The Times-Register

January 20, 2014

Timber Creek wrestlers bruised but not beaten

The program is building depth at younger levels even as the varsity boys and girls squads show increasing promise.

Although the Timber Creek wrestling team is taking some lumps with young wrestlers, they’re still finding avenues of success as they head toward the district tournament this week.

The Falcons have fought through tough tournament and duals this season and will have some high seeds heading into the district tournament this Saturday at Northwest.

“We’re making strides,” said first-year coach Brent Wasche. Wasche was previously at Lewisville, where he was the Region I Coach of the Year. He also spent three years at Seagoville, where he started the program.

Some of the Falcons who have already been garnering top finishes at tournaments are Jamie Patterson, Frank Stillwell, Austen Fox, Joey Tanos, Jack Bolerjack and Dominick Lopez.

Patterson’s only losses have come to some of the top contenders in state, including last year’s state champion from McKinney Boyd.

All but Lopez are in the lower-middle weights, while Lopez competes at 285.

As excited as Wasche has been with the performances of his boys, he’s just as excited, if not more, about the potential of a strong corps of girls at Timber Creek.

Jael Miller, a 128-pounder, and Rachel Bridges, the 215-pound freshman, have been winning more than their fair share of matches and tournament titles. They have been joined by Hope Moreland and Brylee Black to create a formidable tournament team.

Bridges’ strength and agility has also been fine-tuned as a starting guard on the Falcons freshman football team.

“We’re taking our lumps and bruises while we’re learning a new system,” Wasche said.

Wasche said that with the coming summer wrestling season and a plethora of JV wrestlers, the Falcons will be a “force to be reckoned with. The future looks really bright,” Wasche added.

The summer program has a number of wrestlers in the Keller Wrestling Academy or Sooners South teams, which afford local high school programs experienced wrestlers.

Fox, who’s just a freshman, and eighth-grader Nathan Grimes will no doubt be standouts over time at Timber Creek, Wasche said.

With almost 70 wrestlers in the program, the depth will contribute to a solid lineup for Timber Creek. Already, the JV squad of 20 brought home 16 medals from a previous meet at Lamar.

Wasche said 90 percent of wrestlers in Texas start as freshmen. That means the better wrestlers develop over the years. And with a few years, Timber Creek expects to be a force in the area.

Still, the Falcons are young, with four seniors, two juniors and the remaining eight varsity slots taken by sophomores and freshmen.

Among those being developed in the program, Wasche said all the wrestlers from 170-220 pounds got a late start on the season due to being involved in football. He expects that percentage to drop as his athletes mature in the program.

Along with Wasche being fully focused on wrestling as his only sport, Kyle Sammons, the assistant coach, has been with the program since the school’s opening.

Although the Falcons finished in the middle of the pack at the district’s dual meet competition, the district tournament this Saturday will determine the top four wrestlers to qualify for the Region I meet at Arlington Martin on Jan. 31-Feb. 1.

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