If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Members of the Taylorville High School wrestling team, are, from left, Coach Mason Hutchison, Coach Chaz Allen, Aiden Seiler, Hunter Gerlick, Landen Molina, Jordan Hamell, Robert Root, Cody Jackson, William Blue, Mathew Gettings, Gage Rusher, Manager Tanner Smith, Head Coach Jake Smothers and Coach Jeff Emery.
Lucas Domonousky Breeze-Courier Photo
Breeze-Courier Sports Writer
TAYLORVILLE — Taylorville Tornado Wrestling has always displayed the toughness and discipline the town carries. From past alumni legends such as Alex Ostermeier and Blake Hooper to the current wrestlers Gage Rusher and Hunter Gerlick. Lead by former THS wrestling team member turned Head Coach, Jake Smothers, the entire wrestling team looks to dominate the Apollo Conference yet again in 2021.
This is Smother’s third season as the High School Wrestling coach but he has been in the program for much more than just three years. He started competing in the sport when he was six years old and fell in love immediately.
“I started coaching directly after my high school career finished and immediately found a passion for it. I was an assistant for two separate seasons before I took over as head coach my senior year of college.”
“I would like to, sooner than later, start competing for conference title and regional titles, but that will come with time.”
Head Coach Smothers talked about the direction of the program. “We have a good group of wrestlers and coaches and have been seeing a lot of strides in the wrestling room. Building our foundation and culture will be paramount to building good teams that will compete for conference and regional titles. Our goal will be to get multiple wrestlers to the 1A IHSA State Championships in February.”
Returning both Landon Molina and William Blue is huge for the team. “Both are extremely talented and hard-working young men that do things the right way.” Coach Smothers explains. “Landon and Blue were both put into the pre-season rankings coming into this year and are expected to be in the 16 man bracket at the end of the year for the IHSA State Championships in Champaign. They are both Honorable Mention IWCOA State Ranked wrestlers at 182 & 195 lbs respectively.“
Smothers emphasizes the benefits and importance of mindset development through wrestling.
“Our program is continuing to see success and build young men into successful adults in the real world. We preach more that just hard work and technique. Our coaching staff encourages our athletes to constantly work on their mindset, how they approach everyday life, how they treat people and what it means to live a champion lifestyle.” Smothers also reiterated the meaning of being a part of the THS wrestling team.
“It’s not always about wins and losses, X’s and O’s with us. We like to make sure we are developing good young men that will go on to be successful adults that make a positive difference in our society.”
The teams first official meet was the annual Purple and Gold Wrestle Off on Wednesday, Nov. 24.
“We hope to have the support of our Taylorville Wrestling family and town.”
THS wrestling coaching staff and team members encourage the support of the entire community this winter.