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Springfield wrestling team ready to move past health issues

12/27/2012 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — The Springfield High School wrestling team is 0-2 in dual meets so far, but head coach Todd Lovell said his squad has been through a difficult period due to some health issues.

“We had a problem with some skin infections, so we missed a tournament and we had to reschedule a dual meet,” he stated. “We’ve had 12 kids out. We wrestled the other night against Field and Norton and we only had seven kids. It’s been tough. I mean, we had two weeks where we were completely shut down — we couldn’t practice, lift, nothing.”

According to Lovell, the issues followed a “strong start” by the team.

“We wrestled down at Hillsdale and we had 10 kids place down there,” he said. “But then, that following Monday, the skin stuff happened and we had to shut it down. This was hard because we didn’t have any real timetable for getting back. If it was a broken hand or foot, they give you a time schedule. But the doctor couldn’t really give us a definite timetable. We just finally got back on the mat [on Dec. 17].”

Lovell said there is no definitive explanation to how the issues started.

“It was just one of those wrestling things where we got something and didn’t realize it until after the fact,” he said. “It just kind of happened within two or three days. It just blew up.”

As of Dec. 22, Lovell said, the team still had five wrestlers dealing with skin infection issues. However, the coach stated, the team is starting to break through and get healthy.

“I have a good group of kids that want to work and want to wrestle,” he said. “So they were kind of chomping at the bit to get back on the mat. They were all doing what they needed to do to get themselves back in shape. As soon as we were able to get back to practice, they were there and ready to go.”

Lovell said this year’s team has two seniors: Nick Wright (113 pounds) and D’Artanyon Stanard (182 pounds).

“Last year, as a junior, Nick missed districts by one match. He won 30 matches last year. He’s a good, hard-working, tough kid. He was one of the kids that didn’t get anything, so he’s been lifting and doing stuff here and there,” the coach said. “D’Artanyon was a district qualifier his sophomore year, but then he broke his hand last year right before sectionals. He was having a pretty good year, but he had a rough break. He has yet to wrestle this year.”

Three key juniors this season are Cody Wilson (120 pounds), Triston Briggs (182 pounds) and Todd Woods (145 pounds).

“Cody’s tough. He placed third down at Hillsdale,” Lovell said. “Triston started the season with a great tournament at Hillsdale. He’s real, real tough. Unfortunately, Todd just broke his hand, so he’s out for six weeks. But before that, he took first at Hillsdale and he won both his matches the other night.”

Lovell said he is looking for “consistent improvement” from his team this season.

“We had such a good start and it was hard to have to shut down for two weeks,” he stated. “I just want to improve from week to week, from match to match. We have a tough January because of rescheduling matches, but it will get these kids ready for the end of the season with the PTC [Portage Trail Conference] tournament and sectionals and districts.”

Springfield’s next dual meet is scheduled for Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m., when the team will host Streetsboro and Ravenna high schools.

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