Pin It To Win It

Wrestling Program Prepares for District Season


Mai Cachila

The wrestling team prepares for their district matches, which will take place on Jan. 27 for junior varsity wrestlers and Feb. 3-4 for varsity wrestlers. The team continues to work on perfecting their techniques and growing their bond as a program. “My favorite thing about the team is definitely the brotherhood that comes with it,” sophomore Miles Jones said. “We are a big family. Knowing you always have your team backing you up is one of the greatest feelings ever.”

Penny Moreno, Reporter

They step onto the mat solely focused on their opponent, hoping to achieve one goal and one goal only. As they face their opponent, their hope is getting their hand raised in the air to be declared the winner of the match. For now, all they can do is shake hands and wait in anticipation for the referee to blow the whistle.

The wrestling team is preparing for their district season, which will commence at the beginning of February. They began their competition season on Nov. 1 with their first after-school practice and since then have been competing in tournaments which will lead up to district season.

“The team is honestly great this year,” senior and team captain Erika Peterson said. “There are a lot of great people who take care of each other and everyone is like family. We have fun during practice and are always in each others’ corners at tournaments. Wrestling is not an easy sport. To be good, you need to put in a lot of time. The hard thing about it is constantly getting beat up and coming back the next day and doing it again. The kids on the team this year have been really pushing through. Especially our freshmen.”

During practice, the team focuses on improving their technique and skill level to prepare them for matches. The team mainly improves their skill by partaking in live wrestling with their other teammates, where the men and women’s wrestlers wrestle each other in order to practice for any match they will have to face in the season. 

“Our strengths are definitely our 110% work ethic and coaching staff,” sophomore Miles Jones said. “We have early morning workouts and practice after school every day. A lot of our wrestlers belong to a club which is more work for us, but at the same time very rewarding. In our practices we mostly work on the basics, [as] a strong foundation is huge in the sport. Our coach also teaches us how to stay strong mentally throughout a match.”

Wrestling season mostly consists of tournaments and duels in which the wrestling teams face each other hoping for the most wins as a team. Wrestling can be both an individual sport and a team sport – each wrestler steps on the mat to win, but the team with the most points will win the tournament or duel. 

“We have duels where we turn off all the lights in the gym and put a big light on the mat, but basically it’s one team versus another team,” senior and team captain Kane Sistrunk said. “There are 14 wrestlers on the men’s lineup and 12 on the women’s lineup and those are two team different team scores, but if you win, you get points for your team and if you lose, the other team gets points and the team who wins will have the most points by the end of the duel.”

Although wrestling can be an individual sport, the wrestling program is team-oriented, according to wrestler Miles Jones. Having the team’s support helps fuel their confidence during matches, which is good for the team and the wrestlers. According to Sistrunk, the team this year has been more united where they all help to push each other.

“I try to be mat-side for as many matches as I can catch and also help push everyone in practice,” Peterson said. “I try to set an example every day for the younger guys, and especially girls, coming into the sport and our team. I really try to push myself in practice and in school as much as I can and also get into club practice so I can set the standard of what hard work looks like. I hope after this year when I graduate, the young guys will continue to come in and work really hard and keep Cedar Park on the map as a school with some really good wrestlers.” 

Another important aspect of wrestling is cutting weight. Usually, wrestlers focus on their weight in order to get into a certain weight class. Cutting, or losing, weight to get into a specific weight class is important, because if there’s a highly skilled wrestler with a standard weight, the wrestler can cut weight to be placed in a different weight class where they can become the stronger opponent. 

“In wrestling, all of the wrestlers have to have a spot,” Sistrunk said. “Every six pounds there is a different weight class, and when you get to the heavier side, that is a bigger weight between weight classes. There are 14 weight classes from 106 to 185, and if there is someone at your weight that is better than you, you are not going to be on varsity. That’s why people cut weight in order to get a spot in a different weight class.”

All of the practices, tournaments and duels are so the wrestlers can prepare for the biggest matches of the season. The junior varsity district matches are on Jan. 27 and the varsity district matches are on Feb. 3-4, vital competitions for advancing to the region and state matches.

“The wrestling team is very supportive,” junior Kylee Foulds said. “I always know that they’ll be there for me if I need it. It’s really fun to be a part of the wrestling team, and I know that it’ll be a fun time whenever I’m around them. We condition and wrestle every day in order to have the best stamina possible by the end of the season. Everything we do is in preparation for [district, region, and state], so since we are still in the early part of the season, we have a lot of learning to do and lots of room for improvement.”