Senior wrestlers Brad Skubal and Alex Gonzalez have seen the Washington wrestling program evolve over their high school careers. Skubal says he remembers as an underclassman not being able to compete with the top wrestling programs in the Southeast Conference, “I remember we never beat Fort Madison my freshman and sophomore years.” Skubal said, “Then last year we beat them and won a conference title, which is pretty cool.”
Washington is in the hunt for another conference championship in part because Skubal and Gonzalez are handling their business on the mat in similar ways. Both have 17-1 overall records, both scored a pin in a 51-21 team victory over conference opponent Fairfield, and both scored a major decision in their 41-24 dual victory over Keokuk another conference foe.
Head wrestling coach Brent Van Weelden says Skubal and Gonzalez are also similar in they lead by example. “They have been through the ropes for almost four years now.” Van Weelden said, “They pretty much know how things are run and could probably run practices without the coaches here.”
While repeating as conference champs is one of their goals, individually Skubal and Gonzalez want their wrestling careers to end with a trip to Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines this February. Along with making it to state, Gonzalez wants to be remembered for being a good teammate to his younger teammates. “I like the idea of just being there for them,” Gonzalez said, “It’s an honor to be their senior and to help them grow in any way possible.”
The Washington wrestling team resumes dual meets on Thursday Jan. 8th against the Fort Madison Bloodhounds in Fort Madison.