As nearly any wrestler will tell you, there are — for those who stick it out — so many benefits to taking part in the sport.
Some don’t recognize the benefits until years later, but others understand them much more quickly.
Such is the case with the Lawrence senior captains. For example:
Rizky Riyanto: “It has helped me become a young adult.”
Luis Severino: “It has helped me realize I can overcome any challenge.”
Hector Reynoso: “It has helped me become more mature and discover who I am.”
Yariel Velez: “It has taught me about commitment.”
Henry Carpio: “Wresting has helped me to learn how to be tough mentally and physically.”
Carpio’s good friend and also a captain, Jeremiah Damiron, says he has gained the same toughness, but he’s also lost something as well — a lot of weight.
“I was pretty heavy in middle school — about 4-foot-10, 180 pounds,” said Damiron. “I didn’t like it, but I couldn’t help it. I had atrocious eating habits — a lot of soda and all sorts of junk food. And I didn’t work out.”
But that all changed once Damiron took to the mat as a freshman. He had watched some of Lawrence’s meets as an eighth grader and wanted to try it.
“It was hard but I liked it,” said Damiron, who has a fine 25-12 record this year. “And wrestling is what got me to lose the weight and get fit. I had been playing football for nine years but it wasn’t until I started wrestling that I lost weight and got into good shape.”
Despite the benefits, and they’re not always easy to appreciate, Damiron had a period of weakness last year and, for a week, he left the team.
“I’d been going through some personal problems and I was having a bad year (wrestling),” he said. “I had expectations of doing well and there was pressure on me. But the coach talked to me and I realized I needed to come back. Wrestling has done so much for me, helping me mature and teaching me toughness.”