A State of Mind

Senior wrestler has record breaking season


While feeling the rush of emotions after reaching 100 wins in his wrestling career, senior and varsity wrestler Kane Sistrunk celebrates his win against Comal Canyon. Attaining this achievement is a rare occurrence in the high school wrestling world. “It was super relieving because I knew there were celebrations and fun things like that,” Sistrunk said. “My best friend was telling everyone I had 99 wins before the match, which is nerve-racking [to try and meet everyone’s expectation of me reaching 100]. It was super fulfilling to get [the win].” (Photo courtesy of Kane Sistrunk)

Jordan Garza, Guest Reporter

The smell of blood and sweat fills the room as the spectators cheer the match on. After a tense fight, the bodies on the floor finally stand and the ref raises the arm of the winner, his name being screamed from the bleachers. The crowd can taste the victory in the air and feel the deep rumbling in the stands as he makes his exalted exit. Excitement and satisfaction creases everyone’s face as senior and varsity wrestler Kane Sistrunk once again dominates the mat.

Sistrunk has wrestled for six years and has competed on the high school team since his freshman year. He said he found a love for the sport in middle school and began working hard and putting in time toward the sport, which paid off when he placed at the 2023 State Tournament.

Now the only varsity wrestling player who placed at State in 2023, Sistrunk started his athletic career with football. Football and his family ended up sparking a passion for a different kind of sport: wrestling.

“I always really wanted to play football, but I freaking sucked,” Sistrunk said. “It was cool because I joined wrestling and was wrestling other guys that were my size. Because I was so small, I wasn’t so good at football. I ended up trying [wrestling] and the first week I was garbage, but I thought I was good so I ended up coming back. It’s funny to think about because I [thought] I was so much better at it than other people, when I was actually so bad.”

His years spent in practice played a vital role in his future performance and growth in the sport. By meeting the right people and making strong connections he flourished into the wrestler that he is known as today.

Getting 100 wins was also euphoric. It was super relieving [to do so well] because there was a lot of internal pressure and some of my old teammates were there from when I was a freshman, so it was fulfilling to reach that milestone.

— Kane Sistrunk

“My coaches put effort into me, [which] had a really big impact on me and always encouraged me to do my best,” Sistrunk said. “They always put a lot of effort into me and so it just seemed disrespectful for me to not at least try and replicate that. I always strive to be my best for my coaches and my family, to give them someone they’re proud of.”

All of Sistrunk’s hard work paid off this year when he placed fourth at the State tournament. He also achieved 100 wins in his season, which is a rare accomplishment.

“This year was definitely the coolest for me because I got to place [at the state wrestling competition] and be on the podium,” Sistrunk said. “There’s a lot of people smiling at you, and bringing joy to them is really cool. Getting 100 wins was also euphoric. It was super relieving [to do so well] because there was a lot of internal pressure and some of my old teammates were there from when I was a freshman, so it was fulfilling to reach that milestone.”

Sistrunk said he learned some important lessons from his years spent on the mat, and wrestling has gotten him ready for life after school as well as changed him as a person.

“Wrestling is really cool because it’s very much a sport where you get what you put in,” Sistrunk said. “It is not just a team sport. You put in the effort and then you get the result that you’re striving for, which also can be very rewarding.”

Sistrunk said he plans to go to a coast guard academy prep school, and then would like to wrestle for the Coast Guard Academy.