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Wrestling team succeeds with strong coaching

Senior+Jacob+Brauner+attempts+to+pin+his+opponent+from+Parkway+South.+In+the+end%2C+Parkway+South+junior+Connor+Hale+defeated+Brauner+in+2%3A29.+%E2%80%9CEven+though+I+lost+that+round%2C+the+team+still+cheered+me+on+as+if+I+had+won%2C%E2%80%9D+Brauner+said.+%0A%0A
Senior Jacob Brauner attempts to pin his opponent from Parkway South. In the end, Parkway South junior Connor Hale defeated Brauner in 2:29. “Even though I lost that round, the team still cheered me on as if I had won,” Brauner said.

Senior Jacob Brauner attempts to pin his opponent from Parkway South. In the end, Parkway South junior Connor Hale defeated Brauner in 2:29. “Even though I lost that round, the team still cheered me on as if I had won,” Brauner said.

Nayeon Ryu

Nayeon Ryu

Senior Jacob Brauner attempts to pin his opponent from Parkway South. In the end, Parkway South junior Connor Hale defeated Brauner in 2:29. “Even though I lost that round, the team still cheered me on as if I had won,” Brauner said.

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Suffering a loss only to Parkway South, the wrestling team kicks off their season with an 8-1 record.

According to assistant coach Chip Allison, a contribution that has led to their improvement is the increase in team size. With the addition of 11 incoming freshmen, they have maintained a full varsity lineup of 14 different weight classes.

“I think it had to do a lot with last year’s record,” Allison said. “We set a school record for the most wins which was 12 and I think students like to be part of a winning team.”

By defeating Clayton and Ladue, the wrestling Longhorns took the conference title coming in first place for the first time since 1975, breaking a 42-year drought of success.

“The wrestlers are really dedicated to the program and they have really good chemistry,” Allison said. “I think a big part of their dedication came from football coach Jeff Duncan. He got a lot of guys to come out here. And I’m just so proud of our wrestlers and the hard work that they put in.”

Senior and captain Josh McCallister, a competitor at the state meet last season, mentors new wrestlers and the freshmen on their technique.

“Sometimes if the coaches are busy, they’ll have me work with them because I know all the moves,” McCallister said. “Since I’m captain, I do my best by trying to improve everyone’s techniques.”

Along with Allison, head coach Zeke Allison and assistant coach Jeff Schlote leave time to work one-on-one with each and every student.

The athletes relate to Zeke on a personal level and his enthusiasm is contagious! Zeke is driven, supportive and hungry for West to win, which has been incredibly motivating for the team.”

— Carrie Nenonen

“During games, the coaches and I take notes on every individual so we can actually work on something that they need help on,” Z. Allison said. “Each game, I see my recommendations improving their skills.”

With the way the coaches are able to work with every student, they are able to improve their game.

“They really know when to push us or when we need to take a break, while at the same time making it fun and getting [us] to learn,” senior Jacob Brauner said.

Parents of the wrestlers have taken notice of Allison’s energy and enthusiasm in the program.

This year has been a lot more seamless with volunteer hours from the families. It has taken a lot of the pressure off the coaches so they can focus on the athletes.”

— Carrie Nenonen

“As a younger coach, he brings an incredible amount of drive and support to the wrestlers,” sophomore Reed Nenonen’s mother Carrie Nenonen said. “The athletes relate to Zeke on a personal level and his enthusiasm is contagious! Zeke is driven, supportive and hungry for West to win, which has been incredibly motivating for the team.”

To support the rapidly growing program, parents formed a booster club.

“Up until this point, there was no formal booster club, so even standard team tasks like organizing the banquet was problematic,” Nenonen said. “This year has been a lot more seamless with volunteer hours from the families. It has taken a lot of the pressure off the coaches so they can focus on the athletes.”

With qualified coaches and supportive teammates–along with parents to help them all–the team looks forward to finishing the season strong.

“We’ve only had one loss this season against Parkway South because they have a much better wrestling program than we do, and a bigger team,” Z. Allison said. “But we still hope to be able to nurture every individual’s potential while getting wins.”

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Wrestling team succeeds with strong coaching”

  1. Tim Elli on February 7th, 2018 10:57 am

    My son started wrestling as a sophomore and I am really glad he did. His coaches and teammates are exactly the type of people I want influencing him.

  2. Carrie Nenonen on February 7th, 2018 4:08 pm

    Thank you for the quotes and team coverage. This is a special group of kids and coaches. It has been a fabulous year and we only anticipate them to get better. GO LONGHORNS!

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Wrestling team succeeds with strong coaching