Red vs Black scrimmage rolls wrestling into season


Maddie Aronson

Freshmen Eric Corona and Devon Hlavenka begin their dual during the annual Red vs. Black scrimmage on Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. With wrestlers split into two teams, coach Bridwell and his wrestlers took the victory.

Maddie Aronson, Managing Editor

Starting its season off with the annual Red vs. Black scrimmage Saturday in the gym, the wrestling team launched its 2019-2020 season by inviting parents to watch and learn.

“I think it went really well, it showed us a lot of what we have to work on,” assistant coach Tim Brennan said. “I think the effort was great, the spirit was great, and that’s really what you want. At the end of the day, we really wanted the new guys to have their first match under friendly fire, instead of a school like Wakeland really trying to beat them up.” 

Each year for the season opening scrimmage, wrestlers are split onto the red team or the black team, with each color having either Brennan, or head coach Cody Bridwell sitting in their corner. This year, Bridwells team took the win, and broke Brennan’s 6 year streak of Red vs. Black victories. 

“That was hard to lose after all of those years, but you’ve got to lose some time,” Brennan said.  “I’d rather go down fighting like we did. There were two or three new guys that really showed me something, that they had a bit of fight in them, so I was very pleased with that.”

While the competition is the main event of the day, coaches and team captains, including senior Daley Burkett, give athlete’s parents a crash course on point scoring and rules of wrestling before the wrestlers hit the mat. 

“The parent explanation went really well, we had lots of veteran parents asking questions about rule changes, and new parents that asked lots of great questions about how scoring works,” Burkett said. “It’s important that we teach the parents about scoring and terminology before they watch their kids wrestle for the first time, because it gives them some context to what’s going on and helps them feel more aware of what’s going on.” 

The event is not only focused on giving the wrestlers and parents the tools to prepare for the season, but helps the team identify things that need improvement on the team as a whole. 

“Getting to watch Red vs. Black is really beneficial to the team because it gives our coaching staff an idea of where we are at technique and conditioning wise before we compete,” Burkett said. “It gives them the opportunity to tailor our practices to what they see needs to be worked on.”

The event is designed to help set everyone’s mindset on the upcoming challenges of the season ahead of them. 

“I think Red vs. Black is important not only for the parents, but it’s also a good way for our new wrestlers to get a feel for what real competition is like without the stress of wrestling strangers in a less friendly environment,” Burkett said. ‘It also helps get our veteran wrestlers back into the competitive mindset to begin our season.”