West Henderson has now hosted one of the biggest wrestling tournaments in North Carolina, the Falcon Frenzy, for 21 years. “The Falcon,” as it is called by the West wrestling team, has been a major source of anxiety and anticipation for coaches and players alike lately.
“I got the jitters because I know this year I should be able to do really well. I want to be in the finals because last year I was hurt and wasn’t able to wrestle, and my freshman year I got fifth,” junior Alec Baynard said. “I’m just ready to weigh-in and wrestle.”
Even though many are nervous about having to represent the home team at one of the biggest tournaments of their season, the leaders of the team are confident.
“We’re young right now, but I think there’s a lot of potential and that we’ll do really great this year,” senior captain Josh Nesbitt said. “We’re looking really good.”
Some of the southeast’s best wrestlers will drive up the hill to challenge the Falcons at this weekend’s tournament. Some of these teams are in West’s conference, and some are from as far away as South Carolina. These teams are viewed as some of the best from the region and the West coaching staff knows it.
“Enka’s tough. North’s always tough,” head coach Mike Connelly said. “Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is coming and they don’t come unless they’ve got a good team. Of course, Gibbs is always good too.”
As one of the biggest and most important tournaments for West’s young team closes in, the Falcons will be keeping a sharp eye on the tough competition that this tournament attracts. Through all of this, Connelly has kept his head high and is looking to this tournament with optimism.
“It isn’t about what we do. It’s about how we wrestle,” Connelly said. “Results don’t mean much to me. It’s just what our kids do and how they how they go after it and how they participate. We’ll see what happens at the end of the day.”
By: Jackson Futch, Feature Writer