Winter Springs wrestler Matthew Phillips named Athlete of the Week

By Zach Aldridge, Spectrum Sports
Last Updated: Thursday, December 21, 2017

Sometimes a little bit of doubt from others is all you need to fuel the fire.

“We were a team not really looked at,” Winter Springs wrestler Matthew Phillips said. “We weren’t expected to do anything this year.”

Winter Springs lost five state placers from a squad that finished fifth in the 3A team standings a season ago. But you wouldn’t be able to tell from the way the Bears have hit the mat this year. Especially Matthew Phillips, the junior is 10-1 this season and just went 3-0 over the weekend with all three wins coming via pins to lead Winter Springs to the District Dual Championship.

“It feels good,” Phillips said. “I try to work on my takedowns in the match before I get the pins, of course get a near fall first, and then why my teammates needed the pin I got the pin.”

“[He’s been] pretty dominant,” Winter Springs wrestling head coach Rocky Ciero said. “He went out there and when we said pin him now he would go out there and pin him now, and when he wanted to get some work in, get, 5, 6, 7 takedowns, he did that.”

A year ago Phillips wrestled in the 126 pound weight class, he finished one match away from being on the podium.

“Coming that close to placing last year, made everyone look like wow, he’s gotten a lot better,” Phillips said.

Now in the 132 weight class the goal is a straightforward one for the junior.

“I definitely see me placing at the end of the year, that’s definitely my biggest goal this year and I’m going to work hard for that state championship.”