Toughness is essential in sports, and especially so in wrestling. This season, the Fords wrestling team has relied on physical and mental toughness to overcome adversity. The team has been plagued by injuries to key wrestlers, preventing some of the early success they had expected. However, after a rough start, they have improved to a 3-6 record, recently defeating EA in an impressive showing.
Head Coach Mr. Jesse Sataloff reflected on the sporadic season to this point.
“It’s been an interesting year,” Coach Sataloff said. “We’ve got some really talented wrestlers on the team who’ve worked hard and really grown, but we’ve also had a lot of injuries with our more experienced guys.”
Injuries have been the toughest opponent for the Fords this season, but their depth has proven vital as they turn their season around.
“I’m really impressed with the younger, less experienced guys who are working hard and stepping up to fill those holes,” Coach Sataloff said.
These less experienced wrestlers have been thrust into difficult situations, including some of them playing above their weight. Fourth Former Daniel Kaiser has made the most of the challenge.
“I’ve been wrestling 195 [pounds], which is 15, 20 pounds up for me,” Kaiser said. “I’ve been getting it handed to me a little bit, but I’ve been doing my best. I didn’t expect to have to wrestle so much varsity, but that’s the way it went.”
Accepting and embracing adversity is a common theme among these younger wrestlers.
“Daniel Kaiser, he’s really stepped up his game,” Coach Sataloff said. “He’s achieved some of the goals he set for himself and won us some big matches. [Fourth Former] Ben McComb, a second-year wrestler, he just loves to compete. We needed someone to bump up a weight class and he volunteered to go out there, and he got us a big win against Kiski.”
Despite the difficulty, McComb is capitalizing on the opportunity.
“I probably wouldn’t be wrestling varsity if we didn’t have injuries, but I have enjoyed the opportunity,” McComb said. “I got my first varsity [win] last weekend, so that was pretty nice.”
While the younger wrestlers have been crucial so far, the seniors have still provided tremendous leadership.
Coach Sataloff said, “We’ve got [Sixth Former] Max Rosenberger, who’s made some personal growth and won some important matches once he decided to go all in. [Sixth Former] Tommy Kohlenberg just loves it and goes out and does battle all the time. So they’ve been really important for our team as well.”
Through the leadership from the more experienced wrestlers, and the fearlessness from the others, the team has built a special bond.
“We’ve built a really close team, and that’s the only way freshmen and people like me have been able to do what we have.”Daniel Kaiser ’24
“[The camaraderie] has been amazing to watch,” Kaiser said. “We’ve built a really close team, and that’s the only way freshmen and people like me have been able to do what we have.”
This closeness between teammates has defined the season so far, and will ultimately be the biggest reason for future success.
“We’ve really focused on being a family, which means that we’ll support each other, but we’ll also push each other,” Coach Sataloff said. “We’ve focused on growing, improving, and coming together to work in solidarity towards a common goal.”