Wrestling takes to the mats

Despite multiple setbacks and more than a full year passing since their last match, wrestling will finally be taking place.

This year, the season is going to be shorter and the team is going to be smaller, due to the pandemic.

“About 25 wrestlers (came out) this year, which is about half as many as we usually start the season with,” said coach Collin McKillip. 

Even though the season will be shorter, the athletes are still looking forward to competing this year.

“My goal for this year for wrestling is just to be the best wrestler I can be and win more matches than lose matches,” said senior Dane Massey.

“(I) just (want to) compete and get better,” said junior Peter Weitgenant.  

This wrestling season is not very different from last year as far as competitions are concerned, but the cleanliness of the mats is being emphasized, and the number of participants is restricted to dual meets only.

Wrestling really isn’t changing that much physically. Obviously, our season has switched from the winter to the summer season, which is a big change, but other than that, we are just trying to be extra clean in the wrestling room,” McKillip said. 

Wrestling is following all of the precautions that all sports are following. There have been no cases of COVID amongst the athletes as of now.

“We have to wear a mask during practice. Just like if you go into a store or if you play another sport, you have to wear a mask, but when we have like meets and tournaments, you do not have to wear your mask when wrestling. But while you’re waiting to wrestle, you have to wear your mask,” Weitgenant said.  

Wrestling can be a sport for everyone.

“Yes. I would recommend wrestling for boys and girls because it teaches people not to give up and can teach you good sportsmanship,” Weitgenant said.

Kids can sign up just like all the other sports on rSchool. Or they can talk to Coach Kelly or myself about their interest. We will always take more people, and girls wrestling is really growing in the state of Illinois. So I hope to get more girls out for the team in the near future,” McKillip said.