Wrestling Builds Skills and Community
February 1, 2019
Singlets and bloody mats, wrestling is a one of a kind sport offered within Academy District 20 schools.
The amount of dedication these athletes put in every day can sometimes go unrecognized. The wrestling gym is small and hidden in the corner of A building; yet, every day, more than 30 boys gather to train within its walls.
Wrestlers get into training way prior to the season, building strength and improving their technique. Most athletes even maintain strict diets in order to stay within their weight classes.
Though many wrestlers can take the weight loss routine too far, head coach Nate Hill remarked that, “It used to be all about cutting weight, but it has shifted more to doing your best and having fun.”
Still, competition is important to ASD20 wrestling teams, who push on for the chance to compete at regionals, and their practices are intensifying.
A basic Air Academy High School wrestling practice consists of starting with a fun game to get the blood pumping, followed by short bursts of sprints around the wrestling room. After that, they break into choreographed drilling for 15-20 minutes followed by a 15 minute technique session. This is followed up by conditioning and live work. To finish their practice off, they’ll regroup as a team to stretch and occasionally do some yoga.
The team not only puts in hard work at practice. They have tournaments almost every weekend. Earlier this season, the team took a trip to Kansas for an all-weekend tournament.
Through the ups and downs of this 2018-19 season (see Tragedy Strikes During Wrestling Season), wrestlers all over the district are working harder than ever to finish off their season strong. Observing one of the AAHS practices proved to me just how precious this community they have built is, and the amount of fun they create while working their bodies to the maximum.
“We are a family,” concluded coach Hill as he glanced back at his team with gleaming eyes.
Tragedy Strikes During Wrestling Season
Wrestling all over the city was on standard schedule until recently, when fellow wrestler from Discovery Canyon Campus was killed in a car accident alongside his girlfriend Avory Kvale, on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018.
17-year-old Kaden Currier was a dedicated wrestler as well as a phenomenal friend, whose death impacted far beyond the wrestling community. DCC wrestlers experienced terrible grief following their teammate’s death, cancelling a huge tournament that week.
“I’m going to remember Kaden as a friend, and someone who knew what he was doing in life. Whether it was during tournaments or just in general, if I needed something, I knew I could ask Kaden,” said DCC wrestler Nicholas Ganis.
AAHS Wrestling Coach Nate Hill views the D20 wrestling teams as one huge community–a community that was deeply impacted by Currier’s death.
“It is tragic what happened for his family. I didn’t know him that well but I still feel for him,” said AAHS wrestler Brady Badwound.
As the season continues on, the DCC community has been holding strong with offering counseling to help their students along with the wrestling team.
“More recently I tend to remember how much Kaden would want to be in my position during a meet, it’s really hard to bear but it makes me more thankful for the opportunity to wrestle,” added Ganis as he wishes to finish off this season in memory of his beloved friend.