Meet the wrestler


Tupelo High School has not had a wrestling team in 36 years. This past October, the newly formed Tupelo High School Wrestling team began practicing non-stop to prepare for their first season. Wrestling is one of the hardest sports, dealing with technique, strength, flexibility, and even mental drive. 

There is so much sweat involved, and it is a weird and awkward sport. Wrestlers are sweaty, a little crazy, and so gross sometimes. 

I am one of them. Kate Neal Mayfield, a wrestler. I am still not sure it sounds right. Still, I show up to practice. I run. Turn flips. I grab people’s legs and try to slam them on the ground, and yes, I sweat. It is all very hard. 

I swear, I get nervous every time I have even to practice wrestling with my teammates, and they are my friends. So, when we went to our first tournament, and I saw that I had the very first match, I nearly threw up. I told Coach Stacy I could not do it, but the time came, and I was in the middle of the mat, standing on the little green line. When the referee blew his whistle and my opponent shot at me, I grabbed her head and threw her over my hip. I turned and landed on her back. The referee blew his whistle again; I do not know why exactly. Then, we started in the referee’s position, and I jammed her into the ground, turned her over, and pinned her. Everybody made a big deal about it, and maybe it was a big deal. 

It was the first match for our school in 36 years, and I won it. All I know is I was tired. I could barely breathe. I wanted to throw up. I was shaking. Still, I was happy I did it. 

Then the next match came, and that girl’s muscles were so big that I got scared all over again. I did not pin her, and I was embarrassed by the end of the match. So, I guess no matter how many times you win, each match is a new challenge and a new chance to win or lose, a new chance to be scared and feel like you are going to throw up. 

Still, I think I love it. Yes, I love it.