Whitehall-Coplay Press

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D-11 wrestling set to begin

Thursday, February 22, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

As the Whitehall wrestling team prepares for the individual tournament this weekend, they’ll be leaning on their experienced wrestlers to guide them through the busy event that features some of the best grapplers in the state.

Whitehall, along with the rest of the District XI 3A schools, will gather at Liberty High School’s Memorial Gymnasium for the individual tournament that commences Friday evening. That’s when the wrestlers who have been through the grind can let their teammates know what to expect.

One of those wrestlers is senior John Kaintz. Kaintz has been a three-year starter for the Zephyrs. He’s consistently put up winning seasons for the maroon and gold, and this year was no different as he heads into the weekend at 17-12.

Kaintz also understands the value of experience. That’s something he’ll impart to the rest of the squad as they prepare for the tourney.

“The message has been to wrestle harder and smarter,” said Kaintz. “We just have to go out there and give everything we’ve got the whole time so we don’t let down our coaches.”

Kaintz said that he would like to place in the tournament. That will be his goal as he prepares to enter the 160 lb. bracket this weekend.

Kaintz participates in football, wrestling and baseball at Whitehall. His exposure to the sport started when one of his youth football coaches was also the wrestling coach.

“He convinced me to come out and try it for one year, and ever since then I just kind of stuck with it, and I just enjoyed it, and I just kept going back out,” said Kaintz.

He’s been going back out since the fourth grade, and has demonstrated consistent development since he’s become a varsity wrestler.

Wrestling takes a huge physical commitment as Dez Boykin learned this year, and that’s something that Kaintz has embraced.

“It’s a good sport; I enjoy it,” said Kaintz.

Head coach Tim Cunningham said that it’s now time to apply everything they’ve worked on as they get ready for the big stage.

“We are preparing the guys to stick with their fundamentals on their feet and putting them in different match situations throughout the practice,” said Cunningham. “Their success this weekend for each individual is based on how ell they prepared for the tournament and how hard they worked toward their goals.”

If Kaintz’s wrestling season comes to an end this weekend, he said he’ll look back on all the fun he’s had competing in a sport he enjoys.