Free Fall—Spartans’ Season in Review

The Spartans’ season came to a disappointing end, and they must make adjustments in order to succeed next year.

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Tensions were high for the Spartans heading into their final PSAL meet of the year against Baruch High School. It looked like the Spartans were going to blow out Baruch in the early lightweight matches, as they took a commanding 30-6 lead. However, the team’s main weakness showed as the heavyweight matches were played and the Spartans’ emphasis on technique over physicality failed them. They fell 55-30 to Baruch and dropped to fifth place in the standings.

Though the team ended on a poor note, there was much to savor from this year’s season. While their PSAL record was only 3-4, the team placed second out of 16 in one of their non-league tournaments and fourth in another.

Another bright spot was the underclassmen, especially freshman Ryan Poon. Though Poon’s success could be attributed to his prior experience, the upperclassmen did a great job of passing the torch to the younger players during the season. When asked about the influence that the upperclassmen had on the team this season, Poon said, “The underclassmen really [appreciated] the seniors welcoming us to the team and showing us the ropes,” which had created a great atmosphere for the team.

Despite the promise, the season as a whole can be viewed as a large disappointment. After roaring to a 3-1 start, the Spartans fell off, losing the last three matches of the season by a combined score of 216-34. One of those three losses ended in a shutout against Grand Street Campus.

The team was unable to maintain the same level of focus and intensity throughout the course of the entire seven-game season. According to Alwin Peng, senior and captain, part of the reason for the inconsistency was that they needed to “have more of a winning mindset,” he said. The team must be able to consistently grind out victories and stay focused on the ultimate goal—which is to bring a championship home to Stuy—in 2020 and beyond.

“In terms of my own performance, I am still learning and need to practice more to get better. I consider all matches learning experiences. After losing a match, I would always remember something I could have done differently. If I had remembered during the match, maybe the outcome would have been more favorable,” said Poon, when asked about this season. With this infectious mindset, a combination of youth and hard work could lead the Spartans to a much more successful season next year. “I expect the new members from this year to be very successful, because everyone learns extremely quickly and wants to improve,” Poon added.

Peng also noted that “Many of our new wrestlers have been working hard all season, and with some experience under their belts, I’m expecting the team to do even better next year than we did this season,” showing that the team will have the confidence to compete at a higher level next year. If these expectations come true, the Spartans will hopefully be competing in the postseason next year rather than sitting at home during the playoffs.