MP's Gaughan brothers use mat time to improve - Ahwatukee Foothills News: Sports

MP's Gaughan brothers use mat time to improve

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Posted: Saturday, January 7, 2012 12:00 pm | Updated: 12:24 pm, Sun Jan 22, 2012.

When wrestling practice ends at Mountain Pointe, there are days when the work is just getting stated for the Gaughan boys.

That's when the mentoring continues - North Dakota style.

Garrett and Blake Gaughan come from good family stock as their dad, Bob, was a state placer, as were several members of his family, for West Fargo High in North Dakota.

"He's a real boost for the program," Mountain Pointe coach Shannon Radford said.

While the Gaughan brothers - senior Garrett (170) and junior Blake (132) - are two of the Pride's better wrestlers, they are still looking to match their father's success.

"There is some pressure because I want him to be proud of me, but I want to get better for myself," Blake said. "He knows a lot of stuff, and he really pushes us."

Garrett had similar sentiments, but that's about where the commonality ends.

"They are like two opposite magnets," Radford said. "They do everything different. They are great kids and come from a great family, but on the mat they are completely different."

Garrett has taken on a defensive style this year and likes to use upper body moves, while Blake is more of a classic takedown man.

"(Blake) is short and stocky and doesn't have any trick moves," Radford said. "He comes straight at you with good old-fashioned single and double leg takedowns, where his brother likes throws."

The Gaughan boys and the Pride will be tested over the next couple of weeks against some of the best teams Tucson has to offer.

"If we can do well against them it should shape up well for sectionals," said Garrett, who didn't qualify for state last year but went 17-11. "If not, then we have to get back to work."

The Pride, who have had to insert four freshmen into the lineup due to missing starters because of grade, injury and family issues, travel to Ironwood Ridge this weekend for the 10-team "Rumble at the Ridge" dual meet tournament.

Then on Jan. 20 and 21 they will head back down to Tucson for the Salpointe Catholic Invitational.

"It is exactly what we need to get us ready for sectionals and state," Garrett said. "We have some young guys that as seniors have to make sure they know what to expect and what we need to be successful."

Garrett, who is 6-6 on the season, has shown glimpses of putting it all together, but always seems to falter down the stretch in big matches.

"Right now, I have some things I have to polish off," he said. "There have been times where I have had the opportunity to win, but I couldn't close the deal. I have to be able to finish those off.

"I need to work on staying focused for the entire match."

Blake, who is 8-6 on the season, struggled early on but has come on lately to gain some confidence.

"Blake has a toughness and a mean streak, but sometimes he gets in matches and he freezes up," Radford said. "Once we get past that he can be really good. He's only going to get better."

The extra time with their dad should only help.

"We really push each other," Garrett said. "It has really made a difference."

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7915 or jskoda@ahwatukee.com. Follow him on Twitter @JSkodaAFN.

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Jason P. Skoda
  • Jason P. Skoda
  • Sports writer
  • Resident sports writer at the Ahwatukee Foothills News

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