Senior wrestler struggles to get back to the sport he loves due to injury


Senior Peyton Bissonnette faces his opponent after being cleared to continue wrestling.

Grace Laverriere, Editor

The universal truth that hard work leads to success is something that holds true for senior wrestler Peyton Bissonnette.

In Bissonnette’s first year of high school, he tried something new: joining the wrestling team. He said that he heard from one of his friends that the team needed someone in his weight class for the team and decided to give it a try.

“I was pretty reluctant at first. Then, on the first day of wrestling practices, I decided to give it a try,” said Bissonnette. “I’ve been hooked ever since.”

He was entranced by the adrenaline of a wrestling match, the hard work put in, and the excitement of winning. These factors all kept Bissonnette fascinated by the sport.

“I like the feeling of winning,” said Bissonnette. “I get [out] what I put into the sport.”

While Bissonnette’s wrestling career hasn’t been long, it has been incredibly successful. Since his freshman year, he’s been working hard enough to start wrestling for the Maine National Team.

“I wrestled pretty good last year. I was contacted by the Massabesic [High School] coach, who ran the dual team, asking if I wanted to join,” Bissonnette said.

His experience with this upper-level team led him to Athens, Penn. for a wrestling tournament this past June. After that day, Bissonnette’s wrestling career became uncertain.

“I would’ve kept travelling with them [the national team], but obviously I couldn’t,” said Bissonnette. “I fractured my L5 vertebrae on my spine. It’s still cracked [currently].” 

Peyton doesn’t quit until he gets [his goal]. He has always been so determined.”

— Jessica Dumont

Following the injury, Bissonnette’s future in wrestling hung in the balance. He wasn’t going to give up, no matter what the verdict was.

“Peyton doesn’t quit until he gets [his goal],” said Bissonnette’s mom Jessica Dumont. “He has always been so determined.”

His determination helped him through a difficult summer of healing and recovery.

“I was pretty doubtful at first [with my injury],” said Bissonnette. “It was a tough summer because I didn’t know if I would be able to wrestle or not. I spent a lot of time reflecting on myself.”

The injury physically and mentally affected Bissonnette while also giving him a new daily restriction.

“[This summer] I had to make sure [Peyton] wore his back brace. It’s very important for healing,” Dumont said.

After a difficult summer, Bissonnette was given the green light to continue wrestling, although his injury wasn’t completely behind him.

“After a conversation with the orthopedic surgeon, we knew his injury would never fully heal,” said Dumont. “[Peyton] has good days and bad days, but he still was able to wrestle.”

Since the wrestling season started, there have been times where Bissonnette has had to withdraw from matches due to his injury. Thankfully, it hasn’t completely stopped him.

“I just got cleared to wrestle [again],” said Bissonnette. “It does worry me sometimes thinking about what might happen.”

These worries aren’t going to stop Bissonnette from achieving his goals, though.

“I want to win states [this season] more than anything,” said Bissonnette. “Only time will tell what happens this year.”