File photo Lincoln wrestler Derek Mathews takes down his opponent in a match two seasons ago, when he took state as a freshman. After suffering a season-ending injury last year at the division tournament, he hopes this year he can reclaim the title.

File photo
Lincoln wrestler Derek Mathews takes down his opponent in a match two seasons ago, when he took state as a freshman. After suffering a season-ending injury last year at the division tournament, he hopes this year he can reclaim the title.

Discipline, hard work and confidence are all attributes of many star athletes. Discipline is especially important, in fact key, to being successful in wrestling.

As one of the most famous wrestlers in the United States, Dan Gable, put it, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else is easy.”

Lincoln County’s wrestling team this year has high potential, according to coach Steve Culverwell. It started out a little rough for them, due to not having some boys because of state football, but, Culverwell said, “We’re getting there.”

Last year, the Lynx were one point away from being division champions. Though they lost three seniors, they did gain three more freshmen. “We’ll be good,” Culverwell said. “We’ll be in the mix. Whether or not we’ll win divisions, I don’t know, but we have some really good wrestlers.”

State champion Will Culverwell, who won in the 145 weight class last year, will be wrestling in 152 this year. “I’m hoping he’ll repeat again this year,” Coach Culverwell said.

Two other returning wrestlers are Jesse and Derek Mathews. Derek was a state champion as a freshman. Last year, he blew out his elbow in the division tournament. His coach expects him to take state this year. Jesse has taken 4th, 3rd, and 2nd these last three years of wrestling. “So he should take a first this year,” Coach Culverwell said.

Ben Culverwell also is returning as a sophomore this year. He wrestled in the weight class of 106, but he only weighed 82 pounds last year. “So he gave up 20 pounds almost every wrestling match. So he got hammered a little bit, but he ended up going to state.” Ben is at 97 pounds this year, so his coach expects him to do well.

Juniors Alex Samson and Zach Rowe are both returning. Rowe has taken second two years in a row, so Coach Culverwell is hoping he’ll get over the hump this year. The coach also expects Samson to do well. “So I’ve got six wrestlers that could be state champions,” the coach said. “If three of those six win, then I’ll be happy.”

The team has a big asset in assistant coach Jim Bourne, who wrestled for Dan Gable and was on the United States National Team.

“He knows so much about wrestling,” Coach Culverwell said. “One the keys to our wrestling is coach Bourne. He makes a big difference because he teaches those techniques, and we’re going to be even better this year.”

Coach Culverwell came into coaching for the wrestling team mainly because there was no coach at the time and his two sons wanted to wrestle. He says he’s learned a lot in the past few years. “Wrestling really builds great character in our boys,” he added. “I’m just sorry that we can’t get more boys out. If they would just give it a chance, it would do a world of good for them. It’s a wonderful sport.”

The team started off at Moapa Valley on Wednesday with matches against Pahranagat Valley, Virgin Valley and Moapa. The Lynx are at the White Pine tournament this weekend and head to the Pahranagat Valley Duels on Thursday.