The home stretch of the season has arrived for El Dorado’s wrestling teams.
Tonight, EHS hosts Hot Springs Lakeside in their first conference meet of the season with the action set to start at 5:30 p.m. at the old high school.
Tonight’s meet is a rescheduled makeup after Hot Springs Lakeside couldn’t make the trip last week.
EHS last competed back on Jan. 17 against Evangel Christian (La.) at Wildcat Arena.
“We thought we were going to start our conference schedule against Lakeside, but we had to reschedule that,” El Dorado coach Wes Ables said. “I thought we competed well against Evangel. We’ve got some things we need to work on and get better at. Dunte Maker and Kevonte Moody won their matches, but other than that we got swept by Evangel up until we got to those two classes, which was a little disappointing that some of our lower weight classes weren’t able to get some victories. We had a good practice on Thursday and we’ve had three days to get ready for Lakeside.”
Ables said he was pleased with the turnout for the first meet at Wildcat Arena.
“I thought we had a good crowd for having only one team there,” Ables said. “Evangel had several fans there as well.”
One of the bigger stories heading into Thursday is that a few of El Dorado’s girls are expected to get matches.
“On the girls side, I believe we’re going to have two girls that are going to be able to match up with Lakeside on weights,” Ables said. “Maddie (Aguiluz), our 100- or 105-pound girl, she’s probably going to wrestle on the boys side in the 106 class against Lakeside. Amy Jacobs in the 110 to 115 and Katelyn Hayden in the 120 to 125, those two girls will get matches against Lakeside girls, but those are the only two weight classes that we match up with them.”
Ables said it’s been hard to find matches for the girls, so they have had to go the exhibition route to make sure they stay sharp.
“Besides tournaments, it is difficult,” Ables said. “We’ve been able to put Maddie on the boys team several times this year, and she doesn’t mind doing that, but some of the other girls may have to wrestle exhibition matches but they’re still getting matches. The other night, we let some of our girls exhibition against some of our JV boys, so they are getting matches, it just doesn’t necessarily count toward their record.”
Ables added that the boys should have nearly every weight class filled for the event.
“On the boys side, we’ll fulfill close to a full team,” Ables said. “We should be able to fill around 13 of the 14 weight classes and Lakeside will fill about 12 of the 14 weight classes, so we should have a lot of matches. We’re looking to be able to compete against those guys, hopefully win the meet and start off our conference schedule with a win.”
El Dorado was originally slated to head to Hot Springs on Tuesday for a conference tri-meet with Sheridan, but that was canceled, and Ables said it will probably not be rescheduled.
After Thursday’s meet, El Dorado hosts Lake Hamilton on Tuesday, and Ables said he has been trying to get more teams added, but as of Wednesday, no one has accepted the invitation.
“We’ve talked to several schools to try to get them added in to our Lakeside or Lake Hamilton matches, but we have not been successful so far,” Ables said. “We’ve talked to some Louisiana schools to see if they can come up, but the season is winding down and everybody is getting ready for all of the tournaments that are going to be taking place, so it’s kind of hard to get teams.”