Michael Worsen would like to find a way to stay on the front foot. If Worsen is going to find a way out of the 121-pound bracket at the WPIAL North section qualifier, through WPIALs and to the PIAA championships, being passive won’t be the ticket.
"I feel like I get after it a little bit more,” Worsen said. "I wasn’t starting fast in the first period and wasn’t getting after it right off the bat. I’ve been working with Landon Funk trying to get forward more. We want to get in there and wrestle our best right off the bat.”
Worsen, a junior, is off to a 23-4 start to this season and would like to qualify for the WPIAL championships again. He was disappointed with his performance at the county tournament, placing seventh.
Fox Chapel has a lot of wrestlers who are interested in trying to get back to the WPIAL championships. Worsen is one of seven returning Fox Chapel wrestlers to qualify last season. Landon Funk, Adam Haines, Milo Chiu, Joseph Geller, D’Angelo Hamilton and Alexander Kaufmann all reached WPIALs last season.
The Foxes had a strong dual meet team this year. Fox Chapel reached the quarterfinals of the WPIAL Class 3A playoffs before losing to eventual champion Connellsville. Depth throughout the lineup allowed the Foxes to perform well.
"We’ve had a pretty steady lineup,” Foxes coach Michael Frank said. "We have a good chunk of them pushing double-digit wins. It’s been nice to be balanced as a team for the dual meet season. Take the next step and climb up in the section tournament and push into individuals.”
Frank said the big focus for all of the Foxes who are competing is to try to be proactive. Fox Chapel would like to see its group of wrestlers try to make the first move in matches.
"You don’t get better in this sport by being a year older,” Frank said. "Changes in weight classes, handling big matches, handling the nerves knowing you can go out and handle whoever steps on the line across from you … we don’t want to wrestle reactively.”
Worsen said he had been hesitant to start fast in the past because of concerns with pacing. Running out of gas in the third period could lead to big issues.
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"It’s a stamina thing,” Worsen said. "I don’t want to be tired at the end of the match. I don’t want to waste my energy. That’s why we try to practice in the room and keep our cardio up.”
Worsen said he is excited for the individual postseason. He plans to try to put together the type of match that will allow him to inch closer to being closer to a state qualifier.
"I want to keep a good mindset up,” Worsen said. ‘I don’t want to let anything get to me. If I lose a match, I want to stay away from looking up kids and getting in my own head.”