Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

While+being+thrown+onto+a+mat+is+apart+of+wrestling%2C+weight+watching+is+too.+The+boys+watch+their+weight+because+that+is+how+coaches+determine+the+weight+classes+for+tournaments.
While being thrown onto a mat is apart of wrestling, weight watching is too. The boys watch their weight because that is how coaches determine the weight classes for tournaments.

While being thrown onto a mat is apart of wrestling, weight watching is too. The boys watch their weight because that is how coaches determine the weight classes for tournaments.

While being thrown onto a mat is apart of wrestling, weight watching is too. The boys watch their weight because that is how coaches determine the weight classes for tournaments.

Samantha Baltzell and McKayla Hackman

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Follow two journalists as they venture into the world of wrestling for a week

High school is all about trying new things, exploring new ideas, and creating memories that will last a lifetime. As student journalists who write for a majority of our time, we decided to step outside of our comfort zone and dive into the world of sports. There were so many sports out there that we had trouble deciding on which sport to participate in but, eventually, our votes were for wrestling. We, McKayla Hackman and Samantha Baltzell, went to practice with the wrestlers for a week. Here is our story.

Day 1 (Monday)

Today we began our journey as we follow the D.C. Everest Wrestling team for a week. Practice started out with an introduction from the coach and then we moved onto our first day of weightlifting. When we finished lifting, we moved onto the wrestling portion. Neither of us had any knowledge about wrestling and how physically demanding it was.

“Practice has always been something to push me hard and sometimes there are workouts that make you feel overwhelmed but you just have to remember how good you will feel at the end of the day if you put everything into that practice,” said Gabe Carter, Sophomore.

Today mainly revolved around the basics like how to properly throw someone and how to stand in the proper wrestling position, it was almost like a review day for everyone besides us.

Because we have never wrestled before we were confused, but after we sat and watched the other boys throw each other on the ground, we eventually got the hang of it.

Being thrown around was a fear factor; Sam kept flinching when the other boys would hit the mat. Throughout the practice our nerves were high in anticipation over what was yet to come.

For our first day ever wrestling it was a lot of fun. We may have made ourselves look silly, but it was definitely a pretty good start to the week!

Day 2 (Tuesday)

Today was harsh. Both of us were extremely sore from yesterday’s practice, so we did not participate as much. Instead we mainly took pictures and watched the boys continue with their practice. We are starting to see how emotionally taxing wrestling is. We are not 100 percent sure how these wrestlers manage to keep up with all their other responsibilities outside of wrestling.

Today, the boys practiced the “High Crotch”. This move seemed complicated for something that beginners use. We did not participate in this, but it did not look like it was very comfortable. The wrestlers would pick each other up and then get slammed into the ground.

Towards the end of practice, the boys were told to run six laps around the school hallways. They were timed so they can try again later in the season to see their improvements. The first few practices are focused on the basics which mainly benefits new wrestlers.

Day 3 (Wednesday)

Today we tried to participate as much as possible in the practice. We did the weightlifting to the best of our abilities, ran in circles like confused birds during our warm up, and still struggled to figure out what to do while practicing.  This was such a busy day. The wrestlers did “Single Sweeps”, “Lift and Steps”, “Short Sits”, and “Bar Arms”. For people that have been doing this for years it seems simple. For those who just started, wrestling is almost like trying to put together a piece of furniture with a few demonstrations and lots of screaming.

While being thrown onto a mat is apart of wrestling, weight watching is too. The boys watch their weight because that is how coaches determine the weight classes for tournaments.

“Wrestling is really tough as far as the practices and watching your weight. You have to be really committed to the sport,” said Coach Lehrke. “I think that toughness is one of the things wrestling really teaches you. The practices are tough, guys are cranking on you physically and mentally.”

Wrestling is not an easy sport to participate in. Even with assistance from the coaches and other wrestlers we were still confused. The end of practice was probably the best. We did burpees and “monkey rolls” which were really fun.

For this, wrestlers separated into groups of three. One person laid on the ground with the two other people on opposite sides, standing just a few feet away. The person laying down would roll to a side and a person standing next to that side would jump over him, fall to the ground, and roll towards the other person. This was the easiest yet most confusing day by far.

 

Day 4 (Thursday)

Beginning with warm ups, Coach Eric Lehrke challenged the boys by having them jump from side to side and front to back. Nothing about this sport is easy! There was a lot of yelling about keeping your elbows in, your head down, and your feet moving as fast as possible.

After the jumps, the boys stretched out to help prevent injury and ease their aches and pains. These warmups and stretches took almost half of practice. The athletes proceeded to work on “Short Sits” again. After repeating it for two days, we kind of got the hang of it. This required one person to sit on the floor and wrap their arms around the other person. The one being held would have to stand up and try to get back into their stances.

We have noticed the wrestling room is pretty small for how many boys are wrestling. It’s almost like they need a bigger place to practice. When they fall, they sometimes fall on each other.

Today the boys also worked on a moved called “Stand Ups”. All we had to do was stand up and try to get away from the other person. This was most definitely a move that required a lot of strength.

We may not miss wrestling when our week is done but for some graduating students that are leaving wrestling behind in high school emotional ties run strong, Thomas Severson, Senior, is planning to take his wrestling onto college with him.

“I’m really excited for my season this year. It hasn’t hit me yet that I will wrestle my last match as a high schooler at some point,” said Severson. “I have talked to the coach from the college team and they want me to wrestle for them. I just have to stay healthy this season. I don’t know what to expect from college wrestling but I’m confident that my skills and experience are good enough to do well.”

Day 5 (Friday)

We started with lifting again and then moved right into warmups. We ran in circles and felt like awkward birds. We tried to participate but dashed out when the athletes began somersaults, backwards somersaults, cartwheels, handstands, and a whole bunch of things that gymnasts do.

Although we attempted somersaults we quickly got in the way of the other wrestlers and made ourselves look silly.

Today was not a very difficult day. We worked on “Short Sits” and “Bar Arms” again. “Bar arms” are similar to “Short Sits” except we were trying to prevent the other person from sticking their hands under our arms.

Wrestling is not something we will continue full time. Girls can join wrestling, nothing should stop them. The thing they would need to prepare for is that, unlike us, they have to participate in everything and they have to work with the boys.

“You’re going to face challenges when you leave high school and college,” said Coach Lehrke. “The physical and mental attributes are the two biggest things wrestling provides for you. Wrestling shows you that you can “man-up”, face challenges, and be tough about it.”

As we struggled throughout the week, the last practice made us feel a little better about the previous days.

On Friday we finally understood the moves that were being taught, and even did them right! It was even better when Coach Lehrke yelled out, “Nice job, girls!” It was a good ending to a really difficult week.

“Every day is a different day,” said Coach Lehrke. “If you can try and improve every day, that’s a good thing. You’re going to get better, find ways to improve, and come in every day with a plan; A goal without a plan is just a wish.”

———-

Editor’s note: We are fully aware that participating in a sport for a week is not an accurate representation of the sport itself. We did not go to (or participate in) competitions, weight classifications, dieting, or any sort of testing. This is an extremely small view into the world of wrestling. We would like to give a huge thank you to the D.C. Everest Wrestling team along with the coaches for allowing us to participate alongside them for the week.

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Showcase

    Hockey Player Makes History

  • Showcase

    Girls Basketball Donates to Those in Need

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Sports

    Doling Out Sports Equipment

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Showcase

    Athlete of the Month (February): Taylor Petit

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Showcase

    Heading South to Play College Ball

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Showcase

    Athlete of the Month (December): Sam Nielson

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Sports

    Leagues Rely Upon Passionate Fans to Keep Them Afloat

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Showcase

    I Would Do Anything… For Sports

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Sports

    Athlete of the Month (November): Emma Kysely

  • Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night

    Sports

    The Right to Kneel

Writers by Day, Wrestlers by Night