By FARHAN PATEL, junior
The JP Stevens wrestling team is on a strict schedule. While most of the students head home after the last school bell, the wrestling team heads straight to the locker room. At precisely 2:50, they begin with light running and jump rope to increase their heart rate. With Eminem’s “Till I Collapse” blaring from the radio, the wrestlers are motivated to increase their speed and stamina by practice’s end.
Referring to live professional wrestling videos, the team has learned new techniques and skills from the top wrestlers, analyzing every stance and technique to defeat an opponent. Grapples, pins, takedowns, submissions – they repeat their wrestling techniques until perfection for the majority of practice. Sweating, exhausted, yet exhilarated from the training, the wrestlers eagerly receive the coaches’ reports and suggestions for improvement..
The typical routine of our wrestling team consists of continuous effort and dedication. During their two-and-a-half hour practices, the Hawks not only sharpen their technical skills but also fortify their mental determination; their intense matches put both strength and attitude to the test. “Our training regimen is rigorous because it has us constantly transitioning from working on technique to working on strength and conditioning, especially splitting into live groups. It challenges you to improve by allowing you to work with people of different weight groups and skill levels,” senior captain Tyler Truong explained. These mental and physical challenges require teammates to boost their fellow wrestlers’ confidence, resulting in a powerful overall team rapport.
Led by dedicated senior captains Sooraz Bylipudi and Tyler Truong, every member recognizes the responsibility that comes with being a wrestler. Tyler Truong says, “the main focus this year is to build a strong base for the upcoming years. We have a young team with only four seniors. We have a pretty solid middle weight class on the lineup this year, but we need younger wrestlers to build upon it.” As the JP wrestlers are improving with each practice, their ultimate focus remains on the district matches at the end of the season, which will determine their path to regionals and eventually states.