Loading...
BYH Big head Little head Trump's porn star affected his little head So What!. The cocaine Obama put in his big head...

PREP SPOTLIGHT: Ray Darden

011118prepspotlight

Ray Darden

Loading…

By JORDAN ANDERS
The Daily Reflector

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Ayden-Grifton wrestler Ray Darden is undefeated so far in his junior season. Darden chatted with Reflector prep sports beat writer Jordan Anders this week about adjusting to wrestling after a childhood of just playing football, as well as his quest to reach the state championships.

Q: How long have you been wrestling?

A: Three years. I started my freshman year and I was new to it.

Q: Why did you start?

A: It was just something to keep me in shape. I kept riding the bus home and one day (A-G wrestling coach Jeff Wooten) was like, ‘Ray, you need to get a second sport.’ I said, ‘Coach, I don’t know. I just like football,’ and he said, ‘Why don’t you try out wrestling?’ So I came out and started doing it as just something to help me stay in shape.

Q: How long had you played football before you got into wrestling?

A: Oh, I played football since I was little, playing rec league and stuff like that.

Q: What is your favorite part of wrestling?

A: What I really enjoy is it’s an individual sport and it’s just yourself. I mean, you have team duals and you want to win for your team, but you’ve got to hold yourself accountable. The only way you can lose is if you don’t have it mentally.

Q: The individuality of wrestling is a pretty stark contrast to the team-oriented mentality of football. Does it take you a while to adjust to wrestling season once football season ends?

A: You’ve just got to realize that it’s still a team sport, but at the same time, on the mat, it’s just you and the guy in front of you. It’s just you. No coaches. No other players. Just you and him, and if you don’t have it mentally, you’re not going to win.

Q: What’s the biggest thing from football that helps you as a wrestler?

A: Just drive and motivation, and the strength to keep going. That’s what helps me.

Q: Let’s talk technique. What’s your strongest attribute on the mat?

A: My wrist control. Anybody who wrestles me knows I always try to go for the wrist. As long as I control your wrist, I can control anything you do with movement and stuff. That’s what I really go for.

Q: Was that a strength of yours from the start or something you had to develop?

A: It was something I had to develop. I had to realize that other guys are stronger than me, but if I can control a certain area and how they move and stuff — because I’m usually smaller than most guys — then I’m a little faster and my wind is a little longer.

Q: What do you think is the biggest difference between the freshman coach Wooten convinced to try out for wrestling and the competitor you are today?

A: My knowledge of the sport itself. My freshman year, I wasn’t really that good because I hadn’t been doing it for a long time. As I started progressing, my mentality told me, ‘Ray, you need to stop losing.’ That kicked in and I started learning the stuff and learning the technique, because I really wasn’t into it at first.

Q: What’s your record this year?

A: I’m 10-0.

Q: What do you think has been the biggest key to your strong season?

A: I think the biggest key has been practice. ... You can see a difference between going a full week of practice and then going to a match, and going one day of practice and going to a match. There’s a big difference.

Q: You made it to regionals last year and lost in the fourth round, just missing out on a trip to states. How much is that driving you this year?

A: It’s a lot more motivation. My biggest thing is just to try to make it to regionals and do whatever I’ve got to do to make it to states. Being a state contender is a big opportunity, and winning states would be even bigger, but my main goal this year is just to make it there.

Q: How confident are you that you can do that?

A: I’m pretty confident. All I know is, this year, I haven’t lost and I’m just trying to keep it that way. The only way to make it to states for sure is to not lose.

If you have a suggestion for a player to be featured in Prep Spotlight, contact Jordan Anders at janders@reflector.com, 252-329-9594 and follow @ReflectorJordan on Twitter.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

High Schools

July 12, 2018

Grant Charles Jarman is a multifaceted athlete with a knack for leading a team. He will take the reigns of the Rampants football team as the starting quarterback this season and be a pivotal piece on the baseball diamond as a senior. High School preps writer Jake Keator spoke with Jarman about his…

090517JHRfootball1

July 04, 2018

Standout prep softball pitcher Lexie Vincent has had an interesting road to D.H. Conley High School. Her hard work has paid off, as she has become one of the hardest pitchers for batters to read. High School preps writer Jake Keator talked with Vincent about how she fell in love with softball and…

040118softball-3.jpg

July 03, 2018

As a senior, Sincere King complied a 50-5 record for the North Pitt High School wrestling team.

His talents performance earned him not only the ability to continue to compete at Delaware Valley (Pa.), but King also received the Michael Stokes Award from online North Carolina amateur wrestling…

121717wrestling-6.jpg

June 29, 2018

FARMVILLE — Post 39 was defeated by Post 151 of Farmville Thursday, 4-3, marking Post 39’s fourth straight setback while Post 151 ended its season by winning their its two games.

Down 1-0 after a Michael Crumpler home run in the top of the first, Post 151 responded with a two-run…

062918legionbaseball-4.jpg

June 28, 2018

South Central defensive end Jeremy Lewis made his verbal commitment to the East Carolina football team on Thursday afternoon, and in the process, he joined fellow local prospects Keziah Everett of Farmville Central and CJ Johnson of D.H. Conley as some of the most talented players in a quickly…

062918-Jeremy Lewis

June 28, 2018

Ty’Shawn Barrett is an accomplished right-handed slugger who knows what it means to hit a baseball, much to the joy of his coaches at Pitt Community College. High schools writer Jake Keator caught up with Barrett to discuss what drew him to baseball and what others can do to achieve their…

061818legion-4.jpg

June 26, 2018

More than 20 prep teams from North Carolina and Virginia met at North Campus Crossing’s recreation facility Saturday to square off at East Carolina’s Beast of the East passing seven-on-seven tournament.

Players came to town hoping to improve their skills and fine-tune any mistakes as…

062418football-3.jpg

June 26, 2018

Like many others who work in college baseball, Blaine Kinsley vowed years ago that his first-ever trip to the College World Series in Omaha, Neb., would be in a professional manner instead of just visiting as a fan.

Kinsley, a 2006 South Central High School graduate and former East Carolina staffer,…

CWS Oregon St Washington Baseball

June 24, 2018

Those that watched South Central’s Isabel Moore pitch in the 2017-18 season wouldn't think that she was only a freshman.

Moore bested batters for a 2.39 ERA and 114 strikeouts over 155 innings pitched in 2017, showing opponents and fans that her play will very likely only improve as she gains…

062418-Isabel Moore

June 24, 2018

The following players have been selected to The Daily Reflector's All-County softball team:

FIRST TEAM

Kate Lancaster, Farmville Central With a .494 batting average, 40 runs, 33 hits and 31 RBIs, Lancaster excelled in the leadoff spot for the Jaguars. She also broke the Farmville Central…

062418-All County Softball
88 stories in High Schools. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 9
        Next Page»   Last Page»