveals the legacy of past Tigers. Placards of state champions and placers introduce the young team to expectations.
Jones said he expects the team to stay the course, with Lee's training now an essential part of the recipe. The team will continue with Lee throughout the year, using tapered-down versions of current workouts.
Wrestlers had no excuses Friday, as Jones was alongside for the workout, sweat pouring from his head.
"They gave me a lot of grief," he said. "Now they can't give me a lot of grief if I work next to them."
Hayden begins the season Saturday in Middle Park.
To reach Luke Graham, call 970-871-4229 or email lgraham@SteamboatToday.com