A recent wrestling tournament was held on Friday, November 30 in Oconto where the team placed second. This tournament had an excellent outcome for it being one of the first this season.
Junior Benjamin Carroll wrestled five people and won 7-2 in the finals. Carroll thought there were too many matches that they should have won. Losing four matches was the turning point in their close victory.
Carroll described the difficulty in performing as he stated, “The fact that wrestling is physically and mentally tough, it is very easy to let yourself get beaten into the mat. You have to be just as mentally tough as you are physical to succeed in this sport.”
The team added new members that included junior Tanessa Krysheski and senior Sara Podavini. Krysheski is a manager but thought about competing. Due to unforeseen circumstances, she is no longer able to do so. Podavini wrestled three guys in the Oconto meet and unfortunately lost.
Being a foreign exchange student and having never tried wrestling before, Podavini was looking for something different to be involved in while still being active. The team welcomed her and treated her as an equal. Podavini noted that she is lucky to have the coaches support her and help her, especially Mr. Konitzer.
“Being the only girl on the team is hard because I have to wrestle guys which is very difficult. I set goals like be more confident in my abilities, to condition more to be more agile and to be able to take down a guy, maybe even beat them,” stated Podavini.
Podavini is used to doing high-intensity workouts and brutal practices as she competed in Crossfit back in Italy. However, Crossfit is something done as an individual, whereas wrestling is a team effort. Podavini thought that the team aspect could help her to keep going and to continue pushing as the team gives that little bit of energy she thought she did not have.
Carroll noted his favorite part of wrestling by stating, “My favorite part of wrestling is getting the opportunity to punish my opponent for stepping out on that mat with me. I also believe girls wrestling is great to see, and I’m glad the sport is evolving.”
Carroll had been anticipating this season as he went to the same JROB camp for ten days and wrestled at every opportunity all summer. Carroll’s goals are to be above the .900 percentile and to go to state. Carroll’s father, Dave Carroll, is the most significant influence on his wrestling career and pushes him to succeed each day.
The most satisfying part of wrestling for Podavini is being able to leave her heart out on the mat knowing she gave everything she had. Being able to see the progress throughout the weeks is the biggest reward.
“I just want to prove to people that girls can do wrestling and anything a guy can. If you actually believe in yourself, I think you can achieve anything not just in wrestling but in life. Don’t listen to the negativity other people have to say,” said Podavini.