Wrestling team raises money for Westlake’s Special Olympics team


The varsity wrestling team hosted a scrimmage match against Vista Ridge to raise money for the Westlake Special Olympics team during fourth and fifth lunches on Jan 11. The wrestlers train extra hard to impress the school and make sure they raise lots of money during the event.

“We wrestle a very tough schedule, with a lot of competitions in Dallas and Houston, so we have to prepare all season long,” wrestling coach Patrick O’Harra said. “But there is a little extra motivation for our guys when they get to wrestle in front of their peers at lunch, so they always get pretty amped up for it.”

Volunteer Hyline members collected money during the match.

“We raised about $200 for the Special Olympics team,” O’Harra said.

Westlake won 46-34.

“We felt really good about the win,” O’Harra said. “Vista Ridge is a traditionally strong program, and we have a mix of very experienced wrestlers and some relatively new wrestlers, so to get the win in front of all the students was great.”

Wrestling is a sport that involves full dedication and immense work ethic.

“The discipline [is the hardest part of the sport],” senior Jack Skudlarczyk said. “Wrestling takes a level of discipline that most sports don’t.”

Wrestling, despite competing alone, is a team-oriented sport.

“If you have a really bad practice partner you probably aren’t going to be very good,”Jack said. “You have to have people around you to push you. So teamwork is very important.”

Hard work and dedication are both key elements to wrestling.

“In seventh or eighth grade I got killed by this one kid at every tournament,” Jack said. “One day I asked my dad what I had to do to be as good as him. He said ‘Let’s start going to the club where he works out at.’ That kid became my practice partner for the next six years and a good friend of mine. I go to that same club every night six years later.”

However, intense training is all worth it in the end.

“Getting your hand raised at the end of a match after hours and hours of hard work knowing it finally paid off [is the best part of wrestling],” Jack said.