Friday, March 4, 2011

Almost Coming to an End

Wrestling season is coming to an end for the NC State wrestlers. I know they are happy and ready to relax, but before they relax they have to focus on one more match and that is the ACC tournament. The boys are in Charlottesville, Virginia right now preparing for the tournament that will happen tomorrow, March 5th, at the University of Virginia’s gym. If the boys place in the ACC tournament for their weight class they will move on to nationals where they will meet the big dogs!! One ACC and nationals is over with these boys will be able to relax, eat, party, and do whatever will make them happy.

“My plans for after wrestling season is to focus on school, enjoy life, get a job, spend more time with friends and family, party, and study abroad in France this summer,” said Pedram Rahmatabadi. “And for next season I plan to stay in shape.”

“My plans after wrestling season is to compete on the freestyle circuit and continue to throughout the summer,” said Darrius Little. “Also I plan to get in a little chill and party time. For next season I'm going to wrestle over the summer to improve my technique and train my mind.”

“My plans after wrestling season are to raise my grades, relax, and enjoy the time off,” said Colin Genthert. “I'm also going to wrestle in the summer and work on technique during that time.”

“My plans after wrestling season are to relax, focusing on school, and getting an internship,” said Brett Farina. “I plan to work on my technique throughout the offseason.”

When I asked these boys what they planned on doing after wrestling season was over with, I thought they weren’t going to say anything that had to do with wrestling. But all of them said they were going to work on their wrestling skills. These boys are dedicated to this sport and want to win!  The Pack will go into hibernation for a little while after season, but they will be coming out to play and ready to go hard again November 2011!

Friday, February 25, 2011

No more wrestling?

Numerous of guys on the NC State wrestling team have stop wrestling for certain reasons. Maybe because it was too hard, maybe they wanted to focus on school more, maybe it’s not their thing anymore, or maybe they are moving onto bigger and better things. This wrestling season, I knew of three guys that have stop wrestling. I tried to get their opinion about why they decided to stop wrestling, but they wouldn’t respond back to me. The only person that was willing to talk about his situation was Raymond Edward Ward. This would have been Ward’s 5th and last year of wrestling, but he decided to stop wrestling and “move on.”
“I decided to not finish out the rest of my wrestling season because I am a 5th year senior and wrestling really had no benefit to me for my future plans, said Ward.”  “I have been broke as a joke for the past four years because my ex-girlfriend back in freshman year took all my money so I needed to start working and make that paper again.” Ward was by far the best NC State wrestler I have interviewed. He gave me some good laughes and was very opened to why he wanted to move on from wrestling. I guess some of the wrestlers were not so opened about sharing to why they weren’t wrestling anymore.
I understand that wrestling is a very hard sport. These boys are wrestling the college league now. A college sport can take up a lot of time. You have to practice once or twice a day, go to school, do homework/studying, and make it to every competition. Where does the social life fit in here? If these boys stop wrestling to focus on something else, I can completely understand that. Especially if you are a junior or senior, you are about to graduate and you’re going to need a JOB!
“I think not finishing out my last wrestling season was definately a good thing, said Ward.”  “People say I quit, but I definately did not quit. I moved on. I had to get some experience working full time in a business type position because I was not able to do an internship with wrestling being a full time job basically.” When the NC state wrestling team go to look for jobs after college, a company is going to like to see that they have manage to go to school and wrestle both at the same time, but if they just stop wrestling a company is going to think they cannot manage too many things at the same time.
Almost all of those boys have been wrestling since they were little and I know it is probably sad for them when they have to stop wrestling for some reasons. “I definatley miss wrestling, said Ward.”  “I have done it since I was in the fifth grade.  I still apartment wrestle all the time....still whooping that ass.  But like I mentioned there is a time in your life when you know you have to move on to benefit yourself.  As of now I do not regret my decision.  I might when I am older but then I'll be a I won't care.”  

Friday, February 18, 2011

Leading the Pack

I asked most of the NC State wrestlers who they felt showed the most leadership on the team. The names that came up the most were Brett Farina, Darrius Little, and Colton Palmer. The wrestlers say that Little and Palmer are vocal leaders and Farina shows leadership through his work ethics. I’ve been to a couple of matches and seen Little and Palmer wrestle and I must say they are pretty darn good. When one of their teammates are wrestling, I always see Little yelling really loud to encourage his teammate and telling them what they need to do next. Little and Palmer are both captains on the team and leadership is one of the skills they have to show on and off the mat.  

“I try to show leadership on and off the mat by leading by example,” said Palmer. “On the mat I try to wrestle hard and intense, constantly looking for opportunities to score points. Off the mat I try to set a good example through my lifestyle, not partying, a good diet, and staying on top of my class work.” Palmer is also in a fraternity, so he has to juggle fraternity meetings and events, wrestling, school, and making sure he eats healthy 24/7. I honestly do not how he does it. School and my internship stresses me out enough.

Since Little was the most talked about from his teammates about how much leadership he shows and how vocal he is, I asked him who did he think showed the most leadership on the team, and he said Brett Farina. “On my team I show leadership not by words or motivational speeches, but through my actions,” said Farina. “Actions speak louder than words and I believe that through hard work you can achieve anything. Whether in practice or competition I give 100 percent all the time, the coaches expect this from me and they can use me as an example to show other people that it is essential to go hard in our sport.” I think that Farina is a leader off the mat too. I use to hang around Farina a lot and he was about his school work, getting up very early in the mornings to go run, and staying out of trouble. Though Farina might not be a starter on the Wolfpack wrestling team, he shows that he loves this sport and wants to be a part of this team.

I see some of the guys after their practice and most of them complain about how hard it was or how their bodies hurt, but I never hear anything out of Farina. From the sounds of it, it seem as practice sucks really bad and it’s the hardest these boys ever practice in their life. With the help of some of Palmer, Farina, and Little I think that’s how the whole team makes it through practice each day. “I think my teammates do feed off of me,” said Little. “There’s been times when I've came to practice feeling sluggish and not as energetic as normal and the team seems to practice in that manner as well. When I wasn't practicing for a few weeks, my coaches and teammates told me it was worst because practice seemed dead and dry.”

Farina, Palmer, and Little love their team and wants their team to do well. By showing leadership on their team, it will push their teammates harder, all them will become more stronger, and more confident in their team and themselves.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Rituals then Battle Time

One thing the NC State wrestling team has in common are RITUALS. Before they go on the mat to wrestle, they have to do a certain ritual which gets them perpared. These rituals make the boys feel comfortable, relax, and focused before going onto the mat. Some of their rituals might take a couple of minutes and others take a couple of seconds.
Colin Genthert, a redshirt freshman, on the wrestling team has OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder). Genthert does some of his everyday activities three times. He even has the word “three” tattooed on him. Genthert says “Before I go into a match, I touch both toes with my legs straight out, then i put my hands on the inside of my feet with my legs stretched out without having my hands touch, then I put my hands on the outside of my feet with my legs straight, then I hit the right side of my head with my right hand and left side of my head with my left hand and right before i have to wrestle I hit both sides of my head with both hands.” I try imagining what Genthert does before a match, but it got a little confusing to me.  I had to go see him wrestle one night to clearly understand what he was talking about.
At the wrestling matches I can see the boys prepare themselves for battle. All of the boys have their own ipods to listen to some music. I’m guessing the music gets them real pumped. Some of the boys run around in the gym, while others are jump roping or stretching. When it is time for a guy on the NC State team to get on the mat to wrestle, I see almost all of them cross their chest, kiss their hand, and point to the sky where God is. Michael Moreno, a senior on the team, says “When I am on the mat to wrestle, I bend down and do the Santa Maria, cross on my chest. I am telling God to be with me” Moreno says he never forgets to do that before going onto the mat.
Before going onto the mat, the boys head have to be clear and focused. As I hear from the wrestlers ALL the time, it’s not about how hard you workout at practice, it’s about the skills you have. It is all mental they tell me. Doing the rituals gives them a clear head and confindence that they will pin down their opponent.  

Friday, February 4, 2011


The thing I hate the most is that these wrestler boys can lose so much weight in a week and I can’t even lose a pound in a week no matter how hard I try. The NC State Wrestling team is on strict diets during the whole wrestling season and they work out 24/7, but during the summer they eat whatever they want to, do whatever they want to, and gain as much weight as they want. Brett Farina, "(Baby six pack)" a junior on the NC State Wrestling team, originally weighs 163 pounds. During wrestling season Baby Six Pack has to cut weight to 149. Pedram Rahmatabadi, a junior on the NC State Wrestling team, originally weighed 148 and during season he has to cut weight to 125. Michael Moreno, a senior on the NC State Wrestling team originally weighs 151 and during season he has to cut weight to 125. Moreno is the one on the team that cuts the most weight. “People are amazed when I tell them how much weight I cut,” said Moreno. “They ask me all the time how do I do it. The worst things about cutting this much weight is that it hurts and it seems like it last forever.”
Baby Six Pack, Rahmatabadi, Moreno, and Scott Norris, who is no longer on the team, all lived together last school year. I was at their house all the time during wrestling season. All of them except Rahmatabadi were cutting weight like crazy. All of the boys were having their mood swings, having their temper tantrums like little girls, and acting like every little thing hurt them. It was very annoying to me, but I had to realize that these boys can’t even eat or drink anything. These boys are starving to death! “There aren’t any benefits to cutting weight,” said Baby Six Pack. “It causes the body to shut down and you feel grumpy all day. The lack of water causes your brain to function slower than normal and a dizzy feeling.” Baby six pack, Moreno, and Norris use to always get into arguments with Rahmatabadi because he wasn’t going through what they were going through and he could eat whatever he wanted to right in front of them. “I spent alot of time by myself," said Rahmatabadi. “I know what it’s like to go through the cutting weight process, but we fought a lot. In the end I know what cutting weight can do to someone so there’s a basic understanding.”

If the wrestlers do not make weight by the time to weigh in for their wrestling match, their coaches will definitely be very upset with them. Rahmatabadi says, “You can lose some of your scholarship if you don’t make weight. Baby Six Pack says, “Making weight is like the Cardinal Rule of wrestling if you fail to make weight you feel like you let the team down and the coaches will remind you that you let the team down.” I have always thought that football was one of the hardest sports to train for, but after being around the NC State wrestling team, I have to say wrestling is definitely the hardest sport to train for. During the season the wrestlers have to watch what they eat and drink. If they eat a little piece of bread, they have to go work it off. You can tell in their face that they are depressed, stress, and sad. Wrestling season last, from November to March and after that they will be back to their normal selves until wrestling season comes around again.

Monday, January 31, 2011


Who are the "Goons?" And what does Goons and the NC State wrestling team have to do with each other? The NC State wrestlers say it’s a word that describes the new pack of freshman coming to join the wrestling team. Part of the new Goon squad is Pat Carey, Dustin Champion, Matt Buckworth, Conor Hovis, Chris Intehar, Nijel Jones, Matt Nereim, and Tylor Sigmon. The Goon squad usually sticks together. If one guy from the Goon squad goes to a party, all the Goon squad goes. I have hung out with the Goon squad a couple of times and I must say they are very entertaining and funny.

 It’s funny to see how much they have to change from living at home to living by themselves. Most of the Goons are from out of state, so they just can’t run home anytime they would like to. I know that use to be me when I was a freshman, but now I can see what I went through by watching them. “Wrestling in college is way more intense than high school.” Said Matt Buckworth also known as Bucky. “It’s a whole new level of competition, but you can feel yours by getting better and better each day. In college the academics are definitely more challenging. You actually have to take good notes and study to succeed. In high school you could just cruise by without doing much at all.” The Goons have schedule study hall every day. If the Goons miss a day of study hall, the head coach of the wrestling team will be on their butts.
The three things I think is most important to the Goons are partying, girls, and wrestling. Bucky, Nereim, and Sigmon have all asked me to help them find a good girl. Sometimes I just laugh and say okay and other times I tell them they are too young for relationships right now. Being around the wrestling team, I feel like the Goons want to hang out with the older wrestlers, but there is always that boundary when it comes to that. “I try and show a prime example to being a good student-athlete to my fellow freshman by always doing the right things and keeping my focus,” said senior Michael Moreno. “It is important to be a role model because each freshman feeds off the veterans. I try to be as casual as possible with them. I interact and socialize with them as much as possible so they get to know me and vice versa.” The veteran wrestlers really don’t party or hang out with the Goons on the weekends that much because they feel that is crossing the boundaries between freshman and veterans.
When Pat Carey, Dustin Champion, Matt Buckworth, Conor Hovis, Chris Intehar, Nijel Jones, Matt Nereim, and Tylor Sigmon become sophomores, they will no longer be calles the Goons and they will have that opportunity to hang out with the veterans anytime.