Behind the Scenes: Wrestling

Gettel+taking+down+his+opponent+at+the+State+Tournament.

Courtesy of Jon Gettel

Gettel taking down his opponent at the State Tournament.

Winter sports are underway! Among these winter sports is wrestling and their season is coming to a start. With the season starting, let’s take a deeper dive into the behind the scenes of the wrestling team.

Wrestling is a very complex sport and can be confusing to beginners. Coach John DeLozier argues that a main skill in wrestling is the growth mindset that is needed to succeed. “This means that you have to focus on progress and not results. There is a high degree of skill in wrestling that takes time to develop, and someone who hasn’t developed the necessary skills will struggle to win matches at the beginning of their careers. Focusing on small improvements over time, even if it doesn’t translate into victories right away, is the most important thing for beginners to know,” DeLozier said in an email interview.

DeLozier is going into his 3rd year as the BSM wrestling coach and is looking to build on a very successful last season. This is DeLozier’s first year away from Benilde-St. Margaret’s, but he still remains the wrestling coach. He encourages everyone to consider wrestling for many reasons. “The purpose of sport is to grow in virtue; that is, habits that lead us to objectively higher goods. Wrestling allows someone to do that better than any other sport or activity because of what it demands of an athlete. If you let it, wrestling will mold you into a person who is capable of self-control, puts the needs of others before themselves, and who is disciplined enough to take responsibility for their own actions,” DeLozier said.

Wrestling is 90% conditioning. If you have the best wrestling moves in the world, and go against someone with great conditioning, by the second or third period, and you can’t execute those moves, well, it’s not going to end well,”

— Jon Gettel

Weight classes are a very unique aspect of the sport. Each player is divided into 14 weight classes differing between 106 and 285 pounds (106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220, and heavyweight). This keeps the sports fair and evenly matched. “It’s important because it separates someone who’s maybe five foot ten or five foot eleven weighing 160 pounds so that they don’t wrestle the seventh grader weighing 106 pounds. It just makes it a lot more fair because we don’t want someone who’s a lot stronger facing someone who’s weaker. It just balances it out,” junior wrestler Chris Redden said.

Currently, the team is holding captains practices, which are open to anyone interested. The practices are going to be between 2.5 to 3 hours a day, 4 days a week, with meets on Thursdays and tournaments over the weekend. During the season, the practices are a lot of conditioning which is one of the most important skills of a wrestler. “Wrestling is 90% conditioning. If you have the best wrestling moves in the world, and go against someone with great conditioning, by the second or third period, and you can’t execute those moves, well, it’s not going to end well,” senior Captain Jon Gettel said.

Last year, Gettel went to state after having a 37-2 record and the entire team got to take a field trip to the Xcel Energy Center. This was a great team bonding experience for the entire team. The team even got a Friday off as they went to cheer for Gettel. “There were 16 mats there so there were 16 matches going on at once, so it was very chaotic. We watched a bunch of matches and mainly cheered on Jon,” junior wrestler Matthew Litchy said.

The entire team is a very tight knit group. At the end of each season, the team takes a trip to Cosettas where they share a final meal. Last year, this meal occurred at the state tournament as one final hurrah. This is one of the largest team bonding experiences of the season. Due to the amount of strength, energy, and endurance that the sport requires, the team has a shared mutual respect. “It’s different from football where everyone’s trying to be a cog in the machine. In wrestling, you’re trying to have everyone be a self-sufficient machine and there’s a mutual respect just based on all the effort that it requires,” Gettel said.