Nathaniel Verrier, Staff Writer- The Lecanto High School [LHS] wrestling team had their first club meeting Friday, September 29, where they met their new head coach, Jose Mendez.
Mendez has over 25 years of experience coaching both wrestling and football for middle and high schools. His son is a passionate wrestler that competes for the school and was taught by his father since he was a toddler.
Wrestling as an official sport does not start for a while at Lecanto High School [LHS], but Mendez has decided to hold wrestling club meetings until that time.
Mendez wants to spend club time preparing the student athletes for the mental challenges they will face during the season, as well as the obvious physical obstacles they will have to overcome.
“It’s all about the mindset of the wrestlers and how well they are mentally disciplined. If they perform and excel during training, they will win more matches and the team [will] go far,” said junior Dakota Rood.
Mendez promises the team that it will be a fun season but there will be a lot of conditioning, techniques training, and skills learning. He feels that wrestling is much more than a high school and college sport; it teaches students how to become respectful and learn how to be mature and well-rounded adults.
“I am a strong believer that wrestling will turn you into a perfect citizen and will bring you far in life,” said Mendez.
Mendez wants all players to go on a personal mission to recruit individuals of all types and sizes to help fill the weight classes and to start focusing on building a competitive mindset. Those who came to the initial meeting were overall very passionate about the sport itself and would love to see it expand throughout the school.