Varsity wrestling engages onward

Varsity wrestlers charges to brawl


Photo by: Paul Gheremy Prowel

With the seasonal sports being held via LiveStream, varsity wrestling warms up before clashing against the McHenry High School Warriors and the Waukegan High School Bulldogs on May 4. Dennis Carcamo shared the mentality he always applies during his matches. “I just have to push through the pain and mentally prepare myself to win because it’s going to be a fight throughout all of those six minutes,” said Carcamo.

Paul Gheremy Prowel, Staff Reporter

The varsity wrestling team tussles against both the North Chicago High School Warhawks and the Marian Catholic School Spartans to officially start off their first game of the season held in Grayslake Central High’s wrestling room on April 29. The wrestling team already accomplished their first six matches and is now continuing their way throughout the entire season as they reach their mid-season match.

Many of the wrestlers were multiple athletes for spring sports. Head varsity wrestling coach, Matthew Joseph, shared the preparation they made before the seasonal spring sports started. “We participated in the lifting, speed training with other teams. We also had open mats where the wrestlers got to come into the wrestling room to start to work to get ready for the season. We did this four days a week for an hour–for about a month or so before the season started,” said Joseph.

With the season being compressed to a short amount of time, varsity wrestler Dennis Carcamo shared his personal reason and feeling about his season this year. “I feel really [terrible] due to it being my last season, and I don’t have all full potential to get to [the] climax of my skills,” said Carcamo.

Likewise, varsity wrestler Jake Lester stated the inconvenience of not having a state tournament this season. Lester still focused on his personal goal despite being upset. “I’m upset but I can’t change it so I just [have to] keep going. I just want to end my high school career on a good note,” said Lester.

Joseph stated their main goal as the coach while prioritizing the health of everyone. “Our main goal: (1) try to make it through the season without any blurbs with COVID 9, (2) obviously keeping everybody safe. Safety is our number one goal–making sure kids are still enjoying themselves. Everything’s been shortened down without a state tournament,” said Joseph.

Carcamo allocated his personal insight and goal for the season. Carcamo focused more on improvement and being a role model for their lower-level teams. ”My goal is to try to do better than previous years and to try to leave behind a good example of the team to the lower level group of Rams on the team,” said Carcamo

With the current pandemic, proper cleaning and sanitation are always observed by staff, the committee, and the players. Joseph said that in order to keep everyone safe, “doing our part” is a must. “Cleaning the mats–we’ve given special soap to wash and [mop] the walls and the mats daily. We’re going to be setting up in the room after practice to kind of help kill everything that runs for 10 minutes and kind of kills off all bacteria, [and] making sure that the wrestlers do their part,” said Joseph.

Similarly, Joseph always makes sure that all of his athletes are always prepared both physically and mentally. “Checking in with them daily, pushing them in the room, getting them to achieve the physical fitness that the levels they need to be by and practice. All this and making sure that they always got to believe in themselves like they’re not in a rush wrestling is so much more mental than a lot of people think,” said Joseph.

As the head coach and as the program, Joseph explained the mentality that he wants his athletes to build. “We’re always positive. A positive outlook on everything. We’re trying to spend stuff whenever there’s something negative coming off. From that aspect, we find the source of that issue. ‘Why we haven’t dialed for, why are we having these issues,’ and we kind of attack those,” said Joseph.

Finally, Joseph left everyone the key thing to be a good wrestler. “Wrestling is different from any other sport. Lots of weight training, conditioning, and technique. You need all three to be a good wrestler,” stated Joseph.