Wrestlers prepare, persevere as they face upcoming matches


Wrestlers warm up, preparing for the match on Wed., Jan. 23. Photo taken by Desiray Martinez in the mat room on Jan. 23.

Before the wrestlers hit the mat, they have a relatively strict regimen they must live by.  Covered by the local newspaper, the wrestling team is also well known at Ocean Lakes, and many people come to watch.

“The wrestlers here at Ocean Lakes lift weights in the morning on a regular basis for the entire year, and they run at practice every day during the season,” said wrestling coach Chris Barnhart, who believes that successful wrestlers start by making good choices on and off the mat.

“Coach tells us what we need to do and what to expect from [each] tournament,” said sophomore wrestler Malachai LaFlamme.

“To prepare for a tournament, first I have to make sure I’m on weight, then I workout to keep my endurance up and eat healthily,” said Malachai.

Staying focused and prepared is key.

“I put wrestling first. I work hard every day for this sport,” said senior wrestler Isaiah Lopez. “Walking away with a win takes a lot more than meets the eye.”

Spectators may overlook the preparation, and only see how many pins they get during the match or tournament.

“We practice really hard throughout the week; the day of the tournament, we get a really good warm up in, so we are prepared,” said senior Cami Miller.  Although wrestlers work hard throughout the year, the intensity is raised just prior to the match or tournament.

“In wrestling, you can win a lot of matches with outstanding technique. However, great technique is not everything; you must have top-notch conditioning. I have had many wrestlers here at Ocean Lakes that were average athletes but became great wrestlers that placed or won States due to being self-driven and very motivated, ” said Barnhart.