FREDERICK -- Given that he has 35 seasons under his belt as the wrestling coach at Frederick, whenever Gerry Galway makes a declarative statement -- saying that this is the best he's ever seen of this, or the most he's ever seen of that -- it comes with a significant measure of credibility.

And, according to Galway, he has never experienced a season quite like this. A once-promising campaign for the Warriors has been waylaid by injuries and ineligibility issues, forcing Galway to pick up the pieces and mentor a group of youngsters that have been thrown into the fray sooner than expected.

"It was going to be a promising season but it hasn't turned out that way," Galway said. "If we're not injured, we're sick. If we're not sick, we're ineligible. It's been a tough season. One of the toughest I've ever had."

Frederick sophomore Jesse Ortiz (top) has been one of the few bright spots in an injury-plagued season for the Warriors’ wrestling team.
Frederick sophomore Jesse Ortiz (top) has been one of the few bright spots in an injury-plagued season for the Warriors' wrestling team. ( DAVID R JENNINGS )

Frederick's injury woes actually began before the season when senior Jake Vargas suffered a shoulder injury at the end of the Warriors' football season. Vargas eventually underwent surgery that will keep him off the mats the entire season.

Unfortunately for Frederick, the trouble didn't end there. Nick Letkomiller, a senior 182-pounder, will be out at least a few more weeks due to an ankle injury. Dylan Martin, a 160-pounder, has not been cleared to compete due to a heart issue. And senior Austin Salazar was 7-1 before suffering a knee injury that ended his season.

"At least the younger kids are getting some experience," Galway said. "It's been a trying year, but I guess that's what life's about -- the challenges."

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