Wrestling fights for another title

Brandon Parker, Sports Editor

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A group of students sits on a stationary bike in the school weight room. All three of them are wearing countless layers, a reflective jacket, and a film of sweat. Around these students a small puddle has begun to form. None of them acknowledge my presence, they just stare straight ahead and continue to push through. As I stand by the door I can hear a combination of the music blaring from their respective headphones. One of the students is spitting into a water bottle as he cycles in place. This is the life of a high school wrestler.

All three of these students are desperately trying to cut off the few extra pounds which place them in a higher weight class. The difference between winning or losing their respective fights can just be a single pound. Wrestlers are divided into different classes based on their weights. Wrestlers hold themselves to a strict diet, usually losing five to ten pounds when in season.

The wrestling team is led by coach Mark Fong and senior captains Ryan Conklin and Eli Cyr. In recent years the team has remained very competitive, typically finishing well above .500.

As well as a captain, Cyr is also an All-American, this summer he competed at the FargoDome in North Dakota for Nationals. He won third place in his weight class, against the best high school wrestlers in the nation. Cyr began wrestling during his sophomore year. In just two and a half seasons, he has climbed to the top of Connecticut as one of the best wrestlers in the state. He currently has 33 wins and one loss. When asked about his goals for the season, Cyr was confident. Cyr said, “My goal is to win everything, States, Opens, and New Englands.”

Aside from Cyr, senior Nygel Smikel and junior Jacob Toth are having standout seasons. Smikel has a record of 24-3 in his first year of competitive wrestling. Smikel said he joined the wrestling team to win a championship.

The team won their senior night 59-9 over RHAM. Commanding victories like this one have become the norm for this team. With victories over Ellis Tech (62-8), Platt (61-9), Shelton (71-6), and New London (70-6).

With the regular season behind them, the team looks to the CCC tournament and beyond. Many wrestlers on the team have a chance to cement themselves as the best in the state.

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