The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

The student news site of Brookline High School

The Cypress

Zeke Kasen shows the importance of mentality in wrestling

Kasen battles with an opponent, eventually pinning him to help beat the Wellesley Raiders 45-34 in the Schluntz Gymnasium on Thursday, Jan. 3.

Wrestling is a test of mental strength. Though it is physically demanding, requiring energy, endurance and explosiveness from its athletes, the most successful wrestlers recognize the importance of confidence and hard work. Senior and captain Zeke Kasen is a prime example.

Kasen has been on the varsity wrestling team since his freshman year, and he is currently wrestling at 113 pounds. As a sophomore, Kasen began to get more into wrestling and started wrestling on a club team outside of school. He eventually qualified to compete in states for the high school and became a captain in his junior year.

Kasen said that getting better every day and watching his work pay off in matches drives his motivation in the sport.

“I got my butt kicked every day as a freshman. I would still always come back and do it again because I just want to get better,” Kasen said.

According to senior, captain and teammate Gabriel Thomas, Kasen has great sportsmanship and always supports his team during meets.

“He is always doing exactly what he’s supposed to. If he has a tough loss, he doesn’t get overly upset,” Thomas said. “If he has a great win, he’s not celebrating on the mat, which is something that we really discourage. He really shows how to be a great sportsman, how to be disciplined.”

Boys varsity wrestling head coach Brandon Brutomesso said Kasen is constantly working to ensure the team is ready for their matches. According to Brutomesso, Kasen has also gained confidence and has lots of heart in the game.

“He’s incredibly aggressive and relentless. I don’t think you’d be able to find somebody who’s got a bigger heart than he does on the mat,” Brutomesso said.

Thomas said Kasen is persistent and is always shouting words of encouragement during his teammates’ matches.

“He takes the initiative making sure everyone knows what they’re doing, and he gets there early and stays late,” Thomas said. “He practices very hard. He’s always in favor of a hard practice. He never complains about anything being hard, and he’s never late.”

According to Kasen, the team has built an atmosphere built on a collective drive to push one another and improve.

“Everyone shares that common goal of fighting and then grinding and then doing it again,” Kasen said. “Everyone is there to get better, and I think that makes the community better because everyone is looking out for each other.”

Thomas said Kasen is a driven captain and has great perseverance on and off the mat.

“He is probably the grittiest and most mentally tough wrestler on the team. I think that’s really how he got as good as he is now,” Thomas said.

Bruttomesso said he expects Kasen to go far in the postseason and wants him to continue pushing himself.

“He needs to continue building that confidence in himself. I think he’s going to have a really deep run in [the] postseason. I just want him to reach his potential,” Bruttomesso said. “I think we’re going to see that it’s higher than he thinks, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s higher than I expect it to be.”

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