Blood, sweat & tears. And we're not talking about the soft rock band from the 60's.
We're talking about the long hours, hunger, and mental stress that occurs behind these doors. It is Stratford, Connecticut's Bunnell High School wrestling room where few dare to venture between the hours of 4 pm to 7 pm.
Those tough enough to endure its challenges are 14 of Bunnell’s 1200 plus students. Every day, members of the wrestling team drill consistently and painstakingly rarely stopping for breaks in between drills. These individuals who lose pounds of sweat behind the secluded walls of Bunnell’s auxiliary gym are the prime example of what it means to be a committed athlete.
Bunnell’s coach David Stec, a 3 time state open champ said, “Wrestling unlike any other sport, the more hard work you put in, the more you get out”. Stressing the important of academics, Stec added , “I want to see all of my athletes succeed, with that being said, this means they have to work hard not only in the mat room, but also in the classroom.”
Some might ask how these athletes could enjoy what they do. There are athletes, and then there are wrestlers. It takes a certain type of person to actually want to be in a tight, humid practice room for hours on end. Jaimen Picard, senior co-captain of the wrestling team says it's a part of who he is. Picard said, “With wrestling, you can get a sense of individual success, and how much success you have is dependent on how hard you work, and how hard you practice”.
The successes in a wrestler’s career, and the mental confidence that comes with enduring the epitome of physical exertion are what make the long hours of pain and hard work worth while.