Wrestlers prepare for tournament


Senior Myles Lenoir wins the upper hand against his opponent. Lenoir went on to earn the win with a pin.

With COVID-19, not only have people’s health conditions been troubled, but various interests and activities are on temporary suspensions or limitations due to restrictions in various parts of the United States. Even with Kokomo High School operating in-person and using measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus, sports, and other after-school activities have been ongoing but not as before. 

Wrestling has been one of the staples at the high school. But an interesting question is, how many can differentiate wrestling from WWE: a staged TV show? “I thought wrestling was WWE so I was inspired to join,” said Wilmer Corrales, a senior at KHS.

Despite the rise of several challenges, the wrestling season has been moving forward. “Our schedule looks very similar to years past. The difference is that we may have fewer teams at an event or teams might be a little short-handed due to COVID quarantines etc.,” said head coach Mike Miller.

Corrales added positively, “I’ve set a goal to achieve my 100th season win. COVID has caused me to have fewer matches so I am unsure about earning 100 wins. Hopefully, I will find a way to accomplish my goal.” Sam Baity, a senior, also added that COVID impacted his season because of being quarantined in the middle of the season. 

Coach Miller, who grew up in Northwest Ohio, started wrestling and competing in middle school through graduation. He has been the wrestling coach at KHS for three years now.

“I love the sport of wrestling and lessons it teaches you and how it changes you. Wrestling doesn’t reward talent the way some sports do. Wrestling rewards hard work and perseverance. That resonated with me when I was young and shaped who I am today.  I enjoy the opportunity to share those lessons with our athletes.” Coach Miller shared his inspiration of why he is a wrestling coach. He also did not hesitate to share his coaching philosophy. “I try to use the sport of wrestling to teach life lessons. Things like the value of hard work, striving for excellence, perseverance, teamwork, discipline, etc. We only get a few years to compete but the lessons learned can last a lifetime.” 

Not only focusing on the negative-side effects caused by the pandemic, the wrestlers also shared their current favorite moments and memories from the past seasons. “Coach Miller always pushes me to become a better version of myself. He inspires me by saying that if I keep working hard, I will find my path to my goal,” Corrales said. Baity added that his favorite memory was watching Aulani Davis, a sophomore on the wrestling team. Davis is the back-to-back Indiana High School Girls’ Wrestling State Champion. 

 It is reasonable that interests may have two-sided effects: pros and cons. This is true in sports like wrestling too. “Sometimes studying after practice can be difficult because of being tired and falling asleep after practice,” highlighted Baity. On the other hand, Corrales said that wrestling has made him earn outstanding grades and become a hard working student.

The wrestling team reminds the KATS that it is open to anyone interested to join and explore this sport. “Work hard and stick with it. If you allow it to, wrestling will change you,”  Miller’s said. 

The Wildkat wrestlers compete in the IHSAA Sectional tomorrow.