On and Off the Wrestling Mat Preview

Ashley Escobar, writer

With the season underway, training and competition have increased. Sandie’s wrestlers and coaches are ready to bring the heat on and off the mat up against some of the toughest teams in Texas. 

“We have the privilege of being in the toughest district in the state,” Greg Clear, the wrestling coach said. “Most of the top teams in the state are right here in the Texas Panhandle. We just returned from the team competition called State Duals. It’s the top team in the state. We performed very well with our boys finishing 5th and our girls placed 7th. Now we are preparing for the individual postseason including the District, Regional, and State Tournaments.”

So far, the team has fallen into a solid routine of morning runs, crunch-time at the weight room, and rundowns of technique learning. As well as, live-action wrestling, all in hope of achieving unshakeable progress of mental and physical training. 

“We try to have as much fun as possible,” Clear said. “Wrestling is very physically demanding, so we work hard, but have fun doing it.”

Fellow teammates have brought forth their own unique experiences with the challenges of the physical aspect of the sport itself. Knowing this, it has taught many to set their own personal goals and work hard towards achieving them.

“Wrestling is one of the most interactive sports that you can have with your body; it’s very body-challenging,” Junior Kenz Buck said.

Others share their own history of how they each came to join the team. All of which allow for a wide range of diversification of talents and personalities to bring to the Sandie culture. 

“My cousin got me into it when I was little and I’ve been wrestling ever since,” Sophomore Jayden Valdez said. 

The team has not only come to represent a recreational pastime, but also a safe haven for all friends alike, bound by their passion and determination for a sport.  

“I love it because of the team,” Buck said. “They are very helpful with everything. They don’t bully or judge you on anything, and if you don’t know anything they try and help you. And they stick up for people.”

From getting ready for the pictures to the long bus rides to the competition locations in varying locations from Dallas, Austin, and Oklahoma, many have come to a consensus that being around their friends and enjoying the chaoticness of one another makes the most memorable moments. 

“I like enjoying and spending my time with the people, practicing with them, and making new friends,” Junior Kaleb Gardea said. “It’s just a lot of fun.”

With a clear goal and motivation to guide them through, the coaches and team alike show passion to succeed and gain the top-level recognition that they believe is theirs to win. 

“The hard part of that is that only the top four individuals at each weight class can advance to the next level,” Clear said. “Hopefully, we can get a bunch of kids through District and then through Region so we can go to Houston for the State Tournament.”