Finishing second at state in any sport is a phenomenal accomplishment in the state of Texas, but when that second place team is at a decided disadvantage, it can’t help but turn some heads.
Enter the Flower Mound wrestling team, a squad that scored 100 points at last season’s state wrestling championship and finished second to Allen High School by 36.5 points.
What’s the difference? Allen has a strong middle school wrestling program that feeds athletes already primed for high school competition into its program year after year.
Flower Mound does not.
Jaguars wrestling coach Steven Davis has been a strong advocate for a middle school program in his four-year tenure at Flower Mound, as has Marcus coach Mike Prado, but it does not look like that program is going to come any time soon.
Even so, there may be a solution to the problem for the Jaguars.
“Unfortunately, until the state finds a solution to the current funding crisis in education, I do not see a full-blown middle-school wrestling program in LISD,” Davis said. “This hurdle is becoming larger and larger for us to overcome as those schools that currently enjoy a middle-school feeder program continue to put more and more experienced freshmen on the mat.
“In the meantime, we continue to offer club wrestling, the Rockstar Wrestling Club, in our room at Flower Mound High School. Our biggest impediment is our inability to get the word out to all interested middle school athletes about the Rockstar Club, as LISD policy allows only the athletic coordinator on the middle school campuses.”
Davis’ team is returning six athletes that qualified for state last year.
As a matter of fact, he is returning every athlete that accounted for those 100 points at the state meet, and the Flower Mound coach is excited about his team’s prospects this season.
“As great as things have gone these last four years, we have yet to reach the pinnacle of success,” Davis said. “It is time for us to take that final step and bring home a state championship for Flower Mound High School.”
The Jaguars wrestling squad is certainly off to a good start this season, going undefeated through its first five duals, and winning tournament championships at the prestigious Warrior Invitational and Eastside Duals.
Alex Wranik finished fourth in state last year at heavyweight, and the Flower Mound senior said, this year, the goal is pretty simple.
“I’m looking to wrestle in college, and the main thing for that is winning a state championship,” Wranik said. “I really want to get a scholarship in wrestling and have college paid for me.”
Wranik has been contacted by the likes of Nebraska and Colorado.
Wranik’s biggest challenge for the state title will likely come from last year’s state champion, Chandler Ford, of Arlington Martin High School.
“I have beaten him, but he has beaten me as of late,” Wranik said. “But it’s not even going to be a competition this year. It’s going to be all me.”
Scott Akers, who finished second in the 112 pound weight class last year at state, said he thinks there are a number of things that make this year’s team special.
“All of us know each other real well, and we’re good friends,” Akers said. “We’re all real close, and that makes it like a family and not just a team. We have a lot of talent on this team: a lot of good wrestlers.”
The Flower Mound sophomore was within one point of winning a state championship last season and said bringing home the gold this year is something he yearns to do.
“It would be amazing,” Akers said. “I’ve thought about that so many times. Being an underclassman and winning state would be such an honor.”
Davis believes that a state championship is within the realm of possibility for his team this season, but said it would take a couple of things to accomplish that goal of goals.
“We’ve got to have some luck, we’ve got to be injury free going into the tournament, and we’ve got to have some help,” Davis said. “The defending champions, the Allen Eagles, lost some kids to graduation, and things looked very good for us last spring. However, over the summer, Allen has had some move-ins, four of which are state placers or qualifiers from their respective states.
“For us to pull this off, all of my animals have to do their part, and then we must hope for some studs from other programs to upset a few of the Allen favorites early in the state tournament. If all three of those things come together, this could be the year!”
Pictured above: FMHS Jaguars Wrestling Team’s returning State Placers/Qualifiers include Dylan Akers, Scott Akers, Alex Wranik, Brady Speckels and Drake Dudley. Photo by Gametime Photographs