Akers to the Mat


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Garret Akers

By Lizzy Niehaus

The butterflies start, his heart pounds, but he remains focused in as he walks to the center of the mat. It’s just him and his opponent. But Akers remains confident, knowing all of his grueling training has prepared him for this match. And as the whistle blows and the opening period begins, Akers goes to work.

With the influence of his father, Akers first started the sport at the young age of five. He started with the Lisbon Wrestling Club and eventually moved to Mount Vernon. After moving, Akers continued to wrestle throughout middle school and worked his way to the Mount Vernon High School Wrestling Team.

During the off-season, Akers attends camps and goes to lifting. Every summer, most of the High School Wrestling Team attends Luther Wrestling Camp. There, wrestlers learn more technique, shots, and defense.

Once the season begins, so does the cut. Akers cuts down to 138. Once he succeeds in cutting weight, he eats a few small meals a day to sustain that weight.

The practices for the Mustang Wrestling Team are a challenge, but Akers knows that he has to be challenged to become the best competitor he can be. “Coach Light pushes us the hardest,” Akers said, “he’s been through it and he knows that we can do it.” A typical practice consists of a warm up, drills, live wrestling, and then conditioning.

During all the snow days, the wrestlers still have to stay in shape. A good majority of the wrestlers go to Cornell and practice.

“My favorite thing about wrestling is that it’s an individual sport, you have to not only rely on your team but also yourself,” said Akers.

Throughout the season, Akers biggest obstacle has been the ranked kids he’s wrestled. This season, his goal was to advance to districts. Unfortunately, he was beat at sectionals, placing fourth.