By Julian De Ocampo ’13
In ancient mythology, wrestling was the sport of champions, an ancient competition of just how far one could push the body.
The Brophy wrestling team continues the proud tradition into the 2010-2011 season with returning players and fresh new members.
“We just started but we’ve got a lot of excitement about this group. They worked really hard over the summer and accomplished a lot,” said wrestling coach Mr. Brad Frank. “There are a lot of solid varsity returners so we have high expectations.”
Mr. Frank coaches the wrestling team alongside Mr. Jose Leyba ’94.
The wrestling team finished sixth in state last year, greatly exceeding expectations. Still, the team aspires to rank even higher this year, Mr. Frank said.
Justin Robles ’11, a three-year varsity starter, and Connor Devereux ’11, who recently recovered from a knee injury last spring, are two senior team captain starters who Mr. Frank hopes will succeed.
“We lost two state finalists last year, our team captains. Those are two big holes to fill, but we’ve got a lot of returning players,” Mr. Frank said. “We had a good junior varsity team last year and a good freshmen team so we definitely have the talent to fill in the holes.”
Kevin Molloy ’11 and Paul Wirth ’11 are two other state placers who are returning to the team after coming off of this year’s varsity football season.
Marshall Varner ’13 also placed at state last year.
This year’s freshmen team also looks promising, with one of the biggest turnouts in years.
Wrestling requires the athletes to be highly dedicated. The practices run for hours nearly every day, often pushing athletes to their limits.
“Wrestling is probably the hardest sport you can pick in high school. It definitely requires the most conditioning and the greatest amount of hard work,” said JV wrestler Matt Gerveler ’13, “but I like the challenge.”
Despite the strain that practice can put on students, many are devoted to the sport, and Mr. Frank maintains that it is necessary for them to push themselves.
“I feel for the expectations we have and the talent level we have that we work them just right,” Mr. Frank said. “Wrestling is a demanding sport, more than any other sport in high school, I think. It’s hard on your body and it’s hard on you mentally, so practices have to prepare you for that.”
Mr. Frank hopes that his athletes will begin to appreciate the value in practice by showing up motivated.
“Motivating the athletes is one of the hardest things as a coach. Especially in wrestling, since you have kids who are trying to cut their weight, keep their grades up and get through practice,” Mr. Frank said. “Sometimes they don’t show up to practice in the right frame of mind, so it’s tough to get them motivated some days.”
And although the challenge that wrestling brings can be difficult at times, the athletes are willing to make that sacrifice.
“Compared to freshman year, practice this year is far more difficult and far more grueling … It’s a very big commitment,” said JV wrestler Ben Sierpina ’13, who recently sprained five tendons on his foot during a practice.
“It gets tough, but if it were that easy, everyone would do it,” Sierpina added.