Freshman takes home 2nd

Falcons win their first District title, 3 athletes place at State

Rahma Abud, Of The Talon staff

Freshman Madeline Haynes ended her wrestling season winning second at State.

Haynes completed the season with a record of 45-1 with her last match and loss against Lebanon High’s senior Quincey Glendenning.  Haynes believes she worked hard and the people who helped her the most were her teammates at Purler, which is her off-season team, as well as her family because she said she doesn’t believe she could have been as successful without them and their support.

“I’m grateful for my family and off-season team. Both of them helped me and supported me the entire season and were the reason I could reach my full potential. I don’t know if I could have done as well without them,” Haynes said.

With that, Haynes was not surprised to learn she was going to state for wrestling. She said she put in a lot of hard work and her matches showed she deserved to go to state.

“I expected to go to state since I worked hard all season and I was good [throughout the season]. My matches were good enough [too],” Haynes said.

Glendenning won the match despite previously losing to Haynes at the Wonder Woman Tournament held back in December. Haynes believes that the reason she was beaten by Glendenning this last match was because she prepared for the move Haynes was going to do. 

“I actually beat her previously in December at another tournament and I think the reason I lost to her this time was because she knew the move that I was going to do and that made her beat me so fast,” Haynes said.

Jonathan Bunyard has been her coach this season and he has been able to see her grow as a wrestler. He said Haynes is a humble wrestler and respects everyone and the sport very much. He is disappointed the last match was what lost her the title, but he said she handled everything well for the amount of pressure she was under. 

“She is so humble. She is so respectful to the coaches, teammates, and the sport. I couldn’t imagine someone doing it as great as her. She handled everything perfectly especially with the amount of pressure she was under… She made one mistake, at the state championship match, and that’s what lost her the title, unfortunately,” Bunyard said.

At the State’s wrestling awards ceremony, freshman Madeline Haynes recieves her second place medal from coach Kenny Holmes. The girl’s wrestling State tournament took place in Columbia, MO on Feb. 17-19. (Photo used with permission by Mitch Lefkowitz)

 He said he especially enjoys coaching wrestling because he said it makes him happy to see the kids on the wrestling team succeed, and it gives him a new perspective on the mat, given that he was a wrestler before.

“Wrestling is the hardest sport I’ve participated in and coached and seeing these kids succeed [gives me] joy as a coach to see them since I know how hard it is,” Bunyard said. 

Bunyard said he thinks Haynes works very hard outside of practice and that’s why she was able to go to state. 

“She has put in more hours in wrestling than maybe anyone on the team, boy or girl. She works hard outside of school and she just has discipline. That’s what helped her,” Bunyard said.

Haynes thinks her off-season practices helped her as well the consistency of her practices. She tried focusing on her areas of weaknesses and believes that is a crucial reason she had the chance to go to state. 

“I think being consistent and working hard really helped me go to state and also practicing frequently while knowing what I have to work on,” Haynes said.

Bunyard believes Haynes’ season was something that has never been done. He said even though she lost her last match he doesn’t believe that was definitive of how good of a wrestler she is.

“[Haynes] did great. She did something no one at this school has done before. Boy or girl. She was a freshman undefeated going into state which was amazing. Losing one match doesn’t, of course, determine your success or how you are as a person,” Bunyard said.

Bunyard said he does think Haynes can get first next season because of the dedication she has. She already started practicing and he thinks that knowing the amount of hard work she has to put in is going to help her succeed next year.

“I know she already started off-season workouts. It’s going to be a lot of hard work and she understands that and she is already working on it. She’s going to get far with that,” Bunyard said. 

She plans on being a part of the wrestling team next year as well and even though she is disappointed with the outcome of her last match, she does believe that if she works even harder on her off-season she will be able to make it first at state.

“I’m disappointed for not getting first, but next year I know I will work hard off-season and I can get [first place],” Haynes said.

Sophomore Chaire Perks also had the opportunity to go to State. She was the first girls wrestling medalist in school history, placing 6th at the 115 lbs weight class. Perks said that her and Haynes both showing their best efforts during practices helped them excel at State.

“We both tried really hard during practice and that’s how we succeeded at going so far,” Perks said.