Wrestlers excited for chance to compete

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MTT News's picture
Rob Reischel
Adham Elshaboury and Middleton’s wrestling team will head to regionals on Jan. 30./Times-Tribune photo by Mary Langenfeld

In the classic movie ‘Dumb and Dumber’, Jim Carrey’s character Lloyd Christmas falls in love with a woman named Mary Swanson, who doesn’t return Carrey’s affection.

At one point in the film, Carrey puts it all on the line.

Lloyd Christmas: What are the chances of a guy like you and a girl like me... ending up together?

Mary Swanson: Not good.

Lloyd Christmas: Not good like one in a hundred?

Mary Swanson: I'd say more like one in a million.

Lloyd Christmas: So you're telling me there's a chance?

For the next month, Middleton wrestling coach Kent Weiler is going to channel his inner-Lloyd Christmas and try bucking all of the odds himself.

On Jan. 11, Middleton superintendent Dana Monogue and athletic director Jamie Sims approved the return of winter sports to MHS, with all competitions to be played outside of Dane County.

When it comes to wrestling, though, Weiler was asked not to seek out any competitions. He will be allowed to schedule a competition if someone comes to him first.

For now, though, Middleton has nothing on the schedule. And if things don’t change, the Cardinals’ first competition in nearly a year would be WIAA regionals on Jan. 30.

“The odds are definitely stacked against us,” Weiler said Monday. “It’s a shortened season, practices are different and we might not have any meets.

“Then you throw in the fact we might have the toughest sectional out there. But I’m just glad we’re getting a chance. That’s all we asked for.”

Middleton had 17 wrestlers join the team. That’s about half the number in a normal year.

Due to pandemic restrictions imposed by Dane County health officials, the Cardinals must maintain six feet of social distancing during practices and can only have 10 wrestlers on the mat at the same time. 

While that allows for individual skill development, no scrimmaging or close-contact drills make it tough to teach the sport of wrestling.

“We’re getting them ready to wrestle without wrestling,” Weiler said.

When the Cardinals do take the mat, there are several wrestlers Weiler is excited to see compete.

That list includes returning varsity letterwinners Luis Nevarez at 113 pounds, Seth Howald (120 or 126), Walker Hargrove (126 or 132), Elijah Vance (145-160) and Adham Elshaboury. Freshman Bryce Falk (152) is one newcomer with tremendous potential, as well.

“They all have a possibility of advancing through regionals,” Weiler said.

Weiler knows it will be tough for his wrestlers to have the success of past MHS teams.

Most of the state has been competing since November. Middleton hasn’t had a meet since Feb., 2020. And the Cardinals’ practices are dramatically different than they used to be.

But Weiler and his team are just thrilled to have some semblance of a season, no matter how stacked against them the odds are.

“I'm personally happy that we are back at it. It's great to get kids back in the wrestling room,” Weiler said. “We have wrestling practice with protocols, so it's really not "wrestling.” It's skills/drills and conditioning with a wrestling emphasis. 

“The kids were excited, I am cautiously optimistic.  We are less than two weeks away from the WIAA regional. We have to get kids ready to compete for the postseason run with 12 days of practice.”



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