Chamberlain wrestlers fighting illness, injuriesThe grind of a long wrestling season is starting to catch up with the Chamberlain wrestling team.
By: Aaron Saunders, The Daily Republic
The grind of a long wrestling season is starting to catch up with the Chamberlain wrestling team.
The Cubs started the season healthy but recent injuries and illness have started to creep up on the squad.
In its dual with Mitchell Thursday night, three Chamberlain wrestlers were sidelined. Logan Pickner (120) and Tyler Myers (182) were both out with the flu, while Nick Claussen, who wrestles at 195 pounds, was out with a chest bruise.
“Lately, we have been dealing with a lot of injuries and kids being sick,” Chamberlain coach John Donovan said. “We are kind of getting past that, but we are definitely going to need the weekend off before regions to get all healed up.”
After dropping its dual to Mitchell, the Cubs are 3-5 in duals this season and preparing for the Big Dakota Conference tournament Feb. 2.
“Overall, I am pleased with the progression of our kids. We compete hard and do a lot of good things, but we are still working to put that whole team concept together and get the quality wins on the mat,” Donovan said. “We are really just polishing our techniques. This time of the season is not the time to be breaking out any new techniques.”
Donovan’s squad is led by senior Russell Felicia, who defeated Mitchell’s Josh Dipippo in a 132-pound match Thursday. Felicia placed fifth at the 126-pound weight class at the Class A state tournament last year and has won 18 matches this season.
“I have six losses so I could be doing better, but I have been building off of that. I go after it every match and learn from my mistakes,” said Felicia. “A lot of these guys are a foot taller than me and some of them are pretty strong, but I try to use my quickness as my advantage.”
Felicia, who has not decided where he wants to attend college, is ranked third in Class A in his weight class and was the only Cub who made it to the state tournament last season.
Chamberlain and Felicia hit the mat again Saturday in the Lee Wolf Invitational in Aberdeen.