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Wrestling team grapples with ‘sweat, blood’

Comets practice in the wrestling room next to the Dome. Their next home meet is Oct. 28 vs. Santa Ana. Joel Vaughn/The Telescope
Comets practice in the wrestling room next to the Dome. Their next home meet is Oct. 28 vs. Santa Ana. Joel Vaughn/The Telescope

Sweat, blood and foam mats are what a wrestler taste the most during a match.

Coach Brody Barrios manages to keep his team motivated in spite of this.

Palomar’s wrestling team started out its season with a win at the Mt. Sac duals 3-way by accumulated team points with three wins and one loss.

Coach Barrios emphasized that it’s easy to want to be a wrestler, but it takes a high level of commitment that not every athlete has.

This is made apparent by not only the workouts that his wrestlers take part in, but also the dietary demands of maintaining a 7 percent body fat to stay in peak physical condition. Wrestlers were doing the Paleo diet before it was a health fad.

“We basically tell them to eat like a caveman, get them as close to their primitive roots,” Barrios said. “Wrestlers have been doing this since the beginning time, we just didn’t throw a term on it. Just eat like a caveman.”

Another part of this commitment is being able to stay motivated after sustaining an injury. This became evident to Kirk Kalisczwski after he suffered a torn AC joint after being thrown to the mat during practice. Despite this, he recovered and is back at practice.

“Why is it worth it? It’s just something that’s built into me now, I have a love for this sport,” Kalisczwski said.

Jake Schaeffer, a freshman from a family of wrestlers, said that a wrestler’s success is dependent on staying motivated after taking a hit.

“It’s almost extra motivation, going home with a black eye or a bruise is good. Something different about wrestlers is that we’re really comfortable with being uncomfortable,” Schaeffer said.

That being said, the wrestlers also have to be sure not to overstrain themselves. Erik Collin, a sophomore on Palomar’s wrestling team, said he battles with the frustrations of having to rest up after an injury.

“It’s frustrating, because I know I need to keep myself from working as hard as I know I can,” Collin said.

`Wrestling as a team exist in this interesting dichotomy where it’s a solo sport played by a team.

“You’re doing you’re individual part to accumulate team points,” Coach Barrios said. “So with football everyone has their part to do, it’s all one play. In wrestling you’re the only one out there competing and earning points for your team. It’s very much a team sport, but you’re still out there on your own.”

Barrios explained that what the ultimate goal for many of the wrestlers is get a scholarship; however, this doesn’t hold true for Louie Delatorre who is in his last season on the wrestling team.

“I don’t want to put pressure on myself as a wrestler [for the sake of a scholarship], I just want to compete and do the best I can,” Delatorre said.

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Wrestling team grapples with ‘sweat, blood’