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Interview with Freshman Wrestler David Gelman

This story was written by sophomore Craig Qi  for the Upper School online publication, Canvass

By Craig Qi

David Gelman, a freshman who transferred from Kings High School, has been wrestling since fifth grade. As the only wrestler for Seven Hills, David has won two competitions thus far: The Sycamore JV Invitational (Dec. 9) and the Purcell Marian Freshman Tournament. Since Seven Hills does not have a wrestling team, David trains and attends competitions with Moeller. 

Gelman said his main takeaway is that, “In this sport, you have to be able to fail in order to succeed because you learn more from failure than you do from succeeding. Wrestling is all about losing in order to win; but, man, when you win, it’s the best feeling in the world. It doesn’t matter who is across from you when you step on that mat; it’s all you, it’s all business, win or lose.”

Gelman openly talked about his wrestling and additionally said to thank the athletic staff for organizing it and his family for organizing it.

What’s it like being on a one-man wrestling team?

“It’s nice, because you are setting the bar, you’re trying to dive right in, but it’s also kind of odd. If you don’t know, I train and I go to meets with Moeller, so their coaches are coaching me. It’s like I don’t have anyone in the same position that I am: wrestling and training with a different team, and representing a school that Moeller is not training with, but I know that in the end, the whole wrestling world is one big family, and everyone can relate.”

Do you feel more or less pressure when wrestling as an individual for Seven Hills?

“I don’t see it as pressure; I look at it as an opportunity. When I go on that mat — like every other wrestler, I am nervous. I am nervous to see who is across from me when I step on that line. I like to think of myself as ‘just another wrestler,’ not a one-man show because I don’t like being in the center of attention. It’s like the spotlight is on me—yes, I have to perform, but my coach wanted me to have this early success; instead of going to varsity matches, he put me in JV and freshman [matches], and now I am being called to varsity. I’m working my way up, and it is going to be a challenge to maintain that high bar.”

What are some of the challenges/obstacles that you face, and how do you overcome those obstacles?

“One gigantic obstacle is being on time for practice every day, because Moeller is approximately 20 minutes away [from Seven Hills] and managing my time. I go straight from here [Seven Hills] to Moeller, every day, and train for two hours.”

Do you have any plans for the future of Seven Hills wrestling?

“I would love to get a team started, because it all begins with one person, and I feel like I am that one person. I would encourage people to come and approach me if they have any questions, or even if they are remotely interested.”

Lastly, what do you want to say to the student body here at Seven Hills?

“Wrestling is a great sport, I encourage you all to do it. If you don’t enjoy it at first, give it a few months, get to that first win, and then think about that feeling. All of us believe that we are all in this together.”