Wrestling to the top: Evergreen's Zimmerer, Luna call their beloved sport grueling but fun

Deb Hurley Brobst
dbrobst@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 1/6/23

Evergreen wrestling coach Luke Burrier believes three words sum up the program: effort, attitude and aggression.

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Username
Password
Log in

Don't have an ID?


Print subscribers

If you're a print subscriber, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one.

Non-subscribers

Click here to see your options for becoming a subscriber.

If you made a voluntary contribution in 2022-2023 of $50 or more, but do not yet have an online account, click here to create one at no additional charge. VIP Digital Access includes access to all websites and online content.


Our print publications are advertiser supported. For those wishing to access our content online, we have implemented a small charge so we may continue to provide our valued readers and community with unique, high quality local content. Thank you for supporting your local newspaper.

Wrestling to the top: Evergreen's Zimmerer, Luna call their beloved sport grueling but fun

Posted

Evergreen wrestling coach Luke Burrier believes three words sum up the program: effort, attitude and aggression.

The squad of 37 wrestlers look to each other for encouragement and rivalry, especially senior grapplers Gabe Zimmerer and Alejandro Luna. Both are having great seasons, and they help shepherd underclassmen through the experience of high school wrestling.

Luna, who wrestles in the 126-pound weight class, is 14-0 this season, while Zimmerer, who wrestles in at 165 pounds, is 13-1 this season and third in 4A as of Jan. 4. They agree that the team has grown into a strong family, and mental stamina is just as important as the physical demands of the sport.

Burrier is proud that the team raised funds to invest in its practice room, showing wrestlers that they and their sport matter. He attributes the team’s success to the assistant coaches, many of whom have college-level wrestling experience, who volunteer to help.

Family atmosphere

Luna, who began wrestling his freshman year, said his teammates are like his brothers and sisters. He likes the sibling rivalry, so when they wrestle each other during practice, they try to outdo each other.

“If forces you to grow,” he said. “We’re trying to become the best we can be. It’s fighting with friends, and it’s the best thing ever.”

Zimmerer and Luna always come to practice with a positive attitude because they want to be there, coach Luke Burrier said.

“They are great leaders and they set a great precedent for the rest of the team,” said Burrier, who has been the Evergreen head wrestling coach since 2015.

Luna said being on the wrestling team helps with other sports because it teaches grapplers about body placement and being light on their feet. Luna also plays rugby and is involved in martial arts.

Zimmerer, who also plays football, agreed.

Mental stamina

While wrestling is a very physical sport, Luna said it was more a mental sport because the mind must overcome adversity and exhaustion.

“If you mentally grow, your body follows suit,” Luna explained.

On the walls of the wrestling team’s practice room is a slogan: “The only easy day was yesterday.”

“It means that it will always be harder, but that makes you better," Zimmerer said. "We are always trying to improve.”

The thing about wrestling that is different than many other sports is a grappler could be down many points in a match but ultimately win by pinning the opponent. That’s where the mental strength comes in.

“You can win matches you didn’t think you could,” Zimmerer said.

Zimmerer grew up wrestling because his dad was a coach.

“I always saw high schoolers doing hard work, so I was comfortable wrestling," he said. "It’s a hard sport. It’s physically and mentally grueling.”

Zimmerer noted that the wrestling team culture is a lot different than the culture in other high school sports.

“Most kids don’t know we have a wrestling team,” he said. “We work hard all the time, and it’s tough. When you experience something tough together, you form a bond.”

Evergreen High School, Evergreen wrestling, wrestling, Zimmerer, Luna, Burrier

Comments

Our Papers

Ad blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an ad blocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we receive from our advertisers helps make this site possible. We request you whitelist our site.