The Comets had a break from competition for almost two weeks during Christmas break.
Boys wrestling coach Ian Alke and boys basketball coach James Laughlin reflected on their seasons so far.
“It's been a bumpy beginning to the 22-23 season,” Alke said. “Injuries and illness coupled with a thin roster makes it difficult.”
The wrestlers who have stayed healthy have worked very hard and helped the team to its 5 – 1 standing, Alke added.
“We used the winter break to fine tune some of the techniques we covered in the first half of the season,” Alke said. “We also worked on our conditioning and mindset.”
Alke is impressed with how hard his wrestlers are working.
“We recently went to a joint practice at a club in Bettendorf where we wrested different partners and heard from different coaches,” he said. “I'm proud of the boys for the effort and the way they are competing. Every practice is a chance to get better and I think we are doing that.”
In the second half of the season Alke would like to see steady progression and improvement.
“Hopefully we can reach that peak of performance around postseason time,” he said. “We need the boys to trust in the process and come to practice everyday trying to get a little bit better.”
When asked about who has stepped up to be a leader on the wrestling team this year Alke said Ryker Dengler.
“He has been competing in varsity basketball and varsity wrestling both this year,” he said. “He has been working his tail off doing two sports. When he's in our room, I notice him helping less experienced guys. He has a great attitude and work ethic. I believe he can accomplish anything he puts his mind to.”
One of Alke’s favorite things about this season so far is the overnight tournament the team has traveled to. This has allowed Alke to spend more time with his wrestlers and helped build strong relationships.
Alke also would like to thank the parents of his wrestlers.
“I know it's a long season with lots of time sacrifices,” he said. “The parents have to deal with moody, dieting, tired teenagers and at the same time are supportive, positive. They are the best fans a program could ask for.”
Laughlin feels like the boys basketball season has gone well so far.
“We had a couple games that I thought we could win but came up a little short,” Laughlin said. “Right now we are 2 - 5 overall but have had some really good moments.”
During the break, the basketball team has worked on taking care of the basketball offensively.
“We have to find more consistent scoring,” Laughlin said. “We have had a couple long scoring droughts in games that have really cost us.”
Laughlin said he has seen a lot of players improve individually and would like to see that continue as the season continues.
“Our kids are playing hard and competing,” he added. “That is great to see even with a below .500 record. If we continue to do that, we can win some more ball games the remainder of the season.”