- School District 49
Falcon Middle School Wrestling Hopes to Finish the Year Undefeated
The Falcon Middle School wrestling team is taking an undefeated record into the league championship this Saturday, Nov. 18.
On an individual basis, nine wrestlers are hoping to finish the season undefeated.
Before the season began, Coach Robert Lovato wasn’t sure what to expect. “At first, there was uncertainty, but after the initial two practices, it became clear that something special was unfolding. Winning our first event, a dual team tournament beating the best D11 team and the top teams in our league, solidified my belief that this season would be a history-making season.”
Lovato went on to say, “I have great respect for a team that achieves an undefeated record in the demanding sport of wrestling.”
Lovato has been a coach in District 49 for 33 years, including 29 seasons at Falcon High School. Last season was his first time coaching the middle school.
“The team's consistent improvement in both dual team and tournament events over the years showcases their dedication,” Lovato said. “This progression sets the stage for an exciting transition to the high school level.”
In the FMS wrestling room, Lovato was both soft and firm. His demanding voice ordered the athletes into position, as the assistant coaches watched the students, critiquing their technique. Lovato picked an athlete out of the group during warm-ups. His gentler side was reassuring and encouraging, but authoritative, as he provided specific details to an athlete about body positioning that would help her in the upcoming tournament.
Looking toward the league championship, Lovato is optimistic. “On a perfect day we could qualify 16 wrestlers in the finals, I expect to win 10 of them, and I feel very confident that our nine wrestlers who are undefeated will remain undefeated,” he said. “As a team, with 10 champions we should be able to secure our third consecutive championship title. This would mean our eighth graders won this title all three years of their middle school career.”
When asked to talk about a few of his athletes, he picked three that are working hard.
“Ryan is a hard working kid. On the mat, he pushes himself by wrestling tough partners in the room to get better and he doesn't back down from anyone. Ryan listens on the mat and does exactly what he needs to do to secure the win,” Lovato said.
Ryan Massey, eighth grader, agrees with his coach about his work ethic and believes that’s why he’s undefeated. “I’ve been working a lot harder than everyone else, going to the gym every morning. Everything I do adds up.”
That hard working mentality is something he grew up with. “Everyone in my family is older than me, so I try to beat them,” Ryan said.
Eighth grader Talon Flowers said, “I started wrestling when I was four years old.”
“Talon has only had one kid go into the second period all season. He wrestles with a lot of confidence, and he shows a lot of leadership. I believe that has helped him to grow as a wrestler,” Lovato said.
Talon said he gets that confidence from his parents. For this weekend’s tournament he thinks he’ll finish undefeated. “I’m working on my shots,” he said, “I’m excited to show my skill level.”
Of the nine undefeated, Lovato and the assistants said seventh grader Allison McDaniel might be the best “pound-for-pound” wrestler in the league.
“Allison is only in her second year of wrestling, and she absolutely wins with authority over both girl and boy wrestlers,” Lovato said. “Allison is a student of the sport.”
Her thoughts on being undefeated: “It feels pretty good, because last year wasn’t the best for me,” she said. “I’ve been working on my technique.”
She too believes she’ll win out. “I’m going to go out there and try, and not take pity on them. Just go out there and wrestle.”
The FMS undefeated team members
(Photo at the top)
Tristen Dyess 9 -0
Alex Burchett 18 - 0
Noah Meza 19 - 0
Talon Flowers 20 - 0
Jaden Merritt 20 - 0
Ryan Massey 20 - 0
Gavin Flowers 20 - 0
Wyatt Cates 20- 0
Allison McDaniel 27 - 0
“We are so excited and proud of our wrestlers. They are not only amazing on the mat, but are leaders in the halls, classrooms, etc. We looked forward to another end to a successful season,” said Elena Forehand, FMS Principal.
More Photos on D49's Facebook page...