Varsity wrestling perseveres at regionals

Alaina Howarth, Donivan Cranfield, Matthew Mercado, Jaida Bell, Staff Writers

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Plainfield South’s wrestling team shows great promise year after year with their strong work ethic and motivation to perform, riding their waves of momentum and looking up to role models within the team.

The team finished the conference season with a record of 20 wins and 10 losses and won the regionals championship. They have blossomed into who they are now thanks to the coaching staff and the dedicated athletes that are determined to prove that they have what it takes to win.

“We had a lot of senior leadership; this is a very experienced group of wrestlers that built off last year’s success. This year we increased the difficulty [in the] schedule… and we finished better in a lot of our tournaments that we’ve ever finished in. We upped a lot of the competition which got them ready,” says Jason Acevedo, head coach of the wrestling team.

Freshman John Pacewic can say the same as far as the senior leadership. Pacewic is a freshman on the varsity team and his experience with this year’s group has been motivating.

“I looked up to all the seniors that pushed [us] during practice and workouts to make [us] go hard and boost [our] hopes before a match,” said Pacewic.

Two seniors specifically took hold of their leadership role this year: Enzo Silva and Jake Kendall.

Assistant coach for varsity, Corey Carver, described Enzo as, “a leader from day one” and that his consistency and work ethic, “makes everyone around him better”.

“Jake Kendall has also made a major impact on this team. Jake is one of those kids that people just gravitate towards. He is a natural leader and sets the bar high for himself and the team,” Carver said.

Kendall commented on how the seniors worked to leave the team in a good spot for next year. He also talked about their roles on the team.

“I think we set a really good example for them while working hard and having a good mix of fun and hard work at the same time,” Kendall said.

As for results, this year’s team did not disappoint. South sent three athletes to state this season. James Pierandozzi and Jake Kendall both placed 6th at individual state, and Andrew Bejarano placed 4th.

All three athletes put in all the sweat and time they could give to be the wrestlers they are now. Wrestling is one sport that has a very long conference season which takes a lot to balance private life to wrestling.

“I would say a lot of it is all the work they’ve done off the time. You know, you can’t be successful by just putting it in during the season. You have to put the off season [too]… you got to be a student athlete, you got to take care of your body, and you have to actually have the perseverance to watch what you are eating, getting enough sleep, and to get your body as healthy as it is going to be,” Acevedo stated.

As this season comes to a close, the underclass men will have to pick up where the seniors left off.

Kendall says that the underclass men can “pick up the weight just fine and translate what we taught them to the freshmen.” He believes if this happens, the success of the team can continue.

Zach Kolb, varsity wrestler, feels that teamwork is “very important” and mentioned the qualities of a good team include the teammates having “good relationships” and are capable of working good together.