Jay M. Robinsons Jake Glunt regrets giving up wrestling during his first two years of high school.Having his freshman brother, Luke, try out for the team and his friend, 152-pound 3A state runner-up Kenan Robertson, push him to also join, Glunt decided to give wrestling another shot last year his junior season.Having lost a lot of the feel he developed on the mat since first trying the sport in fifth grade, Glunt began the year 8-8 and admits that he was a bit demoralized by his progress.I wasnt as good as I was when I was younger because I had missed so much time, Glunt said. I had to catch back up.The struggles pushed him to go harder. He practiced twice a day also with his Mat Maniacs AAU club after school practice trying to get as much mat time to make up for lost time. Glunt admits that it wasnt always easy.There were times when I didnt know if I wanted to keep wrestling, he said. I basically couldnt quit with my brother being with me. Id never hear the end of that. As the calendar turned to 2012, Glunt began getting more comfortable on the mat. He won 16 of his next 23 matches on the way to win the South Piedmont Conference 145-pound title and to finish third at the 3A Midwest regional, which qualified him for his first state tournament. He was 29-18 for the season.After going 0-2 at the 3A state championships, Glunt was motivated to get better for his senior season.I realized that I really needed to hit the weight room, Glunt said. Everybody I wrestled was stronger than me.To remedy that, the 17-year-old spent a lot of his offseason in the weight room as much as six and seven times a week.Thats really helped me take the next step, said Glunt, who started this season 43-2 and is the second-ranked 3A 152-pounder in the state according to retrorankings.com.His strength has allowed him to pin his opponents 22 times through his first 45 matches.Also working with Mat Maniacs in the offseason, he improved his technique especially his ability to turn opponents and to scramble.Glunt looks to get quick takedowns in his matches. He said that one of his strengths on the mat is his elusiveness on bottom.He has a lot of energy, said Robinson wrestling coach Jerome Davis. Hes not conservative and that helps him score a lot. Hes just a heck of an athlete.Glunt said the Bulldogs struggled by Robinson standards as it got off to a 5-4 start to the season.I wouldnt say I was worried, but I knew we had to step it up for us to compete for a state title, Glunt said.Since then, the Bulldogs won 19 of its next 21 dual matches. Avenging an early-season loss to Sun Valley and overcoming then-unbeaten Hough earlier this month has given the team momentum.I think now we have a legitimate chance to compete for one, said Glunt.In addition to Glunt and Robertson, junior 126-pounder Jonah Swinson and senior 138-pounder Hamilton Jones have led the Bulldogs.Freshman David Cline has also had a strong year. Hes the states No. 2 106-pounder in 3A.Senior Herson Ramirez, a second-year wrestler, and freshman Junior Andajar, the younger brother of former state champion Davante Andajar, have also made key contributions.Davis said the team hasnt been fully healthy this year, but hes been encouraged by the teams development.Hopefully were peaking at the right time, said Davis.Glunt hopes thats the case with him too.He said he hopes that wrestling at last years state and regional meets will also come to his advantage.The experience of being in big matches really helps, he said. The first time you go out there in that big coliseum, and you look up and see all those people, you say youre not going to let it get to you, but the fact is that its intimidating.Glunt, who also plays baseball at Robinson, wishes he hadnt given up the sport so he couldve had more than two years to make himself on the mat.I look back and think Wow, Ive came a long way, he said of the last two seasons. But I dont want to look back too much. I want to look forward.
Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013
Jay M. Robinsons Jake Glunt regains feel on the mat, starts strong
Jay M. Robinson 152-pounder Jake Glunt hopes to return to state tournament
Jay M. Robinson 152-pounder Jake Glunt started his senior season 43-2. Last year, he won the South Piedmont Conference's 145-pound title in his first season back on the mat after a two-year break. SERGIO TOVAR - firstname.lastname@example.org