Boys Varsity Wrestling
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Wrestler Ben Sifers named January’s RAOTM
Newcastle junior wrestler Ben Sifers has been named Newcastle High School’s “Racer Athlete of the Month” for January.
In-season coaches are asked each month to nominate one student-athlete to be recognized as “Racer Athlete of the Month.” It doesn’t have to be the star of any team. It can be the player who made the “big play” or someone who never sees the playing field but works hard on a daily basis.
For Sifers, the honor is much appreciated. “I didn’t expect to be elected for athlete of the month,” Sifers said. “I thought that it would be someone else. I never thought that would happen to me. I’m glad I won. I think I’ve worked hard this season. I had a rough start at the beginning of the season. I just had to keep working hard to get to this point.”
Sifers (who carries a 3.2 grade point average in the classroom) wrestles for Newcastle at 182 pounds. He is one of the main reasons that the Newcastle wrestling team is headed to the Oklahoma state dual championships for the first time in school history on Feb. 9-10.
“I think I’m doing better now and I just want it to keep going,” Sifers said. “I feel like I’m good at wearing the opponent down. I try not to take breaks and let the other guy take a breather, too. I like to keep it going and I don’t stop. I don’t let the other guy breathe. I don’t like situations where I’m at a disadvantage to where I have to work my way out of it. But, if I have to, that’s what I’ll do.”
Making the state dual championships is an accomplishment that Sifers and his teammates certainly have come to embrace and cherish. They earned their opportunity to go to state by beating Elk City and Clinton in the district duals on Jan. 18.
“That was an incredible moment for all of us,” Sifers said. “We all worked really hard to get there and I think we have a decent chance of getting to the finals of dual state – maybe even a state championship. There is a chance and it’s going to be tough with teams like Tuttle. But, I do feel there is a chance for us. This is our first time to get there and we don’t want it to stop. I don’t and I know the other guys on the team don’t want it to, either.”
A former football player, Sifers now concentrates all of his athletic talents on the wrestling mat instead of the gridiron. That dedication to his sport has not gone unnoticed by Newcastle wrestling head coach Zach Hale.
“Ben played football and wrestled for me at the beginning of his seventh-grade year,” Hale said. “He struggled a little bit and it was a hard sport for him. But, he kept going to as many camps as he could and he loves the sport. He liked the guys that were in the room with him and they’ve helped him along because of his enthusiasm for it. Some of our most exciting times on the bench have been when Ben wins his matches.
“That’s because we all know how much effort and pride he has put into making himself a better wrestler. All the other kids see the time and effort and dedication that Ben has put into his craft. This year, he’s really turned it on for us. He had a pivotal match in our dual with Clinton. He had another pivotal match in the Madill dual against a kid that had beaten him a couple of times. He’s working harder than he ever has in the practice room and it’s paying off. You couldn’t find a better kid than Ben Sifers – always ‘Yes, sir’ and ‘No, sir.’ He’s always the first to want to take care of things. He’s just a super, stand-up kind of guy. I wished I had more like him.”