The School Newspaper of Palm Harbor University High School

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PHUHS Wrestling Season Insight

Ava Rabbers, Staff Reporter

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A sport most are not familiar with is approaching the middle of its season. The Palm Harbor University High School varsity and junior varsity wrestling teams are taking wins and leaving the wreck and chaos of a hurricane behind in the gyms of opposing Pinellas County schools. Playing a sport that requires strength, personal endurance, and skill, wrestlers encounter strenuous training and merciless coaching.

The season begins with training one’s body. A wrestler must strengthen each part of their body in order to accomplish success. This can be conquered through interval training. Interval training is switching between sprinting and jogging in order to build stamina. On top of their individual training, wrestlers must attend practice six days a week in the gym with Head Coach Sakevich and Assistant Coach Radner.

“[Wrestling] is the hardest sport in the world,” said Ryan Blatchley, a junior wrestler at PHU. “You have to maintain your grades and your weight, anticipate your future moves on the mat, and use every part of your body and every muscle on the mat.”

Tournaments are held every weekend and they last up to twelve hours. Each wrestler on the team is given a weight class they must make in order to compete. “Cutting weight is the most difficult part of being a wrestler,” said Blatchley. It involves a lot of sweating and limiting themselves to eating only healthy foods. Each wrestler has a different way of cutting or gaining weight to qualify for their weight class.

It all pays off at the end of a tournament when they’re being congratulated and slapped on the back by Coach Sakevich and Coach Radner.

Just like many other sports teams, the wrestling team has a close knit bond. They spend hours together in close contact giving each other skillful advice in wrestling and on regular everyday life. “It’s a bond that can’t be broken,” said Blatchley about the relationship him and his teammates have.

Many of our PHU wrestlers plan to participate in states, where they compete for championship rankings and titles for the state of Florida. This tournament will be held on March 3rd and 4th at the Silver Spurs Arena in Kissimmee, Florida.

Their most recent win was at East Lake High School, one of Palm Harbor’s rival schools, on Friday, January 27th. This is one of many victories to come in the 2016-2017 wrestling season.

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The School Newspaper of Palm Harbor University High School
PHUHS Wrestling Season Insight