COVENTRY TWP. However the season goes from the first match up to the conclusion of the regular season, the tournament offers a chance to write a happy ending to a wrestler’s tale.
The Coventry Comets know that their 5-4 dual meet record and solid regular season are good starting points for a program looking to get back to the lofty heights it once occupied, but the chance to cap the campaign by adding to the program’s storied history is what’s driving them as they enter the final weeks of the season.
"Right now, we’re hammering down with training and looking to lock it down so these guys can peak out when they perform in the tournament," head coach Alex Poinar said.
Poinar noted that one of the biggest thing working in the Comets’ favor is that they don’t have a lot of injuries slowing them and with the bulk of their roster in good condition. Wrestling is as much of a physical grind as any high school sport, so getting to the postseason in good health goes a long way toward determining who advances to the district and state rounds.
The wrestlers who have helped lead Coventry all season, including Joe Wright, Miles Knuckles, Austin Hinzman and Liam Fagan, are among those Poinar believes have a chance to not just qualify for the district tournament, but reach Columbus.
After helping the Comets to a winning dual match record for the first time in several seasons, Wright and the rest of the team’s seniors are eager for a successful tournament season to keep their momentum going. The tournament atmosphere is a unique one, as wrestlers are scattered across the gym and there isn’t the same connectedness as there tends to be during the regular season.
"It’s good to have coaching staff we do have and whoever is in their corner, you know they have good support," Poinar said. "Our parents are very supportive and our guys are interconnected as a team. They’ve been competing together all over the country over the years and they’re good at updating each other on how they’re doing."
Coventry’s Northwest Division II sectional tournament post is one that gives the Comets a solid chance to advance several wrestlers deep into the postseason, but Poinar pointed to the team’s district tournament as among the hardest in the state.
Because of that tough district, the first-year head coach believes that anyone who gets through the district bracket has an excellent chance to reach the podium at the state tournament.
With five state titles to their credit, the Comets are reminded on a daily basis.
"It’s something we bring up to our guys, those five state title banners hanging up in wrestling room," Poinar said. "We talk these guys up after hard practices. This is crunch time and this is why we train, to get another title banner up there. Seeing that helps them think it’s possible."
Possibility is one thing, but converting that possibility into accomplishment is the hardest part of the equation. It’s an equation the Comets will attempt to solve in the coming weeks as they try to build a good regular season into a winning postseason, one that adds to the legacy of the program and builds toward a brighter future.
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