The Tri-City United wrestling captains — seniors Brandon Balma, Jose Reyes and Adam Frederickson and junior Riley O’Malley — are feeling the weight of their leadership roles for the upcoming wrestling season.
“It feels pretty good,” said Reyes on being a team captain. “I think we earned every title that we were given. At the same time, it can be taken away at any point so we have to work hard to keep up.”
“We’ve all been in wrestling since we were 4 or 5 years old. Wrestling that long, it’s a good honor to have,” added Balma.
For the Titans captains, continuing wrestling hasn’t been just about having fun, but taking part in a community that transcends the borders of Tri-City United.
“Coming out every year with the same people, it’s just kind of expected,” said Frederickson. “We’re all wrestling the same guys and don’t want to let each other down.”
Those years of wrestling have added up to plenty of victories over the years but for Balma, there was no better victory than the two years the team made it to the final four.in sections.
“As a sophomore and a junior, we made it to the final four in sections so those are probably my two top favorite moments as a team,” said Balma. “It’s just really exciting to see how a team can make it to the top four in sections and be that close to making it to state.”
Coming off of an accomplished 20-4 record last season, the captains are looking to use their experience and leadership to put the team on track for further success.
“We have some pretty tough opponents on our schedule, but I believe in our team that we’re going to be able to take it to every team we go against,” said Balma. “I think we have a really solid team to show off in all the weight classes.”
“I hope our team just keeps working hard and improving,” said O’Malley on his expectations for the season.
“With our new coaches, we have a better opportunity to exceed more throughout the season than we did last year,” added Frederickson. This year, head coaches Shaun Timmerman and Paul Norgren are leading the team for their first time. Despite the change, the team is expecting good performances at their first meet following two weeks of practice.
“They’re intense but we already feel like we’re getting into shape and we’re ready to compete for this Saturday,” said Reyes.
The Titans will compete against Austin, East Ridge, Faribault, LARP, New Richland-H-E-G, Northfield, Owatonna, Sauk Rapids-Rice and Stillwater in their first meet 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 30 at Faribault.