A sturdy work ethic is synonymous with the sport of wrestling

My affinity for the sport of wrestling has never wavered since I began my career as a sports writer in 2005 at the Northern Kittitas County Tribune in Cle Elum.

The Mat Classic state wrestling tournament, which takes place annually in mid-February at the Tacoma Dome and includes every classification in Washington, is undoubtedly my favorite sporting event of the year to cover.

I will never forget attending my first state tournament in February 2006 watching Cle-Elum wrestlers Cody Vandeventer and Matt Mackenzie compete valiantly in their respective weight classes before being eliminated on the first day of the tournament. The competition was fierce and both grapplers gave it everything they had against the best wrestlers in the state in the 1A classification.

Since that Friday in 2006, I have covered 10 of the next 11 state wrestling tournaments at the Tacoma Dome. It is definitely a weekend that is circled on my calendar every year.

The work ethic wrestlers are required to exude in order to experience the success they desire requires discipline 24 hours per day. Wrestling is a sport about sacrifice. With the exception of the Mat Classic, there isn’t typically a lot of fanfare for the sport and the bleachers at most dual matches are usually not filled to capacity.

Wrestling is one of those sports that tests an individuals intestinal fortitude to the max. When a wrestler is on the mat, they are all alone. It’s simply that individual against their opponent. Coaches and teammates can shout words of encouragement/instructions from the edges of the mat, but the fact remains a wrestler is all by themselves inside the circle.

All the preparation they’ve put forth will or will not show up during the six-minute match and possible overtime sessions. Wrestling simply builds character and is one of the most physically taxing sports someone will ever take part in. Instead of a can of soda, a wrestler will reach for a bottled water. Instead of a double cheeseburger, a grappler will instead devour a salad. Instead of sleeping in on Saturday mornings like their buddies, a wrestler will go for a two-mile jog to ensure there is no drop-off in physical fitness. These lessons grapplers learn while partaking in wrestling will stick with them for the rest of their lives. It doesn’t get any better than that.




In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@issaquahreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.issaquahreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Sports

Eastlake player throws a pitch. Courtesy of Patrick Krohn.
Eastlake baseball team defeats Bothell High School

The final score of the May 10 game was 10-3.

The Issaquah High School baseball team celebrates their May 10 win against Skyline. Courtesy of Patrick Krohn.
Issaquah baseball to play one game before heading to state

On May 10 Issaquah defeated Skyline by 4-3.

Russell Wilson’s $28 million Lake Washington home (Screenshot from Redfin website)
Russell Wilson’s $28 million Lake Washington home hits the market in Bellevue

The listing of the property comes after the former Seahawks quarterback was traded to Denver.

Screenshot of video obtained by Redmond police shows Richard Sherman trying to break into the Redmond home of his in-laws.
Richard Sherman takes plea deal on charges stemming from July 2021 incident

The former Seahawks player will not have to do any additional jail time.

Design rendering of future Sounders FC facility in Renton. (Courtesy of Seattle Sounders FC)
Seattle Sounders FC announce new HQ at Renton’s Longacres site

Facility is expected to open in 2024, before Seattle potentially hosts FIFA World Cup games in 2026.

tsr
WIAA launches bias reporting form in response to discriminatory incidents

Inappropriate behavior seen, heard or witnessed at any WIAA member school event can be reported.

Courtesy of Calder Productions
Girls basketball: Mt. Si beats Issaquah in conference action

Mount Si High School beat Issaquah 68-59 at home Jan. 5 in… Continue reading

file photo
Health department: COVID outbreaks linked to high school wrestling tournaments

At least 80 cases are tied to the events which included attendees from multiple counties and states.

Photo courtesy of Panthers Youth Rugby
Panthers Youth Rugby rolls into action

Panthers Youth Rugby is encouraging boys and girls in middle school and… Continue reading

Photo of Eastlake Little League’s All Star Team. From L to R: (Back row) Jackson Wheeler, Kellen Kinney, Sanath Chari, James Ort III, Sule Tian, Eli Jones, Pryce Eadon. (Front row) JJ Hamiltion, Sawyer Todd, Ryder Oswalt, Walter Steinbok, Logan Rausch, Harrison Militello. Photo Courtesy of Jeff Steinbok.
Eastlake’s time at Little League World Series comes to an end

The boys of Eastlake Little League’s 12U all-star team’s time at the… Continue reading

A Decatur High School student in Federal Way participates in a conditioning workout in Feb. 2021 as the state eased back in to in-person activities. Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing
State announces mask requirements for student sports, performing arts

Athletes are not required to wear masks when participating in sports of any contact level while outside.