The Brentwood wrestling squad, under the coaching of Roy Hughes, just about met their perennial goal this season of sending eight grapplers to the state meet in Columbia, MO.
Brentwoood . The last time that many Eagles went to state was in 1999.
Hughes also wanted his team to win 80 percent of its dual meets, which they just did, going 14-3 on the season. The season’s end also held an unexpected honor for the team, though.
The Brentwood coaching staff and team will receive the Sportsmanship Award from the St. Louis Wrestling Officials & Coaches Association at their annual ceremony in March. The award is given to one team each year (1A thru 4A) that exhibits outstanding sportsmanship.
“You think about it, all the wins … but no matter what in life, character means the most,” Hughes said. “That says a lot about not only the athletic ability, but the quality of the guys on my team.”
Hughes said he tries to reinforce the same values that his guys learn from their parents: to be respectful, forthright, committed and hardworking.
Hughes said it’s hard to pick one season highlight. “The guys wrestled hard all year, and really worked hard at practice, and out of practice. On all the snow days there were guys working out at the Heights, and making weight,” he said.
“I think the only highlight that I have is just the continual focus on hard work that the guys have.”
Freshman Lucas Jones (103), junior Rashaad Jordan (112), sophomore Mykell Hudspeth (135), senior Elie Moore (140), senior Ryan Jones (145), junior Tyler Jones (152) and sophomore David Rivera (285) were Brentwood’s state qualifiers. Hughes said he had six guys only one match away from qualifying for the state trip.
Five of the seven who went to state will be returning to lead the team next year.
Hughes said they’ll start weightlifting in March, getting ready for the next season. He said several of his guys do offseason work. BHS has a wrestling camp, and some are going to a University of Iowa camp in the summer.
“The goal for most of the guys is to get between 15 to 20 matches in the offseason and maybe wrestle one tournament,” Hughes said.