Matt Strunk (Photo: Noelle Haro-Gomez/GameTimePA.com)
The Chambersburg wrestling team won every match it faced Saturday at the Wilson Duals Tournament and came home carrying the team championship trophy.
But the Trojans also won a lot of respect for a bout they didn’t even wrestle.
In its last dual meet of the day, Chambersburg took on Conestoga Valley. One of the Buckskins’ top wrestlers, Lucas Ortiz, came out on the mat for the first bout of the meet at 152 pounds, and was awarded a forfeit victory.
It was the 100th victory of his high school career, and it will also be his last.
Ortiz had 99 career wins by the end of the season last February. It seemed like it would be simply a matter of a short time until he opened his senior year with the milestone victory.
Except that Ortiz, who will wrestle at Lock Haven next year, tore an ACL and damaged the meniscus in his knee in October and can’t wrestle this year.
Trojan coach Matt Mentzer said, “Lucas has been on some freestyle teams in the offseason with some of our kids, so we know him, and he’s a good kid. We had heard about him being stuck on 99 wins, and I had talked to him earlier this year (at the Carlisle tournament) and knew he was frustrated about it.
“I remembered that we were going to face them in the Wilson tournament. So when that match came up, I spelled out the situation with our kids and told them to go talk about it and see what they wanted to do.”
The Trojans came back with an answer: Senior Matt Strunk agreed to forfeit his match at 152 to Ortiz, which would be the magic win No. 100.
Strunk said, “Some of our guys know Lucas pretty well and said he’s a really good guy, so we wanted to do something for him. I told the guys that Colin (Runshaw) should go up to 160 and I’ll give up the forfeit at 152. It wasn’t a hard decision for me – he’s a senior and was stuck on 99 wins and it was the right thing to do.”
Ortiz said, “That meant a lot to me. Not so much because it put me at 100 wins, but it just shows that they are great guys.”
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Chambersburg Area High School (Chambersburg PA), Conestoga Valley High School (Lancaster PA), Lock Haven Wrestling, Lucas Ortiz, Pennsylvania, sportsmanship, wrestling, News
There is no question that leading other people is not easy. Whether it means taking charge in a group project for school, putting together a fundraiser or a volunteer event, or even coordinating social plans on a Friday night, it can be at times difficult and time-consuming to try to get people to listen to you and work together to benefit the group as a whole.
This being said, for all the trials and tribulations that one might have to go through in a leadership position, there are usually many benefits as well. This is certainly the case in high school sports. Becoming a team captain for your high school sports team can be a fulfilling experience that offers many professional and personal benefits. Read on to find out more about how you can set a model for leadership as a sports captain.
Introduction to Leadership in Sports
Every sport is different in the amount of teamwork it requires, but even more individual sports teams (like wrestling and tennis) train together and have a certain team dynamic. Whether it is an individualized or a team sport, all sports can benefit from having a student leader, and so high school sports teams usually have a student captain.
Many high school sports teams have a captain in addition to a professional coach because student athletes might have a better rapport with their teammates than an adult coach. Although a coach might be able to relate to students more than a teacher or another authority figure, there is no question that student captains will obviously have more common ground with other students.
For students who are chosen to be captains, taking on a leadership position can also be helpful for college applications—admissions committees want to see students who are able to take on responsibility and work well with others. For more information about taking on leadership roles, check out this CollegeVine blog post.
Becoming Captain of Your Sports Team
Typically, the process of becoming captain of your high school sports team will vary from school to school. Usually, the process will depend upon some combination of the opinion of your peers and the opinion of your coaches. For example, the team might have a vote to determine candidates, and the coach might make the final designation. For clarification of your specific school and team’s procedures, you should ask your coach.
If you’re seeking out a leadership position on your team, it is in your best interest to make sure you are well-respected and well-liked by your team members. Show up to events on time and make an effort to engage with all members of the team (not just the members who might happen to be your friends). Offer to help others on your team out, and be sure that you’re not a show-off or a ball hog.
You should also make sure that you are an experienced and solid performer in your sport—although this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be the very top player on the team.
In addition, it will be helpful if you display dedication and visibly work hard towards team goals. If the team is looking to improve its strategy, you should be helping to make these changes. If there are conflicts within your team that need to get resolved, get involved and help your team members talk it out. You should also be trustworthy and work well with your coach—if you do end up becoming captain, you’ll be working hard alongside him or her, so you want to demonstrate that you can handle the responsibility and helpful to both your team members and your coach.