New coach gets YHS wrestlers ready for Season B

Kyle Newton is getting closer to making his head coaching debut for the Yuma High School wrestling teams.
An assistant for the past few years, Newton was promoted to head coach last spring following the retirement of Rory Lynch. His hiring came at a time when there was not a lot of actual wrestling he could do with his grapplers, and then came the delay to the wrestling season until this month.

“The kids are ready to do something again,” Newton said earlier this week.
The first official practice finally was this past Monday. The boys team opens the shortened Season B campaign next Thursday, January 28, at home with a triangular against Highland and Sterling. The girls open Saturday, January 30, with a quadrangular at Doherty High School in Colorado Springs.
“It felt good yesterday,” Newton said the first official practice. “We were missing a few kids who are in quarantine, but other than that the kids were excited. We had a good practice.”

Yuma High School wrestlers warm up at the start of the first official practice for the upcoming season, Monday afternoon in the wrestling room. (Pioneer Photo)

While live competition has been scarce, a group of wrestlers got in workouts last summer, mostly outdoors, and they have been able to get into the weight room and wrestling room in recent weeks.
“I think we’ll be ready,” Newton said of next week’s season openers.
Only team duals will be allowed in the regular season — no tournaments — but three to four teams can get together in the form of triangulars and quadrangulars. The regular season ends in one month, February 27. Regional is March 5-6, and state is March 12-13.
Regional will be a two-day format, 16-man bracket. The first seven weight classes will compete the first day, with the second seven classes competing the second day. The first and second placers will qualify for state.
The state tournament will be an eight-person bracket, with full consolation, and will be done in one day — a far cry from the three-day extravaganza it usually is.
Wrestlers will not have to wear masks while competing in a match, but Newton said they will be required to wear one at all other times.
However, the main focus for now is just getting on the mat for the regular season. Only 50 spectators are allowed for each dual, 25 for each team, which could be a hassle for wrestling families for teams that fill all 14 weights.
YHS, though, is working on plans on utilizing both of its gymnasiums — The Pit and Aux Pit — with seven weights in each gym.
“I think it’s a pretty good idea,” Newton said. “With two gyms we won’t have to worry about having too many fans there.”
As of now, it appears there are 25 students out for wrestling, including eight girls.
The same coaching staff is in charge of both teams, which practice together. There will be more room for the wrestlers when they are able to move back into their old practice dig downstairs from The Pit, and out of the current space behind the wood wall at the north end of The Pit
Newton said the coaches will take turns which teams they go with when the girls and boys compete on the same day — except Annsley Ferrari always will be going with the girls team.
“I think it works our really well with the girls and boys,” Newton said. “They’ll get different coaches, which will be exciting because they will be getting different views. It should work well.”
And now, after all the pandemic hassles and everything else, the Indians finally are about to take the mat with Newton as their head coach.
“It’s kind of weird,” he said. “There’s been lots of changes in my life, with my new job and getting the head wrestling position, it’s been an exciting year for me.”
Now it is about time for excitement on the mat.