COLUMBIA — The Rock Bridge High School wrestling team fought off the Fulton Hornets as well as the flu Thursday night in Fulton.
Jackson Adams and Tristan Welsh were both out of the lineup because of the flu, but other wrestlers stepped up to lead the Bruins to a 42-30 victory. Adams also was unable to compete in the tournament at Hickman on Saturday, in which the Bruins placed fourth.
The Hornets had five weight classes without wrestlers and the Bruins had one. Rock Bridge coach Travis Craig said that while it hurts to have starters out, it also can be looked at as good experience for the younger wrestlers.
“It gives other guys a chance to step into the lineup,” Craig said by phone. “Since Jackson was out, his brother, Taylor (Adams), got a chance for some varsity experience.”
Craig said the coaching staff has pushed its wrestlers harder than usual to prepare them for the district tournament in two weeks.
“When we’re preparing throughout the year, we don’t even look at the results of the duals or tournaments to determine what we’re going to do,” Craig said.
“We are trying to get our wrestlers to wrestle their best during districts time. We’ve been pushing the guys hard the past couple of weeks. We’ll continue this until next Saturday to give them a good week of rest before districts.”
Craig added the coaching staff wants its wrestlers to mature as young men.
“Our goal is to see the kids working hard,” Craig said. “As a coach, we want to see our kids improve in all areas, not just wrestling.”
On Saturday, the Bruins will compete in a tournament in St. Louis at Francis Howell North.