Coming into the season with all the achievements of a seasoned wrestler, McDonogh freshman Jack Clark had a lot to live up to.

The four-time Ohio Tournament of Champions winner, three-time Tulsa Nationals champ and five time junior league state champ said he felt the nerves going onto the mat, but he left them in the corner and got the job done.

“It is a little nerve racking because I like being the underdog, but it is good,” Clark said of his national recognition.  “I have something to live up to and just try to wrestle the way I wrestle, not listening to everyone else and the hype.”

Coming out and earning the first takedown, Clark ran off to a 2-0 lead before turning Curley sophomore Jordan Brigman and earning the fall in just more than one minute in the first round of the Ray Oliver Tournament at the McDonogh School.

“It felt great.  Now all the nerves are gone and it is over with,” Clark said of the win.  “I just expect to keep wrestling like that throughout the year and have a good one.

“I made sure I wasn’t too nervous with it being my first match in high school.  I just stayed calm and wrestled the way I wrestled.  I knew I was stronger, felt good so I put in the half and got the pin.”

No wrestler in the 130-pound weightclass has the time to worry about nerves, as the stacked weight class features some tough seniors in Good Council’s Shane Arechiga and St. Mark’s Tyler Pendergast, and still dominant underclassme in Spalding sophomore Cole Graves and Clark’s quarterfinal opponent, Daniel Sanchez of Georgetown Prep.

“When I am the underdog, I have nothing to lose and it is easy to go out there and wrestle with no nerves.  I always have confidence in myself, and I wrestle my way all the time,” said Clark, an East Coast National champ and Fila Cadet Nationals winner.  “I just got to keep working up a good sweat, not worry about my weight for tomorrow and just worry about wrestling.  All that will come later.”

2010 Ray Oliver Schedule Schedule

Friday, December 3, 2010

1:30 p.m.                  Weigh-in
3:00 – 3:30 p.m.        Coaches meeting
3:30 – 6:30 p.m.        Pre quarters (Varsity and JV on 6-8 mats)
7:00 – 9:00 p.m.        Quarterfinals followed by 1st round of Consolations (Varsity & JV     
on 6-8 mats)

Saturday, December 4, 2010

8:00 a.m.                  Weigh-in
9:00 – 11:00 a.m.      2nd round of Consolation (Varsity & JV on 6-8 mats)
11:00 – 12:30 p.m.    Semi-finals and 3rd round of Consolation (Varsity & JV on 6-8 mats)
1:00 – 2:30 p.m.        Varsity & JV Consolation Semi-finals (4 mats)
2:30 – 3:30 p.m.        JV Finals 1st, 3rd, and 5th place matches (3 mats)
4:00 – 6:00 p.m.        Varsity Finals 1st, 3rd, and 5th place matches (3 mats)