Bucks Grapplers Riding High This Season

Sand Hills, FL---When it comes to prep wrestling, one of this area's best so far this season is Bozeman. Coming off matches with Rutherford and Arnold this week, coach J.D. Raybourne and his Bucks are now 12-2-1 in 15 matches.

Their recipe for success, well the team's coach says it's nothing new.

"Work really hard, we drill the kids hard. We expect a high level of commitment, a high level of effort. We coach 'em hard, they wrestle hard, we do well."

Raybourne's not kidding around when he talks about the high level of effort that's asked of these wrestlers. You could say practice is at times akin to boot camp.

"We're very regimented, very physical. We're very demanding, I mean there's times in here where you wouldn't even want to see what we do. Because after a long day of drilling, an hour and a half of drilling, then we run 'em through carrying their partner up and down the mat. Just anything we can do to drive them beyond what they think they can do."

All that said, Raybourne says they do pull back from time to time, give the kids a break, they certainly don't want any of the athletes getting burned out. Whatever the case, it seems to be working, and so for that matter, is an influx of new blood.

"The new kids are really lifting up the veterans, and normally it's the other way around. But I think the new blood that we have on the team this season, we've got like 8 new kids and they're all young, they're all excited. And sometimes a veteran wrestler has to see a new guy to figure out hey this is how I once felt and I need to feel that way again."

Among those 8 newcomers, 7th grader Cameron Hofmeister, in the garnet shirt there. He competes in the 106 class for the Bucks! Bozeman's next meet comes on the 21st at the "Beast of the Beach" tournament in Fort Walton Beach.

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