By KARINA MATOS Props ought to be given to the Malden High School wrestlers. The determination and strength it takes just to get up and fight again is absolutely commendable. While the recent scores, like the game against Melrose, are not favoring the team, 30-9, and the game against Greater Lawrence, 15-13, they work much harder than the scores suggest. But of course doing well on the mat in a game means lots of practice before hand. According to the coach, Jeremiah Smith, practice involves, “many different types of cardiovascular and strength training exercises combined with technical skills.“ Also, co-captain and Senior P.J. West says that practices are, “intense, but the team gets through it by motivation from Nidal [Hishmeh],” the co-captain, “and myself.” The pure stamina displayed in practice is obviously conveyed in the rigorous matches they fight in. While wrestling is a fascinating sport to watch, for the people on the mat, it’s a battle not only with the other person, but to keep their bodies going. “The hardest part,” West determines, “is finding the drive and motivation to tell your body to keep going.” It also turns out that wrestling is a very strategic sport and Smith says that, “wrestlers get angry in a match, but it doesn’t help them,” and that, “anger usually distracts a person from planning their next move.” However, intensity aside, West also loves his team and the moments they have together. “My favorite part about being on the team,” he admits, “is the fun times, between teammates and seeing everyone try and succeed on the team.” Coach Smith, according to West is, “a good mentor [who] pays attention to fine detail and [observes] everyone during practices and matches.” West also says that, “he always pushes people to be and perform better every time they wrestle.” Coach Smith expressed that something he always tells the team is to, “stay focused,” and “work hard,” and you can easily see that in every match. There were many amazing moments throughout the season, but there were of course a few favorites. West’s favorite moment in the season by far was when, “Johnny Pierre Rene (junior) who wrestled against Everett in the Everett match had went into double overtime and [it] was the most intense match of the year.” He says that is was, “very motivating to see he gave it 110%.” Coach Smith definitely agrees with West on how great that moment was. He says that, “[wrestling] is one on one and if you win it was because of all the hard work you put in,” and that, “you get out what you put in.” Wrestling is an intense sport that takes a lot of hard work and stamina. West says that three words that describe wrestling are, “Tough, Enduring, and Respect.” Watching them play easily shows how right he is. Smith also says that the team has greatly improved, “the young wrestlers are coming along nicely and we are starting to win those close matches that we were not winning at the beginning of the season.” It looks like a promising rest of the season for the MHS wrestlers. Come see for yourself how incredibly hard they work at one of their next games and support their massive efforts.

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