Safety first as wrestlers head back to the mat


Tom DiGrispino

Malik Hall plans on comeback after injuries derailed junior season.

Lauren Molenda, Editor

Wrestling practices have started back up in preparation for their upcoming season, which begins this Wednesday. This year, the team hopes to go about their season as normally as possible, despite the challenges COVID-19 presents.

The wrestlers and their coaches are all being proactive to keep one another safe.
Temperature checks are required before weigh-ins, handshakes pre- and post- match have been eliminated, equipment is constantly being thoroughly sanitized, and social distancing and masks are required when not on the mat.

Wrestlers are even provided with sanitizers and body wipes to keep themselves clean during practices and meets.

“I can say that we are doing everything in our power to keep everyone safe and healthy as we navigate through this pandemic,” Coach David Maldonado said.

With all of the safety measures in place, the wrestlers are ready to get back to the mat.

“This year I’ll be wrestling at 220 again, and I’m just ready to push myself to be better than I was last year,” Senior Jason Streck said.

Senior Malik Hall is dedicated to make his last year a memorable one.

“I want to win Sectionals, Regionals, Semi-state, and State. I know if I work hard every day and stay disciplined I can achieve my goals,” Hall said.

Some of the team’s toughest competitors include Chesterton, Crown Point and Portage.

“They have some pretty good guys, but I believe we can pull through and get the better of them.” Aleksander Pejovski (12) said. “Just mentally focusing on the match and making sure to get a good workout in the day of a meet can make all the difference.”

The boys credit their coaches for making them the athletes they have become.

“Maldonado always wants the best out of you every day,” Streck said. “He will push the whole team and make all of us better as men and wrestlers… that’s what wrestling does to us. We learn life lessons along with competing for a state title.”

Coach Maldonado is thankful to be able to have some normalcy, despite the hardships this year has brought.

“We are taking everything one day at a time, and we are grateful for each day we get to participate in the sport we all love,” he said.