MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) – “People didn’t realize there was wrestling at Baker High School, or wrestling in Mobile County Public Schools,” said Baker wrestling coach Micky Orso.
Not only does Baker High School have a varsity wrestling team, they have a very good wrestling team.
“We wanted everybody to have a win on their record, and we wanted to have a winning record. We are now 24-14, and at one point we had a 12-match winning streak,” said Coach Orso.
“We went undefeated against the first and second year programs, I was gauging how we would do against them. I wrestled in Pennsylvania and wrestled my whole life, I was just glad to see the sport brought down here to the south,” said assistant wrestling coach Adam Hicks.
In just their first year of competition, the Baker Hornets surpassed all their preseason goals.
It’s safe to say the inaugural wrestling season has been a success, and a building block for the future.
“It means a lot, there’s always a starting point and to be a part of that starting group means a lot to us,” said Jaydon Jackson, a senior at Baker.
“We’ve got a lot of good feedback from parents and coaches,” said Coach Orso. “I had a lot of coaches message me throughout the year congrats for all our success. It’s unheard of for a first year program to have a winning record.”
“Looking back 10 or 20 years from now, we’ll be able to look back and say we built this program not only at Baker but in the county,” said coach Hicks.
The Hornets are off to a fast start, and are set to compete at a high level for a long time. 87 kids showed up to their first ever tryouts last year, and with the team’s success it wouldn’t be a surprise if that number increases this year.
“What helps is this is a sport where you don’t have to run a 4.4 40-yard dash, throw 90 off the mound or hit the perfect jump shot. You just have to commit to the wrestling and it will come through,” said coach Orso.
It’s rare for a first year program in any sport to exceed expectations, but that’s exactly what the Baker Hornets did. And they hope their success helps build a foundation for years to come.
“To me it shows how much hard work and dedication gets you in life,” said Jackson. “It shows, being a first year program doesn’t mean anything, it’s about how hard you push yourself to be great.”
“Since this is the first year, I know I helped breed something and start something new at this school. Kids coming from Causey Middle School can see our winning record and know Baker is good and they’ll want to tryout,” said senior Gabe Randolph.