Embrace the Grind


The wrestling team at Pascack Hills has three words printed on the back of this year’s practice shirts. These motivating words are “Embrace The Grind”. Senior Adam Shawkat has lived this depiction his past 3 years for his high school. Although immense challenges occur in various sports, few seasons deal with the mental and physical strain of wrestling.  

Adam began wrestling as in the 5th grade due to curiosity. Year after year, Adam began to grow as a wrestler and man. He said confidently, “ wrestling has significantly changed who I am today and it’s definitely because of the hard work I have put in. Adam is a hardworking student in class that is dedicated to his work. From practices to matches, free time becomes primarily for priorities. He understands that time management is key to succeeding in class and on the mat.  

One of the most dangerous aspects of wrestling is where you least expect it to be.  The danger stems from cutting weight. Cutting weight in wrestling is the action of losing as many pounds possible to reach their designated weight class. Various athletes have unhealthily starved themselves to make weight which is detrimental to their bodies.

Adam is aware of the dangers and says, “cutting weight has become essential for most wrestlers to obtain a slight edge. I have learned proper methods for cutting weight from the coaching staff which has played a major role in my success.” The best way to make weight consistently is to maintain a healthy diet of low-calorie meals and workout multiple times a week. Research at Vanderbilt University found that 75 percent of wrestlers use excessive fasting to successfully weigh in at the correct weight.

The coaches for this team are unlike any other. From the constant commitment to each wrestler is eye- opening. It shows the persistent effort, put into a the team, and a goal. A goal to win. Freshman, and wrestler Alex Kostantas stated excitingly , “wrestling in high school is going to be one of the best decisions of my life.”

Pascack Hills holds a winning tradition in wrestling. From the grueling drills to strict diets, it’s certain this group of young men push their bodies to the extreme. Despite cutting weight and social time, it is all worth embracing the grind. Senior wrestler and teammate Trent Freeman says passionately, “there is no high school I would rather wrestle for than Pascack Hills.