KF wrestling looks to keep building

Published 10:12 pm Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Wrestling season has begun, and King’s Fork High School is seeking to improve from where it finished last year.

Last year, King’s Fork had six wrestlers compete in regionals and also had two wrestlers qualify for states. Of those two wrestlers, one is returning. Dennis Whitehead will headline a King’s Fork team that includes a mixture of experienced wrestlers and newcomers looking to improve as the season goes on.

“We are young, with a couple of returners coming back,” Bulldogs wrestling coach Jason Dunaway said. “The young kids are picking up really well. I feel pretty good about where we will be when tournament time rolls around.”

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Dunaway believes that the younger wrestlers can be motivated by knowing two wrestlers went to states last year. With Whitehead returning, he can be a good example for the young wrestlers and the rest of the team.

“We had a tournament in Lafayette, and all the young kids were watching what Dennis was doing,” Dunaway said. “With him coming back and the success he had last year, the kids want to follow.”

Along with Whitehead, the Bulldogs will return Adonis Privott. Privott has been a part of the program as a freshman but has battled injuries. He is now healthy, and Dunaway feels Privott has a shot at placing top four in the state.

A coaching philosophy Dunaway likes to drive into his players is being better people than they were yesterday. He wants them to be better people than they were on the wrestling mat as well as in the real world.

“I want to build them up to be good people,” Dunaway said. “Wrestling and sports is just for high school. I want them to be productive adults when they leave.”

Each wrestler has individual goals that they want to achieve, but as a team, the Bulldogs have goals as well. They want to finish in the top three in the conference and top 10 in the region. Last year, the Bulldogs finished fourth in the conference. They also want to place on the board at states.

So far, the Bulldogs have participated in one tournament and one dual meet. In the dual meet, Dunaway felt like the team came together and fought beside one another. He likes how the team has embraced each other, which can help the team in the long run.

King’s Fork will participate in an invitational at Nansemond River on Dec. 17 starting at 8 a.m.