Wrestling hits the mats

Alexis Conaway, Reporter

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Wrestling is one of the oldest combat sports to have ever been in existence. For years, it has been a mainly male dominated sport. Like many other sports, wrestling has slowly been changing to not only have male wrestlers, but female as well. The EHS Wrestling team has 8 females out of the 45 athletes on the team. The beginning of each season starts with about 60 people trying out, with only a little over half of them actually getting on the team.

When asked about the size of the team before and after tryouts, Coach Javier Quintana says jokingly, “Only the strong survive!”.

Even though wrestling can seem like a team sport, while on the mats, it becomes very independent. The rest of the team sits on the sideline, cheering the wrestler on, but cannot help the wrestler any other way.

“I enjoy that wrestling is a one on one sport, there is nobody to help you or to blame. I believe it teaches kids how to overcome fears, and build confidence,” explains Coach Quintana.

There are many diverse players on the team. Some have grown-up in wrestling families, and there are some who just started wrestling when they began high school. Every single wrestler brings something to the mat that helps build the team and turn it into what it is today. Junior Caeleb Knoll is currently undefeated, and hopes to have a strong off season.

When asked about his thoughts and feelings while on the mat, Knoll avowed “It’s not really a feeling, it’s more of like what am I going to do as a wrestler. Am I going to go out there and give it my all or am I just going to not wrestle to my fullest potential?”

Injuries are very common among wrestlers, ranging from dislocated shoulders to spraining one’s ankle. Once in a while there are dislocated elbows. The smallest injuries turn into bruises.

“Dislocated elbows definitely the worst I’ve seen,” conceded two year coach Bailey McLaughlin.

The females on the team are not exempted from injuries. Senior Faith Brockman is a wrestler as well as a Varsity Soccer player. This is her first season on the team, and at the beginning of the season she dislocated her patella.

“There’s really no way to mentally prepare for wrestling, you just got to dive in,” Brockman stated.

Freshmen Savannah Smith talks about wrestling males in the first few years of her wrestling career. “It’s definitely more tough, they have a lot more muscle mass than you would think. It takes more skill set to follow up with them. It kinda pushes you.”

Emma Burk explained what she loves about wrestling, “It gives me a reason to be a good kid. I can’t physically smoke or drink because I practice every single day for two hours and I want to win. It keeps me being a good person and that it keeps my morals straight”.

Each female interviewed was asked what it was like being in a sport that has been dominated by males for thousands of years. Each answer was different, but all lead to the same conclusion. No matter what gender a person is, when a person steps on the mat, they are a wrestler. Gender doesn’t matter when wrestling. What does matter is the skill and the love for wrestling.

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