Wrestlers’ relationships help win championships

Zara Thomas

On Thursday, Feb. 24, girls wrestling went to State at Hartmann Arena, where two out of four girls that went placed. Two days later, on Feb. 26, the boys also went to State, where eight out of twelve boys placed. Boys also won second place overall in the state.

One thing that all of these wrestlings can agree on is that they couldn’t have gotten there without their team and coaches.

“(Our coaches) are the best coaches in the world,” junior Tate Rusher, who won first in the 138-pound boys’ bracket, said. “I mean, they care about you on and off the mat…. They text you words of encouragement when you’re feeling down. (If) you lose a big match, they’re always there for you. They’re great people; I love them.”

The wrestling coaches always make sure to be supportive of their wrestlers.

“My favorite thing about my coaches (is that) they’re real supportive, never negative on us,” junior Knowlyn Egan said. “(They) always have our back no matter what and we can always count on them.” Egan placed third in the 145-pound bracket.

Not only are the coaches great, but the teammates are too, with several of them calling the wrestling team their “family.”

“They’re really hardworking in practice; they never stop,” freshman Jayden Grijalva said, who placed 6th in the 106-pound bracket. “Like, if you’re tired, they’ll push you through.”

Some wrestlers also thank God for their success in the sport.

“(God) really gave me a team, my girls team,” sophomore Amara Esha, who won first in the girls’ 101-pound bracket, said. “He really gave me a team that brought me closer to Him. And I think that’s the only reason why I won this state championship.”

Sophomore Meya Howell, who won second place in the girls’ 191-pound bracket, agrees that she couldn’t have done so well at State without God.

“Before every match, I’m talking to God,” Howell said. “When I start getting anxious over there, I lay down and just play music…. I don’t know, just talking with God kind of helps calm my nerves and help me know I can do it and give me less doubt.”