Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School


Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School


Student News Site of Hinsdale South High School


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Warming Up for Winter Sports


As the winter athletic season kicks off, two vastly different sports, basketball and wrestling, take the stage. While the two sports have their differences, they require an extensive degree of pre-season training to put their athletes in the best possible shape for success, whether on the court or on the mat.

When girls and boys basketball kicks off their pre-season, the athletes find it integral to get themselves in what they call their most “optimal” shape. 

“I work out and get shots up almost every single day,” said senior Amelia Lavorato, captain and point guard. “I have to get in the zone and stay in shape because it’s my last season.”

Lavarato has been playing basketball her entire life, and started varsity her freshman year of high school. 

“For girls, it’s really important to work out in order to prevent injuries, provided that boys lift as much as they can while girls lift so they don’t get hurt in the season,” Lavarato added.

Shooting guard Matthew Peczulis, senior and captain, shares a similar narrative. 

“[For the pre-season] I just get my body right by lifting and stretching everyday, but also focusing on my body to be ready for the long season.” 

While wrestling is a completely different sport, there is a shared overlap. While senior, and captain, Andrew Musil also prepares for the wrestling season by lifting with offseason clubs, he, like Peczulis, finds focus to be imperative in his success. 

“In wrestling, you have to focus on every single move, especially when coaches are showing their athletes a new technique. When kids have that level of focus, that separates them from good to awesome.”

Varsity wrestler, Alec Miller, who has been wrestling for eight years and holds the position of captain, diverges from the physical components in pre-season conditioning by focusing on running. Miller is proud to be on the team and of his achievements with South wrestling, being a two-time state qualifier, though he stresses the hard nature of the sport.

“Wrestling is really hard on your body,” stated Miller. “I mean going against someone one-on-one is a tough job, and already we’ve had around seven guys quit the team.”

Peczulis shared a similar sentiment with basketball. 

“During the season we have hard three hour practices six out of the seven days a week, and it takes a toll on your body by the end of the season, but you just have to handle it.”

The most significant difference between the two sports is in the conversation of maintaining shape. Lavarato and Peczulis emphasize the importance of working out and lifting weights in order to get themselves in their best shape and prevent injuries that could come with basketball, such as muscle strains, while wrestling requires athletes to either cut down or gain weight to not only make their weight class, but maintain it.

“It’s all about where you fit into the roster,” stated Miller. “If you’re good at wrestling, you’d want to push your body and push your mind, so you cut to wrestle lighter people.” 

“Cutting-wise, you have to be really strict on what you eat, like what type of food you eat, because if you put in bad food you’ll get bad results,” said Musil.

Given the nature of cutting and gaining weight for making weight classes, the sport has occasionally garnered a form of controversy regarding the adverse effects that could come with it, but to the wrestlers, everything comes in moderation.

“It’s part of the sport,” Miller said. “Without the weight class system, I’d be wrestling a guy that’s 300 pounds, and that’s not fair. There has to be weight classes, and as a byproduct, it’s going to lead to people trying to fit into that weight class. It’s just a required part of the sport, because without it, it would just be unfair.”

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About the Contributor
Layan Al-Khaled
Layan Al-Khaled, News Editor
Layan Al-Khaled is a Senior at South, and is the News Editor for Stinger. With her love for writing, reading, and research, she was inspired to join Stinger. Layan is a vital member of Hinsdale South's Girls JV Tennis team and Model UN. She is able to speak in four languages: English, Arabic, French, and Spanish!

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