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Behind the Scenes of Wrestling

Bubba Mendoza, Reporter

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Wrestling, one of the oldest sports in history, is known by all but there are many common misconceptions, one of which is the diet of most wrestlers. The whole issue of weight lies in the fact that in wrestling your opponent is determined by your weight, so one would assume that the diet of a wrestler would be similar to that of other weight watching athletes however, for many at West, this is not true.

Most of the wrestlers here at West compete at their natural weights and are not concerned about how much they weigh, however some wrestlers especially those who are more serious about the sport put forth a lot of effort into being the perfect weight, in some cases even going so far as to spit into a bottle in the hours leading up to a competition to get their weight down low enough to drop them to a lower weight class.

Additionally, many wrestlers at West participate in other sports for which they do not need to be concerned about their weight. Ehren Gastelum, a wrestler and football player at West, says, “the only thing that changes during wrestling season is the way I allocates my time.” This opinion is shared by many other wrestlers at West.

Another common misconception about the sport is the physical demand on an athlete’s body. Wrestling, although a contact sport is far below the injury average for both cheer and football. This may be due to the fact that a wrestling match is far more scrutinized by an up-close eye than the other aforementioned sports. The most demanding part of wrestling is not found within competition but within training.

Poe Vaafuti wrestling for the number one seed in his weight class last Saturday at the Lacer Smith tournament.

An average wrestling practice at West is “tough…they’re really tough but you can get through it. It’s a grind,” Andrew Silverthorn, West wrestler, says. At practice, the athletes run, lift weights, condition and wrestle. Conversely, a competition looks more like several hours of anticipation leading up to a maximum of eighteen minutes of actual wrestling. At the high school level, there are three six-minute periods of wrestling with any necessary overtime added. Overtime, for West, is a common occurrence due to the fact that West is very competitive in the wrestling world of the Anchorage School District.

Another misconception is the idea that one cannot learn the sport in a short amount of time. One will often say they won’t participate because they think they are too far behind. This is not true the West coaching staff is dedicated in making their athletes the best they can be. Every year there are plenty of first year wrestlers who will go into wrestling and beat veterans like experience has nothing to do with it. Colton Coplin, a West wrestler and football player, says, “The coaches come with a mindset like this is their job so we make it ours too.” So now there is very limited reasons to not wrestle your time is now become a wrestler.

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Behind the Scenes of Wrestling