Manchester wrestling coach working on team technique
NEW FRANKLIN — According to head coach Josh Cintron, the Manchester High School wrestling team has “more than definitely” shown improvement as the season has progressed.
“My kids are becoming better technicians,” the first-year head coach said. “Over the last couple of years, they’ve had three different coaches, so their technique has been weak in parts. They have the desire and they have the heart, but we just have to add some more technique and more strength and we’ll be a pretty good team. We’re getting there.”
Through Jan. 20, Cintron said, Manchester’s record in dual meets was 0-2, but the team has had more success in tournaments.
“We lost tough ones to Northwest and Massillon — both by three points. We gave up some big points in close matches,” the coach said. “But I think we’ve done well overall. At the J.C. Gorman Invitational, we were fifth overall as a Division III team, and there were Division I and II teams there. At the Dies Tournament this past weekend, we ended up 13th out of 43 or so teams. So, I think we’re doing well overall.”
[For more on the Dies Tournament, see related photo feature on Page 10.]
This year’s team is led by a pair of senior captains: Bobby Bowen (132 pounds) and Jacob Hanzel (285 pounds).
“Bobby is a strong wrestler, and he’s a leader in the wrestling room. He’s got experience at the state tournament — he was a state qualifier last year — and he is looking to place this year. He took third at the Gorman, first at the Panther Invitational, and he got his 100th win this year,” the coach said. “Jacob has placed at every tournament we have wrestled in. He was sixth at Brecksville, and he won at the J.C. Gorman and the Dies Tournament. When he won at the Dies, that was actually his 100th win. So that was kind of special for us. And that win was over a kid who had pinned him at Brecksville, so he got a little redemption there. He just keeps improving.”
Another wrestler who has placed at all four tournaments, Cintron said, is sophomore Joey Bowen (106 pounds), who is the team’s third captain.
“Joey was first at the Manchester and third at the Brecksville, Gorman and Dies tournaments,” the coach said. “He’s a young wrestler who is placing at junior- and senior-dominated tournaments. His technique is great, and his caliber of wrestling is above a sophomore status.”
Another key wrestler on this year’s team, Cintron said, is junior Drew Brasiel (160 pounds).
“Drew placed at the Manchester, the J.C. Gorman, where he was third, and the Dies, where he was sixth,” the coach said. “He’s just a strong wrestler. I’m looking to take him down to the state tournament. He’s going to be a strength for me this year and next year. He’s a wrestler to watch out for.”
According to Cintron, the Manchester wrestling team got off to a late start due to the football team’s long playoff run. Because of that delay, however, the coach said his team is only now starting to hit its stride for the season.
“We didn’t start wrestling until December,” he said. “We kind of started later, and we’re at about mid-season. So while other teams are kind of starting to taper down, we’re still in the middle of our season. Hopefully, we can start peaking in February for the sectionals and districts and state tournament.”
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