Behind The Mats

Wrestlers were supported all season long by a group of managers who work without any spotlight.


Mason Beister

Gavin Ienn tussles with an opponent.

Makayla Brackett, Reporter

This year, at Elkhorn High school, wrestling made a name for itself. Elkhorn had two varsity wrestlers, Mason Villwok and Gavin Ienn wrestle at state. Elkhorn’s wrestlers routinely performed well and exceeded expectations. They could not have accomplished all they did without the efforts of all six managers. 

The wrestling team managers contributed a lot of their time and energy preparing the wrestlers to perform at their fullest. This year’s team managers were sophomores Emma Lorenson and Mazen Salem; juniors Maggie Swanson, Rachel Tysdal, and Kaylee Moody; and senior Erin Stara.

“Last year, I went to a lot of meets, and I really seemed to enjoy it, so I decided to take another step,” Lorenson said. 

Lorenson was a first-year manager for the team. Going into this year, she did not realize how much time managers put in to help the wrestlers.

“[On] weekdays, we had like two-and-a-half hour practices, and we have five-hour meets on weekends,” Lorenson said. “Oh gosh, Like 11 hours a week, and then the meets on the weekends.”

The workload and time commitments for managers were comparable to a competing athlete. The managers did not sweat off five pounds of water weight per practice, but they were in that hot, sticky wrestling room early in the morning and late at night too.

Swanson has helped the team and Head Coach Potter for three years now. Swanson grew up around wrestling, so becoming a manager was an easy decision for her. 

“My dad wrestled in high school, and my brother wrestled in high school and when he was a little kid,” Swanson said. 

Agreeing with Lorenson, Swanson said that becoming a wrestling manager made her schedule busy; however, it was worth every minute due to all of the fun moments with the team. On normal practice days, the managers completed an assortment of tasks. On the top of their lists was putting ice on the thermostat. The purpose of this was to make the wrestling room warmer so the guys sweat more, making them lose water weight. The list reads as follows: clean the mats, get nose plugs, prepare the mops pads, do little chores Coach Potter has in store for them, sort through jerseys, and clean up any blood on the mats.

“To me, wrestling means family,” Swanson said.

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