Featured Athlete: Maliyah Ross

Grade: 9 | Sport: Freestyle Wrestling


Courtesy of Maliyah Ross

Freshman wrestler Maliyah Ross walks away after completing a wrestling match at Coppell High School. Ross also participates in freestyle wrestling outside of traditional wrestling, returning from the state competition last weekend.

Wingspan: What inspired you to start freestyle wrestling?

Ross: “My brother because he did it, and I thought ‘Oh my gosh that looks cool, let me do that.’ and from there I just got really into it”

Wingspan: What keeps you motivated to stay in wrestling?

Ross: “The team and the coaches and my teammates, they really push me to be motivated and keep going to make sure your trying your best.”

Wingspan: What is the most difficult thing about freestyle wrestling?

Ross: “Running. I hate the running, it’s the hardest part about it, we run so much. And for freestyle trying not to get thrown, and also not posting a hand. There’s not really any techniques though, you really just go for it, or get thrown.”

Wingspan: What is the biggest benefit of being in freestyle wrestling?

Ross: “Learning a bunch of things you can do in folkstyle, because there’s different things learn in freestyle, you can use in folkstyle. Also, my teammates, and being able to let out my anger on the mat.”

Wingspan: What’s it’s like being on a team?

Ross: “They become your second family, you can really trust the people on your team.”

Wingspan: What pumps you up/motivates you before competitions?

Ross: “Coach talking to me. A coaches talk, and them making sure I know what I’m doing.”

Wingspan: What is your pre-game ritual?

Ross: “I just listen to music, like hardcore music to get me pumped up. I kind of just go up there, shake a little, and just go. “