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Girls Wrestling Team Dominates District, Prepares For Regionals

Wrestling+coach+Donavan+Kleckner+celebrates+winning+coach+of+the+year+with+his+team.+
courtesy of Donavan Kleckner
Wrestling coach Donavan Kleckner celebrates winning coach of the year with his team.

The Lady Badgers wrestling team competed at district in Georgetown Jan. 31. Six girls placed, and head wrestling coach Donavan Kleckner won best girls coach, each for the first time in Lampasas history. They will compete at the regional competition this weekend.

“They have worked so hard all year, so it was great to see their success,” Kleckner said. “We had 4 girls in the finals and 2 girls going for 3rd.”       

1st place and wrestler of the tournament went to sophomore Taylor Martell, 2nd place was junior Charlie Freese, Jordan Winfree and senior Kaitlynn Jones. 3rd place was freshman Dionna Schulz and sophomore Sayler Siters. 5th place and alternate went to freshman Lilly-Ann Pentz.

“I feel like I did well but can do better,” Freese said. “I worked hard and just have to keep pushing myself to get first next time instead of second.”

Kleckner has been the wrestling coach for five years and last year led the team to state rankings for the first time in Lampasas history.

“I credit the girls’ team for helping me win the award,” Kleckner said. “If they didn’t go out there and compete the way that they did, then I’m not sure I would have won.”

Coach Donavan Kleckner and coach Elma Garnett celebrate the Lady Badgers wrestling team victory at district Jan. 31. (courtesy of Donavan Kleckner)

The team has been practicing everyday to prepare for regionals.

“It usually consists of drilling and practicing hard, and then a nice long conditioning to make sure we’re in shape for our matches,” Freese said.

They also will use personal methods in order to practice on their own.

“I run and listen to music to get in the right frame of mind,” Martell said.

Though many girls placed at district, there are always things that need to be worked on.

“Sometimes we get stuck on the bottom and it really hurts us to swing some matches,” Kleckner said. “Also, we need to improve in our neutral game with better setups for our moves.”

Throughout the season, the girls learned many life skills.

“I learned that there is a difference between confidence and cockiness,” Martell said. “I learned to be humble and keep a good attitude towards people.” 

Kleckner and the team have formed a bond through all the hours of practice. 

“I feel like the athletes know me pretty well,” Kleckner said. “I’m honest with them. I want them to trust me being in their corner when they need help in their matches.”

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