COLUMBIA — The Hickman wrestling team is preparing for this weekend’s district tournament at Jefferson City a little differently.
While the junior varsity wrestlers still practiced, some of the varsity wrestlers lightened up this week.
“I’ll still work hard, but not as hard,” junior 112-pounder Vince Pescaglia said.
Hickman coach J.D. Coffman sat down one-on-one with his wrestlers to review video of possible opponents and discuss strategy.
Senior 152-pounder Drae Cox wrestled against a Hickman assistant coachthroughout practice Thursday and said he will often wrestle against Hickman graduate Jordan Lanham, who qualified for states last year at 140 pounds.
Pescaglia and Cox are undefeated this season after finishing fourth in their weight classes last year at the Missouri state championships. Coffman said that Pescaglia and Cox are the favorites on the team to qualify for states, though others have shown improvement throughout the season.
Cox said that his goal all season long has been to go undefeated and win a state title, and he always expects to win.
“Pretty much the entire week, it’s all I’ve been thinking about,” Cox said of the upcoming district meet. “I need to keep wrestling the way I’ve wrestled all year and step it up a little bit.”
Two of the three wrestlers that finished ahead of Cox at states last year are also in the district. The top four wrestlers at the district meet will qualify for states, which features 16 wrestlers in each weight class.
Meanwhile, Pescaglia said that he expects to improve on last year’s finish at states.