50 pins and counting; Cespedes wins adding up

Bella Arist, Reporter

50 wins.  That’s the number of wins junior Cruz Cespedes has accrued in his wrestling career at North Harford High School. 

     Cespedes said has been wrestling for “over 11 years” and he started because his “good friend and [him] decided to try it together and ended up loving it.” He believes that because he started at such a young age that helped him to be able to get more experience throughout the years. 

     Being an athlete comes with pressure and Cespedes says wrestling is a lot of pressure “especially being a leader of the team.”  He said that “ [he] would hate to let his team down.” He also mentions that “wrestling takes up so much time [he] could be spending with friends or on school.” 

     Before a match, wrestlers prepare themselves in different ways, and for Cespedes, his “mind is clear and [he] only focuses on the upcoming match.” Throughout the match, he only thinks about “winning at all costs and to never give up at any points.” 

  Cespedes says he “has his many wins because of the work [he] puts in outside of practice to better [himself] in the future.”  The main reason Cespedes wrestles is because “of the life lessons on being disciplined and how to have a mindset to persevere.” 

     His goals for the future is to “wrestle in college and win state this year because in the past [he’s] come very close to winning.” For his high school career, his “coaches have been a big part in his improvement.” 

     Cespedes mentions his “favorite part about wrestling is building connections with young teammates, helping them win matches, and building a team.” Coach Tim  Ryan also explains that he’s a “good asset to the team, he brings in knowledge and experience.”  He added that he has “a desire to win and compete which makes him a good mentor for new wrestlers coming in.” 

      New wrestler freshman, Jack Worden, explains he “motivates and helps everyone on the team when they need it.” Worden also mentions “he’s a good captain because he doesn’t like when the team messes around and is always looking for the team to win together.” 

     The coach says he “has matured a lot since freshman year and really stepped up as his spot as a captain.”  Ryan mentions “him hitting 100 wins before high school is over is possible but will be an uphill battle because of Covid.”