Wrestling Team Prepares for State Competition


Credit to Paige Westermann

Senior Dillon Lauer looks to pin his opponent in a duel against FHHS

By Anjolina Blackwell

Ever since Chris Brown started coaching wrestling at Francis Howell North, he’s been able to travel to Columbia, MO and watch at least one of his wrestlers compete at state. The 2019 wrestling team will be sending three wrestlers to the state competition this year, including Senior Joshua Simmons.

“I’m working before practice, after practice,” Simmons said. “Really the only thinking about wrestling right now.”

The wrestling boys have been working all season at meets, tournaments, and practice to prepare for districts. Districts gives them a chance to go to state, which takes place at Mizzou on Feb. 14, 15, and 16. Simmons has wrestled all four years of high school and has a big motivator to make to state his final year.

“You know when you’ve been working for months at something, it really takes a toll on you,” Simmons said. “You just want it just that bad. You want it just as bad as the other person.”

Alongside Simmons, freshman Mason Apple is just as ready to go to state. This will be Apple’s fifth year wrestling and his four years before high school wrestling has paid off this past season.

“Being on varsity my freshman year has taught me to know all the responsibility that the varsity wrestlers have to do,” Apple said. “Go into all these important tournaments and just really repeating these high stress scenarios.”

Apple, Simmons, and senior Thadeus Meneses, who also qualified for state, have improved over this past season from the help of their coaches and other teammates. Brown has been head coach of the wrestling team for 18 years and wants his wrestlers going into districts with the right mindset.

“Some good characteristics a state qualifier has would just be one, belief that they should be there,” Brown said. “Second thing I’d say is their technique and just having the desire to win.”

UPDATE: An earlier version of the story only included two of the wrestlers qualified for state. This version involves all the names of the people competing at the state competition.