Sports

Beyond the Mat

By FARHAN PATEL, sophomore

The spotlight is on. The wrestlers are ready, waiting for the whistle to signal the start of the match. The audience eagerly watches. The energy is palpable. And the match begins…

The JP Stevens wrestling team  experiences  this form of pressure on a weekly basis, participating in intense matches that require mental and physical strength. They started the season by taking part in the Holmdel Tournament and the Edison Classic. The team faced a tough outing at Holmdel, where no wrestler from the team was able to place. Using this as motivation, in the Edison Classic Marco Lee Santana (11) and Tahir Gooding (12) were both able to capture a third place finish. After the tournaments, Marco remarked, “It’s been a rough year so far, but the team is constantly improving. All of us need to work harder and take our game one step higher if we want to be considered tough competitors by other schools.”

Without any set captains in the beginning of the season, many wrestlers have stepped up as leaders to prepare the team to practice and to maintain a high morale. Their efforts resulted in an encouraging 36-19 win in Willingboro. Even following this victory, the team still has many more dual meets, quad matches, and tournaments to look forward to.

Wrestling builds up an athlete’s courage to fight aggressively, which is often the only way to assert control on the mat. Regardless of the results of any tournament, the Hawks have given their all in practice and during matches. They have consistently pushed past mental and physical barriers.

When there are no more bandages to cover up the blood, no more towels to wipe off the sweat, and no more tissues to dry up the tears, all that is left are the bravery and dedication that defines a true champion.  Evidently, the members our very own JP Stevens wrestling team displays these qualities, and their efforts are bound to pay off.

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