Wrestling practices halted for now, team still looks forward to January start of season

Demitri Jaramillo, Staff Writer

In a normal year, it would be that time of the year when wrestling is starting. With Covid-19 on the rise, wrestling has been pushed back a bit. Wrestlers were looking forward to weighing in this week with their coach and continuing open gyms before the start of their season, which would normally be kicking off.  Instead, they find themselves shut down for now because of the uptick in Covid cases in Weld County. 

Coach JJ Behrens  has taken the West wrestling program and built it up into a successful experience for his athletes and is looking forward to an exciting season, if things stay on track in the new year.  

Wrestling is scheduled to have their first day of competition on January 9th.  Like the other sports seasons, the wrestling season will be a shortened to seven tournaments and seven duels.  Uncertainty remains,  “There is still a lot of stuff up in the air right now,” Behrens said. 

Behrens said that one big change will be the size of practice this year.  “Once the season starts, what we have in place to try to implement some higher standards are running split practices between varsity and junior varsity,” Behrens said.

Wrestlers want a season and they are making sure to follow the restrictions and protocols that the state has set up. “Just like the rest of the sports, we have to wear masks. It has made things more difficult, but the guys want to be in the room, so they all have done a great job of wearing their masks. Some of the accommodations we have made are kids bringing multiple masks because we are in there to work hard,” Behrens said. 

Behrens made sure to stress the importance of wearing a mask. “When we are not wrestling, we are going to encourage guys to put their masks on, same rules on the bus, wear your mask, at the tournament, wear your mask.”

The wrestling team is looking to have a lot of kids in their roster. “I believe our numbers are going to be up significantly this year, so I see us being deep in a lot of weights. “When you look at returning wrestlers coming back, we do have a couple state qualifiers coming back with Hunter Clark and a state placer Aj Dominguez. Beyond those two I think we have a couple of other guys that could make some noise,” Behrens said.