With a 19-1 record so far, the Dreadnaught wrestlers are on top of their game. The team has earned victories against Jupiter, Lemon Bay, Largo, George Jenkins, Nova, Manatee, Bloomington, and Park Vista.
Wrestling coach, Brian Abdon said his goal for the season is, ”to do as well as we can and take as many kids to the State tournament as possible.”
Abdon credits much of their success to some surprise returners and newcomers, including Daniel Phan and Jaleel Osbey, who he said have “made huge improvements this year.” Abdon added that Chad Kirkman has “wrestling really solid this year.”
While Abdon has hopes of making the State tournament, the athletes have some goals of their own.
Phan, a junior wrestler, said his goal for the season is to “win districts.” Phan has four years of wrestling experience. Senior Eric Wortman said his goal is to, “place high at the State tournament.” Wortman also has four years of wrestling experience and said, “wrestling means a lot to me.”
Phan and Wortman said they know what it takes to be a good wrestler. A person has to be “mentally tough.”
While they look forward to the things still to come, including this weekend’s wrestling tournament at home, they shared some of their favorite memories.
Phan said, “Winning the Manatee Hurricane Challenge,” was his favorite memory while Wortman’s was getting his “one hundredth win this year.”
“I’m very pleased about how hard our seniors have been wrestling,” said Abdon of his team.
The varsity team will host a tournament, featuring 10 teams, on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. in the Lakeland High School Gym.
While not in the the classroom, Chemistry teacher Cheryl Pierce enjoys taking care of her new puppy.
“Taking care of my new puppy is like a full time job,” Pierce said.
Growing up in Lakeland, Pierce attended Lakeland High School and in 2000 began teaching honors Chemistry and Advance Placement Chemistry at LHS. Prior to that, she taught Science at Haines City High School for 15 years.
She attended Florida State University for three years, and then went to Florida Southern College for two more years, where she earned her degrees. Pierce said she went to Florida Southern because it was closer to home for her. Pierce has a Bachelor’s in biology with a minor in chemistry and a Master’s of Education.
Pierce is also a National Board Certified teacher in Chemistry. Pierce is also the department head for Science and operates the Chem Club.
There is one thing about teaching that many teachers will agree with Pierce on.
“I don’t like grading papers!” Pierce exclaimed.
While grading is not among her favorite things to do, there are things Pierce does enjoy about teaching.
“Teaching is different every day,” she said. “What I enjoy the most is watching students experience Chemistry for the first time.”
When Pierce has down time, she spends her time playing the piano, reading and spending time with family.