the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

the voice of Lakes Community High School

Lakes Student Media

From a Panther to an Eagle

From continuing his brother’s legacy to being a team captain his senior year, Jonathan Kamanda is wrestling his way to state one match at a time.
Kamanda+Warming+up
Drew Schmidt
Kamanda Warming up

Jonathan Kamanda started wrestling in middle school when his older brother JJ got injured during his senior season. From then on he wanted to pick up where his brother left off and continue on his legacy. “At first my goal was to be better than my brother, but since that has passed, my goal since then has been to make it to state,” Kamanda says.

Kamanda transferred to Lakes from Round Lake his sophomore year. “To be honest, my sophomore year I did pretty well. It was a new school and a new system so it was hard for me to adapt, but I tried my heart out,” says Kamanda. Transferring schools is not easy. Along with the new team comes a new set of challenges. Kamanda’s coach, Devin Tortorice, believes that “Jon has really progressed through his transition into Lakes and quickly gained everybody’s respect.” Despite all of the challenges he overcame his sophomore year he still did fairly well with a 16-19 record.

“My junior year is where I really found my groove,” says Kamanda. He ended the season with a 25-12 record. Kamanda says the secret to his groove was learning patience, discipline, and perseverance. “Jon’s junior year he really started to progress in his technical aspect and explosiveness as a wrestler,” says Tortorice. This year was also when Kamanda truly gained the respect from his teammates as a natural leader. “Ever since Jon came to Lakes, he was a leader; it was then that his teammates started viewing him as one,” said Tortorice. He spent a lot of time off the mat trying to get to know his teammates and connect with them.

Increasing his team chemistry was a big goal for Kamanda. It also helped him meet some new friends at a new school. Along with his 25-12 record, Kamanda made his way to sectionals. Unfortunately for him, he lost in sectionals which didn’t allow him to qualify for state. “It was the closest I’ve ever gotten to state,” Kamanda said. He spent all of the next offseason preparing to achieve his dream.

Senior year was going strong for Kamanda with a 6-4 record. Every athlete experiences at least one injury in their career. Unfortunately for Kamanda, he fractured his elbow during his senior season when he was closer than ever to achieving his dream of going to state. He was crushed, for the first few days of his injury he felt defeated. On Monday of the next week Tortorice gave Kamanda the most important advice he has ever received from coach Tortorice. “Changing your perspective changes your outcome.” Fast forward to present day Kamanda is recovering quickly and about to hit the mat again within the next 2 weeks. Words don’t describe how dangerous and hungry Kamanda is to achieve his goal. He’s mentally prepared to win one match at a time until he gets to the big one and finally achieves his dream of going to state.

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Drew Schmidt, Staff
Drew Schmidt is a senior and this is his first year on staff. In his free time, he enjoys playing football and lacrosse. In his free time, he also enjoys metal working.