Southside hosts first wrestling meet in school history

Published 4:18 pm Thursday, December 12, 2019

CHOCOWINITY — A new era has begun at Southside High School, as it has launched a wrestling program for the first time in the school’s 19-year existence. While the Seahawks didn’t win the match, some individual wrestlers had successful evenings in their first home meet.

Most of the Southside wrestlers are participating in the sport for the first time in their lives, so they’re still getting a grasp of how to do things. However, head coach Scott Penhollow has seen some growth already.

“I’ve seen a good, significant amount of growth. We’ve had a lot of latecomers. It’s a new program though, so we’ve had kids trickling in from football, soccer, some of the kids were battling injuries so they had to wait to participate, some of our kids saw the mat for the first time tonight,” Penhollow said. “We didn’t win tonight, but I think tonight was important for our growth. Some kids lasted a whole six minutes tonight, and that’s an accomplishment. It’s just a matter of experience, really. We have to get kids out on the mat. I am going to try and start recording some of these matches so I can point out what they’re doing. We just have to nail down 5-10 moves for them so they can practice those and get better with repetition.”

Johnathan Hernandez, a senior soccer and baseball player, said that he was excited about the opportunity to stay busy in the winter season by trying out a sport he’s never done before. Hernandez pinned his opponent for his first career victory on the mat in the 220lb weight class.

“It feels awesome,” Hernandez said about getting his first win. “I thought it would be pretty fun to wrestle, and it is. I also like to stay busy. I am kind of in between my other sports — soccer and baseball — so I am enjoying it. I think wrestling will have a positive impact on a lot of these guys. You can definitely sense a change in their attitudes and stuff already.”

WINNER: Southside’s Johnathan Hernandez captured his first career wrestling victory in his match against D.H. Conley on Wednesday evening. (Mitchell Thomas / Daily News)

Cory Jones of Southside also won by pin in the 138lb weight class, while Jamerson Jones (106) and Hunter Lear (120) won by way of a forfeit.

Southside will travel to Conley on Saturday for the Sherman Duals Tournament, and at North Pitt at 8 a.m. on the morning of Wednesday, Dec. 18 for a quad meet — a match between four different schools.