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Springfield wrestling season highlighted by district qualifiers

2/27/2014 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

SPRINGFIELD — Springfield High School wrestling head coach Todd Lovell said this year’s team exceeded his expectations for the season.

“We had five wrestlers go to districts, and nine out of our 10 kids placed at sectionals,” he said. “Coming in, I wasn’t quite sure where we were going to be this year. We only had two seniors, so we had a pretty young team. But they really did exceed my expectations. We finished the season with six kids with over 20 wins, and we had two kids with 30 wins. And, like I said, we had five district qualifiers, which is the most we’ve had in, like, 10 years. The kids really stepped up, and their hard work paid off.”

The team finished 7-12 in dual meets against some strong competition, Lovell said.

“Our league is just so tough from top to bottom,” he said. “And we wrestled in some tough tournaments.”

One of the two wrestlers on the team to top the 30-win mark this season was senior Todd Woods.

“He was 31-12, and he was our only senior to make it to districts,” Lovell said. “Todd’s been great, and he is a great kid. He had a rough sophomore year. He played football and blew out his knee that year, so he had to have ACL [anterior cruciate ligament] surgery, and he missed his entire sophomore year. And I even think that last year — his junior year — he was a little hesitant when he was coming back. But this year, he came in and worked really hard. He’s been a good example as a leader for the younger kids.”

The other senior on the team was Triston Briggs.

“He placed sixth at the districts and ended the season with right around 25 wins,” the coach said. “He wrestled tough and had a really good year.”

Sophomore Nathaniel Stubblefield (160 pounds) tallied 31 wins for Springfield this season.

“He’s another one who had a great year. He really made big strides from his freshman to his sophomore year,” Lovell said. “He placed in all the tournaments we went to, and he took fourth in the PTC [Portage Trail Conference] tournament, which was pretty tough. He also took fourth at sectionals, and he was one of our district qualifiers. He went 1-2 at districts.”

The other wrestlers to make it to districts were junior Mike Holmes (182 pounds), freshman Vincent Williams (113 pounds) and sophomore Mavrik Piggott (126 pounds).

“Mike really came on at the end of the year by working hard and pushing himself. He peaked at the right time. He took third at sectionals — his only loss was to the eventual No. 1 — and he went 1-2 at districts, where he really wrestled well,” the coach said. “Vincent is one of the toughest kids I’ve ever coached. He wrestled at 113 pounds, but he only weighs in at 106 or 107. He’s one of those kids that just keeps grinding. Mavrik was a district qualifier last year, too. I think he got a good taste of it as a freshman, and that experience helped him. He made some really big strides this year.”

With only two seniors graduating after this school year, Lovell said he believes Springfield should have a strong team next season.

“I’m really looking forward to having almost all of these kids back next year,” he said. “The two kids who are juniors this year and will be seniors next year, Mike Holmes and Joey Williams, will be great leaders for us. Overall, I think we should be pretty tough. We have a few eighth-graders coming up who have been working hard, and I expect big things out of those kids. I just have big expectations for us next year.”

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