Wrestling team shows passion and determination

Photo courtesy of Josiah Miranda

By Reeva Askar

There are many teams on campus that have a lot of notoriety. You see them at the pep rallies. You hear them on the announcements. You see them walking around with their uniforms and gear. But the wrestling team is relatively unknown.

Being a lesser-known team, they are one of the larger teams on campus with 66 students.
In wrestling, there are three main types of wrestling in the sport in general: freestyle wrestling, Greco-Roman wrestling, and folkstyle wrestling. High school wrestling uses folkstyle wrestling.

Folkstyle wrestling is when one wrestler tries to control their opponent by getting behind the opponent and forcing them down on their back to pin them for an automatic win if held for at least three seconds.

In matches, wrestlers receive points by moves with their opponents, adding to their individual score and ultimately their team. Of course, a is an automatic win, but there are a few other ways to gain points if the pin isn’t available.

One of these methods is a takedown, which is when a wrestler gets his or her opponent down and controls him or her, which earns two points.

An escape is when a wrestler gets away from the opponent once they have control, which earns one point. A reversal is when you and your opponent switch positions, such as if a wrestler were on the bottom but spins around to the top of his or her opponent. This move can earn two points in a match.

During practice, everyone really has a fun time. When they’re doing their warm-ups, they carry each other around to get used to carrying someone your own weight and someone heavier and mainly to build strength and endurance.

They also do handstands and cartwheels to build the mobility and comfort of being in a situation where you are upside down and in many unusual positions. These warm-ups help wrestlers to learn how to maneuver around when they are on the mat.

Even though there is a lot of bonding and laughter that happens during warm-ups, practices quickly grow serious.

“Wrestling is challenging because these athletes are coming in, getting beat up, having to do conditioning, and coming back to do it all over again,” coach Franklin Flores said. “They have to be passionate.”

Much of their practices involve working through certain movements and techniques to help during their matches, such as shoots, which is the main move in wrestling. Shoots involve going for the legs in order to shoot for a takedown.

The team has plenty of matches coming up where they can put their practice to use. They are scheduled to compete today and tomorrow at the Coyote Classic at East Bakersfield High School. There will be a dual meet at Chatsworth High School on December 15. And there are several competitions lined up for January.

Wrestling is a very challenging sport because it involves so many different movements and so much concentration.

“It’s a really muscle-demanding sport,” junior Felipe Knight said. “You have to constantly be at 100 percent. You have to use a lot of strength and muscular endurance, as well as do cardio.”
Even though wrestling may be harder on some people with the late practices and having to cut down or eat more to stay in their weight class, certain people can find it stress relieving and a way to take out all of their emotions.

“The thing about wrestling is that it really helps me find myself as a person because this is a sport that really relies on your own mental thought. So there’s a lot that I have to figure out in my own head during matches. It is not only an emotional outlet but also a sport where I have to train myself and my mind,” junior Martha Ha said.