Makenna Manning is a sophomore at McAlester and joined the Lady Buffaloes wrestling team last August.
For Manning, wrestling has provided a fun and new opportunity to compete. While Manning is new to wrestling as a competitor she isn’t new to the sport.
“I was a manager in the eighth grade,” Manning said. “I never joined because there were no girls in wrestling then. Last year I wanted to start because my best friend and I wanted to try it out.”
Manning enjoys the competition and experience that wrestling provides whether she wins or loses.
“Even if I go out and lose, it opens up the opportunity for me to improve and practice harder,” Manning said.
Manning also enjoys the team bonding and camaraderie that comes from the sport. Manning said that she is always learning from her teammates and appreciates their support on and off the mat – it’s like having a second family.
Wrestling has taught Manning about self discipline and responsibility which she knows she can apply outside of athletics and in the classroom.
“You have to have responsibility by showing up and getting things done and self discipline by knowing what you did wrong and going into practice and improving,” Manning said.
While Manning is fairly new to the wrestling program at McAlester she encourages other young women like herself to get involved.
“I can’t sugar coat it by saying it’s easy,” Manning said. “But once you get the hang of it you’ll love it. Wrestling has changed my life and it is the funnest sport I’ve ever done in my entire life. Plus it’ll make you better at any sport you do. Wise words from Coach Billy.”
Outside of wrestling Manning is involved in many clubs at McAlester. She runs track in the spring and is a part of the High School Student Council. Manning helps the school organize activities, assemblies, and other events around the school and community. For now, however, she is focused on the wrestling season.
“My goals for the season are to learn hard, practice harder, and make it to the OSSAA’s Girls State Championship in February,” Manning said.