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Talent, yet missing pieces
HVA wrestling seeks formula to compete minus 5 weight classes

One Hardin Valley Academy wrestler, a three-time state qualifier, has an off-season formula for improving his skills.

Another HVA state qualifier simply uses formula — a children’s hydration formula.

However, Jackson Beggs’ off-season “freestyle” wrestling training and David Vaigneur’s use of Pedialyte to rehydrate his body after sudden and severe weight loss — done to make wrestling weight prior to matches — can't overcome lacking a formula for HVA dual match wins.

There’s simply not enough bodies dressed in navy blue and power blue. “We’re not doing too good; we're really hurting because we're giving up a lot of forfeits,” said Beggs, a three-time state qualifier who has wrestled in 138 weight class the entire season, about his Hawks having no wrestlers at 106, 113, 182, 195 and 220.

“Every match I think we start out pretty much 30-0 because we’re giving up so many forfeits.”

Led by Beggs, Vaigneur, a 170 senior, and 152 senior Tim Vara, another HVA state qualifier, the Hawks managed just one team win in five matches at the 16-team Alcoa Duals Friday, Dec. 20, at AHS: a 40-30 victory against Grace Christian Academy.

“We're giving up five forfeits this year ... guys just won't come out,” HVA head coach Rudy Furman said, adding that 160 junior Bryce Gibson was unavailable Friday due to injury but should be back.

Making matters worse at AHS was losing Vara for the final two matches (versus William Blount and Maryville) due to illness after he went 2-1 Friday.

Furman said he’s hoping to fill one or two of the five open weight classes sometime soon, pointing to dual meet wins against Bearden and Austin-East as team highlights through 2011.

However, the Hawks have performed well in other dual matches, Furman added. “We wrestled Jefferson County in nine matches, and we edged them 5-4 [excluding forfeits].

“That same night we wrestled West, and I think we edged West 6-3 in the [individual matches] we competed in.”

Beggs, who lost only four matches entering 2012 after winning four of his five matches at AHS, “is doing well,” Furman said. “Tim Vara’s been wrestling well, he's gone from 160 to 152. David Vaigneur was at 182, he’s gone down to 170.

“Robbie Goldshot [145], he's just now broken into the line-up and starting to win. He’s been a tough, hard-nosed wrestler who's never going to quit or give up. Bryce has really been a bright spot for us before he got hurt.

“Devon McDonald [132] has stepped into the line-up and has just started to turn the corner and starting to win some matches.”

Beggs, whose top tourney finish was fourth at Ooltewah High School, said “freestyle” wrestling last spring helped sharpen his skills for the high school season, which requires a “folk” style.

“In freestyle, you kinda get rewarded for more of the crazy stuff you can do,” Beggs added. “The coach that talked me into it told me it does a lot for your aggressiveness. You're not afraid, it's just attack, attack, attack. ... It helped smooth out the moves that I already do now.”

Vaigneur, who won four of five matches at Alcoa, has lost just three times this season while finishing No. 2 in Ooltewah (at 182).

To make weight at Alcoa, “I had to drop eight pounds overnight,” Vaigneur said. “I just did a lot of running.”

And to build himself up after shedding that much weight in a matter of hours, “I ate a protein bar; we on the team realize that if you get Pedialyte, what you give a child [losing water] to get the fluids back into them, if you drink that you get hydrated really fast,” Vaigneur added. “You’re able to wrestle without cramping up.”

“And I lost one other match in North Carolina,” added Beggs, a Region 2 runner-up at 125 last season.


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