With a 2010 state title under its belt, the Fred T. Foard wrestling team is trying to repeat its success from a season ago.
“Other teams may look at us differently,” said Tigers coach Mike Carey. “I don’t think we look at ourselves differently. We might have more of a sense of confidence that we can get the job done against anybody."
The Tigers are off to an early 5-1 start with their only loss coming last week against a tough 4A squad in defending state champion Parkland.
Tigers coach Mike Carey still expects improvement.
“We’ve got to get more consistent in our matches and eliminate mistakes,” Carey said. “Those will come back to haunt you.”
The Parkland loss this year sat in many of the head’s of Foard wrestlers, but many positives came away from the defeat.
“I think it helped me,” said senior Caleb Griffin. “It made me realize I’m not as good as I thought I was. I need to constantly get better. I can’t lay around in practice. I can always get better. That’s what I take from my loss.”
Senior Zack Edwards said the loss was a positive.
“It was a learning experience,” Edwards said. “You learned to push yourself further and further. Putting yourself against the best will make you the best out there.”
Last year’s Foard squad included eight seniors. This season, there are six on the 42-man squad.
Sixteen members of the team are freshman, but senior Jeremy Fredell said they aren’t a typical young group.
“These freshman are really good,” Fredell said. “They are a lot better coming up than we were. We have a lot of confidence in them. Being such a young group, they have a lot of experience and grit about them.”
Hayden Albert, the state runner-up at 160 pounds, is one of many Tigers who hope the joys from last season will continue this year.
“We’re going up from here,” said Albert, who needs 42 mat victories to become the all-time Tigers wins leader. “I’m going for the all-time wins record and pins record. We’re going for broke. I know our whole team is going to, as well.”