Athlete of the Issue: Bryce Pummer

Rachael Oczkus

Bryce Pummer ‘11, star wrestler and captain of the wrestling team is proving himself as the most adept wrestler on the team. Keeping a section record of 23-1 this year, he is fighting to participate in the state tournament.

From the beginning of his middle school wrestling career, the OIS coaches kept their eye on Pummer, noting his natural talent and perfect size for the higher weight classes.

“Most wrestlers weigh 100 to 150 pounds. The coaches encouraged me because I’m big and the high school team needed big guys,” said Pummer.

The home meet against Campolindo on Jan. 6 proved to be a crushing defeat for Miramonte’s team with every match lost except Pummer’s. His win revealed his thirst for victory and unequivocal desire to achieve a state title.

Although Pummer has been named captain of Miramonte’s team and is an early favorite for an NCS title, his nonchalant reaction to these successes seems unexpected.

“I don’t have much of a reaction to my success. I’m taking each day, learning from each match. I’m constantly taking each win and thinking of how I can improve the next time I wrestle,” said Pummer.

Wrestling not only requires great physical strength, but also dedication. Many times, wrestlers cut weight in order to wrestle in lower weight classes. During the season Pummer cuts weight to wrestle in the 189 lb. weight class.

Many of the rules of wrestling revolve around cutting weight to maintain the health of the wrestlers and avoid any possible advantages for other teams. In the past, wrestlers have even died from wearing sweat suits while working out on a stationary bike in a sauna.

“Cutting weight is your personal choice. It is usually easier to cut weight and wrestle a lower weight class,” said Pummer.

With the lack of support from the majority of his peers, Pummer shoves cruel remarks concerning the sport out of his mind and focuses all of his energy on the matches, although he appreciates the growing support for the program.

“People can think what they want,” said Pummer. “Everybody has their perspectives on sports and that’s theirs’. So what?”

His plans for the future? As of now, Pummer is unsure what the future holds for him and his college wrestling career. If not recruited by the end of the season, he plans to attend Sierra Junior College in Sacramento to pursue a career as an EMT paramedic.

Wishing to leave a mark on the wrestling program similar to that of legendary Miramonte wrestler James Smith ‘03, Pummer hopes to leave Miramonte respected with recognition of his accomplishments.

Remarkably, Pummer’s only means of off-season training are freestyle wrestling tournaments and the occasional longboard trip down a large hill.

Pummer went 3-0 at a Tri Valley tournament winning himself another first place medal.

“I know that this season will end on a good note. I want to motivate my team to always try their hardest and extend the legacy of Miramonte wrestling,” said Pummer.