Western Hills’ wrestling season ended Saturday at the semi-state meet in Ryle.
The semi-state at Ryle, one of four semi-state meets that took place Saturday, consisted of wrestlers from Region 5 and Region 6.
WHHS had four wrestlers who advanced out of the Region 5 meet to compete at semi-state. Jeffery Parker, wrestling in the 152-pound weight class, and Colin O’Brien, at 195 pounds, both went 1-2.
Kelton Bailey (113 pounds) and Alex Whitt (120 pounds) went 0-3.
“To be honest, I didn’t do the best job of getting the kids ready for two things,” WHHS wrestling coach Sean Wilkins said. “One, to make up for the lack of competition and practice due to COVID and cancellations due to weather, and to get the kids more ready for the competition as we were put in a position where our team faced a wealth of talent in the first round of state with our tournament including Region 5 and 6 combined.”
Because of COVID-19, this year’s state tournament is taking place over two weekends.
The first was Saturday in the semi-state. The top two finishers in each weight class at the semi-state level advance to this Saturday’s final rounds at George Rogers Clark High School in Winchester.
“We all learned as we went through this challenging season the kids were resilient with all the cancellations, but unfortunately lack of mat time and preparedness for the talent level hurt us,” Wilkins said. “I should have done more to help the kids be prepared, but we will also take all of this to learn, to come back stronger and more prepared. The program accepts no excuses for our performances.”
Western Hills graduates three seniors off this year’s team — Parker, Richard Greenwell and Perrin Whitt.
“I truly love coaching these kids and coaching with this staff as I know we will come back ready to make waves,” Wilkins said. His assistant coaches this year are Chad Greenwell, Sean House and Christian Wilkins.