Wrestling Team Prepares To Pin Competition To The Mat
December 11, 2015
Filed under Sports
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The shed outside of Jamestown is more than just storage; it is the homeland and practice venue of our Jamestown wrestling team. In order to prepare for the upcoming season, the team has been conditioning two days a week for two hours a day.
Throughout the years, the wrestling team holds practice in the shed outside, near the baseball field. “It is hot, humid, and small. You are bound to puke the first day,” sophomore Tarkan Eastham said. “It takes a lot of energy to push yourself to go to practice every day in the shed,” he continued. The team hopes to move their practice location in the near future, but a specific location has not been determined.
Head coach Richard Pennycuff has been coaching for six years at Jamestown, previously our very own resource officer. “[He is a] great coach and a great person. He has the best interest of the kids at heart. He is enthusiastic about the sport,” Athletic Director Kenny Edwards said. Pennycuff and Assistant Coach Gabe Darber work together to prepare the teammates for the season.
In order to perform at the highest potential, the coaches regulate what each wrestler eats and how much weight they gain or lose. “Wrestlers are classified into 14 weight classes which determine their opponent. It is good to stay within your weight class, which means you are not gaining or losing weight,” Coach Pennycuff explained. Wrestlers are then paired based on similar body weight. Although physical shape plays a large role in making the team, if one is devoted to reaching their personalized goal, they can earn a place on the team.
Going into the season, a wrestler is also required to take a hydration test, drinking at least two gallons of water throughout the day of the test. “We pee in a cup, which is then tested by Mrs. Amanda [Miller] for concentration and color,” junior Niko Naranjo explained. If the concentration of their urine is above 0.025, which is a dull yellow, then they are ineligible to compete because of the higher risk of passing out during a match.
Aside from the hydration test, the wrestlers are also required to take a body mass index test. This includes comparing body fat to muscle mass. “Ms. Amanda uses the pinch test to total our body fat percentages,” Naranjo said. This means that P.E. teacher Amanda Miller uses a tool to pinch your skin to measure the amount of fat between the two layers of skin. These numbers are used to set goals for the wrestlers for how much fat they need to lose or gain.
At the beginning of each practice, the boys run three miles through the woods. “After running, we wrestle our hardest for 45 minutes,” Naranjo explained. Then, at the end of each practice, they complete 60 pushups and 100 curl-ups. It is important to stay physically fit throughout the season so one can stay within their weight class, and they can be stronger when it comes time to compete.
Last year, the team had a 9-17 record. “The team record does not give us justice. We had a lot of individual improvement throughout the season,” sophomore Phillip Neubia explained. This year there will be a greater turnout with there being enough wrestlers to fill all 14 weight classes. With the greater amount of participants this year, there are more chances to bring home the win for Jamestown.
Most sports succeed as a group, winning and losing as a team; wrestling does not follow this custom. “If you mess up, it is all on you. You can’t blame it on the team,” freshman Thomas Bakker said. Wrestling is all about the individual, each member separately taking on an opponent. The score is then tallied by how many points each wrestler retains during each match, which are then combined and compared to the opposing team to determine the winner of the meet.
The wrestling season is in full swing starting in December. “We have put in a lot of work for our three month season to be our time to shine,” senior Nima Afzalirad said. The wrestling team is ready to dominate with their guidance from the two captains, seniors Connor Hurley and Travis Heatwoll, both wrestling for the Eagles since 2012.
In the previous season, the wrestling team competed only at their opponents venues. This year, two matches are scheduled at home against Smithfield and York, held in the main gym on January 12 and January 15. The Eagles’ season begins on December 5 against the Rams at Lafayette High School.