Tackling new challenges

The boys’ wrestling team is set to compete at the District Duels match on Saturday, Jan. 18. The team has had a successful season thus far with a full team this year, demonstrating promise for the increasingly competitive matches approaching. 

“We have a full lineup, so we’re not missing any weight classes,” boys’ wrestling coach Noel Peterson said. “They’ve been very successful at working hard, improving and getting better [about] what to do. We still have a long way to go, though.” 

As the team continues to grow and find strength in numbers, expectations rise as well. This is an important concept for upperclassmen like senior Luke Halter, as they must set the example for their younger teammates.

“I’m a senior, so [there’s] a lot more expectations put on me and that’s a bit difficult to cope with sometimes,” Halter said. “I have to [ignore everything], not think about those [expectations], just think about myself and wrestle like I always have.”

In addition to the expectations, the team continues to navigate through other essential concepts such as team building and unity. The rigorous demands of wrestling practice assist the boys by solidifying the notion of working as a unit rather than focusing on individual performance.

“I think us being in practice every day is team building in itself,” senior captain Quentin Borchardt said. “We rely on each other not to screw up.”

Peterson finds the best approach in securing his wrestlers to work efficiently is through demonstration, utilizing the distinctiveness of the sport to further motivate the athletes in preparing for matches.

“I just try to motivate them and correct them on their technique,” Peterson said. “As they’re working with another partner or wrestling in a practice match, I’ll instruct them on what to do. Pain’s a powerful motivator and it works. It’s a unique sport.”

As the team prepares to take on District Duels and advance to more challenging matches thereafter, the players hope to remember the new ideas they’ve embedded into their training so far this season, as well as their true reason for wrestling.

“[To motivate myself], I have to remember the feeling [I] get when [I] get my hand raised at the end of a match,” Halter said. “Wrestling practice can be really hard sometimes. It can be tough to keep your motivation, so you have to call back that feeling and remember how much you want that.”