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Wrestling monopolizes league 6–1 with a new roster

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Originally published on February 16, 2015

Junior Asa Jungreis shoots for a takedown during the team’s fourth regular season dual meet against the June Jordan Jaguars on Jan. 21. The wrestling team dominated the Jaguars 40–12, which advanced their record 3–1. Photo by Karina Huft

With only 22 active members and 75 percent of them being first-years, the Cardinals are reloading this season by preparing all their new wrestlers to compete in seasons to come.

The wrestling team is currently in second place, with a record of six wins as well as one loss to the Galileo Lions.

The wrestling team faces a few challenges this year, including a lack of returning wrestlers and an incomplete lineup. Since nine seniors graduated last season, the team is not as loaded, according to head coach Michael Wise. They also continue to lack big wrestlers. “Going forward, we sure could use guys 152 pounds and up!” Wise said.

“Going forward, we sure could use guys 152 pounds and up!”

The Cardinals also cope with the loss of two assistant coaches. The problems with finding good coaches in San Francisco are that most of them do not have enough college or high level high school experience, nor have enough time and money, according to Wise.

With 30 hours a week spent with the wrestlers and an additional 10–15 hours spent outside the room, coaching becomes a task that takes over 40 hours per week, according to Wise. “Many prospective coaches work full-time jobs and simply cannot afford to cut their work week in half or more from October through the beginning of March,” Wise said. “This was the case for two of our three assistant coaches from last season.” However, Wise is grateful to at least have assistant coach Micky Mejia, who has wrestled throughout his life, and is currently wrestling for Skyline College.

Senior captain Sasha Gonzalez aims to pin his opponent during his match. Photo by Karin Huft

Despite not having as many coaches, the team has been working hard since the season started on Oct. 14. They even continued practicing over winter break, with the exception of Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, according to Wise. “The challenge is to bring them to a level where they are dominant in the SF section and can compete with and beat kids outside the SF section,” he said. The team has been to nearly twenty tournaments, had seven dual-meets, and has had over ninety practices. Practice sessions are held six days a week, reaching two to three hours every time.”

“They’re going to improve next year. But we are definitely going to place this season.”

In addition to the influx of new athletes, the team added six female wrestlers, which is an increase from the previous two seasons. “In the 2013 season, we had three girls, and last season, we had one,” Wise said. “Girls have to go through the Central Coast Section to qualify for state, whereas guys only have to make All-City.” So while the girls are still first years, it will allow us to start placing as a team in the CCS for the next couple of years.

Even with the ups and downs of the season, the team shows no sign of losing spirit, and the new wrestlers feel right at home. Junior John Cedrick Dente, one of the new wrestlers, had a rough start at the beginning of the season, with little experience on the mat prior joining. However, he has been growing with the team, always looking ahead with a positive attitude. “Everyone is around your skill level, and the seniors that are here, you look up to,” Dente said. “It’s not entirely composed of seniors, so you don’t feel left out.” He has been winning all his matches this season.

Senior captain Aldren Pasol also remains confident in the team’s skill. “There’s potential. They’re going to improve next year,” Pasol said. “But we are definitely going to place this season.”

— Johann Leffler contributed to this article.

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Wrestling monopolizes league 6–1 with a new roster