Thomas Jefferson

High School | Home of the Spartans

Making the Podium

Posted 02/14/2023 by McKenzy Perkins

Trayveon Johnson goes for the pin in the final quarter of his match. photo by Logan Vargas

The Thomas Jefferson wrestling team learns from their losses as the state tournament grows closer.

With the nearing conclusion of the wrestling season, the Thomas Jefferson Boys’ Wrestling team reflects upon the challenges they faced this year. With every challenge thrown at them, they continue to show incredible grit when it comes to their success as a team. 

The biggest challenges include the small practice space and intense tournaments that test their confidence. The team players agree that winning and learning from losses this season would be impossible without support from their coaches and teammates. Even though their most difficult challenge has been the limited practice space and the inability to drill in such a small area, they still train together and learn from each other. The team has continued to learn the value of losing. “There is always a way to improve. Losing adds value to winning. If you win every match, you aren’t learning anything. If you lose and lose, then you learn more from winning in the long run,” said senior Aaron Moore. He also discussed the importance of bonding with his teammates. “They make you better. It is hard to learn when you do not have someone that can positively change your game.” 

Moore then shared how positive his team has been through every loss. After losing a match, it can be difficult for players to get back up again, but with undying support from teammates and coaches, it is easier to get back on the mat and continue to work for the win. Senior Trayveon Johnson also had some insight into the advice the coaches and other students provided. “Getting on the mat is super nerve-racking. But getting on with the support of coaches and teammates brings enough confidence to be in the room and to win. Even if you end up losing.” 

While the boys are ranked third in the division  they continue to fight through every match for that first place spot. Wrestling is a sport that brings attention to the necessity of a well-bonded team. If teammates don’t give enough constructive criticism to grow a player’s game, it’s more difficult to come back from a rough loss. Many of the wrestlers on the team believe that they would not have been able to get where they are without encouragement from their teammates.

As the season progresses and the state championship grows closer by the day, the team practices harder than ever and still pushes for the win. Johnson agrees that “learning from the mistakes you made has to be the most important piece of your wrestling career.” This is what most of the team is thinking given the proximity of final competitions. Even if the team does not make it through state, they will end the season with great pride and joy due to their grit and determination.