Senior wrestler meets success as captain


Druw Van der Werff

Senior wrestling captain Eric Ashton controls a Loyola Blakefield wrestler in the Parkville Knightmare Meet on Dec. 10, finishing in first place. Ashton has wrestled with success despite only wrestling for four years, and has earned a spot in the top 25 of his weight class in the region by the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

Using every ounce of his strength, senior wrestling captain Eric Ashton hip-pins an opponent. As he holds his opponent down, Ashton waits for the referee to tap the mat, indicating a pin and the end of the match. Exhausted, he leaves the mat with another win, something he has become accustomed to in his high school wrestling career.

Ashton has been wrestling for four years, but with the help of his background in Jiu-Jitsu, he has experienced great success. “I did Jiu-Jitsu for eight years and even won a sword at this tournament one time,” Ashton said. As a black belt, he was already accustomed to many of the take-down techniques but had to make the transition into the wrestling world.

Ashton’s senior year has been very successful. He has stepped up as a team captain, won his 100th match on Feb. 18, won the Knightmare Invitational at Parkville High School on Dec. 9, and finished second in both the Germantown Meet on Dec. 3 and the William Penn Meet on Dec. 16-17. At this time, he is also ranked as the 22nd wrestler of his weight class in Maryland, according to the Maryland State Wrestling Association.

Ashton says that this has been his favorite year of wrestling. “I really enjoy wrestling with all the guys on the team,” Ashton said. “We’ve done a really good job this year dealing with injuries and illnesses.”

Ashton says his favorite part of his high school wrestling career has been seeing how far he has come. In four years, he has seen himself progress drastically. “It was a little natural because I had been doing Jiu-Jitsu, but over time I just got faster and stronger,” he said.

Ashton’s coaches and teammates have noticed his improvement, too. “I’ve wrestled with Eric my entire wrestling career. He’s improved a lot since I first saw him wrestle, and he’s one of the best on our team now because of how hard he works,” senior Will Molali said.

As a leader of the team, Ashton has exceeded expectations, as noted not only by his teammates, but also by his coach. “He’s a great leader and sets an excellent example for the team. He’s always where he needs to be,” head wrestling coach Mike Mazza said.

While Ashton does not plan on wrestling in college at Towson University, he does hope to come back time and time again to JC and help out at practices. “I’ll miss my teammates most,” Ashton said. “Even though wrestling is an individual sport, you spend a lot of time with those guys throughout the season.”

Daniel Robinson is The General Staff Member for The Patriot and