Not many wrestlers can bump up several weight classes and be as successful as they were at a lighter weight.But if anyone can do it, said Jay M. Robinson High coach Jerome Davis, Jonah Swinson can.A state tournament qualifier at 106 pounds last year, Swinson has grown so much since last year that he will be competing three weight classes higher, at 126 pounds, this season.Although his junior wrestler has his work cut out for him, Davis said, it will be an easy transition for Swinson because of his overall wrestling technique and how hard he competes.“At 106, you’re wrestling (many) freshmen,” said Davis. “At 126, he’s going to have wrestlers that are mature: sophomores, juniors and seniors. They don’t lose any quickness. They’re still small and can scramble. “His technique will have to be perfect. He can’t wrestle sloppy. Everything is going to be that much harder.”Swinson is quick and is good both on his feet and from the top position. Ranked ninth academically in Robinson’s junior class, Swinson also has a good head on his shoulders.Swinson cruised through last year’s regular season with only a couple of hiccups. His loss in the 3A Midwest regional to North Iredell’s Taylor Cockerham was just his third of that season.He entered the 3A state championships as a No. 2 seed. Swinson got pinned in his first match but won his next four consolation matches to place fourth.Along the way, he avenged his loss to Cockerham, defeating him 7-5 in the consolation semifinals. Swinson finished the season with a 48-5 record.Those weren’t Swinson’s only highlights last season. He was also the South Piedmont Conference champion and helped Robinson to the league title. And he won every one of his matches in the 3A state dual tournament as the Bulldogs reached the semifinals.It is not uncommon for wrestlers to move up a weight class from one year to the next as their teenage bodies mature.“He grew a few inches throughout the season last year,” said Davis. “It got real hard to maintain 106 pounds, just through his natural growth. He’s just filled out. He’s matured a whole lot.”Swinson kept his weight steady last season with a lot of running and a strict diet. Once the season ended, he let his body have its way.He has grown 3 inches since last season and now stands at 5-foot-7. Swinson also got stronger by lifting weights in the offseason and working as a landscaping assistant.Swinson comes from a family of wrestlers. His brother, Jacob, competed at Robinson and now wrestles for Appalachian State. His cousins were standouts at South Rowan.“It’s a pressure to work harder,” said Swinson. “My brother comes home when he’s off from college. With him being a few years older than me, he coaches me and pushes me. He helps me technically through lifting and running.”Swinson takes over a weight class left vacant by Garrison White, who won three state titles at Robinson. Even with White’s graduation, the Bulldogs figure to fare well as a team.Kenan Robertson, John Glunt, Hamilton Jones and Anthony Pfeiffer are all returning state qualifiers.Robinson, which won a team state championship in 2010 and lost by one point to Southwest Randolph in last season’s dual team tournament semifinals, will likely be tested in the SPC by Mount Pleasant, Concord and A.L. Brown.
Tuesday, Nov. 20, 2012
Grappler for Jay M. Robinson jumps 3 weight classes
Junior has good technique, competes hard, coach said
Jay M. Robinson wrestler Jonah Swinson moves up to the 126-pound weight class looking to build upon last year's fourth-place state finish at 106 pounds.
Wrestlers to watch • Avery Clinding, A.L. Brown 120-pound sophomore. • Troy Gregor, Hickory Ridge 120-pound junior. • Benny Guadarrama, Northwest Cabarrus 138-pound senior. • Matt Herring, Concord 126-pound senior. • Ryan Johns, Mount Pleasant 182-pound senior. • Hamilton Jones, Robinson 138-pound senior. • Kenan Robertson, Robinson 160-pound senior.