A Lasting Impact

Wrestler Luke Longtin was a mentor for several underclassmen this season.


Luke Longtin's Instagram @luke_longtin

Longtin was a three time state qualifier.

Carmen Peterson, Staff Editor

In the world of wrestling, qualifying for state is an electric feeling. Doing this for three years was a unique experience for senior wrestler, Luke Longtin. 

Throughout his state qualifying journey, Longtin described the whole process as overwhelming.  

Longtin said, “My first two years going, it was really overwhelming. The stadium and it being three days long means that once you win your match you’re sitting around for another day and a half before you wrestle again.” 

When he first qualified this season, it was a bittersweet feeling. While he was excited, he was also disappointed when fellow senior Dominic Pona didn’t qualify with him. 

“At first, it was really disappointing. Especially when I saw that Dom lost his. It felt weird. I think that threw me off a lot in my final match,” Longtin said. “It is similar but it almost didn’t feel as rewarding. I won districts, so I was a district champ. I took second place, so obviously it’s a little upsetting, but it (the State Championship) didn’t seem as rewarding as in past years.” 

Despite the slight bummer in the qualifying matches, Longtin mentioned that his otherwise positive mindset is majorly impacted by his goals for his senior year. He wanted a medal and was willing to work as hard as possible for it. 

Head coach Ryan Bollinger will miss Longtin’s leadership.

All of our underclassmen looked up to Luke,” Bollinger said. 

 Bollinger credits this to Longtin’s freshman year, where he learned from those seniors at the team. 

 Bollinger said, Luke was behind some very good wrestlers on the depth chart his freshman season. I believe that helped greatly in his development and why he was able to find success throughout his career.” 

Longtin then went on to do the same for his younger teammates. Living up to his high expectations set by the coaches, Longtin provided a perfect model for his other teammates. For example, he feels a special connection with a particular peer, 106 pound wrestler Brayden Belding. 

“Definitely seeing him get better and being able to teach him and have him learn. I’m looking forward to coming back and seeing him qualify for state next year,” Longtin said. 

However, Belding isn’t the only underclassmen influenced by Longtin. Not only has Longtin fulfilled his own expectations, but he has also set the bar for the future seasons. 

Bollinger said, “Being a now three-time Qualifier, that’s something his teammates coming up behind him can shoot for.” 

The postseason was vastly different this season. Because of COVID-19, districts, sectionals, and state took place two weeks after each other to prevent the spread throughout the matches. While this schedule does make sense in regards to contact tracing, Longtin was not a fan.

Longtin said, “If I’m being honest, I hate it. From districts to sectionals, I hated it.“ 

Yet, having the break didn’t seem to affect the team or Longtin negatively. Even though it took a toll, it showed determination within the team. 

Bollinger said, “I think this season has had an effect on everybody. This year’s team as a whole has responded very well with the changes and I believe it shows the determination in the whole group, including Luke.”

As for the day of state, which was only one day this season instead of a three day event, everything seemed to fly by.  

This received high praise from Longtin. 

He said, “I don’t mind it (the new schedule) for State. I think it was good for me going from sectionals to state to let me get my head right.” 

Perhaps the increase in speed on that day troubled Longtin more than he was expecting. Unfortunately, Longtin ended up losing his first match 1-0 and then again 9-4. Despite losing, Longtin still had the support of his teammates, classmates, teachers, and staff of Windsor High School and should be proud of his career. 

Bollinger said, “We had high expectations for Luke coming into this season, coming in as a two time State Qualifier. Luke is focused during practice and puts in the work, which is why he is now a three time State Qualifier.”