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An Episcopal, co-educational 100% boarding school in Middletown, Delaware for grades 9 – 12

Athlete Focus | Seoyoon Kwon

Seoyoon Kwon ’23 was looking for a winter sport back in the fall. She was not sure what she wanted to participate in but she knew she did not want to play basketball, squash, or swimming. While watching a boys soccer game this fall, her friends Nick Osbourne ’23 and Caroline Meers ’24 started talking about options for Seoyoon in the winter. This is when Nick, captain of the wrestling team, had an idea, “what if you joined the wrestling team?” With no previous experience or ever stepping on a wrestling mat, Seoyoon decided to give it a try. 

She lost her first match at Appoquinimink High School, as one would expect in their first ever wrestling match. “In my first meet I was really nervous all day, probably the most nervous I have ever been, and I got my butt kicked. I got pinned in the third period and it was not a good feeling.” In the second meet of the season Seoyoon’s nerves had calmed but she still lost the match. 

While she had improved, Seoyoon wanted to win. “I practiced a lot over winter break. I reached out to a lot of high school coaches back home in Maryland. I just kept drilling so my body would learn the moves.” The hard work paid off because after the team returned from the holiday break something had clicked for Seoyoon. In their home match against St. Elizabeth, Seoyoon competed against a female opponent and recorded her first pin. Her next opponent was a male and Seoyoon recorded her second pin! Her performance helped lead the team to a 24-21 win over St. Elizabeth. “Her wins motivated the entire team,” Coach Davis recalled. 

Her next match was against an opponent from Sussex Academy, a strong program in the area, and pinned him in 1:51. Sadly this would be her last pin of the season because she dislocated her shoulder. While she probably needed to visit the health center, Seoyoon was determined to see the rest of the match out to support her teammates. 

Even with her personal success, Seoyoon is a team person first and this was evident when she sat down for an interview; she made sure her teammates were there. While she tried to talk about their success, all of them brought it back to her. Nick, who had convinced her to come out for wrestling this year, had nothing but praise for his teammate. “Seoyoon is a great teammate and is an amazing competitor. What separates her is she’s an inspiration to a lot of people. She is showing that females not only can compete in a male dominated sport but also win! Seoyoon has inspired me to be better everyday I come to practice.” Bringing it back to her teammates, Seoyoon added “Nick has not lost a match this season.” Miguel Borja ’23 added about Seoyoon, “As a newcomer to wrestling and her immediate success, it shows the type of person she is. She is physically and mentally tough. When her shoulder popped out, she insisted to finish the match and did not want any attention.” Frank Nasta ’24, who is dealing with his own injury, talked about how much fun it is to watch Seoyoon compete. “I love watching the way she wants to win and the determination she has entering every match. She brings style and charisma every single second she’s on the mat. It is a lot of fun to watch her compete.” Before Seoyoon could sing praise to her friends, Frank added, “She then brings that same attitude when her teammates compete, she lifts us all up. There would have been a gigantic hole on the team if she was not there this year”

With her shoulder injury, Seoyoon is done competing for the season. She still plans to make an impact. “I am not going to miss a meet,” she stated emphatically. Of course still being team first, she looked at her teammates and said “I am going to scream my head off for all of you!” Seoyoon is officially hooked on wrestling. When asked what her plans for next year’s season were, she interrupted and made it clear “Next year? As soon as I am healthy in a few weeks, I will be back on the mat.”