Pierre Baldwin pins Wildcat Athlete of the Week

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Photo by Lifetouch

After being awarded the Jeff Mirabella Outstanding Wrestler of the Year award, Varsity wrestler Pierre Baldwin is Athlete of the Week.

By Chuck Baumgartner

Ten years ago, a young Pierre Baldwin walked into his first-ever practice with his cousin; now, with 2 State appearances and 109 wins later, the first male wrestler to place for WEGO since 1993 is back for more.

Senior Pierre Baldwin looks to perform well at the upcoming regional competition on February 5. (Photo by Nicole Fields)

As of publication, Baldwin has a record of 32-2 wins; within those victories, he has had 15 pins and 5 technical falls.  Baldwin is the 2022 Upstate Eight Champion for his weight class (132 lbs). He placed first at the Ewoldt Tournament, held at Wheaton Warrenville South on December 29. Baldwin also placed first in a 28-team tournament at Joliet Central earlier that month. Baldwin also defines the phrase “student athlete”, achieving high honor roll for the 2021 fall semester and being nominated for the Breakfast of Champions.

Senior Mason Dupasquier cheering on teammates with Baldwin at a recent competition. (Photo by Nicole Fields)

Senior and Varsity teammate Mason Dupasquier said, “Pierre is an amazing teammate; he is always pushing people to their hardest. He never gives up on anyone, he will celebrate your victories and helps you work through your defeats.”

When Baldwin decided to go to a wrestling practice with his cousin 10 years ago to “try out” the sport, he had no idea he would spend the next decade developing his techniques through participation on youth wrestling teams, where he found success as an athlete. One wrestler who has inspired Baldwin throughout the years is Jordan Burroughs, an Olympic gold medalist and four-time world champion in his respected weight class.

When asked about the memorable moments in his career, Baldwin said, “Being able to go to State sophomore year, right before the pandemic started.”

He also mentioned sophomore year was special because he was able to wrestle with the seniors in the class of 2020.

Baldwin and former student Ryan Hannah at the state tournament in 2020. (Photo courtesy of WeGo Wrestling)

Senior Roman Fabiszak praised Baldwin as a teammate: “Pierre is very supportive and very involved in the wrestling program here at West Chicago.”

Assistant coach Steve Brown holds Baldwin in high regard: “Pierre Baldwin is a leader by example. Coaches have an easy job when athletes like Pierre are on the team. If there are younger/newer wrestlers on the team that don’t know how to do a drill, Pierre is a great example to look at on how to do things correctly. Pierre has worked extremely hard to get to this point in his wrestling career. Pierre also excels at academics. He is the whole package. He listens to what his coaches have to say and accepts much of their advice. Pierre is one of those athletes that is easy to coach. He takes direction and is inquisitive on how to improve. Pierre watches lots of film to help himself improve. He will rewatch his previous matches to look for weaknesses and then will address those weaknesses in practice. Pierre is a calm, quiet, and chill person in everyday life, but when he steps on the mat, he turns into Bam Bam and unleashes a ferocious attack on his opponents. Pierre is exciting to watch. It has been a pleasure to help coach Pierre in his quest for a state title.”

Baldwin plans to continue wrestling at the collegiate level, but is still undecided on which school he will attend. At college, Baldwin plans to study sports administration. 

Baldwin accepts his placement at a recent wrestling tournament; he is 32-2 this season. (Photo by Nicole Fields)