Tigers get tested during workout with Marines

Beau Bearden

There are certain limits to what wrestlers can do in the offseason, but team bonding is one thing that isn’t prohibited. The Ardmore High School wrestling team knows that and gained valuable insight Thursday when a pair of Marines helped lead a workout at Noble Stadium.

“This experience will get us closer as a team,” said Tigers senior Jaylin Wright. “It’ll show us what we’re getting into as a wrestler because wrestling is not easy at all. You have to grit your teeth every day and go two times harder than you did the day before. This is just like a stepping stool to get everybody together and see what they got into.”

Wright did admit it was tough after it was all over, but he knows it’ll go a long way when the season actually starts.

The endurance aspect was the biggest takeaway for most of the wrestlers as they tested their skills during a routine that included leg lifts, pushups, jumping jacks and other exercises.

The Tigers grit their teeth while doing leg lifts on Thursday during a drill at practice.

“We like stuff like this because it lets you work different muscle groups and being outside is all the better with everything going on right now,” said Ardmore head coach Devin Martinez. “It lets us still work out while still being safe. And the Marines bring a great workout, so it’s kind of hard to argue with that.”

However, it might not have come together without the help of a former Tiger wrestler. Oscar Interiano, who graduated last year, recently enlisted in the Marines and helped connect the dots.

And the Marines and wrestling connection makes the relationship a perfect fit.

“The big thing in the Marine Corps is working as a team,” said Staff Sgt. Joshua Winter. “We train as a team, work as a team and we even hang outside of work as a team. Because if you’re not a team, then there’s so many other things that you’re not able to do on your own. Wrestling is no different.

“It’s kind of hard to train and wrestle by yourself,” Winter continued. “So if these guys start coming together with camaraderie right now early in the season, by the time the main season comes around and they’re wrestling, they’re motivating each other enough to really get the win.”

Ardmore wrestling coach Devin Martinez looks on as a group of Tigers do a drill at practice.

Only time will tell whether this workout pays off, but one thing is for sure — Ardmore wrestling might have a new tradition.

“I would love to be able to do this and make it a regular thing,” Martinez said. “I’m a big fan of the military. I’m a big proponent of it, have lots of military in my family. And I think it’s a great option for a lot of people.”