SJ Wrestling update

Shawn Xie’21

Strake Jesuit wrestling team is coached by Assistant Dean Mark Stovall, who started wrestling competitively at age 8. Later, he built two college wrestling programs from scratch, and this is his 25th year of coaching. Mr.Stovall started wrestling because of his friends, and has remained attracted to this sport. He describes wrestling as “combat with rules. It is very competitive in a match. Either you win or lose. It’s all by yourself.”

The Strake Jesuit Wrestling team is young in experience, but this does not limit their passion and success. They have improved bit by bit every year since the last five years. The goal is the same every year: to be better. Even though 99% of our wrestlers did nor have any experience before high school, they are determined excel. They attend summer training and fight hard. As a result, they have never lost a match at home. In every tournament they gather valuable experiences.

The wrestling team currently dominated by young athletes. Many of the sophomores in varsity start in their weight class. One of the top young wrestlers is Mustafa Khan. He is filled with talents and has won many matches. When asked why he started wrestling, he said, “Getting your hands raised at the end of the match and sensing the feel of winning feels great to me.”

One of the top wrestlers who graduated last year was Thomas Le. He was hard-working both on and off the mat. He got accepted into the Naval academy due to his pursuit in excellence but suffered a concussion from boxing. He is pushing through and getting better everyday, hoping to be back home on Christmas.

One unique aspect to wrestling is the alpha weigh-in. The wrestlers have to go through a series of tests to check if they are healthy. Some of the tests are the hydration test and the skinfold test. The players will know how much they weight and how much body fat they have. Times have changed. In the past, the wrestler could lose 10 pounds in 24 hours but now it is very discouraged because it hinders performance and it is unhealthy for the athlete.