For the love of the sport

Rachel Shaw

As a former wrestling manager, and the twin sister of a Liberty wrestler, I have spent a large portion of my four high school years around the Liberty wrestling team— watching them condition at the end of practice, cheering them on at dual meets, and helping keep score at tournaments. Although I have never been a part of the team, I still have learned a great deal about wrestling, and the devoted group of athletes who choose to partake in the sport.

Most students don’t grasp the level of hard work and commitment that comes with being a Liberty wrestler. The wrestlers spend their summers lifting weights and working out to prepare for the upcoming season, including a week-long wrestling camp that features three a.m. practices. When the season starts, the team makes the most of its two hour practices. After drills and conditioning, some wrestlers lose up to four pounds during one practice. In addition, the wrestlers spend their Saturdays at tournaments that last the whole day— the tournaments begin before the sun rises, and end after the sun sets.

And of course, we’ve all heard about how wrestlers have to make weight for every meet, which means they often count calories every day, and sometimes have to run around the gym wearing three sweatshirts right before a meet to lose those last few pounds.

The Liberty wrestlers’ hard work and dedication to their sport is truly admirable. They don’t receive any fame or glory for their commitment; even at home meets, the people in the stands don’t consist of much more than parents and sports med students. This clearly displays that the team’s perseverance and desire to improve comes from their own goals to succeed and improve throughout their wrestling careers.

The debate of the toughest sport at Liberty ends here. Wrestlers endure grueling practices, making weight, and long tournaments, all for their sheer love of the sport. Wrestling is undoubtedly the most difficult, but also the most rewarding sport at Liberty High School.