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Wrestling Invitational

Jenna Fleming and Derek Feltner

Jan 9, 2024

Energizing, invigorating, exciting. All words that you could use to describe our annual Sky Valley Invitational tournament hosted in the gym this past Saturday (1/6/24). The Turks, while having a small team compared to most, battled their hearts out. The team totaled 17 wins amongst 8 wrestlers.

Team Captains Jasmine Verheul and Elijah Veal each stole the gold going 3-0 in their respective brackets. The Turks in addition had 3 wrestlers earn themselves a 2nd place medal. The environment of the gym was chaotic yet exciting. There were matches that ranged from a few seconds to several minutes long. Although they’re only a few minutes, watching a wrestling match can feel like a movie. The technique is the most emphasized skill in wrestling, mastering the moves and style of wrestling is a key observation I made when watching wrestlers over the weekend. A lot of experienced wrestlers have what’s called a “bread and butter” move combination. A move combo they can always rely on to pull them through the match. We asked captains Elijah Veal and Jasmine Verheul what their bread and butter move combination. Elijah replied “The "Bread and butter" moves I have generally depend on what position I'm in (ahead or behind in points, bottom, top, neutral) but for the most part I would say that in a neutral position a swing single is my go-to shot.”. We also asked, what is the hardest part of wrestling? Elijah replied “for me the hardest part of wrestling is waking up for tournaments and being able to wrestle throughout the day. Sometimes I have to get up at 4am and don't get home until 11pm so being able to compete through long days and in some cases multiple days can be extremely difficult.” Lastly, I asked, what advice would you give new wrestlers? “Something I would recommend to new wrestlers is to focus less on winning and losing and more on progressing in the sport and getting better. Any person who is good at something wasn't always good at it, they had to learn it at some point, and they most likely lost several times before they got the hang of it”. Elijah, our team captain has been having a successful season so far winning lots of matches and adding the victory this weekend to his wrestling resume.

On Saturday our sport medicine team manned the 7-hour event. They were there to clean the mats after a bloody nose, stop the bleeding and take care of dehydrated and puking wrestlers. The invitational is an event all the sports medicine students look forward to due to its hands on and injury filled nature that helps bring real life experience to the team. This is an event for our sports medicine team to branch out and work on their own. They cover 3 different mats all with matches simultaneously going and there is only one Mrs. Varnell. She supervises her students while allowing them to practice and use their skills developed through her classroom.

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