The Altoona wrestling team has officially kicked off its season. The wrestlers competed at the Eastern Area Invitational. They placed eighth out of 23 teams.
In the preliminaries freshman Matt Sarbo won by decision, junior Jordan Wagner pinned his opponent, sophomore Hayden Boutiller won by major decision, senior Hunter Stoudnour pinned his opponent and senior Parker McClellan won by decision.
In the consolation finals Boutiller pinned his opponent; Port won by decision.
In fifth place, Boutiller and sophomore Adam Port won by decision. Junior Nate Simmers pinned his opponent.
In the championship semifinals and championship finals, McClellan won by decision over Alex Donahue (Indiana) and Nate Ansell (Cornwall High School).
The team also competed at the Panther Holiday Classic Dec. 15-16. Altoona placed sixth out of 43 teams.
In the championship quarter finals, McClellan pinned his opponent; Sarbo won by decision.
In fifth place was Boutiller, winning by decision.
In third place was Sarbo who won by decision.
“To prepare for a match some warm up by drilling each other. They break a sweat and get warm. Some just kind of stretch and listen to music to get hyped,” Simmers said. “As for competing, it’s a thrill. It can be nerve-wrecking at times, but when you finally get out there it’s all business. I feel as a young team we’ll do pretty well. We have four returning regional qualifiers and one state qualifier. We have some younger kids who are stepping into big shoes”.