The Importance of Wrestling at West Park

The first round starts and the two competitors are immediately pressing up against each other. Sweating up a storm as they fight to score points. It’s all a blur of fast thinking and stiffening your muscles before all of a sudden, you or your opponent hits the mat. 

Wrestling seems like a pretty easy and straightforward game but it takes a lot of skill. Blake Benoit, a sophomore at West Park high school said “Wrestling is really tiring, a lot of the time I try to avoid making plans on the days I have practice but if I do, I usually have to cancel them because I’m super sore and tired” He continued on saying that he has to schedule his week around wrestling.   

Wrestling is one of the first sports in history, people have found cave drawings of wrestling that go back thousands of years. That’s where the idea of wrestling originated. Unlike football, wrestling hasn’t changed so much throughout the years. Sure a few rules and safety precautions have been placed but at the center it’s still the same sport it was 100 years ago. 

Wrestling doesn’t have many rules but a few no’s are, no punching, no overlapping your fingers or hands or arms around the opponent, and no grabbing clothing or headgear. 

Wrestling is measured in a points system. Not an “if you pin him to the mat you win” system. You can earn 1 point from an escape, 2 points from a reversal or a take down and 2-3 points for a near fall. A match is won by the first person to receive 6 points.

 Wrestlers have very strict and extreme diets. You start by getting weighed in to determine who you can fight fairly. After weigh-ins, you can gain or lose as much weight as you want but you only have around 24 hours to do so. As one might guess, wrestlers want to gain weight so they have more leverage over their opponent. “The night before a match I have to eat more than I usually do in 3 days.” 

In Addition to having a strict diet, wrestlers also have a very strict workout schedule. “I feel like there isn’t a time when my brother is not at the gym,” said Laila Karzai, a freshman at West Park. Karzai’s brother takes wrestling very seriously and is a senior at West Park High School.

Although Wrestling isn’t the most popular sport at West Park, that doesn’t make it any easier.