With tryouts and the start of practice back in November, the Ridgewood High School Wrestling Program, instructed by Torre Watson, has begun their season. Their first match in the Big North Conference Freedom Division took place on December 23 against Garfield. The Ridgewood team has been practicing six times a week from 3:45 to 7:00 P.M. since their start of practices back in November. Before their varsity match against Garfield, The Ridgewood Wrestling Team also competed at Mount Olive’s Wrestling Tournament on December 19. This match included all varsity wrestlers, as well as the freshman and JV team wrestlers.
Newcomers of the wrestling program have most likely been told about the notoriously hard practices. Torre Watson, the head coach of the wrestling team, has been coaching wrestling at Ridgewood High School for nine years. Since the end of preseason, daily practices take place in order to prepare the wrestlers for the long season ahead. With Regionals at the end of February, the Ridgewood team has about three months of practice, in addition to their individual preparation during the off-season to get ready for this key event. Practices consist of stance drills, conditioning, technique and strength training.
First-year wrestler, Joe Dougherty, a sophomore at Ridgewood High School, commented on the upcoming season, “I’m looking forward to getting better at practice. I’ve been learning very quickly and have gotten some great experience through some of the scrimmages we have had so far.”
Besides facilitating practices, the coaches have been coordinating special combined practices and scrimmages to allow the wrestlers to gain more experience wrestling with unique styles specific to their training. “I am really looking forward to my first match,” said Joe Dougherty, “even though we wrestle everyday, I really want to feel what it is like to go through an actual match.” The wrestlers are eager to continue making improvements this season.