WORTHINGTON -- Athletes have been comparing football to wrestling for years.
It’s a tough comparison for those who’ve participated in both sports.
Football involves crashing into people, pushing and shoving -- playing sometimes in difficult conditions like 15-degree weather, snow and rain that can turn a beautiful field into mud. At some point -- perhaps often if you’re a linebacker like Worthington Trojans senior Marcos Herrera -- you’re asked to tackle opponents head-on, which is not easy when you see a 220-pound fullback with a head of steam running directly at you.
Wrestling presents its own set of problems. Practices can be grueling, involving running, weightlifting, and a lot of pushing and shoving, tugging and pulling, diving and lifting. Rivals grind your nose into a mat repeatedly, and you do it to them, too. Besides that, you’ve got to watch what you eat in order to make weight. It’s a daily issue with most wrestlers. Nutrition, conditioning, workouts.
Herrera has thrived in both sports at Worthington High School. He made the 2017 Globe All-Area Football Team in his senior season, leading the Trojans for tackles for losses while serving as a running back on offense. He also recently completed a strong wrestling year -- not quite making state after placing third in the section at 220 pounds, but winning a lot of tough battles for his team.
Football and wrestling has surely served Herrera well for his next challenge. He intends to join the Marines after he graduates.
The Globe interviewed and took video footage of Herrera recently for The Drill, and you can see the result online at www.dglobe.com. Here is a sampling of the interview:
QUESTION: You enjoyed solid seasons in both football and wrestling in your senior year. How did you feel about being looked at as a leader?
ANSWER: “Playing two sports on a higher level, it’s kind of nice having that responsibility of having people have to depend on you in that kind of way. It kind of just leads you to work a lot harder, and motivates you a lot more in the gym.”
Q: How would you compare football with wrestling?
A: “Comparing football and wrestling, I would have to say, personally, through what I’ve been through, I’ve had a lot more wrestling injuries. And it’s also a reason that I’m a little bit bigger, and with bigger guys there’s a lot more slamming and stuff. I guess I would personally say wrestling is the harder sport of the two. It is a lot more demanding as well -- cutting weight, gaining weight, having to get all those hours into the wrestling room and having to learn a wide variety of technique that they all go through -- having to predict what your opponent is going to do. And the biggest thing is, when you go onto the mat, you’re going on the mat with just you and your opponent. You don’t have a team to rely on very much.”
Q: Can you tell us what went into your decision to join the Marines?
A: “I planned on being a Marine since I was about 8 years old. It was just something that I always looked up to. It was always something that I admired. It’s kind of what I looked at as a way to escape to. My childhood wasn’t the best, it wasn’t the easiest.”