Memorial wrestling in the running for state


Leah Franklin

Memorial's wresting team goes head to head against North.

Samantha Thompson and Colt Beat

On the wrestling mat, athletes fight with all their energy until time is called or an opponent is pinned. However, the physical beating that wrestlers take is nothing compared to the mental grit that is necessary to stand on the podium at state.

In order to be a successful wrestler, complete dedication and focus are crucial to continually improve in practices and meet high expectations. For many wrestlers, that requires a time commitment and sacrifice to develop skill.

Freshman Bam West embodies the Edmond Memorial team by incorporating these philosophies into his wrestling, which has been a part of his life for 13 years.

“Through my hard work and perseverance during practice, I have been able be quick on my feet and continue to improve my abilities,” West said.

Memorial’s team has certainly seen major improvements this year and is looking forward to the rest of the season with confidence after past tournaments, according to head wrestling coach Albert White.

“This past weekend we finished the highest that we finished in a long time with three guys making it to the Geary tournament finals, which is an achievement that has not been done in years,” White said.

Wrestling’s most recent duel was the Three Dog Night, Jan. 8, which consisted of a matchup between Edmond North,  Edmond Santa Fe and Memorial wrestlers.

“This year the mindset of the team is a whole lot different,” senior Peter Rolle said. “Everyone seems to be more like a family and I think we can end up doing a lot better this year.”

Junior wrestler Jackson Oplotnik agrees that the environment and work ethic of the team has changed for the better this year.

“The whole team is performing hard this year, and hopefully that will lead us to become state champions,” Oplotnik said.

Through the team’s increased performance and confidence, the final result of the duel was 58-10 with Memorial beating Santa Fe. The team ultimately lost to North.

“Rather than focusing on the overall record, performance matters more,” White said. “The best thing that we can do is stay positive and find ways to improve. Every wrestling team has highs and lows. It is how we respond to them that makes the difference.”

White’s end goal is to guide the wrestlers to unlock their fullest potential. He believes that everything will fall into place if everyone works as a team.

The next wrestling tournament will take place Jan. 26, in Andover, Kan. and the team looks forward to state with hopeful individual placers and possibly a team title.

Contact Colt Beat and Samantha Thompson at [email protected]