By Patricia Ayala | Staff Writer |
Though football season is still in full swing, wrestling is behind the scenes getting ready for their season next month.
Coach Rydell gives instruction to seventh period wrestling. Photo by Mariely Manrique.
The team currently has 35 wrestlers, but could get as many as 45 more when football ends. They are currently getting ready with open mat before school, wrestling during seventh period, and mandatory strength and conditioning every day after school.
They are getting ready for a big season coming off a year in which a senior on the team won a state championship.
“Last season was a big year for the wrestling team, and athletics in general. Then a senior, Nathan Alvarez went 45-1 and fought his way to a state champion,” coach Matthew Rydell said. “This is the first state champion since Brock Stratton in 1999. Our expectations for this year is a district title.”
The team has three returning regional qualifiers, Ra Shaud Hunt, Marcos Mercado, and Jeremiah Allen.
“I feel like it’s my job to help the team place higher and take more people to state,” Mercado said. “I hope to place higher than we did last year as a team. I hope to be district champions.”
Last year the team took a total of four to region and one to state, and they are hoping to increase that.
“Our returning wrestlers are a though experienced group looking to prove they belong at the top of district standings,” Rydell said. “Our new wrestlers are eager to learn and are picking up the sport quickly.”
The team is hoping to pick up as many as 25 freshmen from the freshman football team who will get advice from the older wrestlers.
“Stick with it no matter what and have the mentality that you’re the best,” junior Nick Salazar said.
The season will officially start on Nov. 11. The first competition is a girls only tournament on Nov. 16. Boys will jump in on Nov. 21 at Judson.
“This sport will test you like you’ve never been tested before , but the sense of accomplishment that it gives you is so worth it in my opinion,” sophomore Eduardo Gonzalez said.