by Alex Vickery
Kaneland Krier Reporter
Kanelandâ€”Esai Ponce has a Rochelle wrestler in a cradle. After struggling for a minute, he finally pins him down. The two wrestlers stand up and shake hands.
The referee lifts Esaiâ€™s arm and says â€œWinner!â€ The crowd cheers, and the ref says â€œGood job. Congratulations.â€
Ponce has been wrestling for sevens years and loves it.
â€œEsai has been my practice partner since I was in fourth grade, and even though our weight differences have split, we still stick together,â€ said Dan Goress, freshman wrestler.
â€œItâ€™s fun, and itâ€™s good to be on a team sport,â€ Ponce said.
His biggest accomplishment is taking fifth at state last year when he wrestled a student named T. Zaball.
â€œMy goal for this season is to make sectionals,â€ Ponce said.
He is preparing for sectionals by going to practice five times a week, conditioning four times a week and working really hard.
â€œ(Esai is) very advanced in his knowledge of his techniques for a freshman. Heâ€™s looking to be very varsity ready,â€ said Joe Thorgesen, wrestling coach.