By Rob Tetro
When talking to Fulton Junior Varsity Wrestling Coach Jeff Waldron, he suggests that the Fulton wrestling program is as strong as it’s ever been.
This season, Fulton’s varsity and junior varsity teams will have a combined 70 athletes. Waldron will coach 55 of those wrestlers on the JV squad.
But, just a few years ago, the Red Raiders lacked the depth they have this season. Three years ago, Fulton’s JV team was barely able to provide an athlete for each weight class.
Waldron’s athletes come into the season having had a very productive offseason. His team took part in clinics, wrestling tournaments and a weight lifting program. A year ago, the junior varsity team lost only one of the dual meets they participated in.
They ended the season by winning The Martin Luther King Duals in Penfield. Waldron said this event is considered one of the most challenging dual tournaments New York state has to offer.
To qualify for The Martin Luther King Duals, a team not only has to be able to fill a lineup but they must have a competitive record as well.
Recently, G. Ray Bodley High School has allowed athletes to enter the weight rooms before school to obtain the head start they need on their daily fitness. During one of last week’s early morning workouts, 28 wrestlers were in the weight room continuing their preparation for the upcoming season.
While looking at the program from top to bottom, Waldron is excited about the amount of younger wrestlers they being developed. With only 18 out of the 55 varsity and junior varsity wrestlers being juniors or seniors, Waldron looks to the future with optimism.
He feels both teams will be able to go to events this season with the mindset that they can win each one. Waldron also believes if a varsity wrestler is unable to perform, his wrestlers will be more than ready to fill the void.
“I expect that if a varsity wrestler cannot perform for any reason, such as an injury, the JV guy in his weight class can step up and do the job.”, Waldron said.