High school wrestlers pushed themselves to the brink during the past three months. The majority of them went through breakneck practice sessions and chose salads and water instead of hearty meals like pizza, French fries and soda.
That changed in an instant last Wednesday for the Rogers Rams.
After their 2012-13 season completed Feb. 16 at the Mat Classic state tournament at the Tacoma Dome, the Rogers wrestling team made the 3-mile trek to Old Country Buffet at South Hill Mall for its annual postseason team lunch. Head coach David Johnston brought a digital scale as each wrestler weighed in before they consumed their meals and checked in again after they finished eating.
“We have been doing this for over a decade,” Johnston said. “This is the traditional eat-a-thon at Old Country Buffet. The reason why we do this is because most of the wrestlers are very dedicated during the season about monitoring their weights. This gives us a chance to celebrate our season as a team.”
I even got a chance to partake in the festivities. I weighed in at 211 pounds before I began to eat, and I left at 213.7.
Rogers’ Matt Lockey gained a staggering eight pounds during the lunch session. Most of the wrestlers gained 2-4 pounds.
Rams assistant coach Justin Rambow said he looks forward to visiting Old Country Buffet every year.
“Most of the guys spend their entire season watching their weight and watching what they eat,” he said. “It’s a fun way to say goodbye and close out the season.”
It’s a tradition I hope the Rams continue for years to come.
I wrestled in high school, and I know the pain of not being able to consume cheeseburgers, French fries and hot dogs for three months during the winter. You could see the excitement on everybody’s faces throughout the lunch session, but I especially noticed the glee from the wrestlers who competed at Mat Classic.
It was probably the first time in a while they’ve enjoyed chicken, pizza, macaroni and cheese and French fries.
That’s my kind of day.
Sports Editor Shaun Scott can be reached at 253-552-7002 or by email at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter, @herald_shaun.