On most squads, practices last for two hours each day, and then the team’s obligation is over. For the small squad of about ten wrestlers, however, their commitment to excellence stretches past the mats.
Coaches Mark Teutsch and Vincent Ramirez lead the wrestling team, whose varsity and j.v. groups practice together as a single team.
In a sport where your opponent is determined based on your weight, the amount of weight you can lose becomes critical to your success.
In order to lose the weight at a stable and healthy rate, the wrestlers are given a program at the beginning of the season. Thus commences the brutal and painstaking process that is known as “cutting weight.” The athletes’ weights are monitored daily. At every practice, they must weigh in to see if they are on track to be wrestling at a certain weight on match day.
To cut weight, having a light breakfast is fine, but then the wrestler must resist temptation for the rest of the day.
For co-captain Maksat Kalymgazinov ’12, who has wrestled for all of his three years at Deerfield, cutting weight has become part of the sport.
“Not eating food is fine, but the worst part is that you can’t drink because water and other drinks are very heavy and add significant weight to your body,” Kalymgazinov explained.
He also spoke to the effect that cutting weight has on his performance in class: “It’s tough but usually it’s only the day before the match, either on Tuesday or Friday. As long as you’re concentrating on topics other than food, you will be fine.”