Wakefield wrestling handles new changes


Photo Courtesy for Steve Stock

Junior Andrew Meyere and senior Isaiah Willett are proud after a win.

Anthony Howard, Co-Editor-In-Chief

At the start of a new season, Wakefield’s wrestling team begins to grapple with the introduction of new members and a new head coach.

Beginning to understand the terminology of wrestling is one obstacle, but trying to educate various athletes of the sport is another. With only three athletes returning from last year’s season, the team is under construction as each individual begins to learn the rules of the game and form relationships amongst themselves.

One returning member of the team, junior Andrew Meyer, helms the position of captain and finds that the title comes with a great amount of responsibility and mentorship.

“This is my first year being a captain of a team, so it is new to me. It is a lot of responsibility,” Meyer said. “It is almost like you are a student coach, but you have to keep your team straight and organize them at meets and make sure that they are working hard.”

If you lose, it just means that you are just learning. Keep working

— Meyer

Meyer has been a part of the team since his freshman year. Throughout the years, he has witnessed the coming and going of wrestlers, and the transition from one head coach to the next. Despite all of this, Meyer remains hopeful about the current condition of the team and looks on the bright side of the situation.

“This year we have a lot of kids wrestling. The previous years we had to forfeit a lot of weight classes, so we had no chance of winning and this year most of our weight classes are filled,” Meyer said. “[The new wrestlers] are learning quickly and they are dedicated. This year as a team we will be better than last year.”

With the push to achieve great feats in the new season, the wrestling team has begun the process of training new athletes on proper technique, conditioning, and learning basic wrestling moves.

Will Dennis, a sophomore, is a new member and joined the team due to his dad competing in the sport in high school. He appreciates the aid of his teammates, especially Meyers, as he tries to navigate the ways of wrestling.

Photo Courtesy for Steve Stock
Wrestling team practice lead by Coach Williams.

“We have some really good people on the wrestling team and great mentors like Andrew Meyer,” Dennis said. “You get beat a lot when you first start, but I have won one match out of my six, so I am getting better.”

Another new member of the team finds his experience to be similar. Chase Taylor, a senior, played the sport in fourth grade and is now returning to it due to his father wrestling in high school as well.   Already knowing a few rules of wrestling, Taylor has enjoyed the experience thus far.

“I learned how to push myself,” Taylor said. “It is definitely tough, but I like staying in shape, so it is good.”

With this being his first year as head coach, science teacher, Russell Williams, is using his experience as the prior assistant coach, to propel the team in a positive direction. The transition from one position to the next is an easy one for Williams, as he understands the responsibility that comes with it.

“It has been a pretty smooth transition,” Williams said. “A lot of the logistical parts like scheduling, finance, and that kind of stuff has been pretty stressful, but as far as just teaching the sport, that has been fun.”

During the tryout process, Williams searches for athletes that display certain intangible qualities. He does not make cuts, so that means that each athlete has a favorable chance to join the team.

“People cut themselves if they do not want to be a part of the team, but as long as you are being positive and you are trying, and you are learning, and you are growing, then you are still a member of the team,” Williams said.

Wrestling is a competitive and invigorating sport, and Meyers offers a piece of advice to current and future members of the team to inspire them to work hard.

“If you lose, it just means that you are just learning. Keep working. If you aren’t going to work, you are not going to get better. Your work will eventually pay off,” Meyers said.