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Wrestling: Farmers debut under first-year coaches
Following the departure of wrestling coach Kent Hall last season, the 2012-13 campaign could have been a rebuilding year for Lewisville.
But with the return of a familiar face, as well as the addition of a head girls wrestling coach, the Farmers and Lady Farmers are instead confident they can continue to move forward.
Lewisville's boys and girls kicked off their respective seasons Nov. 16 when they competed at the Arlington Invitational Tournament and found various levels of success.
The boys - which are in their first season under head coach Noel Peterson - placed ninth of 18 teams while the Lady Farmers - under the tutelage of Joe Daniel - took third out of 22 programs.
"It was a good first showing," Peterson said. "We have a pretty young team, overall. We have a few individuals back with varsity experience, but overall we're pretty young. We only had wrestlers in 9-of-14 weight classes. I could have filled them all, but I thought it would be better for some of them to wrestle at junior varsity being that it was their first tournaments."
Peterson also noted that multiple football players are just now starting to round into wrestling shape.
"Our upper weights were pretty sparse," he said. "But we were filled up at the lower ones. It's a process, but we'll be good to go when we need to be."
In Arlington, the Farmers were powered by first-place finishes from Hung Hoang (113) and Jacob Pisana (138). Minh Hoang also made his way on the stand in fourth (106).
Brittany Marshall won gold for the Lady Farmers (165), while Tammi Goodman (110) took silver, as did Kassandra Garcia (121) and Bea Sanchez (119). Third-place finishers included Jennie Kim (185) and Maria Mulero (128), while Dariyn Day earned fourth (128).
In the JV tournament, Fernanda Hernandez (119) took second with Karen Aguilera in third (112).
"I think we did a very good job," Daniel said. "We have a lot of freshmen and a lot of young girls, in general, but we also have some veterans who are very talented and they've done a good job of leading the team so far."
Daniel added that Goodman's performance was particularly impressive given she hadn't wrestled in five years. Day, a freshman, also performed well when factoring in her experience level.
"I was really impressed with everyone as whole," Daniel said. "I knew what to expect from Brittany and Bea and Maria, but I wasn't sure about everyone else because it can be a lot different when you actually get out there on the mats in a tournament. But we got third in a very competitive tournament and I'm pleased."
Both teams have also benefitted from an increase in numbers.
"We have about 45 kids on the boys team," Peterson said. "It's great. We have good numbers and (football) coach (Gregg) Miller has really helped. He's been phenomenal and is supportive of all athletes crossing over and playing different sports."
While this is Peterson's first season coaching the Farmers, it isn't his first foray in Lewisville.
"I was here about 25 years ago," he said. "I was here for nine years and I actually opened the wrestling program at Marcus. And then I was in Wisconsin for about 25 years and now I'm back. This is where I want to be. I've always considered Lewisville home."
The Farmers continued this weekend at the Richardson Round Up, while the Lady Farmers were in Coppell.
"It's all fun and games right now," Peterson said. "We just want to learn and compete. We're not worrying about wins and losses. That will come later. We just want to keep getting better and be peaking when that time comes."
Marcus competes in Keller
While Lewisville was in Arlington, the Marauders got their season under way, winning one of five duals in the Keller 6-way.
Marcus, like Lewisville, is still waiting for its full unit, which will include multiple football players.
"We've been waiting the last few weeks and a little while longer to get everyone back," said Mike Prado, Marcus head coach. "We just haven't really put our team together yet. We have a meet tonight and we'll get our 195 and 220 kids on the mat for the first time, but after just four days of practice."
Still, Prado and the Marauders found positives in Keller, including a win over Argyle Liberty Christian. Losses came against Hebron, Richardson Berkner, Keller and Lake Highlands.
"I thought we actually out-wrestled Hebron and Berkner," Prado said. "We just didn't have enough weight classes filled. But we did a good job and Berkner went on to win the event. I thought Keller and Lake Highlands outwrestled us, though."
Marcus' Lucal Lovell had a strong tournament, winning all five of his matches.
The Marauders continue this weekend at the Rumble at the Rock in Rockwall.