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Central Hardin 182-pound senior Trey Jaco and the rest of the Bruins are tired of beating up on each other every day in practice.
Because the Oldham County Super Duals were canceled last weekend and because Coach Russ Pike waits until December to schedule his team’s first event, the Bruins have had to face off against each other quite a bit over the last couple of weeks.
“It’s been pretty boring, but it gives you a chance to work more on other stuff,” Jaco said at practice Thursday. “It can really help you get prepared for what’s coming. But it’s exciting to finally get to go against someone else.
“You’re facing the same person every day, and that can get tough because you’re pushing each other to your limits.”
To keep his wrestlers plugged in, Pike has mixed things up, from holding practices before school to working on different techniques each day to playing various games on the mat.
He said it’s been an interesting last few weeks.
“We just bring them in and work on everything we can,” Pike said. “We try to change it up every day. We want to mix it up a little bit and keep things interesting. We don’t want to do the same exact thing every day.
“It just gets monotonous,” he added. “They know how each other wrestles, so it’ll be nice for them to see someone else and not beat up on their teammates.”
Saturday’s Bruin Duals will change that. Joining the Bruins are area teams Fort Knox, John Hardin, LaRue County and Meade County, Barren County, McCreary Central, Owensboro Apollo, Scott County, Simon Kenton and Taylor County.
The meet will start between 9 and 9:30 a.m., with the final round scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at Bruin Gym.
Each team is guaranteed four matches, but some teams will wrestle five times.
“It’s a pretty strong field,” Pike said. “With the Ryle Rumble going on, that pulls out of some of the tough teams. But we’ve got some good competition here. I’m just glad we can get out there and wrestle someone other than ourselves, so I’m looking forward to it.”
So is Jaco, who won 25 matches last season.
While he likes the fact Pike has mixed things up in practice, Jaco is ready to hit the mat and get the Bruins’ season started.
“We’ve got a lot of younger guys, so it’s going to be interesting to see how they can deal with the pressure of it being one-on-one with the person on the mat and everyone watching you,” Jaco said. “It’s a lot different than football. I’m interested to see what some of our younger guys can do against real competition.
“It’s given us more time to prepare, but now we’re excited to wrestle and we’re ready to see what we’ve got.”
Pike said this will be a good test to see where the Bruins stack up against their Region 2 rivals.
Central Hardin believes it can contend for the region title this year, and this will be a good measuring stick.
“It’s going to be nice to get out on the mat and see where we’re at, see how we match up to some of the other area teams,” Pike said. “I feel like we’ll be pretty strong, but you never know. It may take a little bit because we’re pretty young. We’ve got a lot of new kids this season, so our room for growth will be there. I think we’ll be able to hold our own.
“The matches we do have, yeah they help, but it’s all practice up until February. We’ve just got to find a way to improve every time we’re out there.”
Josh Claywell can be reached at 270-505-1752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.