The National Wrestling Coaches Association, along with the United States Marine Corp, recognize wrestlers for their leadership, character, and academic scholar at the end of each wrestling season. They give each wrestler that meets certain standards and qualifications a certificate of award. The certificate is for “your academic excellence, outstanding leadership, and character on and off the mat. Marines and wrestlers are warriors who share the same principles. Your academic excellence, fighting spirit, mental toughness, and work ethic are unmatched and are an example to your teammates and student body.”
The Patrick County wrestling team had several wrestlers that received these awards this season. These guys were not only tough on the mat, but many were also tough in the classroom and in the community. In addition to winning back-to-back Piedmont District Championships, they also take pride in how they carry themselves and setting an example for others to follow. They just keep setting the bar higher and higher each year.
Last year the team had two wrestlers recognized, Josh Wright and Jaheim Johnson, who went on and wrestled at Patrick and Henry Community College.
This year the Cougar wrestling team had a total of 11 wrestlers to receive these prestigious awards: Tristan Hardy, Rawl Mabe, Juan Pablo Gutierrez, and Trent Alexander, received the Character and Leadership All-American Award for their character and leadership. Through the example of hard work on and off the field, they helped lead their team to the first District Championship since 1998 last season and then a repeat District Championship this season, along with a runner-up finish in the Regionals this season.
Xavier Torres-Seda, Stephen Spencer, Josiah Spangler, Paul Pascale, Ben Knight, Jackson Iacovone, Jay Howard, Trent Alexander, and Juan Pablo Gutierrez each received a certificate for academic excellence. To receive this award a student must have finished the fall semester with at least a 3.5 GPA or have an accumulative GPA of at least a 3.5. All of these wrestlers met these criteria, with many having a 4.0 for both current and ccumulative GPAs.
“These young men work hard both on and off the field and deserve all they get,” Head Coach Tim Lawson said. “We appreciate and enjoy working with each of them.”