Wrestlers look to maintain weight after holiday meals
By Brandt Gelman
Collegian Staff Writer
According to the National Food and Drug Administration, the average American consumes 3,000 calories during a typical Thanksgiving meal. For a wrestler looking to maintain weight, that one meal could be a nightmare.
As the team took the mat for practice on Tuesday, the Lorenzo Wrestling Complex seemed a bit warmer than usual. Many wrestlers donned full sweat suits through their warm up runs, hoping to get back to wrestling weight.
“The coaches did a great job with the scheduling,” true freshman Frank Martellotti said. “We had a two-week competition break which gave us a little more leeway on how we could eat for the holiday.”
Coach Cael Sanderson held practice through Wednesday of last week to make sure the team stayed sharp over its time off. With so many members of the team on campus over break, the team sat down for a large Thanksgiving meal on the Monday night before the holiday.
Junior Cameron Wade said each member of the team brought a different side dish to the meal, making the event a large feast. Wade, the heavyweight on the team, said it is nice to be able to eat a normal thanksgiving meal every year. He added that this year, with the time off between matches, everyone got to indulge a little more than usual.
“For all the guys that were up here for the meal it was great,” Wade said. “We are like a second family.”
Sanderson said he is not sure how far team get-togethers such as this go toward team bonding, but added even if the team gets a little closer through these events they will continue to do them.
On Wednesday, most members of the team went home to celebrate the holiday. True Freshman Andrew Alton said he had to watch what he ate to maintain his 141-pound weight. Alton said he drank a ton of water to stay filled over the holiday, and added the coaches told him if he had to eat a lot, to eat turkey because it’s healthy and filling. While Alton made sure to listen to his coaches’ advice, he said some foods are just unavoidable.
“I love potatoes and stuffing,” Alton said. “I may have stuffed myself a little too much with those foods, but that’s OK, I’m not too overweight right now.”
Junior Justin Ortega did not go home for the holiday — he had his family bring a large meal to him. Ortega said his mother’s stuffing, along with her homemade gravy is the “best in the world.” He added this Thanksgiving was one of the better ones for him because he is currently a little underweight and had free reign to eat whatever he wanted. Redshirt freshman Ed Ruth agreed with his teammates that the time off between matches came at a perfect time.
“They gave us this time off for a reason,” Ruth said. “When I was done eating I felt like I was at least 12 pounds overweight.”
The No. 5 Nittany Lions have not faced competition since their Nov. 21 Sprawl and Brawl dual meet, marking the longest break from competition the team has had since the beginning of the season.
“Any time you have a week off, along with Thanksgiving; there can be kind of a low there,” Sanderson said.
Sanderson said he brought the team back quickly from break, and held a practice that Friday. He was not worried about anything the team may have eaten on Thanksgiving.
“It’s not something we are concerned about,” Sanderson said. “It’s not a bad thing to have a day like that once in awhile, it’s more about what you’re doing every other day of the week. Whatever they like to go eat is fine as long as it’s not against team policy.”
One thing Sanderson said is strictly against team policy — Snickers. He said he doesn’t think anyone would break that rule, though.
Tags: Andrew Alton, Cael Sanderson, Cameron Wade, Ed Ruth, Frank Martellotti, Justin Ortega