The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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The High School Student News Site of The American School in London

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Wrestlers call for return of program

High School English Teacher Mark Mazzenga vividly remembers the infamous wrestler and valedictorian Craig Mullaney for crashing into Bishop Hendricken High School clad in sweatpants, ankle weights, and a trash bag after his morning run.

The “relentless” Rocky Balboa-like Mullaney often ran to school, both in and out of the wrestling season to stay in peak shape. His devout discipline and attire created an image that stuck with Mazzenga.

Mazzenga’s high school memory exemplifies the typical image of high school wrestling: Tough, disciplined and physical.

The High School currently does not have a wrestling team, but it has in the past. Some students think that a wrestling team at ASL would be successful, and serve as a good alternative to the limited winter sports selection.

Wrestling’s sheer physicality demands hard work and dedication, and it draws respect from competitors and spectators alike.

Brodie Craig (’18), lived on New England boarding school, Hotchkiss’ campus for his entire life, and he believes wrestlers were known and respected around the entire school.“There was a big turnout for wrestling matches. It’s so physical, it attracts huge crowds,” he said. Craig saw how the community recognized the work and devotion that wrestlers had put into their sport, team and body.

The sport’s values and lessons translate into academic and everyday life.  “Many of the wrestlers were high profile students,” Mazzenga said. Not only were these athletes well known and respected, but also good students who knew the importance of hard work.

Zubin Jotwani (’16), who wrestled at the American School in Japan, recognizes the benefits associated with the sport through his personal experiences. “There was a big fitness aspect to [wrestling], I learned how to grind my way through when I thought I couldn’t go on anymore,” Jotwani said.

The main style of wrestling in America is Collegiate style. It developed from a combination of traditional Native American and various European styles brought to America through immigrants. Folk style wrestling is purely an American sport, and has remained a classic to this day.

Mazzenga believes that wrestling plays an important role in the American high school culture, and is a significant aspect of the community.

“There would definitely be an interest in a team, people would enjoy more sport variety,” Craig said.

Jack DeNoma (’16) was a  wrestler for his school in Pennsylvania, and he believes that if enough interest was generated, a wrestling team could be possible.

“Wrestling could start like lacrosse, with only a small club, but could gain support and develop into a team at ASL,” Mazzenga said.

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