Mora Wrestling Head Coach Tom Youngblom shares about the ongoing 2021 season:
How is the makeup of the varsity team different from last year?: I feel like this is one of our stronger and deeper teams we have had (on paper if you will). So, I would say that that is the biggest difference, as you can see from our varsity line-up, we are deep in many weights (we have quite a few junior varsity wrestlers with varsity experience), and we are grateful for that.
What are the team’s goals and priorities for the season?: The Mustangs would like to challenge for conference and section titles. Foley is always a tough team to beat, and this year Princeton has a fine team as well, but our Mustangs are in the mix. Additionally, it’s a little early to predict, but the Mustangs have a strong chance of sending six or more individuals to State as well.
What pandemic-related changes are most challenging and how are the athletes adapting to those changes?: There have been so many challenges. Practicing with a mask is difficult, however, wrestling is one of the few sports that is allowed to compete without a mask. Practices for wrestling are based on weight so making segregated weight-based pods was easy. Unfortunately, the nature of wrestling makes it far riskier than other sports. The team was quarantined for 14 days and is now having to catch up on our conditioning as well as technique. With four weeks left in the season, the team is doing its best to stay as safe as possible outside of the room.
What do you hope these young athletes will take away from their sports experience this season?: I am obviously biased, but I feel that wrestling is the greatest preparer for real life that there is. Kids have to learn how to work under duress, they have to have both self-discipline and self-motivation (managing their weight and working through the lows of that), they have to overcome adversity and they have to learn how to handle both individual and team failures and successes. With the one-on-one aspect of the sport, there is no other sport that can make you feel on top of the world and humble you in a matter of minutes. Losing in the middle of the gym doesn’t just build character, it exposes it.
What is the best way for fans to support the team this year?: Following us on Facebook.