Ripon High School head wrestling coach Jared Esala is the first to admit that his Tigers did not perform well at last season’s Lourdes Academy On the Water Classic.
The Tigers gained a bit of redemption last weekend.
They scored 98 points to place 26th out of 59 teams at the annual holiday tournament, which took place last week Friday and Saturday at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Kolf Center.
It is a vast improvement from season earlier, in which Ripon finished 52nd out of the same number of competitors.
“The team goal was to place in the top half of the competition,” Esala said. “That goal was accomplished, and I am definitely impressed with the outcome of the tournament. We placed ahead of some teams that are traditionally very successful.”
One of the reasons why Esala believes the Tigers were more successful this season was their level of confidence coming in.
“I was impressed with the mindset of all of our wrestlers,” Esala said. “Nobody seemed intimidated by the size of the tournament or the level of competition at the tournament. Everyone was ready to wrestle and the team competed at a very high level.”
Two of the wrestlers performing at the highest level, and picking up the most points, for Ripon were Zach Beck and Brady Jacobson.
Both finished 4-3 at the tournament and earned 18 points.
Read the full story in the Jan. 2, 2014 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.