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The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

The GH Falcon

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Grappling for greatness

People passing by the auxiliary gym after school will often hear intense music blaring and the instructive shouting of coaches, an indication that one of the most diligent teams on the Green Hope campus is hard at work. 

Beginning in the summer, the Green Hope wrestling team lifts, runs and develops techniques two times a week. Once the calendar turns to fall, the team trains five days a week. This grueling schedule has resulted in undeniable accomplishments for the Green Hope men’s wrestling team during the regular season, producing a few individual regional qualifiers.

Beginning with a 15-minute warmup and five minutes of stretching, the team practices in the aux gym every day after school. The warm-up entails several movements, including skips, front rolls, back rolls and cartwheels. While speaking with the GH Falcon, Hutson Catullo (‘26) explained the reasoning behind extensive stretching and odd movements. He says, “Because in wrestling your body gets into weird positions, warming up your body to be in those positions helps reduce injury risk.”

Conner Hibberd (‘24), 3x regional champion, spoke on the team’s practice routine after warmups, “After the warmup, we get with our practice partners, work on takedowns and new moves for the majority of the practice.” 

After this drilling, the wrestlers move on to “live” or “play” wrestling. Hibberd describes “live” by saying, “Live is matched pace, it’s like wrestling in an actual match, you’re not leaving anything behind.” The other option after drilling is “play” wrestling which Catullo describes as “A scrimmage between two wrestlers where your focus isn’t to win, it’s more to get better.”  To finish out the day, the team finishes with ten minutes of conditioning where the team runs sprints. 

The work from these grueling practices is shown in bi-weekly meets, where wrestlers from all 14 weight classes (106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, 215, 285) compete. A critical part of wrestling is keeping weight, which takes 24/7 dedication and constant monitoring. Hibberd- who wrestles in the 113 weight class- states, “I’m not as worried about my caloric intake, but more how much the food and drink I’m consuming weighs. For example, I would rather have four ounces of food than drink half a water bottle because it weighs less.” 

Catullo – who wrestles in the 120-pound weight class – added, “Before a big match or big tournament, we’ll have a practice that is less geared towards skill training, but more focused on losing as much water weight as we can. We’re also encouraged to go to the gym, jump rope and do other things like that to stay within our weight class.” All of this attention to detail allows the wrestlers to compete at least twice a week.

For most wrestlers, meet day starts well before the sun comes up. Hibberd details a typical all-day Saturday meet by stating, “I wake up at 5 [A.M.] check my weight, if I’m over I start running, if I’m on weight I just try and hold weight until I weigh in.” Wrestlers only weigh in once per day, so they just need to make it to morning weigh-in underweight. “Once we weigh we can go crazy because we don’t have to weigh in for the rest of the day…we eat whatever we want,” Hibberd said.

Catullo gave his experience of meets on school days, saying, “In the morning I’m normally super tired, so I have to go to all my classes tired. Teachers can normally tell when people are cutting weight because their eyes look messed up.” After completing the school day, Catullo sits in the locker room and prepares for his match, visualizing the moves he will make. 

Hutson continues, “After weighing in, we have to get our skin checked and nails checked. The refs also make sure that if a wrestler has braces they have a top and bottom mouthpiece.” After the referees have completed the safety checks, varsity wrestlers get matched up with their opponents from the same weight class. If the opposing team does not have a wrestler for the weight class, the opposing team loses that match by forfeit (see chart below). 

 

Both Catullo and Hibberd have had exceptional seasons, with Catullo going 39-10 and Hibberd going 34-6. In addition to those two, freshman Gavin Lopez (‘27) has an individual record of 30-6. His 83.3% winning percentage ranks second on the team. 

This past weekend, Hibberd continued his exceptional senior season with his third individual regional championship, winning the regional championship match by pinning Daniel Dickerson of Riverside in the second period. Also, James Bradley, Hutson Catullo, Jack Sarchet (’26) and Gavin Lopez all placed at regionals, qualifying them for states. 

Five out of fourteen varsity members qualified for states, sending the most boys out of any SWAC team to states. 

Throughout the conference season, the Falcons finished with a record of 6-1. After lots of dedication and hard work, these five wrestlers will represent Green Hope in the NCHSAA 4A Individual State Championship meet in Greensboro.

 

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About the Contributors
Mason Dean, Staff Writer
Mason is a junior at Green Hope and this is his first year on the staff. He loves sports and is on the varsity baseball and basketball teams here at Green Hope. Mason has a knack for math and history. Outside of school, he plays on a club baseball team and spends time with his 2 dogs, Margo and Olaf. While on break, Mason loves to travel to new places with his family. He has 3 siblings and in the future, he plans to play baseball in college and attain a mathematics degree.
Regan Orlando, Staff Writer
Regan Orlando is a junior at Green Hope and this is her first year on the GH Falcon staff. She has a spark of interest in writing which led to her passion for journalism. Starting from when she was 12 years old, Regan wrote for her neighborhood paper. As this journey continues she is a published writer and advances at her favorite subject, English. She hopes to continue at the GH Falcon next year. In Regan’s free time, you will find her enjoying reading or working out at the gym. If she is lucky, she would be tanning on the beach. She can't wait for her future ahead and plans on majoring in journalism.
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