Separated by a year and over 30 pounds, Butler 190-pounder Will Friscoe knew if he ever wanted to share a starting lineup with his brother and starting 165-pounder Tyrus, now was the time it needed to happen.
Will hadn’t wrestled much before high school and had spent the pas two years playing basketball. But, wanting to be around his brother, he decided to go out for the wrestling team and lo and behold he made varsity right away.
He made an impact right away, too, as Will, Tyrus and five other Bulldog wrestlers each recorded pins in Butler’s 52-28 rout on the road against Verona.
The win was Will’s first at the varsity level in his first ever varsity bout, pinning Verona’s Nick Priori in 5:16.
And even though everything went according to plan and even though junior Will had older brother Tyrus there to calm him down, the former still couldn’t help but think about the proverbial what ifs.
“He [Tyrus] kept me grounded and we talked about it a lot every day after practice. He really just made sure I was calm and collected,” Will said post-match. “If I overthought it, he’d come over and tell me not to worry about it and that it was one match out of my whole high school career, but I definitely was still nervous.”
Butler coach Jason Luciani was especially impressed with the Friscoe’s performance.
“We won where we thought we’d win and then we had a couple of nice surprises in there. The Friscoe brothers coming through was really, really big,” Luciani said. “They both never wrestled much before high school. They’re both high character boys and are incredibly tough. They really push each other and the rest of the guys in the room.”
Indeed, no one in Butler’s room pushes the Friscoe brothers like they push each other.
“The fact that we both practice together — he works me to the absolute limit,” Will said. “I work him as much as I can but he gives me the best competition I’ve ever had in my entire life.”
And even though Will is younger and less experienced, he’s already confidence that what he’s throwing at Tyrus is more than enough to prepare the latter for whatever’s coming.
“It makes me think he already has his match in the bag,” Will said. “I push him to his absolute limit so there’s no reason this kid should be any better or any harder working than he should ever be.”
Tyrus doesn’t bother to hold out on Will, either. The sibling rivalry and competitiveness wouldn’t let that happen.
But it also can’t happen because Tyrus recognizes the importance of what he’s throwing at Will and how mutually beneficial it is to them both.
“I know I’m pushing him to his limit every freaking day. I know he’s got it,” Tyrus said. “If he can withstand me beating the crap out of him every single day, then he can beat this kid, whoever it is. It doesn’t matter. He always pushes me no matter what, that’s the bottom line.”
They recognize each other’s strengths and weaknesses, too. Tyrus fully admits Will is the far more aggressive, offensive-minded wrestler and more willing to attack. Tyrus, meanwhile likes to wait and react to what his opponent does, and if the situation permits, go for his signature collar tie.
The Friscoe’s trademarks worked well for them on Tuesday, but they’re part of a larger strategy and system Luciani has in place. It was on fill display and was a major reason why Butler notched seven pins in its opening dual of the season.
“We have a system we like to stick to and we tell the kids that when they execute it, the pins will come. Of course we definitely want to pin and we know pins and bonus points are always the key to dual meet victories,” Luciani said. “They know based on matchups where bonus points have to come and where they can’t give up bonus points and our kids did a good job on both of those fronts.”
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