Manly sport makes its seasonal debut

Wrestling training has begun; first match Nov. 16

Chandler Lopez pins Truitt Slade during wrestling conditioning

Christian Santiago

Chandler Lopez pins Truitt Slade during wrestling conditioning

Imagine a bunch of sweaty guys pinning each other on a big mat in the middle of the cafeteria. Gross, right?

This is what the cafeteria looks like after school during the winter. It’s wrestling season.

“It’s a man’s sport,” wrestling head coach Nelson Patton said with a scowl. “It brings out the character in you and builds it up.”

The way it should be looked at, if you can be slammed on the mat until your heads starts ringing, and be able to get back up and keep fighting, that is what puts you on a higher plane than everyone else. A lot of people can’t do that.

What Coach Patton meant by “showing character” is that most people would not be able to get right back up and keep driving. Most would just give up after the excessive sets of flutter kicks, crunches, and pushups.

During a recent session of wrestling conditioning, a couple of the team’s elite wrestlers were asked about their outlook of their grueling conditioning sessions.

“I love it,” said cross creek high school junior, Chandler Lopez. “It shows you how bad you want to succeed, and what you need to do to get to the top.”

Meanwhile, an out-of-breath Brandon Dowling, a state qualifier and runner-up has a different outlook on things.

“Conditioning sucks,” Dowling said. “But it pays off in the end. I like practices, but hate conditioning. But believe me when I say that this will be a season to remember.”

The Cross Creek Mathogs have their first match at Westside High School on Nov. 16.

Anyone interested in “making a man out of yourself” can go down to the track after school for warmup laps, because like Dowling said, “This will be a season to remember.”