Raiders find success at Southridge Super DualsDecember 31, 2020
By JIMMY LAFAKIS
HUNTINGBURG — A palpable buzz filled Memorial Gym as wrestlers weighed in before the Southridge Super Duals on Wednesday morning. The Southridge Raiders huddled together, eager to defend their home mats against some stiff competition.
The team efforts paid off, as Southridge won four of its five matches on the day. Victories over Providence, Bedford North Lawrence, Charlestown and Eastern-Pekin preceded a loss to Castle.
“We’ve got things we’ve got to continue to work on,” Raiders head coach Kurt Collins said. “We’ve got a young team. I have a sprinkling of upperclassmen, but the bulk of my lineup is made up of freshmen and sophomores. Though those sophomores are battle-hardened from wrestling varsity last year by default, we’re still inexperienced.”
The Raiders began their day with a convincing 60-12 victory over Providence. Next, Southridge pulled away from Bedford North Lawrence and earned a 42-18 win.
Fresh off a 69-0 sweep of Charlestown, the Raiders claimed a 48-9 victory over Eastern-Pekin.
“We’ve just got to keep working on simple, basic things,” Collins said. “We’ve got to keep our heads up on the bottom. We’ve got to get a lot more motion on the bottom. We’ve got to get to our takedowns first. We’ve got to quit waiting on our opponent to come to us. They will.”
Although the Raiders dropped the 48-30 match to Castle, Collins highlighted reasons for optimism.
“I’m pretty proud of them,” he said. “I think they battled hard today. Guys fought hard. I don’t always care about winning and losing as long as they did the best they could. That’s a win to me.”
According to Collins, the meet was originally scheduled to host 10 teams in the first week of December. The COVID-19 pandemic caused some changes in the schedule, so the Raiders adjusted their plans.
Southridge was scheduled to compete in Mooresville, but the Super Duals granted a prime opportunity — the chance to face a strong Castle squad. The Knights and Raiders flexed their deep lineups in the event’s final match.
“I always want to face those kinds of teams,” Collins said. “We don’t run from the competition. We run toward the competition.”
Collins recognized the Southridge wrestling parents for their work on Wednesday. Their assistance helped the Raiders execute the first event of its kind at Memorial Gym.
“They all know what we do,” Collins said. “When they walk in, you don’t have to tell anybody anything. Boom — the work gets done. That’s a very big plus here at Southridge.”
Southridge will return to the mat on Tuesday, Jan. 5 at North Knox.
“I’m excited about what the rest of the season is going to hold,” Collins said. “We’ll get a few guys back from COVID-related losses. I think the season is going to round out good for us. Hopefully, we’ll be able to bring a conference title and potentially a sectional title home this season.”
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