Brahman wrestling prepares for home dual

OKEECHOBEE — The Okeechobee High School Brahman wrestling team spent the afternoon of Dec. 9 in the OHS cafeteria, preparing for their upcoming dual against Centennial and South Fork on Dec. 11.

The wrestlers were in the cafeteria because the team has no dedicated facility on campus. The team practices in the gym when it’s available, but when the gym is in use the team transfers their mats to the cafeteria to practice there.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Brahman wrestlers spent the afternoon of Dec. 9 practicing in the Okeechobee High School cafeteria.

Even with no dedicated facility, Okeechobee’s wrestling program has been a dominant force in South Florida. In fact, three of Okeechobee High School’s four state titles are owned by the wrestling team.

The 2019 Okeechobee wrestling squad is coming off a good showing in their first competition of the new season. The Brahmans finished second in a field of 10 teams at the Sebastian River Tournament on Dec. 7.

In that tournament Okeechobee was able to beat Westwood, Sebastian River, Lincoln Park and Southeast Bradenton, with their lone loss in a meet with Vero Beach.

The team was led by junior Travis McKenna and freshman Charlie Armstrong who both went 5-0 at Sebastian Rover. McKenna was also awarded “Outstanding Wrestler” at the conclusion of the tournament.

Lake Okeechobee News/Richard Marion
Okeechobee High School junior Travis McKenna went undefeated during the Sebastian River Tournament on Dec. 7, also winning “Outstanding Wrestler” award for his performance.

“We’re in the early stages of things right now and we’re doing a little housecleaning,” said Brahman wrestling coach Bruce Jahner. “We’re making little mistakes that we need to tidy up. And I know this is wrestling, but I think what kids learn here can apply to later on life. Being on time, staying dedicated, things like that. I know you’re not going to get to wrestle all your life. But there are things you can learn here that can help you later on.”

Okeechobee will host its first home match of the season on Dec. 11 at 6 p.m. against Centennial and South Fork. Shortly after that the Brahmans will be on the road again, this time headed to Port St. Lucie on Dec. 13-14 for both a dual and individual tournament. The junior varsity squad will also be on the road, competing in the Jensen Beach JV Tournament on Dec. 14.

Richard Marion is a staff writer and photographer at Lake Okeechobee News and can be reached at rmarion@newszap.com.

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