PLAINVILLE - The Plainville wrestling teamâ 63-7 loss to No. 2 Bristol EasternÂ on WednesdayÂ night but that was a bit misleading. The Blue Devils were without three of their starting wrestlers yet they still were able to get seven points. The team thought afterwards that it could have gotten as many as 20 if it was a fully healthy squad competing.Â
With all of the key absences, only two Plainville wrestlers were able to win their matches against the Lancers. One of those wrestlers was Sebby Soli, who is now 7-0 and is looking like a real threat at 120 pounds.Â
The other Blue Devil to win against Bristol Eastern was Fred Jimenez. He is now 7-0 as well but, while the sophomore Soli was expected to be a key to the team this season, Jimenez was not. He is a senior but he had never wrestled before this season.
In fact, Jimenez wasnât planning on wrestling in his senior season until he was cut from the basketball team and decided he didnât want to take a season off. That decision has proved to be quite a good one so far.
âAfter they cut me from the basketball team, man, I needed something else to do,â Jimenez said. âI had to grind and I had to find something deep in my heart.
âCoach [Rusty Spence] has wanted me on the team since I was a freshman so I said, âHey, what the heck. Let me see what I can do with wrestlingâ and Iâm doing great so far and I just need to keep going because I want to make it to states.â
Jimenezâs early success has been a surprise to everyone including himself but his winÂ on WednesdayÂ night was proof that he is the real deal. Even Spence, Plainvilleâs head coach, couldnât have expected this type of success but he sure is happy he convinced Jimenez to wrestle this season.
âFred is a real asset to this team,â Spence said. âThat kid [from Bristol Eastern] that he beat is really good and he handled him just fine. Fred can be a bit of a head case at times but we are very lucky to have him because he has been spectacular this season.â
The crazy thing about the amount of success Jimenez is having early on this season is that he still doesnât know all that much about the sport of wrestling. Spence says that the senior is depending on his instincts and natural abilities on the mat.
âHe is an athlete so that is how he is winning these matches right now,â Spence said. âWith more practice time and more wrestling experience, he will only get better and more technically sound. Heâs undefeated right now so I can only imagine where he might be at the end of the season.â
While his athleticism has been getting him wins so far this season, Jimenez thinks that he has made major strides in learning the sport and not relying too much on just being an athlete.
âIâm starting to know about the sport,â Jimenez said. âIâm starting to mentally get there, too, but there is no doubt that my athleticism has and will always play a big role in the way I wrestle.â
Jimenez was not expecting to start the season winning his first seven matches but his confidence is high and he thinks things will only get better for him as the season progresses.Â
âThis win means something big,â Jimenez said. âSomething big is coming for me. I had to prove to all of my fans, teammates and coaches that I wasnât going to let them down and I most definitely did that.â
Michael Woolfson can be reached at 860-801-5203 or firstname.lastname@example.org