By: AJ Eyre
The wrestling team, which capped off a stellar season with a county championship title, were represented by five male wrestlers who qualified and competed at the state championship meet March 4-5.
Senior Kyle Hansberger and junior Ethan Sotka placed second at the state tournament, while seniors Kian Payne (3rd place), Daniel Vaysman (4th place), and Jaegon Hibbits (4th place), each had strong performances.
Glenelg Shield staff writer A.J. Eyre spoke to each of the five to get their thoughts about how they felt the season went:
Kyle hansberger (126)
“This season, I felt like I was grateful for every opportunity to wrestle, because last year was taken from us. I knew it was going to be the last year I wrestle in my life so I wanted to put forward 100% effort all the time. I was fortunate to be able to face the very top people in my weight class, which was really eye opening to see what level I would need to wrestle at the end of the year.
Of course I didn’t end the year off how I wanted, losing in the finals of the state tournament, but I’m still proud of how I performed. I had a tough match in the prelims against a kid ranked higher than me and I faced an undefeated senior from Boonsboro in the semis match. Defeating him gave me a lot of confidence going into the finals. My finals match was against a returning state champ, undefeated in high school, and I unfortunately lost a close match. My mindset was the same as any other match but I still lost 2-0. Not the result I would have hoped for, but it felt good he wasn’t able to take me down.”
Ethan Sotka (152)
"Overall I think I had a good wrestling season. At the start of the season I was a little bit rusty from not having a season the previous year. However, as a team we worked really hard in the practice room and had success at a lot of weights. By working so hard in the room, I had a lot of confidence stepping on the mats.
I obviously wish I did better at States. Going into the state finals I was pretty confident and started off wrestling a good match. Unfortunately, I got caught in the second period, but I’m still proud of placing second."
kian payne (195)
This season went well. I was a more confident, refined wrestler, and I felt dominant throughout the region despite injury and other adversity. Despite it all, I worked in the practice room with my teammate and I was prepared to wrestle at a high level.
Going into the state tournament I knew that nothing would come easy and that I would have to battle every match. The first day I won my first match and I was knocked into the bracket for third by the undefeated wrestler from Decatur who won states. I kept fighting my way back up winning the next four matches to place third in the state. It would have been easy to quit but I saw it though and ended my high school career on a win.
Daniel vaysman (170)
“I think I performed really well this season. I let it fly and had confidence in my ability to wrestle. My coaches prepared me enough in practice that I had no fear stepping onto the mat.
Looking at my bracket, it looked like I had a good draw and I was confident I could make it to the final, but I underestimated Rylan Moose of South Carroll, because my opponent when we originally wrestled South Carroll was Brandon Athey, who I confidently beat. He eventually dropped out because Moose took the 170 spot. I had then faced Rylan in the semi finals for the state tournament where coming to the end of the second period I took a shot and got caught in a nasty move. Getting me with a few seconds left in the second period was a letdown moment because I knew I was not going for that first place anymore. For a wrestler's first year on varsity I can not hang my head on finishing 4th in the state of Maryland.”
jaegon hibbits (138)
“This season I felt I performed to the best of my ability. Wrestling is a great sport because of the mental and physical boundaries that I had to overcome such as time management, commitment, and physical effort. I was able to go undefeated in the county which helped prove to me that the work I put in the Glenelg wrestling room with the guidance of the coaches paid off.
The state tournament was a huge jump for me not only because of the increase in competition, but also because of the pressure of the arena itself and the consequences of losing. Unfortunately, lost my first match in the states which opened my eyes that the states tournament was simply more matches that I would have to compete in. With this mentality I was able to win four straight matches until I reached the 3rd place match which I lost in. Nevertheless I can not put my head down because I know I put in all the effort and time I could into becoming the best wrestler I could with Glenelg.