Wrestling team aims high early in season

Sam Sutton wrestles an opponent. (Photo provided by Coach Frankie McKeown).

Sam Sutton wrestles an opponent. (Photo provided by Coach Frankie McKeown).

Nate Shull, Copy Editor

Homewood varsity wrestling kicked off its season Nov. 17 as they travel to Shelby County High School to take on the Wildcats. The team is coached by Frankie McKeown. In addition to coaching the time, he teaches Early U.S. History to tenth graders.  McKeown recognizes that this year’s team is full of great talent, and he predicts that the team will start off the season ranked top three in the state. 

“As far as the competition side of things, the goal would be a state title,” McKeown said.

While the wrestlers will be pushing for individual hardware as well as a team state title, collaboration is very important among the team. 

One of the leaders on the team is Senior, Sam Sutton. Sutton recently committed to the University of Chicago on a wrestling scholarship and was the USMC National Champion wrestler earlier this year. Sutton has wrestled for Homewood since the 7th grade and has since fallen in love with the sport.

“I fell in love with how hard it was, and the grind,” Sutton said. “I especially started loving it when I started winning.”

Like Coach McKeown, Sutton is looking forward to the season and he hopes to take home the state gold medal individually as well as the team gold.

Wrestler Jordan Cottrell pins his opponent. (Photo contributed by Coach Frankie McKeown.)

However, the state championship will not be won easily. Both Sutton and McKeown know that the team will have to put in the extra effort if the team wants to be truly great. 

“If we can do that one more thing that the other kids in the state aren’t doing, I think that’s how we get the edge,” McKewon said.

Sutton agrees with Coach McKeown.

“We have to have discipline,” he said. “The best groups are the most disciplined groups.”

Sutton recalls the coaches frequently reminding the athletes of the importance of discipline.

The team is also dedicated to being a good representation of Homewood on and off the mat. Coach McKeown has emphasized to the team the importance of being a good representative of the city of Homewood.

“We want to build a culture where the kids do the right thing on and off the mat, to where they can grow as people, and as wrestlers,” McKeown said.

Coach McKeown believes that it’s just as important to represent Homewood positively at all times.