by delores aguilus
On January 20, the freshmen Puma Wrestling team competed in a tournament at La Costa Canyon High School. Someone who stood out from others was Freshman Karson Martin, who, at the end of the night, came in first place and was named the number one wrestler in Southern California and is also Lakeside’s Frosh/Sophomore Outstanding Wrestler.
As a start to his new wrestling career, Martin was able to obtain numerous wins during the season. The La Costa Canyon tournament was where Martin’s hard countless hours of training paid off. Martin puts in hundred and ten percent of his energy during practice to show his teammates that he can work just as hard . Within his own weight class, Martin had to go through multiple matches to earn the title of number one and after each match Martin was always on top. “It means a lot to be number one, it’s the fact that I was able to push myself to be number one,” said Martin. Coming into high school he would have never thought that he would get this far so early on in his athletic career. He had joined the team originally because of the coaching staff and through them Martin had learned the real value of integrity. Whether it was in the Puma Den, school, or at home, Martin continuously motivated himself to be better than his best, so he can be where he is now.
Although he is still adapting from football to wrestling, Martin always had a positive attitude in and out of practice. Martin has inspired other freshmen on the team that it is possible to win early on in their career. During practices Martin would not only train with the lower classmen, but he would also train with the boys on Varsity, so he can improve his technique. Head Wrestling Coach Heath Branham had notice a significant asset in Martin and so do the upperclassmen. “The older guys also pick it up because they don’t want their spots to be stolen by an underclassmen, so they amp up their competitiveness,” stated Branham. The competitiveness had become a challenge for Martin because now he had to work even harder than before to keep his position on the team. “I always tried to be the best during practice, so no one would take my spot,” stated Martin.
Starting high school Martin had expected it to be easy, but had then realized that it was much more. With his wrestling career just starting, Martin still needs to grow within the sport and build his skills to be the best that he can be. Branham sees great potential in Martin and “I expect him to step up to the challenge and stay a step ahead of the competition.” Martin has great dedication and has put in hard work towards wrestling and time will only tell where he goes from here.