Team scores and records are part of the setting, but wrestling, at its core, is among the most individual of sports. The cheers and encouragement of teammates may provide a motivational backdrop, but once on the mat it is just you and your opponent, locked in a physically and psychically exhausting struggle of strategies, skill and gumption. The faint of heart? They don’t last long.
At the high school level, the strong individual component of wrestling is apparent in the post-season. A squad rich in standouts but lacking depth may be thoroughly mediocre during the regular season and then, presto, a force in the conference and state championships — meets that bestow team points on individual success.