BY JACQUELINE KLOOS
Wrestling is one of the oldest known sports. It is depicted in French cave drawings dating approximately 15,000 years and was added to the ancient Olympic Games in 708 B.C.
Today, North’s wrestlers are divided into three teams: varsity, junior varsity, and freshman. Intense, two-hour practices occur every weekday and include running and lifting in addition to wrestling.
North is now working toward the winning their conference title and placing within the top five high school wrestling teams in the state. North last won the conference title in 1991.
Last year, the varsity team made it to the second round of the state dual tournament. The team was forced to forfeit due to illness, but were still ranked 22nd in the state.
With all four state qualifiers returning, including state placer Santino DiSabato, the team hopes to make it even further this year.
High school wrestling scoring is unique. “If you win your match you score team points. The amount of team points increases depending on how you win, and the team with the highest points wins the meet,” sophomore wrestler Nick Whaley said.
The team stays motivated by bringing in guest speakers and traveling to watch college matches.
Their head coach, David Grant, was a North alum and two-time state qualifier who also wrestled at the University of North Carolina.
“We have a bunch of hardworking guys, and it’s fun to be coach of such a hardworking team,” Grant said.