Building on tradition: David City wrestling pushes for success

Payton McMillin

David City Wrestling travelled to Central Community College on Fri., Jan. 5 and Sat., Jan. 6 for the annual High Plains Invite and returned home with fifth place.

The two day tournament really pushed the stamina of each wrestler as they faced multiple rounds a day. Multiple wrestlers still came out on top. Freshman Clayton Harris (113) placed third, sophomore Zack Barlean (120) placed fifth, junior Noah Styskal (126) placed second, sophomore Jacson Valentine (132) placed second, junior Justin White (138) placed second, freshman Dylan Vodicka (152) placed fifth, and Senior Matt Eilers (220) placed fourth.  

This season, the team lost senior Melvin Hernandez for a portion of the year due to injury. Head Coach Tahner Thiem mentioned the commitment of the team as they stepped up to cover Hernandez’s weight in his absence. With there being only three seniors on the team, the Scouts is a younger team overall, and their goal is to be able to see a significant amount of improvement from week to week.

Teamwork has always played a key role in wrestling at David City.

“I think our team bonding is really good this year,” Eilers said. “We have a lot of fun, and we really enjoy each other this year. In previous years, we have had a lot of tension, but this year has been good,”

Motivation also plays a huge part in building the tradition of a successful team.

“Getting their hands raised and winning is a big motivator. Wrestling is a tough sport, so winning helps make all the hard work worth it,” Thiem stated.

According to Eilers, the High Plains Invite is the year’s toughest meet and aids the wrestlers in conference and district events. This is a meet where the teamwork comes into play.

“High Plains is an extremely tough invite. Quality wrestlers and quality matches expose techniques we need to work on. That makes us better,” Thiem stated. “My philosophy is to find tough invites for our best wrestlers. Iron sharpens iron, so we want to see the best wrestlers in the state. Wrestling a tough schedule shows us what we need to work on every day in practice to become the best.”