John DeMis

Donnie Martinez, a Radio-TV-Film junior, lifts a fellow student in the air during wrestling practice on the Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium ramps. The team’s practice consists of grueling strengthening and conditioning exercises that are meant to improve their overall stamina and technique when wrestling.

Photo Credit: Andrea Macias-Jimenez | Daily Texan Staff

What happens here won’t change the world. But it could change yours.

The Longhorn Wrestling Club is a place that offers more than wrestling. Despite a short existence, it has already made an impact.

“The program has been around for six years,” said president John DeMis. “We’ve won four state titles and finished in the top four of our division every year.”

Wrestling is a tough sport, which merits admiration for the club’s success. For those without the chance to be division one athletes, it offers comparable competition as well.

“We wrestle in the National Collegiate Wrestling Association which is filled with great competition,” said assistant coach Matthew Pearson. “Many sanctioned wrestling programs perform here, so anybody who thinks it’s an easy ride to success is in for a rude awakening when they get on the mats.”

In competition, any experience is better than no experience. However, it is not always required.

“Our club is open to anyone, guys or girls,” DeMis said. “We have competitive and recreational levels, so even if you have never wrestled before, there is still a place for you.”

Everyone loves a winner, so it’s safe to say that competitive wrestlers have access to many benefits. In this club however, less can still get you more.

“Non-competitive wrestlers get everything competitive ones do,” DeMis said. “They get access to all our workout and nutrition plans and have the chance to train with us every practice for a sixth of the money.”

Competition or not, the wrestling club offers many great opportunities. The best opportunities are sometimes unexpected, though.

“We have a great coach in Bob Moore who teaches way more than wrestling,” DeMis said. “He’s been around wrestling forever and he’s also a personal trainer so we get the best of everything with him.”

Head coach Robert Moore, the godfather of wrestling, brings many things to the club on and off the mat.

“I’ve been involved with wrestling since I was a kid,” Moore said. “Last year I received the [Lifetime Service to Wrestling Award] into the Wrestling Hall of Fame and I hope to teach these guys about wrestling and about being men.”

Many believe wrestling is nothing more than pure violence. However, there is more behind the physicality.

“The fact that it’s essentially controlled violence makes it appealing,” Moore said. “But most of our guys here are Academic All-Americans so they have the grades to back up their physical talents, too.”

From fitness and discipline, to the chance to wear burnt orange and represent Texas, the Longhorn Wrestling Club looks to keep moving forward.

“Wrestling teaches discipline, honor and self control,” Moore said. “If you’re a self-starter and want to be a part of something special, this is the place for you.”