Wrestling Program Builds on Its Recent Successful History

Anthony Norris, Staff Reporter

For continued program growth, wrestling team members said they find inspiration from the school’s recent rich wrestling history, which has high-caliber wrestlers who got to where they are through dedication to the team and the sport.

Some of this rich history includes athletes like Matthew Spitzer, who graduated in 2015 and was known for being a work horse on and off the mat.

“He was a beast in the weight room,” said Nolan Seeger, senior. “I remember lifting with him, and he would bench 225 like it was nothing. He had a drive I have never seen before.”

Another remembered wrestler is Kamil Olechno, a 2016 graduate who placed in the Top 5 during regionals.

“My brother worked really hard, not only during practice, but out of it, too. He would come home and make sure he filled his body with the proper nutrients to compete at the highest level,” said senior David Olechno, Kamil’s brother.

Then, there is Alec Riportella, a 2016 graduate who placed at state– a goal for most, if not all, the wrestlers on the team.

“This is something I have really worked hard for my whole life; the big picture for me is to win state by my senior year,” said junior Logan Kvien, who made a state appearance last year where he placed eighth.

This type of mentality isn’t just from one athlete on the team; junior Geo Albavera shared similar aspirations.

“I just want people to know each time MHS is on the mat, that we are going to be the toughest team they face this year.” he said.

While some schools maintain a wrestling team of 60-70 members, MHS has less than 40 athletes on its team, but the players said the members they do have are dedicated. They added this is shown by the players who show up to every practice.  The team even has an award for those who do not miss a single one.

Junior DJ Preston has been a recipient of this award.

“The award means a lot to me,” he said. “It just goes to show how dedicated I am, not only to the sport, but how dedicated I am to being a great teammate.”

Wrestlers said the commitment to practice is one reason why the team has had a state qualifier the past few years.

They also attribute their growth to strong team unity.

“There are many things in life that can tear a team a part and dismantle their drive to succeed,” said Kvien, “but when you have a dynasty to keep and standards already set, there is nothing else to want more than to be a champion and to keep the dynasty going.”