The Rolla girls and JV boys wrestling teams took part in a quad with Waynesville, Lebanon and Nixa on Thursday, Dec. 6.The night was a great chance for the girls to get their first ever quad as an official team and get matches for more of the Rolla wrestlers.
Results from the dual were not available at press time, but head coach Marty Hauck said the importance of the quad did not rely in the results. It was more important for those wrestlers to have the experience of a quad. With so many teams on Rolla's schedule lacking female wrestlers, it's been hard to find a lot of matches for all of their wrestlers early in the season. For those who have wrestled official matches, this was also a chance for them to wrestle in multiple matches on one night. As for the JV boys, it was a chance for them to get matches outside of the Rolla wrestling room. With the huge number of wrestlers, Rolla can only bring so many to varsity events. This was a chance to get more experience for everyone involved.
"It was three very solid wrestling programs. It was very exciting to see, because we took 50 kids down there. The JV boys got to wrestle, they all got mat time and that's what it was about, just getting those kids on the mat and getting experience in matches. And then our girls got to go down there as well and they all had matches," said coach Hauck. "They wrestled awesome. It was exciting and they didn't go down there just for one match. They went down there and they got to wrestle three or four times and they got to learn a whole lot....It was exciting for our program. Our program really grew last night."
The sheer volume of matches provided some important lessons for both the male and female wrestlers. Throughout the night, Rolla wrestlers were on three or four of the mats at a time because they brought so many kids. Coach Hauck was glad his wrestlers got to learn from a new environment.
"We've wrestled some duals (with the girls). We dualed Union, we dualed Washington, we've dualed different people, but a lot of times since the sport is so new, you're only getting two or three girls on a team. For us, we've got a full lineup for the girls," said coach Hauck. "We've got 22 girls on the team and it's hard to get all of those girls matches, especially when you're showing up and the only team only has one or two. Last night, between those three teams everyone got matches. That was the exciting part for us was that each one of our girls got to compete at the same time at the same event and they got to coach each other on and they got more than one match. It was good for our program just to see."
This won't be the last event like this either. Rolla has another tri for the boys JV and the girls slated for Monday, Dec. 17 on their home court. Rolla will also host a pair of tournaments this weekend on Saturday with the Tough as Nails Tournaments. The JV Tournament is the Haskell Invitational named after former coach Dan Haskell and the first ever girls tournament will be named after Dennis Noel, who was a pioneer for wrestling at Rolla. Those tournaments will run side by side in the same gym on Saturday as the Tough as Nails Tournament.
"We're calling it the Tough as Nails Tournament, because those two coaches together were tough as nails," said coach Hauck. "We're going to run it in the same gym, so we can expose that girls tournament and get it highlighted, as well. It's going to be an exciting weekend."
That tournament will be another lesson for all of these wrestlers, as they'll learn what it's like to have several big events close to each other. Coach Hauck is excited to see what this weekend brings.
"It's obviously a quick recovery, because we turn around and we compete for medals tomorrow," said coach Hauck. "It was our first experience of wrestling three or four times and now we've got a practice and we go right back into a tournament for them tomorrow, where they're going to wrestle three or four times tomorrow, but they're wrestling medals. That's going to be a new experience, because we're handing out girls their first medal ever in their careers."