Youth and inexperience are the biggest challenges facing the 13-or-so varsity wrestlers at Tyler Consolidated High School this year, but that was to be expected.
Head coach Chad Snider knew coming into the season that he would have few veterans and many beginners, and wins could be hard to come by. Especially team wins.
On. Dec. 7 at Tyler Consolidated, the Knights hosted their first dual of the season, and falling to River, as a team, 53-12. The Knights had no real chance in the team event, giving up several double forfeits and individual forfeits in 120, 132, and 195 weight classes.
Getting wins on the night were senior John Brosky at 126, pinning River's Luke Gilles in 17 seconds; junior Dustin Tawney, at 182, pinned Jered Hinkle in 2:16.
Junior Hunter LeMasters fell to River rival, Freddie Mundt by a Technical Fall in 3:16. Silver Knights Josh Ruble (145), Mario Matecon (160), Spencer Billings (170), Dakota Allen (220) and Cecil Spencer (275) were each pinned in their first outing of the year.
At Ritchie County on Saturday, the Knight grapplers were afforded the chance to not only see some fine wrestling, but participate in several matches throughout the day.
"This has been a good competition for years," coach Snider said of the Ritchie tournament. "I can remember when I wrestled in it. It's nice because it is set up as duals style tournament instead of a double elimination tournament. It gives our wrestlers many opportunities to secure their first wins to help build some confidence."
Overall on the day, Brosky led the team again, going 8-2 on the day in the 120 pound weight classification. At 170, Levi Henderson went 6-4; 220, Allen, 6-5; 152, LeMasters, 5-6; 182, Tawney, 5-5; 138, Ruble, 2-8; 160, Mantecon, 2-8; and 285, Spencer, 1-10.
Overall, Snider realizes his team is learning with every competition they participate in.
"Once again I have a very young team and myself am a young coach with many things to learn," he said. "My athletes have much to learn, so it makes it difficult to know what moves they need to learn because there are so many different styles and trends that each individual wrestler is going to bring to the table."
"Even though my guys may not have won the matches, they are improving by trying new moves that they have drilled in practice and breaking bad habits they have formed."
"After each competition we try to figure out what we did wrong and what we did well, then work from there."
The Silver Knight wrestlers traveled to Magnolia on Tuesday and will host their own tournament, the Knight Wrestle-A-Bout on Dec. 17.
Thirteen teams are expected to participate in the huge tournament which will begin at 10 a.m.
The Knight wrestling team is in hopes that local fans will attend to support them.