SHERIDAN — Wrestlers have six minutes to earn more points than their opponent or pin them to win a match. It’s a short amount of time in real life but on the mat, it can drain even the best-conditioned athlete.
“Six minutes does not seem like much but when you are pushing for somebody for the entire time it really comes out of you,” Sheridan High School senior wrestler Camden McArthur said. “You really need to loosen up again and refuel.”
Head coach Tyson Shatto said he wants the Broncs to enter each match focused and ready to go. He wants the wrestler prepared to start the match, take down their opponent and control the tempo.
Sheridan wrestlers have four matches to prepare for Saturday when the team hosts the Border Wars, featuring four teams from Wyoming dueling four teams for Montana.
Between the matches, the Broncs need to refuel, loosen back up and refocus for the next match.
Shatto said wrestlers need to find the balance between eating enough food to refuel the body but not too much that it slows them down in the next match. Athletes also need to pay attention to how much liquid they put into their bodies. A person can digest 8 ounces of water every hour.
With wrestlers having between an hour and two hours between matches, they need to make sure they do not drink too much. Liquid sloshing around in the stomach will slow a wrestler down.
Freshman Kolton Powers eats a sandwich or hot dog following his first match of the day. It is light but still gives him the energy to perform. Power eats small snacks depending on how he feels following each match.
McArthur’s said he eats a lot of nuts and crackers between matches. They are light on the stomach but gives him the carbs he will need. McArthur spreads his food out during the day and tries to have something 30 minutes before his next match.
Powers said he tries to watch his next opponent wrestle if possible. He looks to see what he needs to defend against and how to best attack his opponents.
Shatto said the team has a routine they follow to warm up for each match, and individual wrestlers have their own routine they follow, physically and mentally preparing them. Wrestlers will practice their shots, shadow wrestle and finishing moves. To help stay loose between matches, McArthur said he will sprint through the hallways of the high school.
There will be four mats in use in the main gym at SHS for the varsity matches and two mats in the auxiliary gym along with a mat in the SHS wrestling room featuring junior varsity matches. The junior varsity matches are set up in a Wisconsin-style bracket, giving the wrestlers four matches in the day.
Teams from Wyoming include Sheridan, Thunder Basin, Campbell County and Cheyenne South high schools. Teams representing Montana are Colstrip, Billings Skyview, Billings Senior and Billings West high schools.
Shatto said the teams from Montana are traditionally tough teams and give the Broncs mat time against quality opponents.
Spending time on the mat against an opponent is important for the Sheridan wrestlers at this time of the season because it gives the team live experience.
The first dual begins at 11 a.m. with the following matches at 12:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Sheridan wrestles on mat No. 2 for each dual and faces Billings West to start the day followed by Billings Senior, Colstrip and Billings Skyview.