The Mat Hawks open the season Saturday at the Oldham County Super Duals. With high expectations and the focus of this team squarely on Feb. 17, the Hawks are ready to start their march towards Lexington.
“We have a long season to go,” said long-time head coach Gary Canter. “Much can happen between now and February, but I do know that these guys are ready to wrestle someone else other than their team mates.”
It will be rare for these guys to get much better competition than what they have been facing in practice. Our practices have been nothing less than all out wars.”
Up and down the Mat Hawk’s lineup are highly ranked wrestlers.
“You look over in one corner and see Nick Paden (#4 at 126) in a group of three with Raymundo Perez (#4 at 132) and Kyle Edlin (#6 at 106), or in another corner Caleb Canter (#4 at 152) and Shawn Hull (#1 at 160) and Jared Whitlock (#8 at 170), or in another corner Bernard Ray (#1 at 195) and Drew Newberry (#1 at 220) and B.J. Carman (#4 at heavyweight).”
“Once the whistle blows, they are all over the place and not a single one of them want to give up a point to their teammates. My greatest concern is one of the big guys will injure one of the little guys as they fly all over the mat,” said Canter.
“This is like an all-star team,” said the Hawk’s lightest wrestler, Kyle Edlin. “I am so pumped for the season to start. I can’t wait till Oldham County.”
“This may be the best team I have ever put on a mat to start a season,” said Canter. “From the top to the bottom of the lineup we have physically mature and experience wrestlers. We also have put together the toughest schedule our program has ever had to help prepare this team for February. We will face either the number one ranked teams or second ranked teams from eight different states by the time February rolls around. This will also be a very seasoned team come February.”
On Saturday, the wrestling starts at 9 a.m. The Mat Hawks face the ninth ranked team in the state in their pool, North Oldham. Other top teams in attendance are the seventh ranked team, Oldham County along with the sixth ranked team Simon Kenton. As always, the Mat Hawks’ biggest rivals – Woodford County – will also be at Oldham County.
“I would love to wrestle Woodford County,” said junior Caleb Canter. “I know Drew, Bernard, Shawn, Nick and the rest of this team would love to face Woodford County as well. Yea, I would like nothing better than to square off with Woodford County with this team. It would be real fun.”
“It will be a good early season test for us,” said Coach Canter. “Some quality teams will be there. We can’t take anything for granted and these guys have been around long enough to know that you have to always be at your best when you walk onto the mat. I too am ready for the season to start. I hope we see a lot of fans at Oldham County on Saturday.”