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Pin it to win it, WHHS Wrestling

SENIORS Ike and Ander Weyand-Geise are pictured with Coach Estevan Molina after Senior Night on Jan. 9.

SENIORS Ike and Ander Weyand-Geise are pictured with Coach Estevan Molina after Senior Night on Jan. 9.

Courtesy WHHS Wrestling

SENIORS Ike and Ander Weyand-Geise are pictured with Coach Estevan Molina after Senior Night on Jan. 9.

Courtesy WHHS Wrestling

Courtesy WHHS Wrestling

SENIORS Ike and Ander Weyand-Geise are pictured with Coach Estevan Molina after Senior Night on Jan. 9.

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The sound of the 2:30 p.m. bell holds a different meaning for almost every WHHS student hearing it. The WHHS Varsity Wrestling team interprets it as the cue to start making their way to the indoor complex at the Christopher South Field and prepare for another vigorous practice.
Last season, SENIORS Isaac “Ike” Weyand-Geise and Alexander “Ander” Weyand-Geise were the only varsity wrestlers on the team. After school every day, they would walk to Purcell Marian High School to practice with Purcell’s team.
Ike said, “We wanted to practice at Purcell because at Walnut our coach had to teach kids in the lower levels who were new to wrestling and we wanted to get varsity instruction.”
The WHHS Wrestling team is looking to set a new stepping stone this season that the program can build off of. Estevan Molina was named Head Coach prior to the season, and the program now has two varsity coaches and two junior high coaches, allowing practice time and organization to be better kept.
Wrestler Darren Thomas-Dixon, ‘20, said, “Last year there wasn’t much balance, we just practiced and left. Now the coaches we have do a really good job at balancing out times we can be serious and times we can just joke around.”
The team expanded from last year’s two to ten varsity players this season. Increasing numbers of players on a wrestling team results in more camaraderie and support. It doesn’t matter what sport it is, the larger the roster the merrier. An increase of five times will change the dynamic of any team drastically.
Ike Weyand-Geise said, “How many people we have is amazing for us. It’s nice having a big raw group coming at once that wants to compete and get better with each other.”
Being on a team and practicing with more teammates allows everyone to compete with each other more. Coach Molina is trying to instill a culture where everyone is involved. Every good team requires trust and loyalty within. The coaches’ goals have been to show the players they will go above and beyond for them, so the players show the same commitment back. Molina believes explaining “why” is more effective than aggressive yelling in regards to motivating his players.
“I’m not a big rah, rah guy and I rarely yell in practice or matches. Walnut students are smart and curious, so having the ability to intelligently communicate why we do the things we do has been a major key in motivating everyone,” Molina said.
The team also added a female wrestler this year. Erin Martin, ‘22, was being pushed by her friend and now fellow teammate to wrestle and, after witnessing a single preseason practice, she made the decision to join the team.

Courtesy WHHS Wrestling
With 10 wrestlers in total, this is the largest team the WHHS Wrestling program has had yet. New additions this year include their first female teammate Erin Martin, ‘22, and their head coach Estevan Molina.

“My friend begged me to join so I went to watch one of the preseason practices so he would just leave me alone, but it was just the coolest thing I’ve ever seen and it looked like so much fun, so immediately after that I decided to join,” Martin said.
Martin was well aware of what being a devoted athlete and teammate meant before joining the wrestling team as she was already running track and cross country for WHHS. Wrestling being a male dominated sport and a rather tough and combative natured game, she had her doubts at first.
Martin said, “It’s the best decision I’ve ever made to play. I thought I would feel a little weird but I feel at home with it because of the family atmosphere. Everyone’s so nice and supportive and I’ve met so many wonderful people. Plus I love the passion and thinking that goes into the sport. It’s like a mental chess game and I think it’s pretty amazing.”
A high school sports team is like a seed in a pot. It can grow into a beautiful plant if the right strategies and tactics are applied. A program can become great but it’s not going to happen without action.
Regarding improving as a whole squad, Thomas-Dixon said, “How the team interacts with each other outside of wrestling. We need to continue to build our team chemistry.”
The team thrives on the notion that they can always be better.
“Hopefully this is the new era for WHHS wrestling,” Ike Weyand-Geise said.

About the Writer
Jackson Dunbar, Sports Writer

In his first year on the Chatterbox, senior Jackson Dunbar is a sports writer.

This is Jackson’s first time doing anything with journalism and he...

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