The 2012-2013 Cumberland County wrestling season started with high expectations of development and growth under first-year Coach Wes McNeely, whose team finished sixth at the William Blount Invitation.
"It has not disappointed," said McNeely. "One of the major goals was to increase the number of student athletes involved in the program and become competitive. The goal was met with the returning wrestlers recruiting their fellow students to join the wrestling team. When the season started, there were 23 young men and one young lady, most of which were freshman and sophmores and were poised to become part or one of the toughest sports offered in school.
"The next step was to become competitive. This is when the true difficult nature of the sport comes out. In order to be able to wrestle for six grueling minutes in competition, an athlete must train to be able wrestle for 10 minutes straight in practice. The combination of running and weight lifting and long hours of drills and live wrestling really take a toll on a student athlete; however, the wrestlers of Cumberland County High School have shown great toughness and determination to excel at their chosen sport.
"The beginning of the season was a shock to many of the wrestlers, for many of them, this was their first time ever wrestling. For those who had wrestled for the school previously, they were still in shock because they had to turn up the level because of the high demands that were being placed on them," he added.
The Jet wrestling program is currently 4-6, which is a better record than they have had for the past two years combined and it is only halfway finished.
The halfway point could not have come at a better time. Because of the time of the season, wrestling becomes even more difficult. When everyone else takes off and eats for Thanksgiving and lounges around over the Christmas season, wrestlers still train and compete.
On Jan. 5, 2013, the Jet wrestling program achieved its greatest tournament success in three years finishing sixth out of 13 teams and have five medal winners — David Scavo, Shawn Foster, Zeth Bolin, Shawn Ansell and Timmy Billings — all first career tournament placements.
"The wrestling team has gone through a huge growing process. They now look, act and wrestle like a true wrestling team. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done to be truly competitive and reach the level that they want to achieve, but rebuilding takes time. For the Jet program to succeed, the community needs to understand and embrace the sport of wrestling.
"Anyone involved with, and a family member of or who just enjoys the sport of wrestling, should be proud of the achievements of the young Jet program. They have shown that they believe in themselves and each other and will wrestle anybody at any place and be competitive. I am very proud of the growth and the amount of desire that each and every one of the wrestlers have, they have grown faster than I have thought or planned on this year," concluded McNeely.
The following is a list of the records of some of the top wrestlers in the Jet program: David Scavo (12-12), third place at William Blount; Shawn Foster (10-9), third placae at William Blount; Zeth Bolin (10-8), third place at William Blount; William Wright (6-3); Shawn Ansell (9-5), third place at William Blount; Samuel Pught (6-1), Kenneth Trosclair (4-3), Dalton Davis (6-3), Jacob Calabrese (3-1), Kendall Payne (2-1), Timmy Billings (4-3), fourth place at William Blount, and Austin Hickerman (2-0).
Also on the team, but not having seen much action because of the strong competition level at the upper weight classes, is Alec Moore.