The life of a wrestler

Pilar Cisneros, Photographer

Long hours of rigorous practices pushes each wrestler to improve his talents and defeat his opponent for their upcoming matches and tournaments.

As we all know, wrestling isn’t as easy as you think. It takes lots of determination from each individual wrestler. One of the hardest struggles in wrestling is dropping and losing weight days before their competitions has to be one of the real struggles they face during their season.

It’s more than just going into a meet, pinning someone down, and you’re done. Our Joliet West wrestlers practice hard every day like any other athlete, two to three hours a day and on their own time, so they can match their weight to their weight class. They train muscular endurance, muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance to get ready for meets and tournaments they have ahead of them.

Most of our wrestlers here at Joliet West take their sport very seriously. But what is the biggest struggle we ask them, we always assume it’s just the cutting the weight and exercising here and there, but let’s find out the real reason. Senior Jayvin Bandy says, “Cutting down to my weight class is one struggle I face. I maintain my weight by working hard in the practice room and not eating those delicious home cooked meals every day and sometime not even eating a full meal in a few days, but the payout is so worth it. Some days I will come home being four or more pounds over and have to go run it off. Wrestling all year around can be a big struggle as well. It’s nice to have a break now and then, but breaks are for those who don’t want to be successful. I want to be successful in wrestling. I train overtime in Naperville off-season. This has helped me tremendously. The amount of time and dedication I put towards the sport of wrestling is almost unreal, you can say that wrestling is pretty much my life.”

“In order to cut and always be on weight not just for myself but for the team as a whole I eat small meals, never starving myself, I sleep a lot, and overall I come into practice ready to work hard.” says senior Terrell Mitchem. Many students and staff don’t know how hard is it to be a wrestler, and most of them just think of them as kids trying to fight and lose weight, that’s not the case. One by one, they are hard, dedicated, strong athletics we have here at Joliet West High school. Go cheer them on at one of their meets.