Sports Person of the Week
Putnam Made His Mark on the Mat
Kyle Putnam didn’t get his chance to lead the Guilford wrestling team as a senior captain this year, but he will always have fond memories of a junior season that saw him notch 29 wins on the mat. (Photo courtesy of Kyle Putnam )
Kyle Putnam has always been an intense competitor. Kyle was interested in several sports as a youngster, but ultimately stuck with wrestling and went on to have a quality career with the squad at Guilford High School.
Kyle was on the small side while growing up. Kyle liked wrestling, because it gave him a chance to compete against kids who were his own size, and he quickly found his niche in the sport. Kyle is now a senior at Guilford and was named one of the wrestling team’s captains for this year.
“I’ve been wrestling since 1st grade. What got me into the sport was that I was able to wrestle other kids who were around my size, because I was a small kid, and it was difficult to compete in other sports,” Kyle says. “One of my favorite aspects of the sport is that it’s mostly a one-on-one sport. So, when you’re wrestling, you don’t have to sit around and wait for someone to pass you the ball. You are always in the action.”
Last year, Kyle wrestled in the 132-pound division and finished the season with 29 victories to go with a fourth-place performance at the Southern Connecticut Conference Championship. Kyle was set to wrestle in the 138-pound weight class this year, but unfortunately for Kyle and his teammates, the wrestling season was canceled. Kyle was excited to lead the Grizzlies as a senior and expected many of his teammates to have breakout campaigns.
“I was really looking forward to leading our team this year. We have so many great kids, and this year would have been where a lot of them broke out,” says Kyle. “I was also looking forward to competing this year. In wrestling, experience and strength are big factors, and I was excited to put myself to the test.”
Guilford Head Coach Craig Vedrani believes that Kyle was primed to have a big season on the heels of a solid campaign last year. Vedrani describes Kyle as a pleasure to work with and one of the kindest athletes whom he’s ever coached.
“Kyle started out as a freshman in our lighter weights and always showed flashes of high-level wrestling, but seemed to have trouble putting it all together. Just last year, he started figuring it all out and was competing with top-tier wrestlers in the state,” Vedrani says. “Kyle placed fourth in the Guilford Invitational, fifth in the Framingham Invitational, fourth in the SCC, and was one match short from going to the State Opens. He came up big in big spots throughout the year.”
Kyle credits Coach Vedrani for helping him develop into the wrestler that he is today. Kyle wanted nothing more than to lead Vedrani’s team during his final year of high school.
“Coach Vedrani is a fantastic coach,” Kyle says. “He knows how to get people motivated and provides a lot of opportunities for kids to better themselves. He is very consistent and will help you out with anything you need.”
In addition to working on the technical aspects of the sport, Kyle has spent a lot of time in the gym in order to build up his strength on the wrestling mat. He also enjoys going for long runs to increase his stamina.
“To improve my game I lift weights, run, and go to a wrestling gym,” says Kyle. “If you are able to do those types of things all year-round, then by the time the season comes around, you’ll already be a step ahead of everyone else.”
With the wrestling season having been canceled, Kyle has his sights set on trying out for the Guilford golf team in the spring. Kyle doesn’t have much experience in golf, but wants to give it a try with the Grizzlies.
“I told one of my friends that if there was no wrestling season, I would try out for the golf team this year,” Kyle says. “I haven’t been golfing too long now, but I’m hoping to make the team.”
Aside from sports, Kyle enjoys spending time with his friends and family, playing video games, and listening to music. Kyle has yet to decide where is going to college, but is looking forward to the next chapter in his life.
“I have high expectations for college,” says Kyle. “I plan on learning more about both business and science and trying to find an area where they intersect.”