Wrestling team culture remains strong despite COVID-19 restrictions


Senior Ian Geddes faces off against his opponent during a Double Duel against North Creek and Woodinville on April 27th. Photo courtesy of Caden Whitmire.

Minita Layal, Web-Editor-in-Chief

As with all other sports, the COVID-19 pandemic has greatly impacted wrestling. Team members must abide by many restrictions and changes to their season this year. However, despite the restrictions and shorter season, the team culture is still as strong as ever. 

 “COVID has affected wrestling in many ways, but I think the biggest effect it had was that we needed to stay apart,” sophomore Takumi Floss said. “Wrestling is a contact sport. Some safety precautions we are taking are social distancing, wearing masks, and getting tested.”

This has caused definite challenges for the team members.

“Masks do make it hard to breath sometimes, but that’s just what we have to do nowadays,” freshman Caden Whitmire said. 

Despite these difficulties, the team members say that the season has still been very beneficial and helped them develop the skills they need in wrestling.

“We can get one-on-one coaching, almost,” Whitmire said. “The coaches can really help everyone individually.”

According to Whitmire, along with other aspects of the season, the pandemic has affected team bonding as well.

“There’s a lot less kids than usual. You definitely get to know your teammates a lot better. Instead of a big group of kids that you might not know as well, there are just eight people you get to know pretty well,” Whitmire said. “I feel like it [the pandemic] has strengthened that in a way — we’re all fighting through it together.”

As a freshman this year, Whitmire said that his experience on the wrestling team has helped him form a closer connection with Inglemoor, as it helps him get to know upperclassmen better.

He also said that some of his favorite memories of being on the team this year have involved the stories that his coaches tell during practices. 

“Overall, the coaches bring a really good sense of normalcy to the team.  It really helps make it a more enjoyable experience,” Whitmire said. 

The match schedule has also changed. According to junior Julius Schultz, the team will only have matches against the other high schools in the district, and wrestlers will be required to wear masks at all times during the matches. 

Overall, Whitmire said that being on the wrestling team has been a very positive experience. 

“We all want to do the same things, go up against other kids, hopefully learn some new things this season. We all have the same goals,” Whitmire said. “We just want everything to go back to normal. We want to do a normal match against other kids.”

Looking forward to next year, Whitmire said that he plans to join the wrestling team again. Schultz also encourages everyone who may be interested to try out for the team as well.

I feel that wrestling gets a lot less representation and attention than the other sports at Inglemoor, but it’s just as cool as the other sports. If anyone is interested in doing wrestling or just trying it out, don’t be afraid to join the team,” Schlutz said.