MAU used to road
BENNINGTON -- Methuen, Mass. Danbury, Conn. Penfield, N.Y.
These are just three of the locales that the Mount Anthony Union High School wrestling team has competed this season -- a season where the Patriots have only competed at home a handful of times.
But the road-weary Patriots haven't skipped a beat. They are 23-0 with senior night coming up tonight against Bishop Hendricken, R.I., and three other events at home -- the MAU Duals, the MAU Jamboree and the state tournament on Feb. 28 and March 1.
"We've been road warriors," said MAU coach Scott Legacy. I've been a little nervous about it, we travel so much you worry about the kids getting tired and wrestling tired, but we've made adjustments in our practice and routines."
The trips aren't short, either. According to Google Maps, Danbury's 2 and a half hours away and Penfield's more than four.
"We try to accommodate for the fact that we've been on a bus a lot," Legacy said. "But the kids are hardened to it and it makes them mentally tough. It's nice to not have to travel on a cold school bus at 4:30 in the morning."
Senior Jesse Webb, inching ever closer to the all-time Vermont wins record, said that preparing for home meets versus away ones is a different process.
"At home, it's more lenient," Webb said. "You might go to bed later. It takes more discipline to wake up early and travel. It's nice to have more stuff at home, but it's a 50-50 thing."
The home stretch starts tonight with a match against defending Rhode Island state champions Bishop Hendricken. The Hawks come into the event with an 11-0 record in dual meets.
"I think the matchups are good and it'll be a hell of a match," Legacy said.
Before the meet, Mount Anthony seniors Rachel Hale, Bailey Willard, Noble Shaler, Austin Price and Webb will be honored.
"I have mixed feelings," said Webb, who will wrestle at Ohio University next year. "For some, it could be the end of their career, but for me, it's really the beginning. I'm looking at it that way."
The next day, Hendricken and MAU will join seven other teams in the Mount Anthony duals. The teams involved include Champlain Valley Union, Nashua North (NH), Keene, Natick, Mass., Coventry, R.I., Cumberland, R.I. and Springfield Central. Each team will get four duals.
"We haven't wrestled Springfield [in a dual meet] but we've been at three tournaments together," Legacy said. "We're both seeking the best competition out there."
Then after the Jamboree next weekend, the Patriots turn their attention to the state tournament at Mount Anthony and then the New England tournament.
"We've talked about getting ready for this stretch and we're starting to peak," Legacy said. "We've added some different drills, putting ourselves in a situation to be successful."
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