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Wellesley wrestling kicks off year with ‘Monk Dunk’

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The Wellesley High and Middle School wrestling teams gathered together for their annual plunge, known as the “Monk Dunk” into Morses Pond on New Year’s Day.

Almost 30 participants, including current and former members of the wrestling team, coaches and wrestling friends and spouses braved the frigid waters to continue this bone-chilling tradition.

This year, head coach Lou Grignaffini threw down the gauntlet and invited the other athletic teams at Wellesley High to accompany the wrestling team for this polar plunge. Three members of the football team rose to the challenge and came wearing their Raider pride football gear.

The participants crowded onto the canoe dock barefoot and clad in their Raider gear or black and red wrestling singlets, the uniform worn during wrestling matches, shivering and hopping from foot to foot to stay warm before the countdown began.

After a count of three, these human polar bears leapt and dove from the dock, disappeared below the surface of the water, emerged screaming and shouting, swam back to the dock to haul themselves out of the icy winter waters of Morses Pond, and then made a mad dash for dry land, dry towels and dry clothing.

A cluster of family members, friends and dog walkers watched from shore with admiration and disbelief. On site was a Wellesley Police officer and an ambulance, both ready to offer help as needed.

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