ALHS Wrestling has high hopes as the state tournament approaches


As the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union announced girls wrestling will officially be offered as a sanctioned sport for the 2022-23 school year, it is clear that the sport is excelling in becoming a more dynamic activity that encourages the inclusivity of a multitude of students.

Despite girls’ wrestling not being offered as an official sport under the IGHSAU in past years, female wrestlers at ALHS have had opportunities to practice and compete. One female wrestler, junior Jacqueline Bunten, has big goals for the current wrestling season.

“My goals are to do well at the girls’ state tournament as well as the AAU girls’ state tournament,” Bunten said. “Overall just become a better wrestler in all aspects.”

Of course, to obtain these goals it is necessary for athletes to practice rigorous and consistent training to achieve the success they desire.

“We have very intense warm-ups before meets,” Bunten said. “As far as practice goes we go to a lot of ‘live’ wrestling to simulate real matches, and of course intense conditioning.”

Although onerous physical training is required for progress, the mental toll that the sport of wrestling can be just as strenuous.

“The most difficult part would have to be cutting weight and having your mental health on check,” said Bunten. “Wrestling is very mental, you have to prepare yourself before matches and be positive.”

Female wrestlers are not alone in their battle with the mental aspects of wrestling, though. Boys are just as susceptible to the potential mental battles within the sport.
“The difference between the average wrestler and a great wrestler is their mindset,” senior wrestler Gabe Daniels said. “The wrestlers who don’t look at it as difficult are the ones who succeed the most.”

Daniels plans to take this mindset into his own competition in order to achieve his ambitious goals.

“My main goal this season is to be a state medalist, top 5 is my ultimate goal,” Daniels said. “Other goals I have would be to win the conference and win 35 matches in total.”

Along with his personal goals, Daniels is also hopeful about the success of the team as a whole.

“I think we have a legitimate chance to win the city duals and finally beat LC,” Daniels said. “I think we can send two or three wrestlers to the state tournament as well.”

It is clear that the Abraham Lincoln wrestling team has a plethora of committed, talented athletes, which is sure to result in a successful season and hopefully an appearance at state.

“I have very high hopes for this team,” Bunten said. “We have a lot of hard-working guys and girls and I’m looking forward to seeing them wrestle at those high-level events.”