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The One-Man Wrestling Wonder

Photo provided by Mr. Blank
Wrestling champion William Gutner competes at States.

Hamilton has a multitude of sports teams for any incoming freshman to explore. From March Madness to infamous homecoming football games, Hamilton is a school that prides itself on sports and the art of teamwork. Teamwork is one of the leading values for students at Hamilton.

The one exception is William Glettner, Hamilton’s first and only wrestling team member.

“So I’m William Glettner. Last name. Glettner,” Glettner said as he exited his weight training class to be interviewed.

Glettner, a man of many sports, started off with football before entering the realm of wrestling for Hamilton.

“So I definitely started with football. Football was my first sport and it was just kind of to keep me in shape,” Glettner said. “And then as I was growing, my athletic ability got better. I did wrestling, I started it freshman year just to kind of stay fit for football season. But I ended up going to Missouri freshman summer, and I got really into wrestling.”

Along with football, he also participated in jujitsu, which propelled him into the sport of wrestling in freshman year of high school. He joined a club team for Beverly Hills High School and practiced nearly “5 to 10 hours a week on the off season,” clearly dedicated to his sport. Missouri was a big influence on Glettner, as the state was highly involved in wrestling.

When Glettner transferred from Beverly Hills High to Hamilton, he was disappointed by the absence of a wrestling team. However, he immediately jumped into action.

“Once football season was over, I was injured, and I was just kind of waiting for my injuries to heal,” Glettner said. “And I really wanted a wrestling team because I wrestled the year before. I made it to day one of CIF. So I didn’t do very well, but I knew that I could add a lot of space to grow.”

Glettner said he advocated to the administration to open a wrestling team at Hamilton.

“I was just really pushing that wrestling is really something the school needs to compete with other schools at an athletic level,” Glettner said. “I think that it’s super important to have a school with an emphasis on wrestling, because that kind of has toughness and it’s definitely a lot of strength.”

Glettner achieved exactly what he wanted to. He led his one-man show all the way to the state championship, a three-day tournament.

“I lost round of 32 for, uh, the championship bracket, so I lost my first match. I won my second. So I made it to round of 16 for consolation. And then I lost that, so I made it. It’s probably around like top 30in state ish,” Glettner said.

Glettner said he couldn’t have made it all the way to the state championship without his sponsor and good friend Mr. Townsend, Hamilton’s AMPA film production teacher and football coach. Glettner met Mr. Townsend through football and had approached him with the idea of starting a wrestling team.

“I thought it was funny, and I was impressed that he wanted to take it upon himself to train and do everything that a coach usually has to get an athlete to do,” Mr. Townsend said. “And he was willing to do it all on his own and sort of being proactive in trying to find a way to make it happen, which is why I came on board to support anybody that would be willing to do that on their own.”

William Glettner poses with his supporters. (Photo provided by Mr. Blank)

Mr. Townsend described the competitions as “interesting” due to their length. Ironically, the state championship brought Mr. Townsend and Gutner to Bakersfield, the town where Mr. Townsend had grown up and a place where wrestling was very popular.

“Bakersfield, California is where I grew up, which was funny,” Mr. Townsend said. “It’s a big wrestling city.”

The journey ended there, with Glettner finishing in the state championship. Mr. Townsend said his bravery and determination to express himself in a sport was admirable.

In Mr. Townsend’s eyes Glettner is a “dedicated” individual, and someone that he hopes all future Hamilton students could take inspiration from.

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About the Contributor
Lauren Legaspi
Lauren Legaspi, News Editor
Lauren Legaspi is the news editor for The Federalist. She is a senior in SAS at Alexander Hamilton Senior High. Lauren covers the current changes and latest events within the school. She’s interested in female literature (loves Plath) and poetry. You can share feedback and story ideas with Lauren through email at [email protected] or on Instagram @federalistathami.

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