Wrestling 2018 Season Preview

Wrestlers Train for Season While Adjusting to New Coach


Jalen Gomez

Listening to Coach Peterson, the wrestlers try to absorb all information given to them. “Coach gives us information on how to effectively diet,” junior and varsity wrestler Cassidy King said. “He also talks to us about time management, and how to balance our schoolwork with our workout schedules and practices.”

Jalen Gomez, Reporter

Sweat drips, heat rises, bodies get slammed and noses bleed in the wrestler’s mat room. With every wrestling period being a chance for improvement, there is hardly ever a lull in their training.

This year the wrestlers are under a new coach and are looking to build upon last season’s success. With former senior Levi Russo-Bell winning the first state title in school history, there are big shoes to fill this year. Wrestlers have said that after changes to the program, such as getting a new coach from Vandegrift, Andrew Peterson, and with conditioning, there is a lot to look forward to in the upcoming season.

“I’m looking forward to what a new coach has to offer for the team,” senior varsity wrestler Ethan Forbes said. “With Coach Asmus, we saw this whole dynamic that was different, but with Coach Peterson, there’s a lot to build off of and continue to improve ourselves as wrestlers.”

Former wrestling coach Nicholas Asmus was beloved by the wrestlers, according to senior varsity wrestler, Simon Nart, who joined the team the same year Asmus was hired. He said that it was not easy to see him leave, and transitioning into having a new coach was something everybody had to adjust to.

“Well, we were all pretty devastated after Asmus left,” Nart said. “But after we heard that we were getting Coach Peterson from Vandegrift, we were pretty excited because we knew how serious he was as a coach, all the great things he’s done as a coach, and how many people he’s brought to state.”

Peterson grew up in Southern California, wrestled throughout middle and high school, coached at the collegiate level in North Dakota and has 18 years coaching at the high school level, with his past seven years spent at rival school Vandegrift.

“I coached on the east coast for four years, actually with a man by the name of John Sloan,” Peterson said. “We coached together for quite some time, and I’ve actually coached his kids over at Vandegrift too.”

Peterson said that he appreciates the work that Asmus put into the wrestling program. 

I came here was to win region, district and state titles. From what I’ve been seeing, I see the building blocks in order to get there.

— Coach Andrew Peterson

“He did an absolutely phenomenal job,” Peterson said. “I think it’s more of a challenge to come in following a coach that’s beloved like that. I have an amazing amount of respect for him and what he did for the program, and that’s actually one of the reasons why I came over to this program because of the great job he did here. He put it to a place where the program can compete at a high level.”

A new coach does mean new expectations, however several of them remain the same, such as advancing to region and state.

“The reason I came here was to win region, district and state titles,” Peterson said. “And from what I’ve been seeing, I see the building blocks in order to get there. There are good kids in the room who buy into the system, and I see the intensity starting to increase.”

On top of the team expectations, each wrestler has their own personal expectations for the season.

“We’ve been working really hard,” senior varsity wrestler Taz Williams said. “This is our senior year, so we all expect to win at least regionals, because we have just put in so much work [and time to this].”

The girls wrestling teams are also putting in the hours. Junior varsity wrestler Cassidy King said that she and her team are looking to make a splash this year.

“There is a girls team and a guys team, but we are both Cedar Park,” King said. “We do try to lift up that it’s a united team together, because we do have a girl aspect of it. These girls are working just as hard as the guys, pursuing the thing that they love just like the guys, and putting in just as much time as the guys are.”

The season started Nov. 17, with LBJ duals. Cedar Park will host four duals in January, and the wrestlers are taking their extensive time and sweat spent in the mat room to the matches on Saturdays.

“I’m ready to get the season started,” Peterson said. “I just want to see the damage done on Saturdays.”