COOLIDGE — The Florence wrestling team is continuing to build with a young core, though sometimes that growth comes a little slower than everyone would like.
The promise and the setbacks of a young team were all on display Friday and Saturday at the Coolidge Lions Club Invitational, which brought 15 schools from around the state together at the Roundhouse for two full days of wrestling. It was a great opportunity for coach Michael Guerrero to see what his team has in store heading into the postseason.
Getting a lot of matches in one day can provide a reality check for wrestlers who don’t have much prior experience. Guerrero said he noticed some bad habits during warm-ups that put his team at a disadvantage before the sparring even started.
“They were starting out slow, and if you start out slow that’s just how your match is going to go down. “We were slow on offense and defense, and we have to work on our pinning combinations.
“We’re going from zero to 100 really quick, so if you get out cold it’s gonna be a rough start.”
Guerrero said there isn’t a member on the team who isn’t improving, something that’s key for a young program. Some are just progressing at slower rates than others.
Those who are putting it all together include senior Zach Walker in the 152-pound weight class and heavyweight Jayvian Montanez, who finished second in his class at the Lions Club tournament. Guerrero expects both to make an impact at state, but he hopes for much more.
“Man, I’d like to take the whole team,” Guerrero said. “But day to day, these kids just don’t know how to perform. Some show up and they’re the best I’ve ever seen them. Then they’ll come back the next day and I don’t know what’s going on.”