LANHAM – The Northwestern Wildcats’ wrestling program has grown from nothing four years ago. The program was dying and the sport was close to being dropped from the school and forgotten. Now, the program is far and beyond where it stood just a few years ago thanks to the parents and supporters who have brought […]
LANHAM – The Northwestern Wildcats’ wrestling program has grown from nothing four years ago.
The program was dying and the sport was close to being dropped from the school and forgotten.
Now, the program is far and beyond where it stood just a few years ago thanks to the parents and supporters who have brought Wildcat wrestling back to life.
Head Coach Steven Blanco led his team into DuVal to take on Tigers as well as the Central Falcons. Northwestern defeated them both handily by scores of 47-24 and 60-6 respectively.
“Four years ago we didn’t have any headgear, any workout gear, and then different alumni came by the school and just started dropping stuff off,” Blano said. “They brought clothes and different things to help support the program. Then with the parents support it has really grown over the last four years.”
Northwestern is led by seniors Ike Agwuegbu, Abraam Benitez and Elijah Murphy. The trio has been with the program since day one when the team had nothing. Now they are very proud of what they have built within the program.
“When we first came in we didn’t know what to expect. We just thought it was a cool thing to do for fun,” Murphy said. “We didn’t even realize we had the longest losing streak in the state of Maryland. Then, since our first match today, it’s great to see how far we’ve come from our freshman year to now.”
The first match against DuVal was dominated by Northwestern. The Wildcats started the match off with five consecutive wins and a commanding lead. DuVal managed three pins, but lost every other match on points, including four by pins.
“We want to improve on what we did last year. We want to keep building on the years that we’ve been wrestling and what we have been learning,” Murphy said.
In the second meet of the night, the Wildcats took on Central. Northwestern swept the duel, but lost an exhibition match making the final score 60-6. With Winter Blitz right around the corner, the Wildcats are ready to make a statement in Prince George’s County wrestling.
“It’s interesting to go from that first freshman season, to not winning a single match, to being a senior captain and a leader and role model for your team.” Agwuebu stated.
Time will tell how the Wildcats season will finish, but for the seniors and the coaches of this year’s program, they will have achieved more than just wins and losses by saving a sport’s program.
“Coming in as freshmen, we didn’t know anything at all. Looking back at it, even though it has been so long, we’ve been going undefeated so far. So it’s pretty cool to be a part of it,” Benitez said.