Selma High Wrestling: More Than Just Strength


Marina Hernandez is ready to begin the match.

Donna Rubio, Reporter

The wrestling season has started at Selma High School. The boys and girls of Selma High’s wrestling team attended a competition in Porterville on December 3rd. The competition, however, was not a dual competition. In high school wrestling, female and male wrestlers don’t compete against each other.
In wrestling, wins are awarded as an individual and team. Each wrestler’s point achievements is what determines if, as a team, they win. For a wrestler to win a match they must score the most points by a lead of more than 14 or a straight pin on the opponent’s back. A pin is attained by holding the opponent’s shoulders to the mat for a three count. If the opponent is pinned, the match is automatically over.
To prepare for competitions the wrestlers practice Monday through Friday from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Practice for both male and female wrestlers is held at the same time, but like the competitions, each gender wrestles separately. At practice Coach Mendoza prepares the student-athletes by simulating a real match.
“I incorporate a lot of drilling into practice. Create a match-like scenario in order to best prepare them for what they’ll see in competition,” Coach Mendoza stated.
Senior Arieana Arias impels her training outside of practice by changing lifestyle habits.
“I work out five days a week and practice six days a week. I also try to eat clean during [the] season,” commented Arias.
With everything comes hardships. Whether those struggles are mental, physical, or emotional they are things that can’t be avoided.
“Besides being physically ready the hardest part I would say is being mentally prepared to be confident that I’m going to win all my matches,” mentioned Arias.
Arias not only has to build up physical strength, she also has to work on having a positive attitude. In order to be victorious she must train both physically and mentally.
“The hardest part [of wrestling] is cutting weight,” added sophomore Laila Reyes.
Regardless of the adversities, wrestling has a remarkable impact on both the wrestlers and the coach.
“Wrestling has impacted my life because it taught me how to work hard and push past what I thought to be my hardest. It is a lot of constant effort, and [it] taught me how to persevere through the hard things in life,” communicated junior Marina Hernandez.
Senior Benjamin Montez became interested in the sport when his older cousin took him to one of his wrestling practices. Since then Montez was enraptured by the sport. The sport he was introduced to by his older cousin led him to find what he truly enjoys doing. While engaging in this hobby, he found happiness in even the smaller things this sport had to offer.
“I definitely love meeting new people and being able to travel, whether it’s another state or just the next town over. Meeting new people would be something I enjoy about wrestling,” Montez stated.
For Coach Mendoza, one of the things he enjoys the most about coaching the wrestling team is seeing how his hard work pays off when he sees them trying their hardest at competitions.
“I enjoy the learning process. Seeing them do the things I teach in practice and having them execute it in competition is a really good feeling,” Coach Mendoza declared.
It’s aspects like these that are both fulfilling to both the coach and the apprentice.