Nearly two weeks have passed since the Commerce Tigers fell in the finals of the Class A state duals.
It was the first time Commerce had tasted defeat in a state tournament in six years. Now, though, the focus is solely on the traditional state tournament, and more specifically, the Area 6-A traditional tournament.
Commerce hosts the area tournament, which takes place this Saturday (Feb. 1). And as the tournament nears, the Tigers are "pretty healthy," according to head coach Kendall Love.
"We’re pretty healthy," he said. "We're over the injury and sickness, we’re healed up and healthy. This is probably as healthy as we’ve been all season. The kids' weights have been good.
"I told them nothing matters up to this point, all that matters is this Saturday and getting as many wrestlers through area and into sectionals, and hopefully, through to state."
The Tigers bring a mixture of experience and youth to the lineup at area. Throughout the season, Love explained, it has been a learning process.
"We have five state finalists back in the lineup and some guys starting for the first time between freshmen and sophomores," he said. "It has been a learning curve for them and me as well, trying to implement things every week that we see. We’re starting to reap the benefits of that.”
Commerce has moved on from the duals loss. But Commerce has also talked about it and what could be learned from the loss.
"We re-grouped, talked about what could have been," Love said. "We had our shots to win it. Good thing is we have a chance to right the ship starting this weekend. We’re going for individuals title, but we're keeping the team competition in the back of our minds. It’s going to be tough once again."
Love added it will take wrestling to "potential" by everyone to be successful during the individual part of the postseason.
"We have to control what we can control, we have to do what we can to secure wins," he said.
Love also hopes being at home will give his team an advantage. Being at home isn't too common for the Commerce wrestling team.
"We don’t have a whole lot of home events," Love said. "We travel to a lot of tough events and those prepare us for this point of the season. The area is where we want to compete well in front of our fans, because if we don’t perform, then the season could be done.
"We want the community to come out and watch these guys compete ... It’s got to be an advantage for us to be at home and be in our own beds and not have to travel, so hopefully that pays off for us."