Coppell hitting mats in annual Santa Slam tournament

By: Meer Mahfuz and Torie Peck


Anjali Krishna

Coppell junior Maria Husain practices at the CHS Indoor Facility on Dec. 7. Coppell hosts its annual Santa Slam tournament tomorrow at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. in the CHS Arena.

Torie Peck and Meer Mahfuz

It has been nearly a year since the Coppell wrestling team stepped onto the mat at its state competition, which ended with three top finishers. Though the season usually begins in early November, with state taking place in February, this season began Tuesday night, after being pushed back due to COVID-19.

Coppell hosts its annual Santa Slam meet tomorrow at 4 p.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. in the CHS Arena. Coppell hosts Frisco Liberty and South Grand Prairie on Friday, with Arlington Sam Houston scheduled to join as well before dropping out due to pipe damage at its practice facilities. Coppell will host Flower Mound, Keller Fossil Ridge and Arlington on Saturday.

“[All the schools] have been working hard all year,” Coppell senior wrestler Ananya Sampathkumar said. “They’re very good schools and they’re trained well. We’ll have good matches tomorrow, we’re looking forward to it.”

Coming into the tournament, Coppell has worked on going wide and on specific techniques, as well as preparing new wrestlers to enter the ring. This weekend’s meet will help determine what each wrestler needs to work on for their next match.

“I’m looking forward to finding out what I need to work on since I haven’t wrestled a match in over a year,”  Sampathkumar said. “I’ve been working on stuff in practice but it’s been a while since I’ve been in a match. I hope to do good tomorrow but I also need to find out what I need to work more on in the wrestling room, and hopefully get that polished up before district.”

On the mat, every match counts. With district, beginning on April 9, wrestlers need to get as many wins under their belt to qualify for the next round.

“It’s really important to do well [in our duels]. The more matches you win, the higher you’ll be seeded and the [more likely you are to advance],” Coppell junior wrestler Maria Husain said. “This year we only have two girls [and two guys] that can advance from district to region. Usually we have four [girls and guys] go from district to region, and then the top four from region to state.”

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