After clinching the West Central Conference title, the Smith-Cotton High School wrestling team is confident heading into the latter part of its season.
Jake McFail, a senior in the 152-pound weight class said, “It’s our second (conference title) in three years and we’ve earned a lot of respect from the rest of the conference.” McFail also said winning conference was a goal for this year and he is hoping it can spark the team to perform well in postseason play.
S-C still has team duals left on its schedule, including tonight’s Senior Night matchups with Hickman and Hallsville, but the Tigers are moving toward the conference individual meet and the district and state tournaments.
With the WCC individual tournament coming up Saturday at Clinton, S-C will be facing all of its conference foes one more time. Three S-C wrestlers – Noah Aziere at 182 pounds, Blake Pomajzl at 132, and McFail went undefeated in conference matchups this season and look to continue their success. Head coach Charlie McFail said, “They’re wrestling for what they want. Physically they’re prepared; it’s all about being mentally prepared now.”
Logan Parham (126) and McFail also said that the coaches do a good job of keeping the team prepared and ready for their matches.
S-C is not only faced with a tough conference, but also tough district competition. Its 16-team district includes some of the most elite high school wrestling talent in the state. Parham, a senior, said, “There’s at least four or five state champions that come out of our district each year.” Parham also said that the team is confident in performing at a high level.
Last year, four S-C wrestlers finished in the top four in their district to earn a trip to the state tournament; Tanner Proctor graduated, but Kris Houk (120), Pomajzl and Parham are all back.
Tom Kindle, an assistant coach in his 10th season with the S-C wrestling program, said, “They’re a bunch of hard-working kids that have a great work ethic.”
Charlie McFail, who is in his first year as head coach, said it is fun to see his wrestlers working hard to achieve their goals of being district or state champions. He added that he and his team are “just continuing off of what Coach (Joel) Sherman had previously done and are trying to build a program by developing good kids.”