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  • STU-Ivan Leonard

2023-2024 Wrestling Season Review


Ivan Leonard (113 lbs.) pinning his opponent on Senior Night.



With the conclusion of the VHSL state championships, the 2023-2024 high school season is officially in the books. 


Churchland High School finished with a 9-11 regular season team record, and was home to four state tournament qualifiers. The regional medalists include: Darryl Sawyer (2nd place), Ivan Leonard (3rd place), Emory Anderson (3rd place), Kenneth Griffin (5th place), and Bradley Higgins (5th place).



Joshua Clayton (157 lbs.) getting his hand raised after a victory.


Many of the wrestlers on the team had no prior knowledge or experience wrestling before this season, or had only wrestled briefly in middle school. Adjusting to the higher level of wrestling was difficult for the team to become accustomed to. 


"This is my first year actually, I wrestled a little bit in middle school, but I don't really count that because I ain't gain no experience, so this is my first time for real. The people that I wrestled and the skill set, everything was different…you can still see the difference in skill and technique," stated Griffin.



Kenneth Griffin (120 lbs.) battling his competitor.


Although the team lacked experience, they made up for it with strong training, work ethic, and determination. 


Every wrestler on the team had their own reason for chasing their goals in the sport, Griffin's was his fear of disappointing his teammates.


"I ain't wanna quit on my team…I don't want to be a disappointment. I want to be able to say that when I did it, I did it and I did it to my fullest, and I tried my hardest, and I gave it my heart."


Even though the team made undeniable progress throughout the season, the end result was bittersweet. For example, Griffin was fulfilled with how his season turned out, but was left with questions, like "What if I worked harder?"


"I feel like the team, we could have just worked harder and fought harder, that's all it was. We should've just fought harder…it was effort, especially me. I know I should've just fought harder."


The team did not just learn lessons on the mat this year, but important lessons off the mat as well, that they will carry with them for the rest of their lives.


"Just don't get in your head, stay out of your head, just do you. Everything you will do will come, just do you, stay in the right mental state and you'll get through it," said Griffin. 


No one on the team placed at the state tournament, but the Truckers will continue what they have been doing well and improve on aspects of wrestling that need refinement, and carry this positive attitude into the off-season.



Emory Anderson (215 lbs.) facing off against his opposition.




Photo Credit: Blasieo Joseph

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