by Thomas Fenner ‘24
Varsity wrestling opened the season with a 4-2 start despite facing tough competition early on. The team finished 8-1 at the Rockville Duals event, held January 5-6, and battled their way to a championship appearance, falling to Chesapeake 36-33. Other quality teams at the Rockville Duels included Churchill and Northwest.
“Rockville Duals was a big test for the team with some very good teams,” Coach Pete Siarkas said. “We wrestled great, coming just short of winning the tournament.”
The team faced adversity going into the year, dealing with early season injuries to junior Brendan Heyer and sophomore Cade Munoz, while also having to fill the void left by the graduations of some of top wrestlers, including state champion Jace Munoz, Cade’s older brother. Younger talent on the team has stepped up and returning wrestlers have developed their skill sets in the offseason. Munoz, following his older brother’s great success at Sherwood, has joined fellow sophomore Connor Flickinger and freshman Landon Clore as up-and-coming stars.
“It’s always tough losing a state champion,” Siarkas said about Jace Munoz. “However, we have three wrestlers undefeated for the season at this point.”
While underclassmen have shown great potential, seniors such as Walker Smith and Vasili Siarkas have started the season strong as well. The leadership from the seniors has been crucial in developing the talent on the roster. Smith emphasized the importance of holding himself accountable and setting strong expectations for the team as a whole. However, he has also put the time in to better himself and his ability as a wrestler.
“I have definitely tried to improve my offensive skills this year,” Smith noted. “I’ve tried to take more shots instead of relying on my defense.”
The team competed in another tournament on January 12 and 13 at Paint Branch. Vasili Siarkas placed first for the Warriors, with Clore and Flickinger tying for second place, followed by sophomore Jaylen Mahoney at third in their respective weight classes.
The Warriors end the regular season traveling to Churchill for a match before returning home to face Northwood to close the season on February 3. Following the final match, Coach Siarkas said the team will hold a private wrestle-off to decide the regional team. Once the team is set, they will earn regional points for each win, contributing to how the team will be seeded in counties. After that, the state tournament is looming and a number of Sherwood wrestlers could qualify.