Blood, Sweat, and Singlets

By: Tyler Garling
Teamwork is a vital part of any sport. No matter what it is, whether it be football, soccer, basketball, or even baseball, a team needs all of its members to go above and beyond if it wants to be successful. There’s no “I” in team…unless it is wrestling.
Though wrestling is a team, it doesn’t function like one. Each member of the wrestling team has to wrestle their own matches single-handedly. This makes wrestling one of the most intense sports at Tuscarora. Though wrestling is extremely difficult, many students have risen to the challenge.
Senior Onslo Parker became interested in wrestling when Coach Bango told the football team about the sport. “It looked really interesting at the time and I decided to give it a try,” said Parker. Needless to say, Parker was hooked and has been wrestling since 2010.
Being part of the wrestling team comes with its challenges, and Parker has had plenty to face this season. During meets on Saturdays, wrestlers may have to participate in up to five matches. Parker, like many other wrestlers, needs to keep his energy levels high throughout the day so he can emerge victorious from a match.
Matches aren’t only physically straining, but also mentally. Getting into your opponent’s head and psyching him out is a pivotal part of every match. Before every match, all the wrestlers warm up and prepare for their upcoming event.
“I warm up with one of my friends and then I sit down and mentally visualize what I’m going to do in the match,” explained Parker. “Then, right before it’s time for me to go up, I take off my warm-ups, stretch, and get the blood flowing.”
Another senior, Fayez Atari, was also convinced when Coach Bango enlightened the football team about wrestling. Atari was interested and thought it would be a fun experience. The 2012-2013 season is Atari’s first on the wrestling team, and he has a firsthand account of the challenges the team brings.
“A big challenge for me will be getting through the season because it’s pretty tough. You have to be conditioned well for practices and matches,” said Atari.
After this season, Atari hopes to gain some good experiences, fun times, and knowledge of wrestling.
One student many people might associate with the wrestling team is junior Alex McCord. McCord has been wrestling in high school for two years, and has 35 takedowns this season and has even won MVP at the Loudoun County Duals.
“I hope this season I can make it to states,” said McCord. McCord’s success doesn’t just come from his physical strength, but also his mindset before a match. “I don’t freak out and just get pumped up for the match,” explained McCord.
Every wrestler must make sure their nerves are calm and, before their match, they don’t get nervous. If nerves get the best of them, they’ll end the match face down on the mat. Two wrestlers, Will Siryani and Matt Mettenheimer, serve as two of the team’s three captains, along with Jack Lord.
As captains, the three have a lot to keep track of and are definitely up for the task.
“I make sure people are doing what they need to do, make sure they’re warming up right, make sure they’re ready for their matches, and help them out if they have any questions about a move or anything,” said Mettenheimer.
“As a captain, I lead the team: make them get mentally and physically fit and keep them in shape,” added Siryani.
Indeed, wrestling is one of the most physically straining sports Tuscarora has to offer, but that doesn’t turn off the many students who participate in wrestling. After all, wrestling is one of the only sports where you’re the only one who can make yourself successful. No other sport requires the strength, mentality, and determination as wrestling. With the caliber of wrestlers on this year’s team, it is expected that Tuscarora will have quite a few very successful wrestlers at the end of the season.