ConVal wrestlers look forward to state meet
|Published: 02-09-2024 3:19 PM
The ConVal wrestling team celebrated its two seniors at Wednesday's final home contest of the season, a dual meet with Souhegan.
Seniors Drake Bay and Solomon Page hit their home mat for one final time after receiving pre-match accolades for their hard work and dedication to the program. ConVal head coach Alex Hautenan had nothing but praise and fond memories for his senior duo.
"Solomon, he's been wrestling since I've been coaching," said Hautenan, who began as an assistant in 2016 before taking over the program two years ago. "He was only this tall," Hautenan said, gesturing with his hand, "a little, goofy kid. And now he's come up and he's a senior, so I feel really old."
Page showed his seniority on Wednesday night, taking out his opponent at 190 pounds with a solid pinfall, controlling most of the match.
"The thing that gives [Page] the most success is his drive," Hautenan said. "Doesn't take no for an answer. He wrestles very well. If you give him a situation where it doesn't look like he's going to win, he'll find a way out of it."
Page has been consistently finishing in the semifinals of ConVal's tournament action this winter, with a second-place finish at Lebanon his best result, and Hautenan said he has a shot at finishing well at the Division III championships at Bow on Saturday, Feb. 17.
Bay came to the program late, joining the Cougars just last year, but he picked up the fundamentals quickly and put in a lot of work in the offseason before his senior year.
"He did a bunch of summer stuff and really improved his technique," Hautenan said. "Drake has a don't-quit attitude and he's strong - you see him at the gym every day. Between him and Sol, they're the two hardest-working kids I have on my team. So can't ask for much more than that."
The visiting Sabers came out on top of Wednesday's team competition, but ConVal still put together a few victories in addition to Page’s pinfall, as Luis Torres got a decision at 126 pounds and Bishop Benham won by forfeit at 285. Both have been putting together good seasons, Hautenan said, along with Kast Chek, who missed Wednesday's meet due to illness, and Jonathan Henley, who lost his match Wednesday but has been strong this winter.
"I tell them you've got to be a little crazy to want to wrestle, and you can't choose your opponent, but you can choose to be tough,” Hautenan said. “Choose to be tough every single moment of your match and good things are going to happen - hard work always pays off."
While the Cougars may not be favored to take home much hardware at the state meet, Hautenan said his boys should still put up a good showing.
"I think we can sneak into a few places, I really do," Hautenan said. "It's just a matter of how we wrestle that day. It's all in how we take it."