Wrestling is an attitude. Not only is it mentally challenging, but physically demanding. At Chaminade High School, both girl and boy wrestlers are expected to push themselves past their physical boundaries without mentally breaking. They also must maintain a positive attitude throughout the frustrations they will encounter while practicing excellence. A strong drive to succeed no matter the failures one may encounter is a must have in the personality of a wrestler.
“Practice perfection, settle for nothing less than excellence,” is the foundation in which Chaminade wrestling coach, Bill Wilson, exemplifies his award-winning wrestling team by. The life of a wrestler can be described as always practicing to perfect technique; whether technique is finding a mental edge on an opponent, working out to fit your body’s maximum potential, or specially dieting to fit into a certain weight class.
Wilson has been a wrestler since his freshman year in high school. He started wrestling in third grade and was on varsity wrestling his freshman through senior years of high school. He used the skills he learned in wrestling in the United States Airforce. Wilson has won multiple state level tournaments in the styles of freestyle wrestling and Greco-Roman wrestling. His inspiration for becoming a high school wrestling coach derives from his incredible experiences wrestling. He feels a calling to “give back” to the community of wrestlers.
Although wrestling is a fun sport, it is not always the safest. According to Coach Wilson, injuries such as pulled muscles and twisted limbs are quite common. This should not be surprising due to all the time wrestlers spend training and participating in matches. On average, Chaminade wrestlers wrestle 10 hours per week and train two to three days per week during off-season. During workout days, wrestlers practice Olympic-style wrestling, freestyle wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. These different types of wrestling help improve certain tactile skills that will give them an edge on their opponent. For example, freestyle wrestling forces wrestlers to take down their opponents from their feet. In continuation, Greco-Roman wrestling forces wrestlers into uncomfortable positions and requires them to use their upper body to take down their competitor.
If Chaminade wrestlers are not practicing in the gym, they are winning matches. Tournaments occur nearly every Saturday and last from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Not only do wrestlers attend these matches, but their families do as well. They are expected to sit for hours and wait for their turn to compete in one or two matches. This year, eight wrestlers from Chaminade qualified for CIF’s. Jacob O’Brian, one of the eight who were qualified for CIF’s, was also recently placed as No. 5 in the list of top wrestlers in California and is going to Cornell University on a wrestling scholarship.
Wrestling is a mindset and a physical challenge that requires hours and hours of blood, sweat and tears in order to exceed exceptionally. Due to this fact, Coach Wilson felt the need to create an award for those who have participated on the Chaminade wrestling team for four years, thus, the Iron Eagle Award came to be. This award can only be earned by those who have been wrestling on the Chaminade wrestling team for four years. Just like iron, the mindset and physical presence of a wrestler must exemplify balance and strength. This award is not only a “thank you” from Chaminade for all the hard work put into the sport, but is also a huge honor to receive and “puts the cap” on the athletes high school wrestling experience.
By: Brittany Pakfar