Cut the Fat and Hit the Mat

RAVI AGRAWAL, columnist

What we view in a wrestling match are three brief rounds, six minutes of hostile
takeover, tightening contractions of almost every muscle in the body, frequent changing of position, and a resulting win or loss. What we fail to view is the true test of grit — the practice and effort — behind the match. The intensity that JP Stevens’ wrestlers exhibit in their matches is preceded by an unforeseen amount of dedication. Wrestling requires extensive focus on weight and bodybuilding, pushing competitors to be conscious not just of strategies needed to win but also of those needed to stay fit. Each wrestler is in a constant state of managing
his weight, moving between brackets, and strictly controlling his body throughout the season. Any young, aspiring wrestler may look up to Marco Santana, sophomore, as a dedicated standout. “This sport requires mental and physical durability,” he explains. “In wrestling, you can only become your best through hours of practice, repetition of moves, and control of diet.” Nonetheless, wrestling is not all about individual work ethic. Sophomore Tyler Truong further discussed the team aspect, “Without other wrestlers, I cannot improve. If a teammate
misses practice, then I may not have a partner for the day. We wrestlers have a
responsibility to improve both ourselves and our teammates.”
Thus far, JP’s wrestling squad is struggling, with a 2-11 record. Led by senior captain Peter Byun, winner of the Edison Classic Tournament, the team is rigorously working to find success. Said Tyler, “The team as a whole needs to push itself regardless of a win or a loss. Continuing to work and not giving up is key.” Marco remarked, “Six minutes is enough to remind me how much work I have to put in each time — before, during, and after the match. Specifically, I believe all
of the team members need to develop their performance to more competitive level.” The Hawks still have an entire season’s worth of quad matches, dual meets, and tournaments ahead of them to improve their record and begin winning collectively. Hard work always finds success — even on the cold, plush mats in the gym.

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