A Strong Start to Wrestling Season

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A Strong Start to Wrestling Season

Ted Sierer conditions the wrestlers during practice.

Ted Sierer conditions the wrestlers during practice.

Emma Goldsmith

Ted Sierer conditions the wrestlers during practice.

Emma Goldsmith

Emma Goldsmith

Ted Sierer conditions the wrestlers during practice.

Malia Hansen, Staff Writer

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It’s getting cold outside, but the boys are just getting warmed up. Highland wrestling practices have started and the whole team is already training in full force. Their goal this season is to win region, like they did two years ago, and get as many people to state as possible. 

Two years ago, the Rams took region and last year they were close. They are hoping this year they retake the crown. Ted Sierer, one of two coaches and wrestler himself, has a second goal. 

“What we’ve tried to do over the years is design a team where anyone can come and fill a part of something…Some people are there just because it’s a home,” Sierer said. 

He wants to give the kids a place to be valued and accepted, especially because of his own experience with wrestling. When he was younger and everyone began to grow taller than him, he found himself discouraged from enjoying sports. Sports like basketball and football are very dependent on physical advantages, but wrestling values all sizes of players. Smaller players can be hard to find and extra valuable to the team. Wrestling was a home for him, so he wants to provide that for kids. 

“I hope they can get from me as much as I get from them. They give me an excitement for life, they’re fun to be around, they make me laugh. I’m just way happy to be the coach of these guys…I’m really just honored,” Sierer said. 

There are no cuts, no favorites, and no skill or experience requirements to start, the only thing needed is a good spirit. They’ll be working on that too by doing character-building teacher requests after practice. Sierer feels a wrestler’s essence is as important as their physical condition and he emailed teachers to ask for service assignments like putting up posters, picking up trash, or cleaning desks. He hopes thkids will learn to be responsible both in Highland and in other communities. 

“I have kids that are really good kids…They understand that they’re Highland wrestlers not just in practice and in meets, but 24/7,” Sierer said. 

These good kids have pretty good spirits so far. Every day they have two practices: before school starting at 6:15 am, and after school until 5:30 pm. They’re husting for wrestling around four hours a day, five days a week. Sierer said he hasn’t heard any complaining, showing that the wrestlers have muscular and moral strength. 

Eli Curtis and Cooper Klein are both sophomore wrestlers, and they both love the family feeling, harsh conditioning, and one-on-one matches. With one-on-one matches, one other player doesn’t change someone else’s game. Every wrestler gets their own spotlight and control of their match’s fate. 

“It’s all based on what you can do, what your abilities allow you to do, and how you can improve yourself. It’s all about individuality,” Klein said. 

For those two, it’s also all about the art and thrill of the kill. Direct real-world application is difficult to find in many sports and classes, but wrestling provides a chance to learn valuable self-defense techniques. 

“You learn how to properly choke someone out,” Klein joked. 

Curtis added, “Why do we like wrestling? Well, you just get to beat someone up. Think about it. If I take this to the street…” 

Hopefully their street-fighting jokes stay strictly comical, but if it came down to it their practiced moves and hard work would win against anyone. For now, the wrestling Rams have to stick to winning competitions—and December’s Syracuse Scuffle gives them the chance to do just that.

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