2022 Winter Sports Preview: Wrestling


Luke Donegan (12) is a strong team leader on the Manitou Springs High School Wrestling team.

Angela Rowe, Reporter

The 2022-2023 Manitou Springs High School’s Wrestling Team’s season has just begun. The first official day of the season was November 14th, while open practices have been available since September. 

Both men and women can participate in wrestling, since they are separated into weight categories as they individually tackle down their opponents. “We had our first girl placer last year, Hannah Hollick,” Paul Bonner, wrestling coach and art teacher at MSHS, said.  He has coached the wrestling team for 27 years.

Hollick was the only girl on the team last year and after she placed fourth in state, it encouraged more girls to join the team this upcoming season. “Hannah was the only girl last year, but we actually have more girls coming out this year,” Bradyn Dowling (11) said.

Hollick is not the first athlete to make it to state at MSHS. “The team has done pretty well and has had wrestlers qualify for state almost every year,” Bonner said.

While winning is the goal for every sport, Bonnor hopes to give every athlete valuable lesson in the real world. “All of the coaching staff want the kids to be better people and productive members of society, while learning some hard work, dedication, and commitment along the way,” Bonner said. 

Since wrestling is an individual sport, athletes can set individual goals and work to reach them by the end of the season. “I really enjoy being able to challenge yourself,” Luke Donegan (12) said. 

Coaches also love seeing the individuality in wrestling and athletes work to improve throughout the season. “I think my favorite thing about the sport of wrestling is the individuality of the sport,” Bonnor said. “Each wrestler can find his or her own success in this sport regardless of size.” 

Being an individual driven sport, wrestling also has shown to be a team building sport. The athletes feel bonded and encouraged by seeing each other’s progress and their goals being reached. “Wrestling has a better atmosphere than other sports because we have a closer bond as a team,” Dowling said.

The athletes are excited to spend another season with Bonner as their coach, as he has left a remarkable influence on their experience with wrestling along with many memories. 

“Bonner is a pretty good coach and person,” Donegan said. “He has helped me a lot over the years.”

Overall, the team has high hopes for their season and are excited to see the team’s improvement. “This year we are going to have a great team going into the new season,” Dowling said.