About SW Wrestling

Interview with three student athletes

Mateo Olson '23, Featured Writer

Six students stretch on a purple mat in the foreground. The background shows attendees in the bleachers.
Wrestlers stretching on the mat together at a competition. (Sava Muller ’25)

What motivated you to start wrestling? 

Kade Grierson ‘23, Captain: Grierson explains how coming into freshman year he was looking to play on the school basketball team but realized that only a select few make the team. He explains how he always had interest in watching boxing and wrestling and wanted to try it out for himself: “The word combat sport drew me into it. I always liked watching boxing and those kinds of sports and I heard about how useful it could be for martial arts and a good base defense.

Sava Muller ‘25: Muller told me he wanted to join a sport with lots of physicality unlike most sports. He tells me also that during the time he joined he was really interested in MMA which had an effect on his decision.

Leo Cortez ‘23: Cortez explains  how he wanted to try an aggressive sport to try and get his anger out. He says wrestling through a team with a school and people he’s comfortable with is the easiest and most realistic option for him.

Student athletes pose with coaches on bleachers.
Southwest student wrestlers with coaches pose for a photo on the bleachers. (Sava Muller ’25)

What is the biggest lesson you have taken away from wrestling?Grierson tells me that understanding how much your body can take and making sure the work you put in is in steady increments: ”The way you learn about your limits. I’ve seen a lot of people come in the sport and people leave the sport because sometimes they put too much on themselves outside of the sport.”

Muller says that the biggest lessons he has taken away from the sport is being strong mentally and to keep going hard when you feel like quitting. 

Cortez has an analogy that he uses to describe a lesson he has learned: “I’d rather die trying than get pinned not giving my all.” Cortez can relate this wrestling lesson into the real world. In other words, he would rather give it his all trying, even if that means dying, than living life with no purpose. 

What drives you to keep working after a loss or when you feel like quitting?

Grierson says once you’re in something or you have been a part of something for so long it’s harder to quit as opposed to staying with the sport and teammates: “In a lot of things quitting can be a lot harder than to just keep going. It’s like that with a lot of things in life. Once you start doing something it becomes a habit and becomes second nature.” 

Muller explains that after a loss people tend to overthink about everything bad that happened which can lead to poor performance in your next game. He says the drive to win and getting better every time you play is what drives him to keep working. 

Cortez says that quitting something for him is letting his whole family down. He says doing it for his family is what keeps him going.

Favorite memories throughout wrestling:

Grierson’s favorite memory is going out of state for a tournament with his old teammates. He details getting to the town they’e staying in overnight and coming off the bus as teammates getting McDonald’s late at night. “I remember we all went and got McDonald’s as soon as we got there in the middle of the night with all the kids we had in my freshman year.”

Muller tells me his favorite memory so far has been this current year. He says the environment and people make this year his favorite memory on the wrestling team so far.

Cortez’s favorite memory is after his first week of the captains’ practice eating dinner with his teammates. He says after being exhausted and low energy he and two other teammates were leaving practice and saw CJ with pizza boxes. Cortez says that will always be one of his favorite memories.