BY ASHLEY TEATUM
Hanging on a wall in the wrestling room at Montrose is a list of wrestlers who have made it to states.
On that list is Zach Thorne’s dad, Robert, from his days at the high school.
Zach, a senior, wants to be on that list, too.
“That’s been my goal,” Thorne (18-7) said. “I’ve just got to take it one step at a time. I’ve got to make it up to Regionals.
“Pushing myself in the practice room is the No. 1 thing.”
Last spring, Thorne, who wrestles at 171-189, broke his leg while bike riding – another passion of his – and losing time conditioning and working out for wrestling really disappointed him. But he made up the time over the summer, and puts in extra hours after practice with head coach Jim Lewis at Montrose.
“I was disappointed I wouldn’t get as much time as I wanted to, but I knew that I’d be able to come back from it,” Thorne said. “I pushed myself toward the end of the summer, trying to regain strength.”
Thorne placed third at 160 in the District 2 Class AA last season, and has 12 wins by fall and two major decisions already this season.
“We make goals with the kids,” Lewis said. “His main goal is to get to states and to medal. With the quality of wrestlers we’ve been trying to match him up with, we’re getting a lot closer.
“The last two years I’ve been here, he’s really made leaps and bounds.”
After graduation, Thorne hopes to join the Air Force. And, if he makes it into the academy, he also aspires to wrestle there.
Trio gives all
Blue Ridge’s Dalton Church has been bumping from one weight class to another, from 130 to 135 to 140 and back again, just to make sure he’s hitting the best competition possible.
“We’re trying to get him to wrestle the toughest kids in preparation for districts,” Raiders coach Zach Edwards said. “We want him to wrestle better kids if he can.”
In addition to Church, Zach Edwards, a freshman at 112, and senior Wes Guthrie, wrestling at 171, are working hard on their individual skills at practice and in their bouts.
“They give 110 percent all the time,” coach Edwards said. “They’re always working hard at practice and not goofing off.”
The freshman wrestler has a record of 17-1 heading into the second half of the season, with seven pins and three major decisions.
Meanwhile, the senior on the team, Guthrie just began wrestling this year. He competes at 171-189.
“He just decided to do it for his senior year,” coach Edwards said. “And he’s doing real good for his first year.”
The champions out of District 2 Class AAA and Class AA will not have to compete in the team wrestling championship until the second round.
In Class AAA, eight teams will compete in a first round Feb. 7. The team that wins the title in District 2 will face the District 9 champion in Hershey on Feb. 10.
In Class AA, where just two teams will meet in the first round, the District 2 champion will compete against the District 5 champion.
The team state tournament runs from Feb. 10-12.
According to the PIAA website, Feb. 18 is the deadline for senior high school wrestlers to establish their minimum wrestling weight (MWW) for postseason competition.