Monsters of the Mat

By Alec Caso and Kelly Ohriner

Q: What was your biggest challenge in becoming a wrestler?

Bryan: You’re dealing with kids who have wrestled for, more or less, their whole lives, so the biggest thing is having to cope with that. When you’re a little kid, you learn how to dribble a basketball, throw a football, and kick a soccer ball. You might not learn it at a really high level but you have these ingrained skills because they are the natural sports that everyone plays. But no one wrestles in elementary school. So it’s like you’re learning the sport as a second grader and you have to get up to a high school level in a very quick amount of time.

Kogan: Initially I wasn’t very athletic, so to speak I was kind of a shrimp. So the physical challenge of that and kind of getting around that and making myself more athletic and working out around that. The challenge is something everyone goes through.

Sonnenberg: It’s just a tough sport physically, but it’s also pretty tough mentally because you have to put yourself on the line every single time. You’re responsible for yourself, when you win you’re responsible and when you lose there is no one else to blame.

Q: How do you feel the team will do, looking towards next year?

Kogan: Next year, we definitely have a bunch of juniors that will do really well. Brandon Chen ‘12 is one that wrestles really well and I think it will be a great year for him. We are also a really young team. We have a large number of freshmen and sophomores and they can all do really well if they continue to wrestle. I think we could do really well the next few years, for sure.

Q: How do you anticipate the team doing in the upcoming tournament?

Sonnenberg: We have high hopes. We have a lot of young guys, a lot of the freshmen who qualified we want to do well and we hope they pull through. But as for the older kids we all want to get to Masters, and you know that’s been my goal the past couple years.

Q: As a senior and captain, how do you feel you set the tone for the season?

Kogan: As a senior, I don’t have anyone above me so there are no older people to look up to in a way. Myself as well as Jake and Jordan have to set the tone and keep working well. Everyone works well together and everyone just gives it their all. It really just comes down to setting the tone, keeping up the energy and wrestling hard so that everyone else will wrestle hard.

Q: With CIF finals approaching, what extra preparations have you taken?

Bryan: This past week we had a pretty intense week in terms of running and drilling. We upped the level of intensity in practice. This next week we’re probably going to taper off a little bit. We’re still going to work hard but we’re going to make sure we don’t get ourselves beaten up because I’m pretty sore right now. Since we had a two week break and now a week of intense practices, now we’re just going to have a week of just preparing for the tournament.