The Warwick Vets wrestling team topped cross-town rival Winman last week in a non-league match to improve to 6-2 this winter season.
The Hurricanes had a strong finish to last season which culminated in a fourth-place team finish at states.
Now, at 6-2 and another big win under their belts, the Hurricanes look to get even better as this year’s state meet approaches.
“We weren’t that concerned about winning and losing, it’s exciting anytime you can have both teams from Warwick face each other, we were excited to be able to have Winman come over and wrestle us. We’re 6-2 this year, we were 4-4 at this point last year, so the coaches’ mindset is to just get as much mat time as possible and be ready for states in three weeks,” said Vets coach Kurt Keaney.
Winman too has had a strong start to its season, and has been rebuilding its program for the past couple of years.
Keaney has been excited to see the Warriors program continue to develop and to provide his club another tough test during the midseason grind.
“Everyone is wrestling well, we have a good lineup from top to bottom. Winman has had a good year, absolutely, but they’re still building their team up. They’re numbers have been improving, as have ours, and that’s great to see,” said Keaney. “It’s nice to get a win against your cross town rival, but it’s a brotherhood, we’ve coached some of their kids at the youth level, these kids know each other, so it has been nice to see them have some success as well.”
Vets’ success this season has been thanks to a strong returning core, as well as a solid infusion of new talent on the mat.
“It’s a little bit of both. We have a bunch of returning wrestlers that are producing for us but we have also been able to plug in some new guys that have helped us continue to grow and have success. That’s what you want every year, you want that next man up mentality,” said Keaney, who also hopes to see the team improve its overall team score at states. “Last year we finished fourth at states, this year we want to finish top-3. We have a lot of work to do, but we feel that a top-3 finish is in our grasp.”
Overall, Keaney is happy to see the sport of wrestling thrive in the city of Warwick, and hopes that it will be here to stay for the long haul.
“To see 80-plus wrestlers in the city’s middle school programs, that’s what we want. We are feeding the high schools so that they can continue and keep the ball rolling, it’s great to see,” said Keaney. “We hope to see those numbers continue to grow.”