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CIF winner Mackenzie English grapples to victory

Kay Martin

One! Two! The opponent stays pinned as wrestler Mackenzie English ‘24, in a display of unwavering strength, wins the match leaving her in first place.

As the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) winner, the body who governs California high school sports, English has been dedicated to her sport for a long time, participating in the 2023 CIF games last year as well. English has been participating in martial arts from a very young age and chose to pursue a similar art in high school as well.

“I [have been doing] Brazilian Jiu Jitsu since I was 9,” said English. “I wanted to do something similar to that in high school; wrestling [was] the closest thing.”

Grappling is a technique utilized in martial arts by everyone that focuses on close–range fighting through using hold and locks to control one’s opponent. This method is seen in both Jiu Jitsu and wrestling.

“We did Jiu Jitsu for a long time and [English is] really committed to grappling,” said wrestling co–captain Lennon Martin ‘24. “They’re extremely dedicated and serious a lot of the time.”

In order to prepare for these events, wrestlers must undergo intense training both physically and mentally.

“I actually bumped up a weight class so that I felt strong and healthy,” said English. “Then, I just focused on my technique and told myself, ‘You’re the best. You’re literally going to win.’”

For English, preparing doesn’t stop at school practices. She takes her training outside to various wrestling camps.

“Last year, [English] would go to wrestling camps all the time,” said Martin. “Almost every single practice they would be at a different wrestling camp which is amazing. That just shows how determined [English is] and how much drive she has.”

English brings her all to every wrestling practice, always ready to train and do her best.

“She definitely works very hard,” said Oscar Guzman ‘25. “She’s probably one of our top wrestlers and I think she’s going to go places; she’s very determined.”

As a co–captain, English must have a close relationship with her teammates. She is a focused and dedicated captain, according to Martin.

“My dad [has] been to literally every single tournament, and then the team [is] super supportive of me,” said English. “They will do anything to help me get to where I need to be.”

This year, after English won CIF, she became a finalist at Masters, and then went to the state tournament.

“[Winning] was really good because I was a CIF finalist last year and I lost to a girl that I had [previously] beat, so I felt really bad about myself,” said English. “But then this year, I actually beat a girl who beat me before, so it was like the reverse effect.”

English doesn’t plan to stop her wrestling career here. In fact, she plans to keep going throughout her college journey and further.

“I’m actually committed to University of Providence, a school in Montana, and I’m committed there to wrestle for the next four years,” said English.

Her goals span beyond a college career, aiming to participate in the wrestling Olympic trials.

“When I’m a senior in college, Olympic trials are going to come around, and I plan on wrestling in those,” said English.

English puts everything she has into wrestling, dedicating a lot of time to her sport.

“[Wrestling has] impacted all aspects of my life,” said English. “I think about it all the time and I’m always doing it. It’s what I want to do in the future as a career, so it means everything to me. It’s very important.”

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About the Contributor
Kay Martin
Kay Martin, Social Media Manager
Hey! My name is Kay Martin and this is my first year as a staff writer and social media manager for The Arrow. I joined the staff in hopes of informing the students of WHS on what is happening within their community. When I’m not drinking a Baja Blast Freeze, or obsessing over them, you can spot me playing soccer or probably just sitting on the couch watching TV. I’m really looking forward to all of our future issues!
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