Wrestling: a sport for warriors


Kendra Marquard

Wrestlers face some of the toughest struggles one can imagine. Mental and physical challenges are a few of the things they must endure.  Wrestlers go through various trials and tribulations during the course of a wrestling season. These struggles do not come just during the season but before the season as well.

‘’Lift and run cross country,” says junior Ryan Warzynski of his pre-season preparation.

Junior Lia Peterson also lifts and goes to “open mat” to prepare for the season. Like Warzynski, she also runs cross country. As far as actual in-season practice goes, Warzynski is a big fan. “It’s intense, long and fun,’’ he says.  He notes that practice is longer at the beginning of the season but it shortens at the end.  Peterson adds that there is “lots of drilling, technique and live drilling.”

Warzynski stuggles to gain weight. “It can be hard because I have a high metabolism and I can’t keep weight up,” he said. In order to gain weight, he eats whatever he can get his hands on, that includes carbs and fats such as  pizza, ravioli and potatoes. As a special snack, he enjoys candy and ice cream. Warzynski hits the mats generally in the 106-pound weight class. Peterson has a whole set of different problems as she has never had to gain weight; her goal is to lose weight. She wrestles in the 113-lb weight class. 

Peterson is different from the other wrestlers because she’s a female on an all male wrestling team.  In Amherst, she happens to be the only one. There are, however, other girls wrestling around the state (and the country), and for the first time last year the state wrestling tournament featured a girls-only tournament.  As far as her feelings of being the only female on the team she said, ‘’It’s hard, I don’t have many friends on the team so it is hard to find motivation sometimes.’’

All of the wrestlers deal with different struggles when it comes to weight. Cutting weight can not be fun. Caleb Pinkalla said he has made the mistake of cutting weight at the last minute. “One time I was puking in the parking lot before a meet because of it,” said Pinkalla.

Wrestling can be the greatest of challenges. Some like practice and some do not enjoy it at all. One of the hardest things is maintaining the right weight. When the season starts, some of the wrestlers work to gain or cut weight. The real struggles begin when they take the mat, but it’s a challenge just to get to that point.