Winter Sports Preview: Wrestling


Claire Kisielnicki

Senior Wrestlers Grayer Whipkey, Terry Lindh, and Hannah Hollick are ready for the 2021-2022 wrestling season.

The 2021-2022 season of winter wrestling is coming. The start of the new season begins September 15th. Unlike last year, the start of this season will hopefully bring a complete year of wrestling.

“Where last year we were faced with challenges, this year we hope to be back to normal where our wrestlers can actually wrestle,” Coach Paul Bonner said. Bonner currently teaches art classes at Manitou Springs High School and has been the head wrestling coach for several years now and loves every moment of it. While winning is the goal for every sport, Bonner wants to put a positive mindset filled with good work ethic in the heads of every wrestler. “I want everyone to enjoy themselves equally but also keep the play hard work hard mentality,” Bonner said. Last year, Manitou was very competitive in wrestling; however, we lost four starting seniors on the team and the impact has been clearly seen. “With the loss of those several wrestlers, our core of guys has gotten a lot younger; so now senior leadership is more vital than ever,” said Bonner.

This year the opportunity arises for new seniors to emerge as leaders and be good examples. While there have not been any appointed leaders, Grayer Whipkey (12) has been highly regarded by Coach Bonner. “Grayer has been a model student who portrays the right work ethic and is great to have in the locker room,” said Bonner. This is Whipkey’s last year that he will be contributing to the wrestling team. His goal is to make this year count and try to do things that he has not done before. He said, “Wrestling has been one the best things that has happened to me. It has brought me closer to team members and coaches as well as it has helped set up goals and aspirations.” Whipkey has been a wrestler for a very long time. He loves the competitive fire that it instills in him as well as enjoying himself on the wrestling mat. “One of the best feelings is to actually pin your opponent on the ground and hear the ref yell ‘One! Two! Three!” he added. This year Whipkey hopes for a complete season that hopefully doesn’t get impacted by COVID-19.

Another team senior on the wrestling team is Terry Lindh. Lindh has wrestled for Manitou since his time in middle school. Like Whipkey, Lindh hopes to make his senior year wrestling count. “Whether I have a good year where I make it far or I have a bad year, having fun is the main thing to have,” Lindh said. Lindh, while not always being the greatest student academically, is very invested in wrestling. “Last year, I failed to make it to State because of grades; but this year, I’m hungry for that challenge,” he said.
“Terry is a great kid,” Coach Bonner said. “He is always polite and gets along great with his fellow team members and coaches but also has great respect for his opponents across the wrestling mat.” Lindh looks forward to the start of the new season and wishes everyone success. “While wrestling looks great individually, if Manitou does good as a whole, it really reflects the amount of teamwork and work ethic that Coach Bonner has forced into my head,” Lindh said. He has had a blast during his time of wrestling and hopes to pursue future opportunities in the sport.

Even though this is the seniors’ last year, they will always hold a special place for the coaches. “It has been a blast watching everyone grow and perform as individuals as I have had the honor of being a coach to them for a very long time now,” Bonner said. This year holds high expectations as we get past COVID and begin the soon to be journey of the 2021-2022 wrestling season.