The Work of Wrestling

Two wrestlers are on the mat, each struggling to fight for power over the other. They lunge for each other’s legs trying to gain an advantage over the other. This leaves the wrestlers tired, but they want to prove themselves not only to themselves but to their coaches and the spectators. They hear a pound on the mat, and the round is over. 

Wrestling is one of the sports at the school with fewer players; however, four members of the team qualified to compete in the state championship. One of those qualifiers is sophomore Luke Cornelison.

Cornelison is a second-year wrestler who placed third at the state tournament on February 24 and 25. He started his wrestling career through his family. “I never necessarily wanted to wrestle,” said Cornelison. “My grandfather and dad both wrestled in high school, so they took me to the state tournament to watch. I thought it was really cool. I really enjoyed it, and that was about six years ago.”

Having an assistant coach as a father has had some challenges, but is more beneficial than not. Cornelison said, “It’s beneficial to have him there. He knows a lot about wrestling, but it’s sometimes weird because he is my dad. I don’t get treated any differently. I don’t have to run any less laps or anything like that. I think it is important that he is there so that he can help coach the team. I think it is great we have him.”

Cornelison feels a rush of nervousness when he steps onto the mat. “It is a really intense feeling,” he said. “It is only you and him out there. None of your team can help you. Your coaches can’t help you. If you win, it’s all on you. If you lose, that devastating feeling is all on yourself.” 

Cornelison gets through the low times of the sports through mental strength. He said, “That’s where wrestling is a hugely mental sport. I have to think, ‘Okay, I just lost. It’s only me who lost, but why did I lose? What can I change in practice to beat him next time?’ You have to be competitive to wrestle. If you don’t want to win, there’s a high chance you won’t have the ability to.”

Teacher sponsor for the team, Mr. Jordan Robertson highly suggests wrestling for any boy for its many benefits. He said, “It’s an opportunity that if you give it the right respect, can make a better man out of you. It is a sport that can only prepare you for real-world situations. It is a great program. It is a program that can only develop young men to make better men.”

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