Wrestling team takes Cap-8


Gus Holub, Co-Sports Editor

The wrestling team finished first in the Cap-8 for regular season competition, an improvement on their third place ranking from last season.

“It is pretty exciting because it hasn’t been done at Wake Forest in a while,” senior Trevor Baldwin said.

The team closed out their season with a twelve-match win streak after an early loss which gave some of the team low expectations.

“I honestly didn’t think we would do so well. We had a bunch of freshmen wrestlers who didn’t look like they knew what they were doing. The coaching staff did a really nice job of getting everyone in shape and everyone ready to wrestle,” sophomore transfer Tim Mallo said.

The team practices every day under returning coach Ed Mutio, in his second year as head coach. The team now focuses on regionals and states.

“I think we will definitely hold our own, and I think we will do really well,” Baldwin said.

There were some tough moments the Cougars overcame this season such as the highly anticipated Leesville match-up.

“They had just as good or better wrestlers than we do,” senior teammate Cameron Lindsey said.

The Cougars edged the Pride  to secure first place. The team and coaches worked extra hard in practice prior to facing Leesville.

“They were the team we were most worried about. A lot of preparation went into that match. We studied their lineup for several hours. A bunch of lineup changes were made, and it was a tough match,” Mallo said.

Other matches required a variety of teammates to step up in order to clinch a win. Junior Joey Hannum wrestled multiple matches despite an injured shoulder to contribute to the team. Lindsey cited another teammate as well.

“Against Sanderson Trevor Baldwin stepped up. He had a long match, and he found a way to pull through and get the win,” Lindsey said.

The experience of multiple top, returning wrestlers on the team this year has helped the development of less prominent wrestlers on the team.

“Nick Mutio is behind everyone, pushing them and giving them the leg up. Josh Cathcart, one of the captains, helped a bunch with the team’s motivation by going out and getting wins,” Mallo said.

The seniors look back on their time as a part of the team, and are overall proud of their accomplishments.

Senior team captain Joshua Cathcart said, “It feels good going out senior year winning conference.”