Laying the Foundation

The wrestling team along with Coach Eddie Martin work to rebuild the program


Photo: Andrew McDowell

Coach Eddie Martin and senior Jaylen Spears wrestle during a practice. This is Martin’s first year coaching at St. George’s.

Coach Eddie Martin is trying to rebuild the wrestling team from the ground up. After years of rotating between different coaches and the number of players on the team consequently dwindling, Coach Martin is hoping to reverse that trend and create a well-rounded team at St. George’s.

Coach Martin is putting his focus on reviving the team’s numbers, starting with the middle school. His reasoning is that once those wrestlers are seniors, they will have years and years of experience.

“We are recruiting for more of a long-term goal,” said Martin. “So starting with the middle school program and building that up.”

To help keep the middle schoolers engaged with wrestling, Coach Martin has practices that are centered on the younger students specifically. These practices will have more teaching-based elements and are less intense than other practices.

Along with Coach Martin, senior Jaylen Spears is leading the team and trying to move it in a different direction.

“It’s [about] encouraging the middle schoolers to stick around so that we can actually start building the program,” Spears said.

Spears is making certain that the middle schoolers will want to stay on the team going into high school and into the varsity team.

“I try [to] make [the middle schoolers] understand that they are wanted,” Spears said.

Even with the small number of wrestlers on the team, sophomore Josh Taube is not fazed by the lack of people.

“I feel like having fewer wrestlers isn’t necessarily a bad thing because it gives you more one-on-one time with the coach and other wrestlers,” Taube said.

Taube is trying to recruit people from his own class to join the team. He has already recruited three people from his class but says that the hardest part about recruiting is just getting people to come out and give wrestling a chance.

“A lot of people won’t even give it a shot, so I like to get them out there,” Taube said.

If this trend continues and all of the middle schoolers choose to stick with the team into high school, the wrestling program could become a major part of the St. George’s athletic department. Where everyone might see a shrinking athletic program, Coach Martin and his wrestlers see an opportunity for greatness.