The Prosper wrestling program racked up top overall and individual finishes at every level in their most recent tournaments from Jan. 25 to Jan. 27.
The high school boys, ranked No. 1 in the 5A state rankings, finished atop the standings once again at the Jaguar Invitational. A total of ten individuals finished in the top four of their respective weight classes. Three of those were champions: Tristan Baugher (285 lbs.), Chase Parham (182 lbs.), and John Richardson (113 lbs.) Five other wrestlers finished in second.
The Eagle boys wrestlers were nearly edged out by up-and-coming powerhouse Frisco Centennial, outscoring them by a mere four total points (184 to 180). Prosper will face off against Centennial during bowl week on Thursday, Feb. 1 at Frisco to crown an official District 8 champion. Prosper finished first in the north division, while Centennial sits in first in the south division.
“There’s some teams that are really coming on in 5A,” Prosper wrestling head coach Sion King said. “I’ve never overlooked [Centennial]. They’ve won state in the past and they know how to perform late in the season.”
The JV boys also competed at the Jaguar Invitational and saw two of its wrestlers, Austin Gordon and Josiah Squires, finish first in their weight classes. Colin McNalley, Grant Stringer and Isaac Hema each finished first in mini tournaments.
The Prosper high school girls had arguably its best showing of the season at the Coyote Classic, taking a sixth-place team finish. This came without two of its best wrestlers who sat out due to illness and injury.
“I’ll probably be the only one in the world that thinks they have a chance to be top three in the state,” King said of his girls team. “They had a chance to do a lot better at that tournament and could have won it.”
Notable finishers for the girls included Cecilia Adams (fourth), Juliana Baugher (fourth) and Alyssa Alvarez (third). In the B Division, Miranda Kang took third place and Anjolie Wujek took second.
The Prosper girls program started just a few years ago under former head coach Darren Snyder. It has now grown to 11 members. King expects it to double next year.
Reason for optimism lies with the success of the Rogers and Reynolds middle school wrestling programs. Each school recently competed at the Texas Middle School State Championships, where the Rogers Girls were crowned state champions. The Reynolds girls took third place, while the Rogers and Reynolds boys took eighth place and 11th, respectively.
With the help of coach Ryan Burnett at Reynolds and Joshua Reed at Rogers, King is confident in the future of Prosper wrestling.
“That just shows there’s a bright future with girls, and the boys are going strong,” King said. “That’s my goal as a coach, to have two really strong programs.”
With the District 8 championships quickly approaching, King’s focus with the high school boys and girls tams has shifted to recovery. Getting his squads completely healthy is the biggest priority, as some wrestlers have battled the flu and various injuries.
While the girls continue to rapidly improve, keeping the consistency going is the biggest challenge for the boys. King plans to keep his teams ready for the strong competition that lies ahead, beginning with bowl week on Feb. 1.
“At this point, everybody gets tougher,” King said. “Every school and every athlete is trying to push and get as good as they possibly can. I reiterate that with my boys and girls, not to be complacent. You’ve got all this work ahead to improve yourself. If you don’t, somebody’s going to catch you or pass you up.”