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Fox Chapel wrestlers make progress

| Wednesday, March 13, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Herald
Artie Newman looks for a takedown for the Foxes. Louis Raggiunti | The Herald

The Fox Chapel High School wrestling team ended its season two weeks ago and, despite a losing record, coach Ron Frank was satisfied with the progress his team made.

“We were a much better team at the end of the season than we were in the beginning,” Frank said, “The skill level increased as did our wrestler's understanding of the sport.

“As a team, we finished second at the Sharon Duals last month and that was an accomplishment to be proud of. The hard work put in by the team paid off.”

The Foxes will lose six seniors to graduation — Jared Rice, Artie Newman, Adam Novacic, Emil Lukas, Tyler Lever and Andrew Davis.

“We're losing some great seniors,” Frank said. “Their contributions to the Fox Chapel wrestling program will be missed.”

Despite so many seniors, the Foxes were a very youthful team.

“We started five freshmen and two sophomores,” Frank said. “That's over half of the weight classes. But we had some great leadership from the seniors and the underclassmen who have been with the program. They helped bring our younger guys along.”

Frank is confident that next year's team will see success.

“It's up to them to work hard and dedicate themselves to wrestling,” he said. “We will have a good crop of wrestlers returning and our youth wrestling program continues to provide us with good wrestlers.

“It's a strong program. Our middle school numbers were down and we need to get that back up to where it's been.

“An encouraging sign is that we have 15 middle school wrestlers who are continuing to wrestle in the spring.”

Despite the wealth of good young wrestlers, Frank will be looking for some help at the upper weights.

“Looking at what we have coming back, we have nobody over 182 (pounds). We had two heavyweights this year and they're both graduating,” Frank said. “We're not very big, so we'll need some kids to grow.

“We have to develop some bigger kids. Historically, Fox Chapel High School has been strong at the heavier weights.”

The team will soon begin off-season workouts.

“There's no off-season in wrestling,” Frank said. “Some of the kids will play other sports to develop their skills while some will be putting in a lot of time in the weight room.

“We'll be going to some camps and we'll have two small camps here where we'll bring in some college coaches and wrestlers.

“How much time these kids put into wrestling over the next six months will go a long way in determining what kind of season we'll have next year.”

Marty Stewart is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-782-2123 or mstewart@tribweb.com.

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