"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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Take down breakdown

The+LHS+Wrestling+team+is+coached+by+Mark+Ernster.+The+teams+schedule+can+be+found+on+the+South+Dakota+Activities+Associations+website.+
Stella Sonnichsen
The LHS Wrestling team is coached by Mark Ernster. The team’s schedule can be found on the South Dakota Activities Association’s website.

Out of the many sporting teams at LHS, one that we hear about a little less often is the wrestling team. Hidden up above the old gym, the team has been working hard and is excited for this year’s wrestling season.
After starting the tournament season in early December the team has been working hard and often to prepare for the months of tournaments, invitationals and other events to come.
“We practice every day after school until 5 p.m. We also have AM practice on the days that we do not compete. Lifting every Tuesday and Thursday,” said varsity wrestling coach Mark Ernster.
On top of the busy practice schedule, the competition and tournament schedule is grueling as well, with many of the athletes getting in 60 or more matches throughout the season, as a part of the 15 competitions leading up to region and the state championships.
“ Our end goal is placing as many as we can at the state tournament and turning out future leaders in the community…We look forward to the State Meet in Sioux Falls at the end of February,” said Ernster.
With the amount of effort the team puts in, the main goal for the year is to get as many kids participating in the state tournament as possible. For many of the wrestlers the hope is to not only make the tournament but place as high as possible.
“I’m looking forward to making it to state and placing top 5, so I will work my hardest for that,” said junior wrestler Kishmar Eberline.
With the amount of time and effort the team puts in together, they have grown to be more than just teammates but also friends. Despite the stress of the season, the team has found many ways to stay connected and help each other become better people rather than just athletes.
“The team is a big family. We have team meals, group outings and we like to go to the area college meets together as a team when we are able to,” said Ernster.
Not only off the mat is the team close but the teammates also try to support each other throughout their training and push each other to be better.
“My favorite wrestler is Tae Ellenbecker, he wrestled my freshman year… he helps me in practice to get better,” said Eberline.
Although competing is such a big part of the sport, the coaches also hope that they can teach the students about more than just wrestling. They also would like students to leave as better people and harder workers. Because of this the team also focuses on making sure students keep focus on their school work and try to be good people on and off the mats. One way they have done this is by relying on upperclassmen to set good examples for the younger members of the team.
“We are fortunate with the senior class leaders we have this year. They all excel on the wrestling mat and in the classroom,” said Ernster.
Despite the fun that the team has together, there are many struggles when it comes to wrestling both mentally and physically. The sport is demanding. Not only are there struggles when it comes to weight class and meeting diets and plans that work for the athletes, but it can also always be difficult to play such a competitive sport, especially because when it comes down to it only one wrestler is on the matt at a time, and the players don’t have the help of other teammates to rely on if necessary.
“Wrestling is the greatest sport ever, it is a team sport, but first and foremost it is an individual sport,” said Ernster.
Along with this, the team’s recent struggle has been recruiting girls to be on the team. This year only one girl is competing on the team: LHS senior Maria Larson. However, they hope that the girls part of the team will grow and give girls an opportunity to learn about wrestling.
“We are always looking to add to the girls team,” said Ernster.
Despite the challenges that come with the sport, everyone continues to stick together and work towards the best season possible, they do this through continuing to show up to practices and not losing focus on the goals of the season.
“The work I put in for the team is just being there after school and doing what I need to do in practice, ” said Eberline.
Although the team’s season is only just beginning, Ernster expects that the team will do well as long as they continue to stay motivated throughout the entirety of the season.
“I always predict great things for those that work hard,” said Ernster.

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About the Contributor
Stella Sonnichsen, Staff Writer
Stella Sonnichsen is a junior and first-year staff writer for the Statesman. She is a member of the LHS colorguard and participates in competitive dance. Sonnichsen is also a social media coordinator for the LHS Young Progressives Club. When she is not busy studying she can be found reading, doing yoga and getting Qdoba or Icee’s with friends.
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