WARRENSBURG - A half-dozen Warrensburg wrestlers are displaying their strength and talent as they approach the matches remaining before the Feb. 7 Class D Sectional tournament, coach Marc Trapasso said Monday.
"Our guys are wrestling better every time they're on the mat - they're really advancing," he said as he reviewed his team's performance against Salem Jan. 22. "We're gonna shock some people with some upsets."
Trapasso's reference to "guys" should be expanded to include Abby Roth, who is one of two female wrestlers in the region blazing a new trail for their gender as they tally up victories.
Roth's expertise was evident in the meet against Salem.
Against a muscular, lanky and skilled opponent at 112 pounds, Roth wrestled with strength and a confident knowledge of holds and moves to capture a convincing 19-6 win.
It would have been more lopsided, but Roth gave her opponent Brandon Mantkelow a handful of unearned points, taking him down repeatedly, but each time allowing him an escape - which gave him 1 point each time - so she could repeat the feat.
Trapasso said she wasn't toying with her opponent, she was following a strategy to earn points while keeping out of trouble.
Roth, Trapasso said, is apt to lose points tangled up with with lanky opponents when they use their leverage to their advantage, he said. So Roth works from the standing neutral position, shooting for takedowns, where she has the edge due to her knowledge and speed, Trapasso said.
"This strategy is one we hope works well down the stretch," he said.
Jan. 22 against Salem, Logan Rock also showed off the skills that took him to fourth place in the state tournament in 2008 and may take him even further this year, Trapasso said.
"Rock is wrestling extremely well, partially because he's getting in tremendous shape - the best shape he's been in over his entire career."