Quick with their moves and quick with their minds

The wrestling season isn’t starting off normal but that doesn’t detour our team

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Andrew Staggenborg

Hudson Cockerham (9) works with his teammate Lateef  Barrett (9) to perfect his wrestling moves.

Andrew Staggenborg, Reporter

During, COVID-19 practices are different from previous years. Wrestling is a contact sport and the team would usually be on the mats practicing moves, but this year it is all about getting in shape.  The team spends most practices doing a lot of weight lifting and cardio training. The players and coaches are finding this new way of training tough.

 “It’s difficult now, we’ve barely done any contact, we mostly are doing cardio conditioning, running and lifting weights, not a lot of contact,”  said senior Yousef Ahmad.

Coach Brown has to overcome obstacles in planning practices during COVID-19.

“Being creative in designing practice. Being creative in modifying technical training. Staying persistent and aware of the local, state and national guidelines. (Being safe),” Brown said.

Even though the season starts in a different way, the team is looking forward to competing with others, that is what is motivating them. Our team is smaller this year compared to other seasons, but the love of sport drives the ones who are putting in the work today.

Senior Jordan Fellner shares what motivates him to wrestle.

“I think for me there is no feeling like it, when you win and that’s kind of what keeps me going, is that it’s the most rewarding sport I have ever played. If I pushed it through the practices and pushed through the losses and all difficulties of it I can get back to that feeling of: like you are on top of the world when you win,” Fellner said. 

In the off season some wrestlers keep their skills sharp by competing at a club level or engaging in other sports that tie in with wrestling.  The guys are looking forward to seeing if these extra activities improve their performance this year.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how much I’ve improved over the break. I did a lot of off -season training with jiu-jitsu and judo. So I want to see if that’s helped my wrestling at all,” Ahmad said. 

Motivation is an important thing in wrestling. Players share what they feel and what is keeping them going to wrestle when they are at the point they want to stop.  

“When you win, and that’s kind of what keeps me going, is that it’s the most rewarding sport I have ever played. If I pushed it through the practices and pushed through the losses and all difficulties of it I can get back to that feeling of: like you are on top of the world when you win,” Fellner said.

Ahmad talks about his main motivation.

“The team aspect. The wrestling team is pretty cool. I enjoy it, it’s a lot of fun. You feel really good after practice because my whole body is sore. You’re just exhausted,” Ahmad said.

Coach Brown shared his advice for players:

Commit yourself to being your best self. Always know that you can do it and just do not give up,” Brown said. 

The first two meets of the season are scheduled on Dec. 1 at Ladue and Dec. 10 at Parkway North.

Yousef Ahmad (12) and Phillip Povarich (11) incorporates 2 mile runs into their wrestling workout. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg
Yousef Ahmad (12) builds his strengths for his wrestling season. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg
Lateef Barrett(9) works on flexibility and stretching at wrestling practice. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg
Lateef Barrett (9) practices for upcoming wrestling matches. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg
Hudson Cockerham (9) works with his teammate Lateef  Barrett (9) to perfect his wrestling moves. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg
The wrestlers get loose for practice. Photo by Andrew Staggenborg