Hungry for Success

A look into the way wrestlers cut weight at NPHS



Two wrestlers tie up at the first practice of the season at North Platte High School on Nov. 18.

Sierra Winder, News Editor


“I haven’t eaten since Sunday and today is Thursday,” senior wrestler Dylan Nesslein said. Nesselein competitively wrestles on a traveling team and recently had a tournament over the weekend. “I just drink a bottle of water a day to keep decently hydrated and some chocolate milk,” he said.

“I haven’t eaten since Sunday and today is Thursday.””

— senior Dylan Nesslein

Cutting weight comes in different variations and can look different depending on the person. Depending on the wrestler, methods of losing weight can range from just eating healthier to not eating at all for long periods of time. Registered Dietician Jared Sabin warns that extreme weight cuts are unhealthy. “When [wrestlers] are not consuming anything or consuming little, they are increasing their chances of getting hurt at practice and having mental fatigue,” Sabin said. 

Wrestling coach Dale Hall believes that students should not resort to extreme measures to lose weight. “If that’s the way that they are trying to get down to a weight class, then they need to just wrestle up,” Hall said.

Sophia Walsh
Seniors Sam Malsbury [left] and Carter Johnson tie up. This was the first practice of the season. Both seniors are getting ready for their last wrestling season of their high school career.

According to Sabin, cutting a lot of weight in a short amount of time can affect development and growth. Boys generally develop until they are 18.  “When you are having so many periods of reducing calories and protein needed for growth, it increases your chance of delaying development,” he said.

Sabin advises wrestlers to be realistic about what weight class they want to be in. “Try to stay within a range where you don’t have to do anything drastic,” he said.

Some wrestlers are against drastic weight cuts before and during the season. “In my opinion, cutting a bunch of weight off is more harmful for my body, and I won’t be at my full strength,” junior Blake Vaughn said.

Cutting weight used to be a bigger issue than it is now. “Twenty years ago, there was really no rules, in terms of how much weight a person could cut,” activities director Jordan Cudney said. Over a decade ago, The Nebraska State Activities Association (NSAA) appointed a committee to review weight management plans and form their own for the state of Nebraska. This was done to try and prevent extreme weight cuts.

While the NSAA is trying to reduce unhealthy habits during the wrestling season, people still work around these regulations. Wrestlers must take a urine test to see how hydrated they are, if they pass then they take a body fat percentage test to see how much weight they can safely lose.”There’s a hydration test the school does, so they will cut down before the test, so they can make weight before the first tournament,” junior Cash Arensdorf said.

Nesslein thinks that preparation for the season should probably start earlier. “ If you’re prepared, cutting weight should not be this much of a problem,” he said

Sophia Walsh
The wrestling room is filled with people ready to wrestle. Excitement fills the air as the first practice of the wrestling season starts. Two wrestlers practice different techniques.

The NSAA has taken precautions and there has been progress made over the years. “Overall wrestling is in a better place now.I see a lot less [extreme weight cutting] now,” Hall said.