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Southern Tier Sports Report
HORSEHEADS — Monday was a special day for winter sports athletes.

The first day of practice always brings a lot of excitement as a new season gets ready to begin.

After last year was anything but normal, there is just a little extra excitement this season.

“It’s awesome,” Horseheads wrestling coach Brett Owen said. “Last year, I think we started in February. It was good, but it wasn’t your normal season. Today is like Christmas morning, waking up and fresh start, new faces, everything. I’m excited for this year.”

And, the numbers are great for the Blue Raiders as the wrestling program has 40 kids out.

For Owen, he could see the kids putting in a ton of work since the summer.

“During the summer we did host a camp with Waverly,” he said. “We had the Waverly/Horseheads camp, that helped out. We had good numbers down there. We had open mats here, we were averaging 16-20 kids at those. It was very nice not being restricted and not able to do anything.”

Squeezing three sports seasons in after the New Year for last season, and now returning on time this year means athletes haven’t been away from sports for very long.

“The short break, being able to stay active, helped kids stay in shape,” Owen said. “You went from winter sports, to fall sports, to bring sports, then all of a sudden you only get June, July and August and you are back to your fall sports. Little time to breath and get after it again.”

IN TOP PHOTO: Horseheads coach Brett Owen talks to one of his wrestlers on the first day of practice Monday. . . PHOTOS BY BRIAN FEES

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