New Beginnings

Girls wrestling begins their 22-23 season


Photo Submitted By Devonte Shivers

Aydan Squires (11) and Talia Reed (10) practice hand fighting and takedowns at practice Monday, Nov. 28. “To mentally prepare, I try to keep a positive mindset and I just think about how I’ve already done this a whole year,” Squires said, “and so there’s nothing I haven’t seen before here and it’s just another day of practicing or a match, and there’s nothing bad that could happen.” Squires said she was excited to get the new season started.

The OHS wrestling 2022-2023 season began and many things are changing on and off the mat. 

“It’s awesome. I’ve been waiting for it for a very long time, and I’ve been wanting to be here at Oakville doing it for a very long time, so it kind of finally lined up for me,” coach Devonte Shivers said. 

Shivers is the new head coach of the girls wrestling team. But that’s not the only new change for Oakville wrestling–this year the mat was so packed coaches had to come up with a new system.

“This season we had a lot more people and we had to split the team into two groups. We also have a study hall in case people need extra help with their grades. We have a study hall, and I love that,” Aydan Squires said (11). 

The coaching staff is changing things up with a study hall, more mat time and even more conditioning to get wrestlers prepared for the season.

“I’m always looking forward to competitions. I’m looking forward to watching every single wrestler grow competitively as well as personally, and obviously, the end goal is to get as many people down to Columbia for state as possible,” Shivers said. 

There are challenges to every sport, but some athletes find it to be easier when they have a supportive corner and people cheering them on.

“If you have a more supportive crowd, then you are more likely to do better,” Ahalya Crittendon (9) said, “and I have that, so I’m more encouraged.”

The coaching staff always try to keep the athletes going and keep them motivated on and off the mat. 

“We try a bunch of different things: we do games, we tried to do the wrestler of the week last year, we try just small things like the parade or the trunk or treats or things like that or anything where the kids get to be involved,” Shivers said, “and also step up and show leadership outside the mat is very key on everything.” 

The Tigers feel they will start the season strong with all the new changes made to benefit the wrestling community.

“I’m just ready to have a good season, and I believe that we can have a few girls go to Columbia this year to compete. I’m ready to start seeing girls get to Columbia, as well as girls getting on the podium in Columbia and getting some state medals and all that other stuff,” Shivers said. “I see a lot of hard work and extra work that girls are doing and all that stuff. Whether they think I see it or not, that stuff is what takes them to the next level.”