This is the question that I asked Loyola’s 4 wrestlers that qualified for the IHSA Sectional Tournament (Feb. 14 – Feb. 15 @ Barrington HS). Let’s hear what they had to say….
Alex Lopez (Sr) – 126, Ryan Wosick (Jr) – 182, Peter McPike (Sr) – 195, Kevin Dolick (Sr) – 160
ALEX LOPEZ: As a Senior Captain, the greatest achievement I have to date in wrestling was to win my third place match at regionals to advance to the sectional tournament. Right now, Kevin, Peter, Ryan and I are reaping the benefits of our years of hard work. However we’re not done yet. For me, sectionals is an opportunity to pursue further success on the mat, and create some memorable moments along the way.
RYAN WOSICK: Being a sectional qualifier to me means I am one step closer to being a state qualifier. The bigger goal at hand is qualifying for state and sectionals is a stepping stone to achieving that goal.
PETER McPIKE: Become a sectional qualifier means a lot. It is a recognition of and reward for all the work I have put into wrestling. But mostly, I see it as a recognition of the thing other has given me or done for me. My coaches, teammates, and especially parents have done so much for me over the years, without which I could never have gotten to where I am today. Any awards or accomplishments I receive are really due to the opportunities they have given me.
KEVIN DOLICK: Qualifying for sectionals has been a huge personal milestone. I have never been especially good at wrestling until this year. Last year I went 2-12 on varsity, so going into this season I was already feeling discouraged. Coach Stephens has always talked about wrestling being a sport involving delayed gratification, but I wasn’t sure if that gratification was coming or not. This season, everything just seemed to click though. I finally solidified the basics of wrestling, something that unfortunately took me all of four years to learn, and found my niche of leg riding. Going from a 2-12 unseeded regional wrestler to a 20-10 sectional qualifier has shown me the potential that I have and that everyone possesses. Wrestling is the single most revealing sport of an athlete; no other sport shows truer integrity and character in an individual. I have seen my team and myself grow these last four years because of the way we push each other in the room. Pushing each other to be the best in a live match or the fastest in a sprint has paid off though and is sending four of us down to Barrington this weekend.
Good Luck at the IHSA Sectional Tournament this weekend! GO RAMBLERS!