Wrestlers Prepare for Modified Season

Cassi Reaka, Editor-in-Chief

Edwardsville wrestling began their season this week with modified practices due to COVID.

Because of social distancing requirements, the team is not actually allowed to wrestle at practice as wrestling is classified as a severe risk sport and is not sure if they will be allowed to compete this year, according to sophomore Nathan Hollis. Practice currently consists of conditioning only.

“Not only is this disappointing for my senior season but it also affects my college recruiting status,” senior Drew Gvillo said.

While some of these changes will be difficult to get used to, Gvillo is ready to face the challenges they will present.

“Everything will be new. We have never had to face many of the challenges we will have to endure this season,” Gvillo said. “We will have to play it by ear and do the best we can because a big part of wrestling is being able to face and overcome adversity.”

The team will not be traveling to any tournaments out of its region this year such as the “Cheesehead,” a national tournament in Wisconsin, and the state tournament is “yet to be addressed,” head coach Jon Wagner said in a video posted to the Edwardsville Wrestling website.

Gvillo wants to be a positive influence on his team despite the limitations of the season and to continue to push himself. 

“My goals for my senior season are leading my team to yet another conference championship, getting closer with my team both on and off the mat, guiding underclassmen to become part of the team, and of course, if the opportunity [presents] itself, qualifying and placing at the IHSA state tournament,” Gvillo said.

Hollis is hoping to letter this year and is willing to push himself to do so.

“I am so excited to work as hard as I possibly can with some of my closest friends,” Hollis said. “Wrestling starting again has brought normalcy back to my life. It is such a staple in my life that makes me forget about all the stuff going on outside the mat.”

Coach Wagner remains positive that the season will be productive despite the limitations.

“What they can’t take away from us is our efforts,” coach Wagner said. “What they can’t take away from us is the friendship from our teammates and the commitment and leadership skills that we’ll develop and the workmanship.”