Gold Medal Wrestlers

Danny Stock
Congratulations to gold medalists Ransom Miller ’19 and Saul Atwood ’20, winners in their respective weight classes at the Sidwell Wrestling tournament over winter break. We caught up with Saul and Ransom this week to get their reflections.
 
States Part I
“Sidwell hosts an annual tournament attended mostly by DC-based teams,” Saul explained. “It’s almost like the ‘DC States Part I’ because we’ll be facing the same opponents during the State Championships this spring. This year, there were also some strong non-DC schools in attendance like McDonough in Baltimore.”
 
Wrestling As A Team Sport
“Something we do as a team is watch each other’s opponents and scout for each other as the different weight classes take their turns,” Saul continued. “For the kids who advance through the first round, we can share observations. So the first part of my plan for the championship match came from my teammates’ observations that my opponent likes to do the cradle with his wide wingspan and height. That gave me my strategy: I decided to use one of my upper body techniques and wear him down. Ultimately, it was really successful as I was able to get a take down right away and then a pin all in the first period.”
 
Working Hard
“Going into the Sidwell tournament,” Ransom said, “I was hoping for a win and knew that I would have to work hard consistently through the matches. I know I’ve been working hard in practice, and on Sundays I also practice with the Gonzaga team who previously won States. Still, I’m always nervous before. At Sidwell, I hadn’t wrestled any of those people before so I was mostly unsure of what I'd be facing. [Assistant coach] Josh knew the St. Albans wrestler would be strong but that I had the superior skills. So I planned to use more complicated moves that would be harder to fight off, moves that a more amateur wrestler wouldn't know how to escape from.”
 
Round Robin Victory
When there aren’t enough athletes in a given weight class to build a whole bracket, they use a round robin model and athletes have to wrestle every other wrestler. The winner is the wrestler with the best record. “Ransom had to work through a round robin to his victory,” Saul noted. “It was really cool that he didn’t just win with the best record but that he went through undefeated, even over tough opponents from Georgetown Prep and McDonough.”
 
Undefeated
After four match wins for the gold at Sidwell and one more win (pin!) Thursday night at home against Potomac, Ransom has extended his undefeated record this season to 10-0. “It feels great to be undefeated,” Ransom admitted. “I know I’ve got a target on my back now as the one to beat. I’m working hard to defend my MAC Championship title and my undefeated record.”

Huge congratulations also to head coach Grayson Shepperd and assistant coach Josh Perelman for their dedication to all the GDS wrestlers.

Staff writer Danny Stock tells the stories of teaching, learning, competing, creating, and performing at Georgetown Day School. He is a former GDS second grade teacher and current parent.
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