Reassemble the Spartans

The Spartans have been enhancing their roster, technique, and spirit to overcome dark times in the first half of their horrid season.

Reading Time: 4 minutes

With all their might, a pinned, sweating, and struggling wrestler has to stop both their shoulders from hitting the ground so they don’t lose the game.

The Spartans, Stuyvesant’s co-ed wrestling team, have been finding it difficult to keep up with the intensity in their ground work during matches this season. The team has gone an unprecedented 0-3 so far, but the Spartans are still hopeful about returning to the PSAL wrestling playoffs with vengeance. Last year, the Spartans went undefeated in the regular season with a 10-0 record. However, the team lost to New Utrecht in the first round of playoffs with a final score of 30-45. This year, the Spartans have hit a rough patch, losing their first three bouts to the Eagle Academy Eagles, Martin Luther King Jr. Knights, and Kingsbridge Academy Tigers. Nonetheless, the team is looking to get their mojo back and revert back to their accustomed winning ways. To make this return, the Spartans have started to rebuild their roster and tune their techniques with the proper guidance of the team’s coach, captains, and experienced players.

With the start of the new season, the Spartans have racked up experience, as well as new potential. Though the players suffered from a lack of willpower and spirit in tough situations in their initial games, the team strives to show determination and grit in its remaining matches. The co-captains, senior Anvar Kadirbekov, junior Joseph Kim, and junior Zoe Chin, hope to rebuild the roster and organize the team in preparation for its upcoming tournament against Bronx Science. “We were undefeated last year, so we hope to keep that pace. Though we lost a lot of starters, this year, we have a lot of new members, and we hope to rebuild the roster in time for the match against Bronx Science,” Kadirbekov said. The captains have been leading by example, showing how to bring the heat to the mat. Chin is a prime example of hard work and dedication, with an impressive head-to-head record of 2-0. Kadirbekov and Kim have also been up to the mark, each with a record of 1-1. Despite recent setbacks, the team’s captains aren’t discouraged and are attempting to remake the team with anyone willing to put in the miles.

With the co-captains’ assistance at every turn, the new recruits are more driven than ever. Anyone can learn how to wrestle, regardless of background. Thus, anyone may participate. The captains are very encouraging, and attendance for the team is high. All members put forth a lot of effort to help each other out during practice while the captains simultaneously instruct and supervise. Captains and experienced wrestlers provide rookies with priceless advice for tense situations. With all the support, the wrestling squad has a strong attitude and is constantly striving for growth. “A lot of the members are coming to practice every day and working hard, so I’m proud of them,” sophomore and wrestler Aronya Sarker said.

The Spartans have been going through progressive and constructed training to overcome the lack of consistency in their groundwork, the latter of which led to losses in their first three matches this season and their playoff match last season. The team lacked the spirit and willpower to fend for themselves against opponents in tough situations, which made them likely to lose by falls, also known as pins. In response, their workout has been developed to be intense, rigorous, and demanding, with many different routines to get the muscles animated. The Spartans start with sets of knee-ups, butt kicks, and dropping and sprinting. The Spartans have been getting themselves in unfavorable and gruesome positions under their opponents during the matches in the first half of the season. Advantageous and applicable strength can be formed from these workouts, since a wrestler can develop the power and might to lift an opponent with their legs and back.

In terms of coaching, the Spartans are led by inspiration and well-experienced coach Richard Murray, who shares his wisdom and enlightens the wrestlers with new techniques and forms. Recently, he has been showing the Spartans how to escape from potential falls during wrestling situations. With his advisory, the Spartans can excel tremendously in the regular season. “Wrestling is a sport that takes time to learn. We have a lot of new talent, and we’re going in the right direction. Though we lost the last couple matches, we learned a lot,” Murray said.

The chemistry of the team has proven to be a crucial component for the Spartans. The team encourages members to perform at their highest potential, which is a major factor in the team’s success. The team members maintain close relationships with each other, providing one another emotional and spiritual support. They strive to create a friendly and inclusive environment so all players can flourish in the Spartan camp. “The team is very welcoming, and we are pretty close-knit. We try to enjoy the sport and do our best,” Sarker said.

At this stage of the competition, it’s now or never for the Spartans. With only a handful of games remaining, the team needs to start breathing fire in order to reach the playoffs. Team chemistry is something that has been developing over the last few weeks, and the captains are growing into their roles, even though their roster is mostly fresh. As their match results improve by the smallest of increments, the team is developing overall. The Spartans need to put the foot on the accelerator in their most recent home game against the Harry S. Truman Mustangs, a team that has likewise struggled to see daylight. The Spartans need to overcome their challenges rapidly and show some resilience, because in wrestling, it’s either conquer or be conquered.