Dominating the Mat

Akins wrestlers train their bodies, minds for battle

Leila Gomez uses her body weight to pin down her opponent.

Amora Arriaga, Photo Editor

“Let’s go Eagles!” was all I could yell while I was experiencing such an intense match.

Never in my four years of high school did I think that being able to feel this excited could come from a sport like this one. The only time I found myself and others enjoying a sport this much is at a football, basketball or volleyball game.

Walking in, everything looked like any other time I had been in the gym…

But after a couple of minutes, things start to feel different. Before the matches start, the players have to get weighed in. This happens behind the scenes but is very important because it determines which weight class they will be competing in.

As soon as they were ready, the first thing that they did was give a handshake with their opponents. Because wrestling is a tough contact sport no matter how physical they get, the players have to maintain respect for each other first. After the handshakes, the match started.

While squinting their eyes, and trying to grapple each other I started to feel very anxious.

Not only because things were getting physical, but because it makes you want to jump in and I had to stay on the sidelines.

I started questioning the rules and wondering how they scored points so I decided to contact my very close friend Google and asked how the scoring worked in high school wrestling.

The referee had a different colored sweatband on each wrist. Always standing by very closely and officiating the match by making numbers with his fingers.

Very quickly I realized what was going on. The different color sweatbands on each arm represented each team. And every time he called out a number with his fingers in different hands and that’s how many points each wrestler scored.

Wrestling might be a fun sport to view from the stands, but on the mat is where we see our students get rough. I learned new rules and a slightly different way of communicating and saw how hard playing this sport is. By the end of this season, our eagle players should have 29 games during a 13 week period. I found that being here was a very thrilling experience.