Ready. Set. Wrestle.

Every weekday night from 4:30 to 6:30, a team practices a sport that goes relatively unnoticed at Catholic High. But they form a bond like no other team in the school.

Wrestling is a sport of takedowns, pins, strategy, and mental determination. The team puts countless hours of work in during the week for just a few minutes on the mat during competition. The athletes also give up their entire weekend to compete in tournaments with their teammates. It’s an individual sport, but also a team sport. The bond that the teammates form goes far beyond the brotherhood that we see in the halls of Catholic High. They form friendships that will last a lifetime. 

The wrestling program here has been very successful over the few years that it has been around.when the sport came to Arkansas High Schools in 2006, our school was one of the first to fill out a roster. Since its forming, the team won one Team State championship in 2014 and had several Individual State Champions.

The majority of the wrestlers have little experience in wrestling or even martial arts before joining the program. Junior Cory Forester said, “I had never wrestled before I got into the program. I started in the middle of my freshman year after some of my friends joined the team. The other guys on the team really embraced me when I started and helped me get up to their speed.”  

Some of the wrestlers had participated in martial arts and had found their love for the sport long before arriving here. As soon as a person join the wrestling team he is immediately in for the long hall. For five months out of the year, the wrestlers will easily put in sixteen to twenty hours a week in practice or tournaments. 

Junior Jackson Dennis said, “I believe that wrestling is the most physically draining sport at Catholic High. After I get done wrestling a full six-minute match, I feel like I could fall down and sleep right where I was standing. The stamina that it takes to wrestle one match is insane; you have to train for months to develop that stamina to wrestle one match. I believe that it is the only sport that if you put in enough work, you can succeed no matter how much God-given talent you have.” 

Forester said, “If you don’t love to be there, you won’t be able to succeed. You have to put in one hundred percent at every practice and every single match to become the best you can be. You have to be determined to reach your goals in this sport; you might even have to be a little crazy to join this sport.”Corey Wrestling

Above: Junior Corey Forester attempts to pin opponent during match. Forester said, “You have to put in one hundred percent at every practice and every single match to become the best you can be.” Photo Courtesy of Mrs. Paula Volpe

 

Wrestling, like most other sports, is a sport of wins and losses. The way a single athlete wrestles determines if the team will either win or lose. Dennis said, “going out there means knowing that you are not just wrestling for you, but you are wrestling for your entire team. One move can determine if we win or lose the tournament. It definitely feels good when you go out there, and you know all of your teammates are rooting for you.” 

Forester said, “When I win a match, it is always great to see your coaches and team going crazy after your win. Sometimes I feel like, after some of my wins, the coaches are happier than I am.”

Each year the athletes in the wrestling program vote on team captain. The team captain could be anyone on the team from freshman to senior. Being a team captain puts a great deal of responsibility on the captains to help the coaches make sure that each teammates is ready for competitions and is performing to the team’s standard in the academic field. Dennis said, “I became a captain last year. It was a big step up from my freshman year. You have to step up and make sure you are a good example for the other wrestlers to look up to. Being the example means you have to work extremely hard in order to make sure you are setting the correct example for the younger guys.”

 Alumnus Jacob Roset said, “during my sophomore year, some of the guys started to look up to me because of success in the previous year. It helped me learn how to be a leader, not just with my team but also just in regular life.’’ 

Being students here, we always hear about the brotherhood that is formed throughout the years of being a student. But some may never understand the bond that is established between teammates. Forester said, “I would have never been able to meet some of the best friends that I have today. If you spend that much time with someone, you can’t help but form a bond with them. Sometimes I feel like I know these guys like they are my actual brothers. Having that sort of bond with someone also comes with drama; we can still get mad at each other like brothers, but that comes with the brotherhood.”

Jacob Wreslting

Ken Dog wrestling

Roset said, “I was a part of the team for all four years that I attended Catholic I formed so many friendships that I believe will never be broken. Right before I left for West Point, I had some of the guys on the team ask to eat with me one last time before I left and others calling and texting me to wish me the best before I took on basic training.’’

The wrestling team is about to start up another year of the day to day. This year will see new teammates and new bonds formed between lifelong friends. No matter what year it is one thing that will always ring true, the hard work that these athletes put in brings them closer in the brotherhood of this school. This idea was best stated by alumnus Jacob Roset when he said, “ There is something about embracing the grind of the day to day that we formed over my four years at Catholic. I wouldn’t have wanted to do it with any other group of guys.”

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Gabby Putnam

    November 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm

    Best story ever. Extremely exquisite

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