Written by Al Stover
Hours after students have finished lunch for the day, tables are moved to the side as five wrestling mats are rolled onto the floor with several wrestlers practicing on top of them.
The Wolf Point Junior/Senior High School multipurpose room is home to the high school wrestling team, who began their season, Nov. 21.
The young wrestlers spend every afternoon practicing several techniques, such as single-leg and double-leg takedowns.
The team also does conditioning, such as running, pushups, crunches and sprawls.
Coaches Ryan Helmer and Eric Peterson are helping the wrestlers learn techniques, such as takedowns and breaking down control, to build their foundation. The coaches are also helping the team get into proper physical condition.
According to Helmer, the intensity of the training will pick up in practice once the wrestlers have “honed in their skills.”
The team has several returning wrestlers, including Maestro Martinez, who placed third in state in his weight class, and David Hopson, who placed fourth at state in his weight division.
In addition to the veterans on the mat, there are several newcomers, including eight freshmen. Drake Azure is wrestling for the first time.
Hopson, who is a senior, mentioned that he is helping the younger wrestlers so they want to stay in the program throughout the whole season. Hopson added that his person goal for the season is to make it to the state championship match.
The team will compete in their first meet Dec. 6-7 in Sidney.