NEW BRITAIN - Facing an uphill climb early on in its match against Simsbury on Wednesday, the New Britain wrestling team couldn’t overcome a 24-0 deficit and lost 53-25.
“We stopped trying,” Hurricanes 220-pound wrestler Oran Burnett said. “There wasn’t enough effort. Our conditioning was bad. Little mistakes hurt us tonight.”
It showed on the mat, as New Britain lacked confidence - something crucial in determining a wrestling meet.
“If we go in there thinking that we’re not going to win, that’s not a good attitude,” Hurricanes 132-pound wrestler Elijah Watson said. “And then we end up losing and it doesn’t look good on us. … We went in there soft. We weren’t wrestling hard. We could have done better than that.”
Three wrestlers stood out in the meet for New Britain.
Watson was the first to win a match for the Hurricanes, winning by major decision to cut the deficit to 24-4.
“Elijah Watson did a great job,” Hurricanes head coach Jordan Jacquo said. “He changed weight classes and went down to 132 pounds. He did a great job out there.”
Raul Mateo, wrestling at 145 pounds, got the first pin of the night for New Britain. He took down Simsbury’s Elijah Eckert at 5:22.
That win was big, as it brought the Hurricanes within 20 points, down 30-10 with seven individual matches left, leaving an outside chance for a comeback.
“Raul Mateo stood out really well,” Jacquo said. “I’ve been telling him to push himself and he bumped up today. He pushed himself and got [six points].”
Burnett and Juliano Morales were the last two wrestlers for New Britain.
The duo didn’t disappoint, as each finished off their opponent with a pin. Burnett pinned Jack Cunningham at 3:40 and Morales pinned the Trojans’ Victor Rojas at 0:39 in the final match of the evening.
While there were some positive takeaways, New Britain knows it must be more confident in order to be successful this season.
“We had a good confidence at the beginning,” Watson said. “And then we started losing it through the matches, loss after loss, and then people started wrestling not how they usually wrestle, and then we ended up losing pretty bad. I think we could have done way better than that.”
The first three wrestlers for New Britain, at 106 pounds (Isahus Maldonado), 113 pounds (Michael Martinez) and 126 pounds (Elijah Aponte), were all pinned.
Jacquo believes that group can turn it around.
“They need to believe in themselves the way I believe in them,” Jacquo said. “We’re right at the edge and we need to push ourselves a little bit harder just to get to that next level.
“They have the skills because they can do the moves perfectly in practice. They just don’t have the confidence yet to do it perfectly in the match.”
Even with the blowout loss, the Hurricanes believe this can be a strong year. They just need to go into each meet with a certain mindset, that they didn’t have against the Trojans, and need to address specific weaknesses.
“It has a lot to do with their confidence so far,” Jacquo said. “We’ll be working on that the next few weeks. Getting confident in the moves they already know how to do and do them the right way. That’s the main reason we lost [Wednesday night], the little stuff.”