Tuesday, December 8, 2009

St. Bernard wrestling program off to great start

St. Bernard Preparatory School has added boys wrestling to the sports program that it offers to its students. The fledgling program is coached by Marcus Luna, a native of Oneonta, AL. He wrestled competitively for six years and has continued his interest in the sport as a coach. He has particularly enjoyed training his 12 year old son who is developing his skills in the sport.

“Wrestling is an individual sport requiring dedication, heart, character and courage,” said Coach Luna. “In this sport there are basically two types of people – starters and finishers. The starters may be enthusiastic in the beginning but they never reach their desired levels. Finishers are those who work hard and accomplish their goals one at a time.” Coach Luna went on to say, “ Anyone participating in wrestling learns many life lessons while building confidence and character. Wrestling teaches self-reliance and self-confidence. It requires the athlete to set positive goals and not make excuses for failure.”

St. Bernard has six wrestlers who are currently in competition. “Once eligibility requirements have been met, other members plan to join the team,” said Coach Luna. “Since this is our first year, the students at St. Bernard have had very limited experience in the sport. Wrestling is all about learning the techniques of leverage, momentum, and strength. The team members are quick learners and are making solid progress,” he continued. “Wrestling is like playing chess. When your opponent makes a move, you have to know what your next three moves will be in response.”

The team exercises regularly in preparation for matches that are held across the state. “Training for wrestling utilizes running, jump-rope, weight training and other cardio vascular exercises” said Coach Luna. “Good physical conditioning is required for anyone who participates in this sport.”

St. Bernard is competing in five separate classes. Ty Sissom , 103 pounds; Koleman Cranford, 135 pounds; Andy Wood 145 pounds; Jake Lewis, 215 pounds, and Spencer Gutherie and Jade Bradford both heavyweights.

“I am pleased with this new team’s performance,” Coach Luna said. “Overall the wrestlers have done surprisingly well. Jake Lewis has a record of 3-3 and doing very well for a first year wrestler. He is gaining confidence he wins a match and learns from his mistakes when he loses one. Andy Woods has shown the most heart and character and is tenacious. Ty Sissom is 7-0 and is looking for a great showing at the state level. I’m looking forward to working with these students for many years to come.”

The Saints will travel to Sparkman High School on Saturday, December 12 @ 9 a.m. For more information on the wrestling schedule visit the school’s website at www.stbernardprep.com and click on “athletics.”

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